Announcements from Elephants at Work

The following two communication methods, email and RSS feeds are handled through a company called Feedblitz.

This is a service that does not sell or distribute your email address to anyone. It is optional to create an account with them, if you do, you can modify how your communications are being sent to you. If you do not create an account, you will receive updates based on how Elephants at Work has set it up. There is no cost to you to use this service as a reader.

New Delivery Schedule for E-Mail Subscribers

You may have noticed that you are receiving email updates from us less frequently. The reason is that the delivery schedule has been changed to a weekly event. You should see delivery of all new articles in your mailbox after midnight on Tuesdays EST.

If you hit the mail icon, you will be given a number of ways to subscribe other than the traditional email. Here are all the options:

  • Email
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  • Twitter DM each new post to you
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Select your own personal option. An email will be sent to your account asking you to verify your subscription. Once you respond, you will be on the list to receive updates by email. You can

RSS Feeds are always an Option

Roughly 60% of our readers choose the RSS feed option because it gives you instant access to article updates. What that means is when you look at your reader feed, you will see the latest article headlines and you can click through to the ones that interest you. The benefit is that you eliminate all those extra emails sitting in your inbox gathering dust.

The RSS feed button is located at the top of any page of Elephants at Work. You can also access it by clicking on the button in this post.

The first time you click through, you will see options on the right hand side of the page to subscribe.

Subscribe to get Automatic Updates

When you select subscribe, you define how you want to receive the updates – through My Yahoo, Google, Bloglines or any of the other services offered. All these services are free and may reside on your home page.

Other Ways to Connect

Elephants at Work has a Facebook fan page. You can receive updates on articles through your Facebook account where they are published.

You can follow me on Twitter through my Lynn Dessert account. You will receive updates on blog articles, updates on our new website to debut soon and other interesting tidbits that I tweet occasionally.  If you like to Tweet, our blog posts are great to re-tweet!

Wimpy Boss Goes to the Elephants

Initially, I started the blog intending to write about wimpy bosses. What I have come to appreciate over the last eight months is there is much more to the topic – I was only scratching the surface. This blog is about the elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge or talk about.

Elephants at Work are born. The blog addresses how to master your career and boss.

Reflecting on the blog content, some of the most read posts are on cross-cultural communication, trust in organizations, using self promotion, how to say thank you and that it is never too late to do it. One of my posts – Difficult Discussion: Body Odor at Work is probably one of the top read articles and is a great example of why I believe people want a place to find information.

I know as a boss early in my career, I was given the task to tell an employee they needed to be more cleanly. Why me? The excuse I was given was we are both women and it would be easier for me to have the conversation. I can tell you, it is not easy – no matter who you are.

Talking about body odor or deciding if you should outshine your boss are some of the topics I would consider unspeakables at work. No one wants to bring them up, yet everyone wants to know about them. Other posts focus on things we will talk about. We may be unsure on how to communicate it more effectively or to put it into action such as should we be multi-tasking. Our writers are willing to put those sensitive issues on the table and talk about them with you. Your comments and pokes at us will continue to encourage us to do so.

Other changes to the blog:

Feedblitz is In

If you are getting your updates with Feedburner, the blog is now using Feedblitz as its RRS feed and email newsletter format. You can sign up at the left hand side of our blog. Feedburner will not be delivering your updates to you in a few weeks. The service provides more versatility on how you want to receive the information. You always have option to use our extensive bookmarking system too!

New Contributors

Every few months a new writer expresses interest in joining us. I am always on the lookout for individuals who like to communicate their opinions with you. All of them are seasoned experts in their field. If you have an interest in being apart of our contributor community, drop me a line. Our contributors commit to posting an article once a month and guest writers generally post less frequently.

Thanks for being a part of our growing community!


Wimp Etymology

Who would have thought that defining a wimp may lead you astray? I began my search on an obvious path and reference point, Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary. Their definition is:

  • wimp, n: a weak, cowardly, or ineffectual person

Digging a little deeper, other definitions catch my eye:

  • A timid or unadventurous person
  • A person that lacks confidence, is irresolute and wishy-washy

It begs the question, how many different kinds of wimps are there in this world? Non-human ones, to my surprise! In 1980, Merzouga Wilberts coined the acronym WIMP, the abbreviation for human-computer interaction, “window, icon, menu, pointing device”. While computer geekiness is near to my heart; a more interesting and perhaps controversial conversation centers on the wimpy role and how it impacts the individual or organization effectiveness. Are there similarities or conclusions we can draw between the two meanings?

So began my quest for the true meaning of WIMP. Let’s take the computer definition one word at a time. For example, window has many definitions, ranging from an opening in the wall or roof to an interval of time. The etymology of the word is from Middle English, from Old Norse vindauga: windr, air, wind. It is a word used figuratively, the one that comes to mind is window dressing, implying that something is better than what it might actually be at face value.

Icon is an image or representation. It may be someone who is the object of great attention and devotion. It’s origin is from the Greek eikon, is to be like, seen.

The word, menu, is often referred to as a list of dishes available for a meal. The French origin, menut, comes from the Latin – minutus, meaning to diminish.

Pointing device is a little trickier – let’s it break down. To point, refers to the sharp or tapered end. It’s origin is Old French and Latin, to prick, mark moment. Device today is seen as an invention that serves a purpose. The roots of the word are from Old French, is division, wish, and Old French devise, design. Both are from Latin – divisus, to divide, separate.

Sitting back and letting all these new meanings soak in, my mental image wanders and these questions begin to emerge:

  • Is the wimp a master at window dressing?
  • Does the wimp have an image to uphold?
  • Is being liked more important?
  • How does the wimp diminish others?
  • Is the wimp’s purpose to divide others to make their mark?
  • Do they behave by design?

My gut tells me some of these questions may not necessarily warrant an weak and ineffectual person. What are your thoughts?