Planned Giving: Charities’ Cushion

Go South, Wise Man

Go Fish!

Office Professionals: Control Your Destiny

Woodrow Wilson On George W. Bush

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Bart Jackson and Kathleen McGinn Spring were prepared for the April 23, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Know Your Computer

I will never understand women," a typical Princeton

sophomore might exclaim. To which his roommate could respond, "Well,

do you understand computers?" The sophomore most probably would

admit that he does not. "So," replies his roommate, "what’s

the problem?" Pervasive, unfathomable, and delightful in our lives,

that glowing box that now perches on desks everywhere, draining desk

space and patience, is only the ostensible tip of a vast iceberg that

affects all of us every day.

In the face of this expanding cyber intrusion, do we just treat computers

like the equally pervasive car: a useful enigma whose workings are

understood only by trained auto mechanics? Or might we approach computers

as we do the ladies in our lives, with whom a little understanding

rewards us with untold benefits? Those opting for the latter are no

doubt the audience for "What Should an Educated Person Know About

Computers?" on Thursday, April 24, at 8 p.m. at Sarnoff. Free

by reservation. Call 908-582-7086 or visit

Presented as a joint meeting of the Princeton Chapters of the Association

for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electric & Electronic

Engineers’ (IEEE) Computer Society, the event features Brian Kernighan,

a computer science professor at Princeton University. The lecture

is a summary version of Kernighan’s Princeton undergraduate course

"Computers in Our World," which is specifically designed for

humanities and social science students as well as for engineering


Because of computers carburetors run more efficiently, scuba divers

get more bottom time, tumors are diagnosed early, phones can be answered

anywhere — and monitored — and business is globalizing at

breakneck speed.

"The computer/digital world, in fact all technology, is something

we ignore at our peril," states Kernighan. Yet, he continues,

few people who use technology know much about it.

Kernighan, whose father was a chemical engineer, was born in Toronto.

He obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto in

engineering physics and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Princeton

University. He then spent three decades at the Bell Labs Computer

Science Research Center. Now teaching at Princeton, he is the author

of several books, including The C Programming Language and The UNIX

Program Environment.

Kernighan says we should view the age of digital technology with "an

informed skepticism, rather than seeing it as evil incarnate or as

an all-solving panacea." To gain this knowledge, we must learn

how computer hardware works; how it is built; its logical structure,

which has not changed much with time, and the physical structure,

which has changed enormously.

What computers can do. "Computers really do nothing

more than that little pocket calculator you hold in your hand,"

says Kernighan. "They are able to do a whole lot of simple addition

very rapidly." The problem is that most people misperceive how

many calculations computers can do, and how fast. The concept of billions

of individual calculations, completed within seconds, remains a tough

one to grasp and is usually either underestimated or overestimated.

Add enough of these calculations together and you can figure out the

course of a light beam sent right to a Martian satellite. More arithmetic

and you can figure in enough of the probable variables to keep the

video picture beamed right back to Houston. Redirect the math and

you can present an image of a car and calculate each line’s perspective

as it rotates in front of you. You can even set certain sound patterns

to trigger responses and create a computerized psychiatric program

— artificial intelligence that smacks of the real thing.

What computers can not do. "Anything that can not

be reduced to simple arithmetic does not compute," states Kernighan

flatly. Computers are the ultimate quantifier with no eye — electric

or otherwise — for judgment or quality.

"They will never teach you truth, beauty, or the meaning of life,"

Kernighan points out. A computer can not determine which object is

bigger. It can tell you that this truck weighs 12 tons and the other

truck weighs 14, but you, or the programmer, must take the data and

judge which is heavier.

While computers can not yet run for office, they have enormous power.

When the calculations show that you need the larger truck to haul

the load, the crew in shipping is happy for this judgment call. But

when a human decides to program a computer to monitor your phone calls,

you may be less pleased.

Techno-privacy. Last year, while making the film "Minority

Report," producer Steven Spielberg gathered an assortment of expert

futurists to help him depict life in 2054. One of the very few things

they unanimously agreed upon was that privacy, as we know it, would

be gone. Of this prophecy, Kernighan says "while common sense

says yes, hope says no." His hope is that while computers certainly

are able to accumulate vast aggregates of information about us, the

ability to halt the dissemination of this data throughout the government

and into the private sector will remain very much with us.

But Kernighan acknowledges that the total deletion of data, for instance

files or E-mail, "is becoming increasingly hard." By use of

a cookie, a file fragment left behind on websites surfers visit, any

good hacker can recover the entire file, and, if not the entire E-mail,

at least a correspondence log.

Such information, when purchased by businesses, gives rise to unwelcome

target advertising. If given to the FBI or to an employer, it could

reveal information most people would prefer to keep private. Armed

with the knowledge of how such invasions occur, individuals and businesses

can not only assess security protection systems; they can push for

rational legal protections.

Copyright obsolesce. Napster will never die. On April

Fool’s Day, 2003, a Princeton University undergraduate was arrested

for running a file-sharing service, primarily for copyrighted music

downloads. The music industry, worried about lost royalties and copyright

infringement, has turned to law enforcement and to legislatures for

help in stamping out what is sees as music piracy.

The proposed Consumer Broadband TV/Digital Protection Act would have

placed a government-approval mechanism on every copyrighted piece

of material that would destroy the unit and report the criminal. The

bill seemed to be gaining support in Congress until its full implications

became apparent. Under the act, for example, a baby’s monitoring unit

playing "Happy Birthday to You" in his crib, could trigger

a visit from the police. Faced with such scenarios, lawmakers gave

up on the act — at least for now.

Fearing the Napster hydra growing new heads in every home office,

a host of such proposals have been making the rounds. At this stage

they may be overkill. "Most home systems operate with only 56

kilobyte modems, which can’t possibly compress sound in the way needed,"

explains Kernighan. "College students have access to the ethernet

with higher bandwidth and 10 megabyte modems."

The 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act aimed at expanding copyright

protection internationally by member-nation agreement. However, it

"prevents the circumvention of technical measures used to protect

copyright" and "prevents tampering with the integrity of copyright

management." In essence, Kernighan points out, the bill prevents

even the study of prevention devices and labels those who talk about

them as traffickers in illegal entities.

"Somewhere, we have to strike a balance between copyright and

fair use," says Kernighan. "We have to gain some accurate

realizations on privacy expectations in view of new technologies."

We also have to gain a better understanding of the technology that

is changing so many facets of our lives. Of the 535 legislators in

the House and Senate, only eight have any technical or engineering

background. True, it is their job to seek out and listen to the expert

advice. But it remains incumbent on us to learn enough to guide and

judge their decisions. Managing technology, like participating in

a democracy, strongly favors the most informed.

— Bart Jackson

Top Of Page
Planned Giving: Charities’ Cushion

With the stock market down some 3,000 points from the

highs it reached several years ago, and lay-off announcements still

in the news, it is hardly surprising that charitable donations are

down. Lynn Malzone-Ierardi, president of the Gift Planning Council

of New Jersey, says some non-profits react by focusing solely on the

dollars they need to keep going. Stressed by immediate needs, they

spend little time on cultivating planned giving. But, she points out,

it is the fruits of planned giving campaigns that can keep a charity

going — in any economy.

Malzone-Ierardi speaks on "Gift Annuities: Uncommonly Good Options"

at the Eighth Annual Planned Giving Conference of the Gift Planning

Council of New Jersey, on Thursday, April 24, at 8 a.m. at the Merrill

Lynch Training Center. Among the many other speakers at the day-long

event are Ron Brown, director of planned giving at Princeton

University, on "Beginning with Bequests;" Alina Vitone,

director of prospect research at Rutgers University, who speaks on

"Using the Information Highway;" Michael Breton, associate

vice president for research and sponsored programs at Rutgers University,

on "Gifts of Intellectual Property;" and Diane Nixa,

vice president of development for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center,

on "How to Work with Board Members." Call 609-333-1437 for

more information.

Ierardi is the principal in Gift Planning Advisor (,

a Plainsboro-based consulting company. She earned her J.D. at Fordham,

where she met her husband, Mark Ierardi, who works for Amper Politziner

& Mattia. The couple have two daughters, Katie, 10, and Kristen, 7,

both of whom are students at St. Paul’s School in Princeton.

Ierardi came to New Jersey to accept a job as a trust and estates

attorney with Smith & Stratton. She then worked raised money through

planned giving for the American Heart Association before opting for

the flexibility and challenge of her own consulting firm. She advises

non-profits of all sizes and with all kinds of missions, finding the

constant variety one of the key advantages of consulting. Among her

clients are Trinity Church in Princeton, NJN Public Television, and

the Liberty Science Center.

Planned giving is especially important right now, in Ierardi’s opinion.

Annual giving involves income, she points out, while planned giving

involves assets. Annual contributions tend to fall when the economy

is not doing well, but the income charities derive from planned giving

— through bequests, trusts, or annuities — continues to roll

in. Therefore, planned giving can be an important source of income

for a charity, especially during a recession, and attracting it need

not be difficult, time consuming, or expensive.

"I always advise charities to begin with bequests," says Ierardi.

Bequests are gifts made in a will. "In this country, the majority

of people don’t have a will," says Ierardi. So, she advises clients,

a good way to attract bequests is to raise awareness of the importance

of drafting a will. In doing so, a charity might suggest itself as

a beneficiary, talking about the good it could do with the bequest.

"This can be done in a newsletter," says Ierardi. It requires

no state approvals, no special expertise, and only a minimum investment

of time.

The next step is obtaining state approval to run a program of charitable

gift annuities. Ierardi explains that a charitable gift annuity is

a gift to a non-profit on which the non-profit pays an annuity —

generally in the form of a check issued four times a year — to

the donor, or the donor and his spouse, or to another person designated

by the donor. The payments continue for the life of the designated

person "even if he lives to be 120," says Ierardi.

Payments are calculated based on age; the older the person, the larger

the payment. The rationale being that an older person will be around

to collect for fewer years than will a younger person.

Charitable gift annuities are attractive to donors right now, says

Ierardi. Payments compare favorably with the miserable little amounts

CDs are earning and stack up extremely well next to the negative returns

many equities have been generating. Another attraction is that charitable

gift annuities are within reach of a great many people. Most charities

accept gift annuities in amounts as low as $5,000, and a few major

charities go even lower than that. By way of contrast, it is generally

necessary to make a six-figure gift to be eligible to set up a charitable


Making a charitable gift annuity can even be addictive. Once the checks

start rolling in, a number of people find that they like the idea

of this form of philanthropy even more than they thought they would,

says Ierardi. Many also enjoy the recognition that often comes along

with their gift, and as they read the newsletters their chosen charity

sends them, they learn more and more about the good that it does.

Additional gifts often follow.

Ierardi says charities can become creative in the ways that they market

charitable gift annuities. Often thought of as a giving tool for the

elderly, the giving vehicle can be attractive to younger philanthropists

as well.

A 45-year-old, for example, could make use of a deferred charitable

gift annuity as a retirement planning tool, electing not to begin

to receive payments until he is substantially older. To take the guesswork

out of choosing the date, the IRS recently approved flexible deferred

charitable annuities. Ierardi explains that this allows younger givers

latitude in deciding when to start accepting the payments. "Some

people want to retire at 55 if the market comes back," she gives

as an example, "but know they will put retirement off if it doesn’t

come back."

While individuals often can play around with retirement dates, continuing

to work until their nest eggs plump up again, charities faced with

a bum economy have no such options. They need to continue to feed

the hungry, shelter the homeless, put on plays for school children,

fund cancer research, and help families through disasters. An active

planned giving program, bringing in income no matter what the economy,

could provide the cushion to make all of this possible.

Top Of Page
Go South, Wise Man

Myth: You have to be crazy to take a chance on investing

south of the border. Fact: A powerful, multi-national, multi-billion

dollar banking network devoted strictly to beneficial development

in the Western Hemisphere awaits your firm’s expertise, business,

and investment.

All of the details are available at "How to Bid on Projects of

the Inter-American Development Bank," on Thursday, April 24, at

4:30 p.m. at Middlesex County Community College. Cost: $60. Call 732-906-2512.

The event is sponsored by the college’s International Education Center

and is hosted by Virgil Blanco, director of international education

at the college. Representatives from the World Bank and the Society

of Foreign Consuls are among the presenters.

One discussion will focus on the Inter-American Development Bank’s

functions, bidding methods, and upcoming projects, and an exhibit

hall showcasing specific projects.

Founded in l959 with 19 member nations, the Inter-American Development

Bank is dedicated to "accelerating economic and social development

in Latin America, using the area’s own resources." This is accomplished

by providing loans that carry low interest rates, and yet are secure

enough to maintain the bank’s AAA ratings on the New York, Paris,

and Tokyo markets.It has worked. Today the bank and its 47 member

nations are major catalysts in mobilizing resources and providing

sound investments throughout this hemisphere.

The Inter-American Development Bank loans over $8 billion on over

10,000 contracts each year. Projects range from the very concrete,

such as improving a city’s infrastructure or telecommunications systems,

to the more complex enhancement of tourism or business management

systems. Typically bidder businesses provide commodities, expertise,

and services. Labor and staff are local. Virtually every nation in

South America, Central America, and the Caribbean acts as both loaner

and borrower. Strictly loaning nations include the United States,

major European powers, Japan, Slovenia, Croatia, and Israel. But the

program has not caught on in the Northeast.

"The Northeast companies, whether from ignorance of the bank or

just general trepidations, have always shied away from South American

business," says Blanco. It is a problem he has wrestled with since

he founded Middlesex County College’s International Education Center

in l975.

As a boy, Blanco emigrated to the United States with his parents from

Cuba. At the University of Miami, he gained degrees in foreign languages

and international business. Then, as he puts it, a lovely young girl

lured him to New Jersey, where he turned his attention to promoting

Inter-American business. He is a member of the New Jersey World Bank

and the New Jersey World Trade Organization.

While the U.S. flirts with recession, South America has pulled out

of its slump and boasts an economy expanding at a solid 1.6 percent.

Blanco sees plentiful opportunities for New Jersey companies to expand

into South America, which has an increasing need for business management

knowledge, telecommunications, environmental experts, educational

firms, medical service providers, small pharmaceutical firms, and

construction management.

Some of the opportunities are outlined below. New Jersey companies

with a variety of specialities could bid to do part of the work on

any of them, or on an enormous number of other projects. A comprehensive

list can be found on the Inter-American Development Bank’s website,

Brazil tourism. The Inter-American Development Bank has

just loaned $240 million to support sustainable tourism in Brazil.

The project will include the establishment of ecotourism sites as

well as tourism offices in the cities. This effort will benefit 1.3

million Brazilian nationals.

So who wants to visit Brazil? Tourists by the millions are flying

(and boating) down to Rio these days, doubling tourism in the past

6 years.

Ecuador flood protection. The $40 million loaned to Ecuador

will establish a system of intervention zones as flood and mudslide

barriers to protect the water and sanitation system of the capitol

city of Quito. Engineering, construction, and commodities bids are

welcomed. Those aching to burst free from the bonds of city life may

want to move out to Ecuador’s Amazon frontier where a $10 million

loan will improve the life of indigenous farming communities.

Paraguay small business. Some $10 million has been loaned

to help "productivity and efficiency of small and mid-size business

management technology." Business consultants of all types are


Ongoing projects. The Educational Testing Service has

been part of large plan to establish video and other school aids in

rural southern Mexico, where televisions showing educational programs

are set up in remote villages. "One of the largest benefits is

to teach these people Spanish, in addition to local native dialects

in use," notes Blanco. "Surprisingly," he adds, "Mexico

has over 20 million residents who do not speak the necessary national

language of Spanish."

Japan, whose fishing boats are banned from inside the 200-mile limit

of most South American coasts, has invested heavily in expanding local

fleets and purchasing the fish. The United States has heartily supported

Mexican infrastructure improvement projects that allow regional oil

to flow northward. The bank’s goal of accelerating economic and social

development still stands, yet this is not a charitable giveaway. Each

of these enterprises is undertaken for sound business reasons.

Profits have always gone to those willing to venture into new territories.

With so many business arenas so cold, crowded, and static at home,

it may be time to cast consider the warmer climate fostered by investment

from the Inter-American Development Bank.

— Bart Jackson

Top Of Page
Go Fish!

Winter, war, and overwork woes loom large as spring

continues to play coy. The new Conference Center at Mercer is holding

out relief in the form of a Fish! conference. As even those who assiduously

avoid books shelved under the heading of "business inspiration"

know, Fish! is a wildly successful motivation philosophy built around

the frolicsome approach to work of a group of fishmongers at Seattle’s

Pike Place Fish Market. By injecting some circus into the business

to carving up and selling fish, the fishmongers made their company

famous, and inspired a series of books and lectures centered on simple

lessons drawn from their approach to work.

Harry Paul is a co-author of the Fish! books, which now number

three with the recent addition of Fish! Sticks. He speaks at Mercer’s

conference, "Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve

Results," on Thursday, April 24, at 8 a.m. The full-day event

also features workshops on, among other things, "Setting the Boundaries,"

"Choosing Your Attitude," and "Making Their Day."

Workshop leaders include Robert Rose, president, Mercer County

Community College; Nunzio Cernero, assistant dean, the Center

for Training and Development at Mercer County Community College; Vanessa

Wilson, director of human resources, Mercer County Community College;

Judith Lindenberger, principal, the Lindenberger Group; Fay

Elliott Moore, principal, Fully Awake Inc.; and Primrose Reeves,

customer service consultant. Price: $195. Call 609-586-4800, ext.


Paul, a professional speaker associated with Nelson Motivation in

San Diego, writes about the origins of the Fish! movement in an article

for Executive Update. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Now, fish mongering is not a glamorous job. No one wanted to

grow up and become a fishmonger. But these people who work at the

market love their jobs and have made it world famous. Not only because

of their trademark — throwing fish across the market and shouting

out and repeating everyone’s order — but because they bring an

attitude, a passion, an energy to their work that is infectious. They

show us that no matter what you do you can enjoy your work and be

successful as well. People from all over the world want to learn how

the Pike Place "Fish Team" does it.

It’s about doing things differently. Lou Platt, former CEO of Hewlett

Packard, said, "Whatever made you successful in the past, won’t

in the future." The fishmongers know this well. Once a month they

get together to talk about what is working and what needs to be done

differently. It’s about being fast and flexible, fresh and different.

They look at their culture and ask, "How can we make it better?"

Their culture is what made them world famous. Theirs is a culture

that allows them all to be who they are, with passion, energy, and

light heartedness.

Creating that culture has rewards beyond being world famous. Ten years

ago, the market was striving to be no better than its competition

(there are several other fish markets at Pike Place alone). With "business

as usual" these people almost went out of business. That’s when

one of the younger fishmongers challenged them to do things differently.

He challenged them to become world famous, to act like they had something

special — and to do so every day — which caused them to become

both world famous and successful.

What once was a good week in sales revenue now represents a bad morning.

What changed? The market is the same; ownership is the same; a lot

of the employees are the same; and, obviously, everyone still sells

the same types of fish. What changed was the culture. As that culture

evolved, it became a philosophy and then a passion, one that allowed

the fish market to thrive, not just survive. The philosophy has four

parts: Choose your attitude; play; be there; and, make their day.

Choose your attitude. Think about what you’re doing in

a different way, no matter what your work is. Are you washing windows

or providing clear vision? Are you washing dishes or providing people

with a germ-free environment from which to consume food? When you

look at work this way, your choice of attitude is clear and simple.

Choose to be magnificent.

Play. It’s time to loosen up. We were all told the same

things growing up: Work and play are separate activities. "When

you finish your homework, you can go play. When you’re done with your

chores, you can go play." No wonder we think work and play can’t go

hand-in-hand. Yes, work can be fun, no matter what you do.

Be there. Being constantly present is one of the foundations

of the Fish! philosophy. It’s not just about paying attention, looking

people in the eyes, and listening. It’s about understanding your culture,

your values, and your mission and how you live them on a day-to-day

basis. It’s about being part of the team. Being there comes from the

heart and from making a difference in people’s lives.

Make their day. Making someone’s day is about making him

say "Wow! That felt good." It’s about the experience people

have when they do business with you. What will the customer remember

about doing business with you?

The Fish! philosophy starts with an attitude — that simple

choice of whether you want to make a difference and feel good about

what you are doing, regardless of the job. Take yourself seriously

and your work less seriously.

Top Of Page
Office Professionals: Control Your Destiny

<d>Fay Elliott Moore, a self-employed HR consultant,

put herself through college and graduate school part time, a process

that took 15 years. She worked a number of jobs to meet her tuition

bills. Among them was secretary, where she drew a boss for whom no

one else would work. A perfectionist back in the days before computers

made typewriter ribbons and carbon paper obsolete, he demanded that

the letters going out over his signature contain no mistakes —

none at all. Moore, who had failed typing in college, soon developed

a crick in her neck from bending tensely over the keys, typing the

same letter over and over until it was flawless.

She also developed an attitude that endeared her to the proverbial

"boss from hell."

"I was a business major, so I wanted to learn all about his business,"

she recalls. She got to know her boss’s clients, and their issues.

"I became an integral part of his business," she says. Before

long, the formerly-imperious boss was eager to become her mentor.

Moore had found a way to take control of her job, and she took the

skill with her when she moved on. "You don’t have control unless

you take control," she says.

Moore, principal in the Lawrenceville-based Fully Awake Inc.,

leads a workshop on achieving work/life balance at "Take Charge

of Your Success!," a day-long event beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday,

April 25 at the Conference Center at Mercer, which is located on the

West Windsor campus of Mercer County Community College. Also speaking

are Judith Lindenberger, principal in the Titusville-based HR

consulting firm the Lindenberger Group; Connie O. Hughes, the

keynote speaker, who is deputy commissioner of the New Jersey Department

of Labor; Constance Herrstrom, president of Princeton-based

Premier Financial Planning; and nutritionist Vindi Kaur. Cost:

$129. Call 609-586-9446.

In preparing for the conference, Moore conducted an informal survey

of administrative professionals she knows to determine what issues

are most important to them. "They don’t have control over their

time," she found. A common scenario involves the boss who says

a report needs to be on his desk tomorrow, and then comes back later

in the day and piles on more work, which also is due tomorrow. "Managers

are not clear in communicating their needs," she says. "They

don’t tell them (their administrative assistants) where they’re going."

This leaves the administrative professionals outside of the communications

loop, and floundering with multiple assignments and no sense of the

boss’s priorities.

The situation becomes more complicated, a number of administrative

professionals reported, because they often need to field assignments

from multiple bosses.

Moore empathizes. She has been there, and not only during her years

as a secretary. A native of New York City, and a graduate of Marist

College (Class of 1977), she holds an MBA in organizational behavior

from Rutgers, has worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Merrill Lynch,

and has spent a number of years working as a consultant. At one point,

she was in a consulting firm with three partners. "One wanted

me to be in San Francisco; one wanted me to be in Chicago," she

says of a common tug of war. The way to get out from the middle, she

says, is to throw the issue back on the partners or bosses, and make

them decide among themselves which assignment needs to be the priority.

Here are more suggestions of her suggestions for taming work and achieving

work/life balance.

Write it down. The famous study following Harvard graduates

and tracking their health and progress for decades turned up an amazing

factoid. "Two percent of the men put their goals in writing,"

says Moore. "Those two percent have earned 80 percent of all of

the money earned by the group."

Moore has seen the power of putting goals in writing in her own life.

When she was in college, a representative of a Big Eight accounting

firm visited her school, and she decided on the spot that she wanted

to work for such a firm. She knew her goal was not realistic. "They

don’t hire from obscure schools," she explains. Nevertheless,

she wrote down the goal, and "put it on a shelf." Eleven years

later she was hired by PriceWaterhouseCoopers into what she says was

her dream job, one she would still have if the traveling hadn’t eventually

gotten to her.

Slice it up. In her workshop, Moore plans to have participants

draw a pie chart of their lives. How much time is devoted to career?

to family? to health? to personal development? to making money? to

social and community activities?

Each person has just so many "packets of energy," Moore says.

It is easy to say that family comes first, or that nothing is more

important than good health, or that reaching toward a better job is

a top priority. But a look at how those energy packets are spent may

tell a different story. "If all of your energy goes into your

job, there is nothing left over," she says. Take the time to sketch

out where the hours of the day are spent and the conflict between

stated priorities and real priorities may be stark.

Make a choice. Decide to give attention to running an

eight-minute mile, re-connecting with far-flung cousins, or earning

an advanced degree and there is a good chance that goal will become

a reality.

The alternative for so many time-stressed employees is to surrender

to others’ priorities and to just float along. But, says Moore, "even

if you think you’re not choosing, you are." Hanging around in

an office spending the better part of each day complaining about "that

crazy boss" is a choice, and an especially draining one at that.

Learn to negotiate. Assertiveness skills are especially

important for administrative professionals. Moore says she has a sense

that Gen Xers are better at asserting themselves than were their mothers.

This is good, but she says that the art, while essential, needs to

be practiced carefully to avoid any appearance of whining.

"Pick your battles," is her advice. She says that suffering

silently erodes any respect superiors might have, but that a constant

unwillingness to take on extra work can kill a career. If the issue,

for instance, is a request to work late, she suggests that administrative

professionals pitch in cheerfully on some occasions. Having done so,

they have won the right to say a firm and confident "no" to

late nights on other occasions.

Be willing to leave. Moore had one boss for whom the occasional

late night was not enough. "I was commuting four hours a day;

I was working my butt off," she says. It wasn’t enough, and she

was smart enough to know it. That boss would never be happy without

enormous quantities of face time, so she transferred away from him.

Putting in the same hours for a new boss, she won rave reviews. She

realizes that staying with the first boss would have seriously hurt

her desire for a life outside the office, and, furthermore, would

have damaged her career.

While Moore ditched that overly-demanding boss, she remains

friendly with the "boss from hell" for whom she worked as

a student. The key in both cases, she says, is "don’t play."

Life is too short to waste complaining about a bad boss. Learn to

work with him (or, of course, her) in a way that furthers your professional

and personal goals, or move on.

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Woodrow Wilson On George W. Bush

The Woodrow Wilson School puts the presidency of George

W. Bush under a magnifying glass on Friday and Saturday, April 25

and 26. "The George W. Bush Presidency: An Early Assessment"

begins at 9 a.m. on the 25th and runs through noon on the 26th. It

is free and open to the public. A full schedule is on the school’s

website at

Sponsored by the Program in Leadership Studies, the Center for the

Study of Democratic Politics, the Center of International Studies,

and the Woodrow Wilson School, the conference consists of a number

of seminars and workshops. Discussing "George W. Bush: Man and

President" are Fred Greenstein of Princeton University;

Hugh Heclo of George Mason University; Karen Hult of Virginia

Polytechnic Institute; and John DiIulio of the University of


Speaking on "The Politics of the Bush Administration" are

Allen Schick of the University of Maryland, who dissects Bush’s

Budget Problem; Charles Jones of the University of Mississippi,

who looks at "Partisan Patterns and Congress in a 50-50 Government;"

and Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay, who take on "The

Bush Revolution: The Remaking of America’s Foreign Policy."

Journalists who cover Bush discuss the president in a roundtable.

Participants include Dan Balz of the Washington Post; Carl

Cannon of the National Journal; Jeanne Cummings of the Wall

Street Journal; Mike McCurry, who served as Bill Clinton’s press

secretary from 1995 to 1998; and Todd Purdum of the New York


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