Monday, November 30, 2009

Stressful careers that pay badly

High stress and a meager paycheck are just another day at the office. Here are some of the most overworked and underpaid professions out there.

1. Social Worker

Median pay: $43,200
% who say their job is stressful: 72%

Social workers step in when everyone else steps aside to help people and families in vulnerable situations. They provide patients with education and counseling, advise care givers and make referrals for other services. And with social workers in short supply and programs underfunded, few must juggle the work of many, while reaping little reward.

Just ask Heather Griffith, a social worker who works with children in intensive foster care in Boston: "You're getting paid $12 an hour and kids are screaming at you, telling you that you are just in it for the money and you're just like, really?"

2. Special Events Coordinator

Median pay: $35,900
% who say their job is stressful: 75%

Planning a major event or party is a ton of work, and can easily turn into a real circus if you don't hire a pro to pull it all together.

"My colleague was throwing a circus-themed event, and one hour before the event started, Peanut the elephant died in the ballroom," said Anne Giapapas, a special events coordinator in San Luis Obispo, Calif. "Without time to move the elephant, they threw a tarp over Peanut and made it look like a circus tent. No one even knew what was underneath during the event."

But the elephant in the room may be the least of a special events coordinator's troubles. Juggling vendors, collecting payments, shepherding guests and taking on bridezillas is just another day at the office.

3. Probation/Parole Officer

Median pay: $38,400
% who say their job is stressful: 58%

Looking for a challenging and stimulating work environment? How about working with convicted felons? Keeping ex-cons in line is certainly no easy task, but the work can be rewarding. Probation or parole officers help parolees and probationers get back on their feet, with everything from rehabilitation plans to education and employment arrangements.

But it's not just about helping people. A lot of former felons end up doing repeat performances or skipping town. Their probation officers need to track them down, testify in court and help decide whether to throw them back in the slammer. It's no surprise that some "clients" can direct anger toward their POs.

"I once was in the middle of a hostage incident" said Don Meyer, chief probation officer of Sacramento County, Calif. "I didn't sleep for two days after that. It makes you think, man, I might be better at computers."

4. News Reporter

Median pay: $32,900
% who say their job is stressful: 62%

Every minute is another deadline for those who report and write the news. While racing against the clock, reporters gather data, conduct interviews and analyze their findings all before writing about major events for a newspaper, magazine, radio show or television program.

5. Music Ministry Director

Median pay: $40,800
% who say their job is stressful: 67%

You may not think of people who plan, direct and conduct performances for religious services as being under a particularly high amount of stress. But they also choose the appropriate psalm or hymn for every wedding and funeral -- only some of the most important events in a family's life. And those stressful situations can create some demanding clients.

"Every now and then you'll get a strange request," said Dan Fenn, Music Ministry Director at St. John's Lutheran Church in Northfield, Minn. "A couple of years ago I got a request to play the Beer Barrel Polka at a funeral. You have to ask yourself, is this appropriate for a worship service?"

6. Membership Manager

Median pay: $42,600
% who say their job is stressful: 67%

You know the guy who calls you during dinner to ask why you let your membership lapse? Well it turns out he's not thrilled about bugging you at home either. Reaching out to existing and former members of museums, fitness centers and health clubs in order to meet sales goals is not an easy way to make a living. The callers have to deal with insults, hang ups, and other bad reactions to the unwelcome calls. Plus, they often work long or odd hours so they can catch people at home.

"It's a numbers game and you have to get calls out, and it definitely entails rejection," said Cathy Gambino, a regional sales manager of Equinox in southern California. "Sometimes you just can't break people down."

7. Fundraiser

Median pay: $42,700
% who say their job is stressful: 67%

No matter the cause, asking people to part with their money is not easy. And it doesn't just happen at cocktail parties. Fundraisers are hitting the pavement between galas, meeting with donors, writing grant proposals, and overseeing outreach campaigns and running events.

"It takes time to raise money and the uncertainly and the constant effort go with the trade," said one fundraiser for Harvard University. Add in a recession and their job gets even more difficult. But fundraisers must persevere in order to keep worthy charities and non-profit organizations running.

8. Commercial Photographer

Median pay: $43,600
% who say their job is stressful: 100%

The job may sound glamorous, but commercial photographers, who capture models, merchandise and landscapes for books, advertisements and catalogs, have to contend with long days, picky personalities and demanding deadlines -- sometimes withstanding precarious positions just to get that perfect shot.

"One time I was doing a portrait of two guys who owned a construction company. The next thing I knew I was standing on this little catwalk under the Throgs Neck bridge [in New York City], dangling above the water because it gave me this great angle," said Gale Zucker, a photographer from Branford, Conn.

9. Assisted Living Director

Median pay: $46,000
% who say their job is stressful: 67%

The hardest part of caring for elderly or disabled adults in assisted living is not just coordinating meals and activities, or overseeing care and cleanliness, but also meeting residents' every need, even if that means playing the roll of concierge on occasion.

"Our oldest resident is 101," said Kathleen Smith, the director of Silverado Senior Living in Escondido, Calif. "She comes down at least once a week to make sure she's paid her bill and see if she needs reservations for dinner because she thinks she's at a hotel."

Friday, November 27, 2009

Lunch At Madina Munawwara

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Horoscope Personality Test

If you are honest this tells the truth - it's pretty good
Write your answers on a piece of paper. No cheating!!
The answers are at the bottom of this page.
1. Write the name of a person of the opposite sex.
2. Which is your favourite colour out of red, black, blue, and green, yellow?
3. Your first initial?
4. Your month of birth?
5. Which colour do you like more, black or white?
6. Name of a person of the same sex as yours.
7. Your favourite number?
8. Do you like Sydney or Brisbane more?
9. Do you like a lake or the ocean more?
10. Write down a wish (a realistic one).

When you're done, see below; [Don't Cheat !!]

1. You are completely in love with this person.
2. If you chose:
Red - You are alert and your life is full of love.
Black - you are conservative and aggressive.
Green - your soul is relaxed and you are laid back
Blue - you are spontaneous and love kisses and affection from the ones you love.
- you are a very happy person and give good advice to those who are down.
3. If your initial is:
A-K You have a lot of love to give in friendships in your life.
L-R You try to enjoy your life to the maximum and your love life is soon to blossom.
S-Z You like to help others and your future love life looks very good.
4. If you were born in:
Jan-Mar: The year will go very well for you and you will discover that you fall in love with someone totally unexpected.
April-June: You will have a strong love relationship that will last long and the memories will last forever.
July-Sep: You will have a great year and will experience a major life-changing experience for the good.
Oct-Dec: Your love life will not be too great, but eventually you will find your soul mate.
5. If you chose.....
Black: Your life will take on a different direction, it will be the best thing for you, and you will be glad for the change.
White: You will have a friend who completely confides in you and would do anything for you, but you may not realize it.
6. This person is your best friend.
7. This is how many close friends you have in your lifetime.
8. If you chose:
Sydney: You like adventure.
Brisbane: You are a laid back person.
9. If you chose:
Lake: You are loyal to your friends and your lover and are very reserved.
Ocean: You are spontaneous and like to please people.
10. This wish will certainly come true if you send this to all your friends. I am just joking. This wish will come true even if you don't. But forward it to your friends if you think it might help them in some way.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

10 Principles for Peace of Mind

1. Do Not Interfere In Others' Business Unless Asked:

Most of us create our own problems by interfering too often in others' affairs.
We do so because somehow we have convinced ourselves that our way is the best way, our logic is the perfect logic and those who do not conform to our thinking must be criticized and steered to the right direction, our direction.
This thinking denies the existence of individuality and consequently the existence of God..
God has created each one of us in a unique way.

No two human beings can think or act in exactly the same way.
All men or women act the way they do because God within them prompts them that way.
Mind your own business and you will keep your peace.

2. Forgive And Forget:

This is the most powerful aid to peace of mind.
We often develop ill feelings inside our heart for the person who insults us or harms us.
We nurture grievances.
This in turn results in loss of sleep, development of stomach ulcers, and high blood pressure.
This insult or injury was done once, but nourishing of grievance goes on forever by constantly remembering it.
Get over this bad habit.
Life is too short to waste in such trifles.
Forgive & Forget, and march on.
Love flourishes in giving and forgiving.

3. Do Not Crave For Recognition:

This world is full of selfish people.
They seldom praise anybody without selfish motives.
They may praise you today because you are in power, but no sooner than you are powerless, they will forget your achievement and will start finding faults in you.
Why do you wish to kill yourself in striving for their recognition?
Their recognition is not worth the aggravation.
Do your duties ethically and sincerely.

4. Do Not Be Jealous:

We all have experienced how jealousy can disturb our peace of mind.
You know that you work harder than your colleagues in the office, but sometimes they get promotions; you do not.
You started a business several years ago, but you are not as successful as your neighbor whose business is only one year old.
There are several examples like these in everyday life.
Should you be jealous?

5. Change Yourself According To The Environment:

If you try to change the environment single-handedly, the chances are you will fail.
Instead, change yourself to suit your environment.
As you do this, even the environment, which has been unfriendly to you, will mysteriously change and seem congenial and harmonious.

6. Endure What Cannot Be Cured:

This is the best way to turn a disadvantage into an advantage.
Every day we face numerous inconveniences, ailments, irritations, and accidents that are beyond our control.
If we cannot control them or change them, we must learn to put up with these things.
We must learn to endure them cheerfully.
Believe in yourself and you will gain in terms of patience, inner strength and will power.

7. Do Not Bite Off More Than You Can Chew:

This maxim needs to be remembered constantly.
We often tend to take more responsibilities than we are capable of carrying out.
Know your limitations. . Why take on additional loads that may create more worries?
You cannot gain peace of mind by expanding your external activities.
Reduce your material engagements and spend time in prayer, introspection and
meditation. This will reduce those thoughts in your mind that make you restless.
Uncluttered mind will produce greater peace of mind.

8. Meditate Regularly:

Meditation calms the mind and gets rid of disturbing thoughts.
This is the highest state of peace of mind.
Try and experience it yourself.
If you meditate earnestly for half an hour everyday, your mind will tend to become peaceful during the remaining twenty-three and half-hours.
Your mind will not be easily disturbed as it was before.

You would benefit by gradually increasing the period of daily meditation.
You may think that this will interfere with your daily work.
On the contrary, this will increase your efficiency and you will be able to produce better results in less time.

9. Never Leave The Mind Vacant:

An empty mind is the devil's workshop.
All evil actions start in the vacant mind.
Keep your mind occupied in something positive, something worthwhile.
Actively follow a hobby.
Do something that holds your interest.
You must decide what you value more: money or peace of mind.
Your hobby, like social work or religious work, may not always earn you more money, but you will have a sense of fulfillment and achievement.
Even when you are resting physically, occupy yourself in healthy reading or mental chanting of God's name.

10. Do Not Procrastinate And Never Regret:

Do not waste time in protracted wondering " Should I or shouldn't I?"
Days, weeks, months, and years may be wasted in that futile mental debating.
You can never plan enough because you can never anticipate all future happenings.
Value your time and do the things that need to be done.

It does not matter if you fail the first time.
You can learn from your mistakes and succeed the next time.
Sitting back and worrying will lead to nothing.
Learn from your mistakes, but do not brood over the past.
Why cry over spilt milk?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

First Mosque Designed by A Women

Istanbul, Turkey

Last week the Sakirin Mosque opened in Istanbul, Turkey. Its the first mosque in the country to have an interior designed by a woman, Zeynep Fadillioglu. An interior designer known for jet setting ways, she nonetheless won a commission to redesign the religious structure in Istanbul. She even recruited women to help in the construction. Begun last year, the project was just recently completed. It's a fairly impressive building, subtly blending modern techniques and materials into what might be the world's most conservative design vernacular.

Admittedly, I have not been inside a lot of mosques and don’t know much about how light and open space is supposed to work in them, traditionally. I just know that this has a crazy gorgeous interior, with a lovely soaring, open feel to it. It’s got lots of gold in the color scheme, but it manages to be tasteful and elegant, instead of looking like Trump Mosque. The unfinished wood accents contrast nicely. And I love how the “dripping chandelier” catches and magnifies natural light. I want that thing in my house!