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Woman breaks for mental health days; boss' reply goes viral

A Michigan woman who suffers from depression emailed her team at work informing them that she would be taking days off to focus on her mental health and well-being, and her boss’ response has gained much attention online. 

>> Read more trending news 

Madalyn Parker, a web developer at Olark Live Chat, took to Twitter to post a screenshot of her email communication with her co-workers and a supervisor.

In an email titled “Where’s Madalyn?” Parker told her team she’d be taking off two days to renew her mental health. 

“Hopefully, I’ll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%,” she wrote. 

Parker was surprised and delighted by one of the responses she received. She asked the sender if she could post a screenshot of the reply, and he told her yes.

“Hey Madalyn, I just wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this. Every time you do, I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health,” Ben Cogleton, the CEO of Olark wrote. “I can’t believe this is not a standard practice at all organizations.”

He continued: “You are an example to us all and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work.”  

Parker’s post of the conversation garnered more than 34,000 likes on Twitter and sparked conversations about companies’ obligation to provide mental health days.

“It’s 2017. I cannot believe that it is still controversial to speak about mental health in the workplace when 1 in 6 Americans are medicated for mental health,” Cogleton wrote in a blog post. “We are in a knowledge economy. Our jobs require us to execute at peak mental performance. When an athlete is injured they sit on the bench and recover. Let’s get rid of the idea that somehow the brain is different.”

Nuclear plant uses bikini contest to hire interns

A nuclear power station in Czech Republic got a toxic reaction from the public after it decided to use a swimsuit contest to hire interns. 

>> Read more trending news 

CEZ's Temelin power station posted to their Facebook page photos of high school graduates posing in bikinis and hard hats last week, USA Today reported.

The post, which has since been deleted, said the woman with the greatest number of likes would be titled “Miss Energy 2017” and get a two-week internship. 

But many Facebook users scrutinized the station, commenting on how the post was “unprofessional” and “distasteful,” CNN reported. 

The plant apologized two days later on Facebook and said all 10 of the contestants would receive internships, Fox News reported.

"The purpose of the competition was to promote technical education," the post read. "But if the original vision raised doubts or concerns, we are very sorry."

Lowe's lays off more than 100 employees, outsourcing to India

Mooresville, North Carolina-based home improvement retailer Lowe’s announced Wednesday that it has laid off about 125 employees in the information technology department. 

>> Read more trending news

The jobs were cut primarily from the company's corporate headquarters, officials said.

Company officials said most of the jobs will be moved to India. 

“Not all of those will be moving,” said Jackie Hartzell, director of public relations, according to the Mooresville Tribune. “We decided to move the responsibility of some of our back-office IT work to our employees in Bangalore (India) to reduce redundancy and respond faster to the changing retail environment.”

The affected US employees were notified Wednesday morning. 

“We will provide support to help our impacted employees make the transition to new employment, including competitive severance pay and access to outplacement resources,” Lowe’s said in a statement.

The company will host a job fair for displaced employees, the Mooresville Tribune reported.

In February, the company laid off 525 employees, including approximately 430 from the corporate office in Mooresville.

The moves in February were part of the company’s effort to create a more efficient operating structure for corporate-based positions.

In January, the company announced 2,400 full-time workers were laid off mostly at the store level, with other cuts at distribution centers, customer support centers and vice presidents at the company’s corporate office.

A spokeswoman said the January layoffs affected less than 1 percent of the workforce.

On its website, the company lists 2,355 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

10 things new grads should know before starting first jobs

As colleges across the country wrap up classes, final exams and commencement ceremonies, it’s time for new grads to find new jobs.

>> Read more trending news

If you’ve landed one, congratulations! Take a minute, enjoy the moment and read these pointers to help you get ready for the real world:

1. Your boss is a valuable resource

A smart boss will take the time to explain the job to you, provide training and monitor your progress. They aren’t your friend, so maintain professional relationships, but they, and you, should be friendly and pleasant.

A good supervisor will be responsive to your questions and help you move forward in your career.

2. Walk in prepared

No matter how much research you do, there is going to be a learning curve. But if you have a good idea of what the company does and how your role relates to that, you’ll flatten out that learning curve quickly after learning where the cafeteria and bathrooms are. Look at LinkedIn, Glassdoor and other online resources.

3. Be part of the team

You’re joining a group of people who have been working together for some time. While you might have hated doing group projects in school, you’ll need to learn how to do that now. You will likely rely on your co-workers, and your co-workers will rely on you. The most successful groups complete their tasks by working well together.

4. Hang your ego next to your diploma

Since you’re the new person on the scene, be prepared to listen and learn. Soak up all the information you can. Learn from people at the company who have experience on the job and can help get you up to speed.

As a new employee, the phrase “you have two ears, two eyes and one mouth -- use them proportionately” directly applies to you.

5. Enjoy lunch

While it is tempting to work extra hard to make a good impression, give yourself a chance to meet and get to know your co-workers. This is a simple way to build team chemistry without resorting to the painful “team-building exercises” you may have to go through.

6. Dress the part

This is office life 101: before you start, try and determine the office’s dress code and conform to it.

If you aren’t able to figure this out before your first day, err on the side of formality. Leave the extra piercings and ripped jeans at home until you get a sense of the office protocol.

7. Be nice

Having your first impression be one of a friendly, open person goes a long way. You’ll meet a lot of new people; expect a diversity of ages, backgrounds, attitudes, work habits and experiences. A positive attitude and cheerful demeanor will mark you as someone people want to be around and work with.

8. Be flexible

You might have strolled off the graduation stage with a 4.0 and an armload of awards, but that still means you’re the new person in the office. That’s going to involve doing a certain amount of menial labor to work your way up the food chain. It’s not sexy work, but getting it done with a smile will give your boss a good impression.

Flexibility, responsiveness and adaptability are all good traits.

9. Mistakes happen

You make a mistake. It happens. The worst thing you can do is try to cover it up. Instead try to find a solution and fix it.

Keep your head up, recognize what you did wrong, learn from it and do your best to ensure it doesn’t happen again. If whatever you’re doing still feels awkward, take the time to practice on a weekend or away from the office without other people watching.

10. Make the effort

The easiest path to success at your first job is figuring out what your objective is and doing your best to achieve it. Particularly for entry positions, effort is an important, if not the most important, part of the job. Be there early and ready to get started. 

>> Related: 19 mistakes college grads make when finding their first apartments

These summer internships pay more than $6,000 a month

A new report by highlights more than 10 companies that are known to offer interns more than $6,000 salaries, according to data from career site Glassdoor

>> Read more trending news 

According to the report, interns at Facebook can make up to $8,000 a month. That would amount to a yearly salary of $96,000 if it were a full-time opportunity, Glassdoor pointed out.  And according to Glassdoor’s Local Pay Reports, the median annual salary for a full-time U.S. worker is $51,350. 

Most paid college interns last year made an average of $2,600 per month, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. 

>> Related: These US cities are the best for job seekers

But these interns aren’t just fetching coffees and copies as interns are stereotypically known to do. They’re being put to work and offering valuable insight and ideas. 

Here are the top 10 companies with the highest paid interns, according to Glassdoor

1. Facebook, Median monthly pay: $8,000

2. Microsoft, Median monthly pay: $7,100

3. ExxonMobile, Median monthly pay: $6,507

4. Salesforce, Median monthly pay: $6,450

5. Amazon, Median Monthly Pay: $6,400

6. Apple, Median monthly pay: $6,400

7. Bloomberg L.P., Median monthly pay: $6,400

8. Yelp, Median monthly pay: $6,400

9. Yahoo, Median monthly pay: $6,080

10. VMware, Median monthly pay: $6,080

Google, Adobe, Chevron and Bank of America made the site’s top 25 ranking.

Glassdoor compiled the report used in its report by collecting earnings reports of companies that had at least 25 interns submit salary information between April 2016 and April 2017. 

Read more and see the full list of the top 25 highest paying internships on Glassdoor.

These US cities are the best for job seekers

If you’re looking for work, starting a business or even retiring, Florida and California may be the best states to do so.

>> Read more trending news

South Florida cities ranked in the top 10 for best places in which to be looking for a job, according to a blog post published by career site Indeed.

Miami ranked first, followed by Orlando in the second spot. Jacksonville also made the top 10.

Here’s the complete list of the top 10 cities for job seekers, compiled by Indeed: 

Here are the top 10 cities on the list:

1. Miami, Florida

2. Orlando, Florida

3. Raleigh, North Carolina

4. Austin, Texas

5. Sacramento, California

6. San Jose, California

7. Jacksonville, Florida

8. San Diego, California

9. Houston, Texas

10. Memphis, Tennessee 

Atlanta (No. 14), Seattle (No. 17) and Charlotte, North Carolina, (No. 19) also cracked the top 20.

The survey assessed key wants, such as average salary in comparison to cost of living, job security, career advancement opportunities, work-life balance and the status of the labor market.

“In today’s America, economic opportunity is migrating from the northeast and midwest to Florida, California, and Texas,” said Paul D’Arcy, senior vice president at Indeed. “For job seekers looking for opportunity, good pay, job security, and work-life balance, the most attractive cities are in the warm, sunny, and fast-growing cities of the south and southwest.”

» Read more about the report at Indeed.com

In an unrelated survey, a bunch of South Florida cities -- led by Port St. Lucie, in 14th place -- rated highly as well in a survey of best cities to start a business. 

WalletHub.com said its report employed 18 key metrics, ranging from five-year business-survival rate to office-space affordability.

What if you’re not looking for a job or to start a business? What if you’re looking to retire?

Florida stands at the 17th best state in America to call it a career. Bankrate.com’s survey gave the state high marks for the prevalence of other retirees, overall senior citizen well-being and weather. But Florida got penalized badly on crime and also did poorly in quality of health care.

» More business news from The Palm Beach Post

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.

Starbucks opens 5 'Military Family Stores' for vets and military spouses

Starbucks is working to increase employment opportunities for service members and their families through its “Military Family Stores” initiative.

>> Read more trending news

On Tuesday, the coffee chain’s Clarksville, Tennessee, location became the 37th store designated as a Military Family Store, meaning that it’s now staffed primarily by veterans and military spouses.

“Seventy-five percent of my business is the military,” store manager and military spouse Shannon Feltz, 47, told Fox News. “We are so excited about this announcement. I’ve never felt so supported by a company in my life.”

>> Related: Black Rifle Coffee pledges to hire 10,000 veterans

In addition to the Clarksville location, Starbucks unveiled four other Military Family Stores on Tuesday, including two in Texas serving Camp Mabry in Austin and Ft. Bliss in El Paso, one serving Naval War College in Rhode Island and one in Massachusetts near Joint Base Hanscom. The stores are part of the coffee chain’s efforts to provide jobs to veterans and military spouses while also serving as a place for service members to come together, connect and share stories. The company has pledged to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2025 and currently employs more than 10,000.

>>  Related: Starbucks responds to criticism over its refugee hiring plan

“Service members and military spouses are the best example of engaged citizens.” Starbucks senior vice president John Kelly said in a statement. “Long after leaving active duty, they continue to vote, volunteer and serve their communities at a high rate, serving as the best examples of citizenship. We are honored to serve as a place where these American heroes can continue to impact their community in a positive way.”

Matt Kress, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq and now manages the veterans and military affairs program for Starbucks, remembered the “frightening period” when he transitioned from active duty life to civilian life.

“Some of our veterans are only with us for a year, while others are here longer,” Kress told Fox News. “This is their landing spot to figure out what they want to do with the rest of their life.”

Read more at Starbucks Newsroom.

>> Related: Move over, Unicorn Frappuccino; here’s Starbucks’ Dragon Frappe

>> Related: Starbucks barista rants about unicorn Frappuccino drink

Jobseeker's interview canceled after she asked about compensation, benefits via email

After a phone interview, Taylor Byrnes was excited about her job prospects with Canadian food services company SkipTheDishes.

>> Read more trending news

But she never got the opportunity to have an in-person interview because it was canceled when she asked, via email, some apparently out-of-bounds questions:

  • If I do get the job, how much do you think I’ll be getting paid an hour?
  • Benefits will also be included, right?

While those might seem like logical questions for a job seeker, Victoria Karras, the company’s talent acquisition coordinator, was not fond of them, the Daily Mail reported

“Your questions reveal that your priorities are not in sync with those of SkipTheDishes,” Karras wrote in an email to Byrnes. “At this time we will not be following through with our meeting this Thursday.”

Karras later wrote back to Byrnes to expound on her earlier statement, saying: “As a startup company, we seek out those who go out of their way to seek out challenges and new opportunities. We believe in hard work and perseverance in pursuit of company goals as opposed to focusing on compensation. Our corporate culture may be unique in this way, but it is paramount that staff display intrinsic motivation and are proven self-starters. For these reasons, questions about compensation and benefits at such an early stage is a concern related to organizational fit.”

Byrnes was surprised by the reply and decided to take it to social media. Her tweet went viral, and she found support from an overwhelming number of people, some of whom threatened to boycott SkipTheDishes.

Eventually, SkipTheDishes co-founder Joshua Simair spoke out, saying that he was disappointed by how the situation was handled. 

“We are very disappointed in how it was handled. We do share a compensation package prior to hiring. As soon as we became aware of it on Monday, we reached out to Taylor to apologize for the email and reschedule her interview,” Simair told The Canadian Press. “We’ve also addressed the email internally and will be providing additional training.”

According to The Canadian Press, SkipTheDishes, an online food delivery company founded in Saskatoon with headquarters in Winnipeg, was sold to a company in the United Kingdom for $110 million in December. It operates in 20 Canadian and six U.S. cities.

100-year-old woman still working as receptionist

A woman is still working as a receptionist at 100 years old, and she has no plans of stopping any time soon.

“I’d be bored silly if I didn’t have this to do,” Nan Thatcher of Twin Falls, Idaho, told KREM.

>> Read more trending stories  

Thatcher was hired by her son in 2001 to help with his business, Road Work Ahead.

“I told him, ‘I’m losing my eyesight, the least I can do is answer the phone,’” said Nan.

And she’s been answering phones ever since.

“Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” she said. “Thursday I have my hair done.”

>> Related: 94-year-old woman graduates college with honors

Thatcher will celebrate 101 years on June 7. She plans to still be working at her son’s business then.

“Well, unless there’s something better to do!” she told KREM.

Watch the heartwarming story below:

Homeless man receives donated suit, gains hope, job

Brian Smith of Salt Lake City, Utah said he hit rock bottom after losing his job last February, but a new suit helped turn everything around.

“These last 10 months, I’ve lost my faith in humanity, in God, in life,” Smith told KSL. “There were many times when shotguns looked very tempting.”

>> Read more trending stories  

Smith submitted 180 resumes to different job openings, and he was hit with rejection after rejection until eventually, he became homeless. He spent months sleeping in cars, on friends’ couches and occasionally in hotels. Then, Smith learned about Utah Woolen Mills, a clothing store that pledged to give away hundreds of suits to those looking for jobs.

According to the store’s website, for every suit sold in 2017, Utah Woolen Mills will give away one suit to a struggling man "committed to improving his life for the better."

Within a day of going to his first interview in his new suit, Smith was offered a job.

“I didn’t think it would happen to me, and it did, and I owe them so much,” said Smith. “I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”

Read more at KSL.

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