Moonlighting? Consider Umpiring

Money for Arts

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Kathleen McGinn Spring and Barbara Fox were prepared for the July 3, 2002 edition of

U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

A Little Knowledge Is Good for Stress

Knowledge reduces stress. This according to Mary

Ann Kokinda, a clinical social worker, who advises workers that

a little research may cut way down on job-related stress.

Kokinda, who is in private practice in Whitehouse Station (908-534-0199),

leads a workshop for social workers seeking to teach clients how to

cope with stress on Thursday, July 11, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

on the Livingston campus of Rutgers University as part of that university’s

continuing education program. Cost: $80. Call 732-445-3178.

There are all kinds of knowledge, and in any form knowledge tends

to be a stress reducer — especially self-knowledge. Kokinda went

to business school after graduating from high school, because she

could not afford to attend a four-year college. Working as a secretary

at Johnson & Johnson, she had the self-awareness to realize that she

was not living up to her potential.

"Not living up to your potential, that is a big cause of unhappiness

at work," she says. Many may mask this unhappiness in complaints

about the boss, the structure of the company, or the workload, but,

says Kokinda, if you are not feeling challenged, consider that you

may not be using all of your skills. Maybe it’s time to move up to

the next level.

That is what Kokinda did. She continued her education, receiving a

bachelor’s in psychology from Rutgers in 1988 and an MSW in 1992.

She then went on to complete the 1,920 hours of practice — at

Hunterdon Medical Center — necessary for certification as a clinical

social worker before she was able to start her own practice. It was

a long road, she says, but well worth the effort.

While knowing herself, and obtaining the knowledge that allowed her

to live up to her potential at work, was a long process for Kokinda,

even a little knowledge can make a big difference on the job.

"Ask for a copy of your job description," Kokinda suggests

as the answer to a lot of stress. A top worker complaint — and

cause of everything from on-the-job tantrums to migraines, and worse

— is simply an unworkable workload. In many cases, she says, it

turns out that the secretary or vice president or attorney is spending

time — maybe lots of time — on tasks that are not really his.

Just asking to see that job description can clear things up, and open

the way for a discussion of who should be filling out those expense

reports that are making late nights a routine.

If there is no job description, suggests Kokinda, write one. Go over

it with your supervisor, and if he or she agrees it looks about right,

do not accept any tasks not included in the description.

While this sounds easy, Kokinda acknowledges that it can be anything

but. Here are her suggestions for getting to the point where a straightforward

approach like this is possible:

Take a look at yourself. Self-esteem, says Kokinda, often

lies just below the surface of work problems. If you do not believe

that you deserve interesting work, a reasonable work schedule, or

the respect of your superiors and co-workers, chances are you are

not going to get any of the above. "It’s a process," says

Kokinda. Getting to a position of strength that allows you to stand

up for yourself can take time, but is well worth the effort.

Act right away. It’s easier to please. It’s easier to

go along, to keep the boat from rocking. When there are problems at

work, most people, says Kokinda, "just hope they will go away."

While that is a hopeful position, it rarely works. "All the while

the boat is rocking," she says. Add one or two more unreasonable

demands, rude remarks, or stacks of paper in the in-box, and the boat

will capsize.

Better says Kokinda, is to speak up right away, before a pattern of

unmeetable deadlines, cubicle mates partying while you try to work,

or cuts in support staff have you ready to jump overboard. Letting

bad work situations go has roughly the same effect as ignoring a child’s

bad behavior 10 or 12 times. By the time the 13th infraction occurs,

there is a tendency to fly at him like a demon possessed, accomplishing

nothing.

Avoid spraying blame around. A supervisor or underling

pinned to the wall, is a supervisor or underling in no mood to make

changes that will make you happy.

Don’t blame, just express your problem, being sure to start as many

sentences as possible with "I." It is not that he is a bad

manager or a bad assistant, it is that you need guidance on how to

prioritize or, for some odd reason, are finding it difficult to concentrate

when he screams over the phone at his many girlfriends.

After you identify a problem, your final task is to pick a good

time for a heart-to-heart. "Timing is important," she says.

"Don’t run up to someone first thing in the morning." Wait

for that caffeine to kick in and then present your case. The knowledge

you take away from the conversation may make all the difference, and,

says Kokinda, at the very least, it will make you feel better.

Top Of Page
Moonlighting? Consider Umpiring

When bonus checks dwindle, moonlighting comes to mind.

But where to find a job that will pay money and also be a change of

pace. Here’s one — be an umpire.

If you played a sport in high school or college, you could contact

the recreation league for that sport to sign up for umpiring duties.

You may need to take a course or pass a test, says Cris Maloney,

who has taken just such a course of action and who now offers just

such a course.

Take field hockey, for instance, as Maloney did. Even if field hockey

was not your sport, you can train to be an umpire. "If you’re

at least 18 years of age, can be fair and impartial, enjoy exercising

outdoors, and your schedule is such that you can work some afternoons

after school hours, you could earn hundreds of dollars working only

an hour or two a day," says Maloney. Some amount of experience

with field hockey, soccer, or other team sports is helpful but not

required.

Maloney runs a four-night course from Monday to Thursday, July 15

to 18, from 6 to 8 p.m., followed by practice umpiring sessions at

a field hockey camp at the College of New Jersey. The $41 course fee

includes classroom instruction, practice umpiring sessions, training

materials, and rulebook. High school age field hockey team captains

may audit the course for $20.50 and are encouraged to attend. For

information call Maloney at 609-730-1095 or E-mail CJM@schoolSTAFF.com

Prospective umpires would make up the cost of the course at their

first game. In the first year an umpire typically earns $41 per game

when working a game with someone else, but if you are working alone

you earn $61.50. First year "cadets" umpire games below the

level of varsity. "After you take the course and begin umpiring,

you are rated by experienced umpires," says Maloney. Varsity games

pay about $55 a game.

Maloney was a track and field star at Moorestown High and was attracted

to field hockey as a team sport at Westchester University (Class of

1978). Only in United States and Canada do women outnumber men in

this sport, he points out. "Women have played field hockey for

180 years, men for 5,000 years. And it absolutely can be a coed sport.

People of all ages and sizes can participate safely together."

He points out that, unlike soccer, field hockey develops eye-hand

coordination.

Enamored with this new sport, Maloney played men’s club hockey on

the East Coast and practiced with the women on the Westchester team,

coached by a former Olympic coach. He played on the Olympic level

at the USOC Olympic Festival in 1982 and coached in later years. A

certified instructor, he has been coach, sectional umpire, regional

director and coach for the United States Field Hockey Association’s

Futures program, and is the founder of the Garden State Games Field

Hockey Event.

Maloney moved to Princeton so his wife could teach at Princeton Day

School and he worked on the Dow Jones campus with Dow Jones Interactive.

Now he is a real estate agent with the Princeton REal Estate Group.

"The best part about umpiring is that when you have done the job

well, you have made the game fair for all combatants," says Maloney.

"I particularly like umpiring young people because you get an

opportunity to modify their behavior. But when you walk off the field,

people say, `That was a good game,’ and no one says, `Wow, that was

a good umpire.’"

— Barbara Fox

Top Of Page
Money for Arts

A Philadelphia-based arts organization, Dance Advance,

offering a funding tip to arts organizations, points out that federal

support for arts and culture can be found "lurking in unlikely

places." Though an arts organization would normally apply to the

National Endowment for the Arts, these departments might also be tapped:

the departments of Housing and Urban Development, the Forest Service,

the Department of Energy, and the Department of Transportation. Information

is available at 206.161.133.195:591/federal-opportunities02/b-federal

.html

Additional funding opportunities are available at the website of this

organization (www.danceadvance.org), a program of the Pew Charitable

Trusts and Drexel University (215-732-9060).


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