Sat04192014

When things get unbearably rough, make a plan to get going

LucyShaw-160Dear Lucy: I work for a company where I get to see a lot of what really goes on because my job is at a low level in the organization. People assume that I am not paying attention because of my status. But I do. What I see is a lot of backbiting, meanness, lying, frustration and little respect for the customer, the boss or each other. I try to be a pleasant team player. My efforts don't really matter. I need my job but enough is enough. I am feeling tainted by all the negativity. What can I do to stay in the saddle?
– Rough Rider

Dear Rough Rider: Sounds to me like everybody is having a rough ride! Here are some things to consider.

If this has been going on longer than three years, chances are it will not change without a drastic change in leadership. You don't control that.

Sometimes, no matter how pleasant we may be, a spirit of anger and resentment when anchored, will not be pulled up by one person's attempts to be nice. You don't control that.

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Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

captainamerica 600For movies opening April 4, 2014

BIG BUDGET FILMS

"Afflicted" (R for profanity and gory violence) Horror flick revolving around a couple of BFFS (Clif Prowse and Derek Lee) whose vacation of a lifetime far from home morphs into a neverending nightmare when one becomes infected with a mysterious disease which slowly starts to consume his entire being. Co-starring Baya Rehaz.

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (PG-13 for gunplay, pervasive action and intense violence) Cold War Era sequel pits the Marvel Comics superhero (Chris Evans) against a new nemesis, a Russian assassin (Sebastian Stan) wreaking havoc around Washington, DC. Cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie and series creator Stan Lee.

"Dom Hemingway" (R for nudity, sexuality, violence, drug use and pervasive profanity) Jude Law plays the titular character of this crime comedy as a just-paroled safe cracker who's determined to collect a bonus from his mob boss (Demian Bichir) for not snitching on him while behind bars. With Richard E. Grant, Emilia Grant and Kerry Condon.

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Remembering Marvin Gaye

marvingay 600Twenty years ago this week R&B music suffered a great loss as singer Marvin Gaye was killed by his father in April of 1984. Never has one artist had such a profound influence on R&B music and the other artists who created it.

Amazingly, when I hear Marvin's music today, it still strikes a chord. Not only with me, but with a lot of us. It's totally mind-blowing that "What's Going On" has the same meaning and impact for me as if it was written today. Although years past and time changes, things really remain the same.

News flash: the world was not perfect back in 1971. The issues of that day have not been resolved. There's still mothers crying and senseless killings all over our country. Somewhere in the world there are still senseless wars in progress as we speak. But it took a special person to be able to put those kinds of issues in the form of a song and create something that would make a person really pay attention some 30 years later.

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Cleaning up your financial records

FinancialCleaning 600In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court settled a case between a widow and her deceased husband's former wife regarding who would receive the man's federal employee insurance benefits. The judges ruled in favor of the first wife, even though the couple had been divorced for more than 10 years when he died, because she was still the designated beneficiary on his policy.

Some people may not be aware that the assets in most bank accounts, retirement plans, and insurance policies convey directly to the people named on the beneficiary forms, even if they are different from the people named in their wills or trusts. Others simply forget to make the appropriate changes in writing.

If your beneficiary forms are out of date – and your intentions somehow become a matter of dispute – a state and/or federal laws or the administrator's plan documents could ultimately determine who receives your assets.

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