Independent Scotland not viable

The debate about Scottish independence is heating up and politicians are doing what they generally do. They peddle hope, illusions, visions or sometimes, plain lies. No one is giving a straight answer as to whether independence is viable.

So, in comes Jim Swift, a Scottish economist. Listen to what he has to say. His views are delivered in a rather factual manner.

This might also be of interest to people in Andalucia…..

Orkut’s demise

Google has announced that it is calling it a day on it’s social media site Orkut.

The site is going to be shut down on September 30, 2014. Not many people in Northern America, Europe or Asia will blink an eyelid though. Orkut never gained a lot of popularity in those parts of the world.

People in Brazil will be less happy as it was/is a big site there. Google probably thought that given the excitement of the world cup, not too many people would notice.

But, every black cloud has a silver lining. You can transfer everything you ever did on Orkut to Google Plus. Or in Google’s own words: Continue reading

Site maintenance

Apologies for the fact that the site went offline. We have moved to a new Content Management System, but as with all things new they tend to have a few bugs.

One of those forced us to shut down and fix it off-line.

Emotional Intelligence, the EQi-2 and Empathy

In a previous blog post I talked about Pete, who has recently been made redundant. Pete needs a new job, fast. He took the EQi-2, which is a leading Emotional Intelligence assessment. It’s a great tool and easy to complete. I emailed Pete a link and taking about 20 minutes, he answered the questions online. I generated the report and then we had an in-depth discussion about the results.

The EQi measures our social and emotional abilities, how well we are able to control our emotions, how we read and interact with other people and how we manage stress. Emotionally intelligent people get on well with others, communicate effectively and have good coping strategies. The EQi is a useful tool because it gives extraordinary insight into how we relate to others, understand ourselves and deal with stress. There’s no good or bad or right or wrong. Although we do know that emotionally intelligent people tend to have a smoother path through life and are generally happier.

Pete’s score in Empathy was lower than average. This didn’t come as much of a surprise to him or me. He had totally missed all the signs that redundancy was calling his name and with hindsight he realized that he has, time and time again, misread other people’s feelings and thoughts. Pete finds it difficult to put himself into other people’s shoes. He is a kind person and his colleagues define him as the ‘nice’ guy. The thing that Pete finds difficult is trying to see things from another person’s perspective. When he was made redundant, his first reaction was, “Why me? They always pick on me!”

Pete and I spent a lot of time discussing and understanding the components of empathy. We looked at how empathy differs from sympathy; how sympathy conveys our feelings about another person’s situations and implies we know how the other person feels. Sympathy suggests pity or sorrow for someone else’s feelings. Empathy means that you can actually share the other person’s feelings. We considered lots of techniques for becoming more empathetic.

One of the key techniques is asking plenty of questions, particularly open-ended questions. This was a technique I hoped Pete would put into practice in a job interview he had coming up. Isn’t that the job of the interviewer, you may well be asking? We’ll cover this in a future blog post.

PSI Incorporation scam ( Cont…)

These scammers get more audacious by the day!

We highlighted the scam with PSI Incorporation (Papmac Securities and Investments) allegedly based in Wichita, Texas, USA a few days ago. Someone called Spiff White then rang (certainly not from a US phone number) to complain that we were harming their business. Yeah right. Stopping people from being scammed more like and hurting their scam income stream…..

He even demanded that we remove the blog post. No evidence given as to who they really are. And we just have to believe them…..

We then received the Continue reading

Computers spot fake facial expressions: you might be interviewed by a robot!

A study carried out by the Universities of California, Buffalo and Toronto has discovered that a computer system is more accurate at spotting fake facial expressions than people.

Leading recruiters and coaches look out for micro-expressions, the tiny little facial movements we make without realizing what we’re doing. When we’re faking a smile, our eyes tend not to crease and the areas between our eyebrows and eyelids don’t contract. As these movements occur in milliseconds, a computer can pick up on these minutiae. People find it difficult.
Continue reading

Buy EU passport in Bulgaria

Always wanted to live and work without restrictions in the European Union?

Now you can! Bulgaria has a foreign investors plan that will give investors who bring €511.292 (BGN 1,000,000) into the country a Bulgarian passport (but no job). As Bulgaria has signed up to the EU and the Schengen agreement you will eventually be able to live and work anywhere in the European Union.

This has been in place since 2009 and only recently attracted the attention of the UK based Telegraph newspaper, who blew it up into a big media frenzy. There is currently a bit of Bulgaria/Romania scaremongering going on in the UK media and this fits the bill for journalists who want to create sensationalist, finger pointing articles.

Had the Telegraph done their homework Continue reading

Prime Spring Hotel scam

These hotel job scams keep on coming. This time the website of the Courthouse Hotel in Central London has been copied and abused for a job scam. The site has been renamed as the “PrimeSpring Hotel”. All pages, with the exception of the Careers section are the same. The purpose of these scams are to make people pay for fake visas, work permits and other ‘costs’. Once these fees have been paid, the ‘recruiter’ disappears.

So, don’t apply for these fake jobs, unless you want to lose money.

How can you protect yourself against these fake jobs?

1. Do a search on whois.com to find out who registered the site. If it’s not related to the website, stay well away. In this case this London based hotel website was registered by a Nigerian woman called Continue reading

Italian job seekers find new opportunities in Berlin.

As a result of a stagnant economy and a huge lack of opportunities, read jobs, in Italy, many young graduates are packing their warm clothes and are moving to Berlin.

The German capital is home to such a large number of Italian immigrants that many Italians are able to set up Italian inspired businesses, from newspapers, to cafes and clothing shops.