Archive for May, 2014

30 may

Compassion at Work: Helping Grieving Colleagues Cope

Kerrigan2No one likes to talk about death. It makes people feel uncomfortable and awkward. It’s the ultimate change—the one thing that cannot be fixed or undone. Even the word “death” creates anxiety because it’s mysterious and emotional.

Death shakes our confidence. We are vulnerable in its presence. It’s the one thing we cannot control. We can only control how we think about it and react to it. There is no magic formula in the grieving process.

So, the suggestions I offer are from my own experiences in helping co-workers and clients cope. Hopefully, they provide some guidance and comfort.

Offer support to meet your colleague’s needs, not your own. Often, they need someone to listen. Sometimes, they need advice, or help with errands. Sometimes, they need the rest of the team to carry their load for a while. Sometimes, they need privacy. And, sometimes, they just need a place or a time to cry. If they haven’t expressed what they need, then ask. The best gift you can give is you: the comfort of your presence and the help from your attention.

Try not to judge or teach. Don’t feel as though you have to have the answer to death—no one does. Now is also not the time to pull out the “5 Stages of the Grieving Process” or to tell them what they “should” be doing. Your job is to be there for support.

Be genuine. Avoid sympathy-card sayings such as, “Your loved one is in a better place,” or “Everything happens for a reason.” It’s fake, forced and annoying. You can do better than that. Just be yourself. This is your teammate after all. Think: What would you want to hear?

Be patient. Mourning takes time. If a colleague needs to cry, let her. Don’t push her and think you can shortcut the process—you can’t. Know that each person grieves differently and at their own pace.

Assume nothing. You really don’t know how they feel. And, if you’re anxious about what to say or do, it’s easy to project your own anxiety onto the very person you wish to comfort. Never assume anyone feels the same way you do. This can be very dangerous if you’re wrong, so don’t go there.

Know that work is often a wonderful respite from grief. So, don’t be surprised if a grieving colleague returns to work sooner than expected. Activity is one of the greatest antidotes to depression. It grounds us, especially when we’re caught in a whirlwind of painful emotions. Work provides focus and meaning, and teamwork diminishes the sense of alone-ness.

In the end, grieving is about loss, change, acceptance, and moving forward. Your role is to support your colleague through their journey.

Copyright 2014 Michelle Kerrigan

Michelle Kerrigan is an expert in workplace confidence and performance who has been helping businesses and professionals grow stronger and more successful for over three decades. More at and

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Posted by Michelle Kerrigan on May 30th, 2014 in Career, Family, General, Global/Social Change | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , ,

28 may

Zen and the Art of Inline Skating

JennaSmithOn my 25th birthday I woke up to the realization that I was five years away from 30, and that I was a mess.

Growing up in Ohio, I had dreamed about California’s beaches, laid-back lifestyle and year-round sun. As soon as I graduated from college, I made like the Beverly Hillbillies, packed up my car, and headed for “Cali-for-nie-ay.” Once I hit San Diego’s shores I never looked back.

But San Diego wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. First, I didn’t really know anyone. Sure, I’m adventurous, but I’m also introverted by nature. As a result, I took a lot of moonlit walks along the beach, alone. After a while, I kind of lost the taste for it, which was OK because I had to work anyway.

One of the good things I could say about work was that it solved my social issues. I had plenty of friends at the cubicle farm, and that’s even where I met my guy.

I was in my dream city, I had a good job, I had my guy, and things were great, right?

Well, three years later I was sitting in the same desk, at the same job, in a windowless cubicle, staring at a beach screen-saver instead of enjoying the actual beach outside my door… OK, the beach across town.

When I wasn’t hanging out with some friends from the office, I was spending my evenings camped out on the couch, too tired and depressed from the job and the rush-hour commute to do much more than watch whatever was on TV and listen to the blood coagulating in my veins.

So back to my 25th birthday.

I woke up that morning with 30 looming like an object in my rearview mirror. At that moment I decided that something needed to change.

I would quit my job, buy myself a VW Bus, go to Burning Man, get a sick tattoo, meet a man named Snake, then we would come back to San Diego and spend our days rollerblading along Pacific Beach like “Slomo.”

I’d be free, gosh darn it, to do what I want, any old time.

After I had my first cup of coffee I kind of came to my senses and realized that Burning Man had already passed, and that it probably wasn’t a good idea to just up and quit my job.

But that didn’t mean I couldn’t do some of the other things on my list, namely the rollerblading.

See, I knew that I needed to get out, get moving, and get healthier. Day after day after night of sitting, sitting, sitting, had worn me out so much that I was starting to take the shape of my couch and desk chair.

Initially I had considered running, but gravity and I came to an agreement long ago – I wouldn’t try to defy it, and it wouldn’t blow out my knees and, so far, the agreement was going strong. Then I thought about joining a gym and realized the last thing I wanted to do was exercise indoors.

Then I thought about how much I had enjoyed roller skating as a kid, and how hanging out with Slomo at going as fast as you can go on these thin wheels, and I headed out to get my first set of inline skates.

Happy Birthday to me!

Two years later, I’m still skating.

I did make it to Burning Man once, but didn’t meet a guy named Snake. I did meet a Josh, however, while I was skating. I was minding my own business when this horse of a dog ran by me, trailing his leash. I roll over it, trip, and wipe out on the pavement. The rest is pretty much the stuff of romantic comedies.

About six months after my birthday I finally got the courage to quit my job. I had decided that I’d had enough of the nine-to-five world so I became a freelance writer. I set my own schedule, and I always make sure to include plenty of time outdoors. I’ve even started working on this novel that had been rattling around in my head since forever.

At first it was tough making all those changes, but whenever things got stressful I would just strap on the blades, head to the beach, and roll until my heart was calm and my heard was clear. I never actually skated with Slomo, but I pass him a couple times, and wave hello.

As far as the tattoo is concerned, well, a girl’s got to have a few secrets, right?

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on May 28th, 2014 in New Directions, Personal Stories, Spirituality | No comments

27 may

The Golden Age Diet: 5 Foods to Eat After Retirement

RobertCordrayRetirement can be a period of great change in your life. Some changes may be good, like having more free time. Some changes may be less helpful, like dealing with a much different budget than what you’re used to. All change, no matter what kind, requires a great deal of adjustment. The same holds true for what’s in your diet. Eating healthy is still very important as you age, so check out some of the food you should be making a part of your diet.

1. Yogurt

Dairy products should definitely be a regular part of what you eat every day, and yogurt is one of the tastiest options out there. Dairy plays a large role in bone health, which is especially important for post-retirement life since the older you get, the weaker your bones usually become. If you’re not in the mood for yogurt, you can always try other rich sources of calcium, like cottage cheese or plain old milk. Just make sure you go for the low-fat variety.

2. Salmon

It may seem like an unusual choice, but salmon can make an excellent addition to a retirement diet. One of salmon’s major benefits is how rich it is in omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients do a lot to reduce inflammation, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. If you’re looking for omega-3 fatty acids in seafood but think salmon is a bit too expensive for your budget, you can always try sardines.

3. Apples

It almost goes without saying, but it needs to be mentioned that adding more fruit to your diet is essential. Increasing your fruit intake, like eating more apples for example, is especially important since fruit contains lots of fiber and vitamins. If you want even more out of your fruit, try some blueberries. They are rich in antioxidants, which as Nu Skin describes, “slow the internal and external aging process” and will keep you healthier for longer.

4. Broccoli

Like fruit, vegetables should become a common sight on your plate. When we age, our metabolism slows down, so it’s best to avoid calorie-heavy foods. (Tweet This) Vegetables are loaded with vital nutrients and don’t come with empty calories like potato chips or candy. Eating broccoli is an excellent option for healthy eating, and the magnesium it contains can help keep your teeth strong and free of cavities.

5. Almonds

If you want to add some protein to your diet, you should stay away from the more expensive and less healthy red meats and instead go with nuts, specifically almonds. Almonds can provide you with a quick boost of energy that lasts longer than other options out there. Almonds also have choline, which is an excellent nutrient to have for improved memory and for handling stress.

In addition to all these foods, always remember to drink plenty of water. Hydrating your body is essential for every age group, not just for older generations. If you take all these suggestions into account, you’ll be eating a healthy diet and be able to live an active lifestyle for many years to come.

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Posted by Robert Cordray on May 27th, 2014 in Diet and Fitness | No comments Read related posts in , , ,

27 may

Creating a Beautiful Entryway

RobertCordrayThe entryway is the first view that a guest has of the inside of your home, and it’s important for it to make a statement while being welcoming. Fortunately, there are ways that can be done that won’t force you to take out a second mortgage. It doesn’t matter if the entryway is big and wide enough to be its own room or short and narrow.

A Skylight For a Narrow Entryway

Speaking of an entryway that’s short and narrow, one solution is to install a skylight that stretches the length of the entryway. The natural light flooding in will relieve a lot of the claustrophobia of a narrow space. It’s also a good idea to hang photos on the walls that will benefit by being lit by the skylight. The floor might be partially covered by a brightly colored runner that also runs the length of the entry hall.

A bigger entry hall might be decorated with a bull’s eye mirror with a demilune beneath it. The demilune can hold a vase of flowers or can be the place where the homeowner places bric-a-brac, bowls or other attractive items. A high ceiling can allow a fairly large crystal chandelier or an etched glass and wrought iron lantern. A sliding barn door can separate the entryway from a hall that leads to the rest of the house. If the entryway is wide enough, a simple round pedestal table can be placed right beneath the hanging lantern, and a set of armchairs can be placed against the walls or beneath a window. A portrait of a family member can also be hung on a wall facing the door.


An entryway that opens up on a view of a sweeping staircase also makes a dramatic statement. The curve of the staircase can be echoed by an arched entrance to the rest of the house. A pattern of tiles can also be constructed in the middle of the floor that either blends in with or contrasts with the dominant colors in the entryway. The family crest can even be in the middle of the tile decoration.

The entryway might also be big enough for a substantial rug whose colors are echoed on runners that cascade down the middle of the stairs steps. The entrance to the living room might be to the right of the entryway while the entrance to the dining room can be to the right.

Indoors and Outdoors

A stunning entryway doesn’t necessarily have to be at the front of the house. Entryways that open to the backyard or the patio can also be dramatic. For example, a blue color scheme in the entryway that leads from the pool area can echo the blue of the water. This can be done with blue upholstery on chair seats, pottery like blue willow ware on a central table or blue striped wallpaper.


Entryways are also excellent places for storage. There are ways that storage units can be placed in an entryway that’s very esthetically pleasing. Wall high cabinets with hardware that echo the hardware on the front door can be placed in the entryway. Beside them, made out of the same material and in the same color, can be roll out drawers for sports equipment and other items. Shelves above them can display items that are more pleasant to look at. On the other side of the entryway, the homeowner can install a bench that’s also a storage unit. The seat flips up to reveal the storage space. Above that is a rack with hooks for coats, sweaters and hats.

These few tips should help to give a homeowner ideas that can make his or her entryway an inviting place of peace and beauty.

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Posted by Robert Cordray on May 27th, 2014 in House and Home | No comments Read related posts in , , , ,

20 may

How I Turned My Life Around and How You Can Too: Tips for Creating Permanent, Positive Change

Several years ago I developed an interest in self-improvement. My life was not horrible which is probably why I never felt particularly compelled to change it. I realized I was kind of just coasting on auto-pilot, not really giving much thought to what was happening with me, and whether I was happy. There was no one defining incident that lit my fire, rather I started on the path, and just kept walking it. Now, I have a life I never would have dreamed possible years ago. A whole book could be written about this topic, and thousands have, but here are a few key points I would tell anyone who was interested in really changing their life, and making permanent, positive change.

Define Your Why

Unless you get super-crystal clear about why you want to make the changes you are hoping to make, you are not going to get very far at all. You must define your “why.” Why do you want to lose that weight? Why do you want to work in a particular field? Why do you want to make more money? Why do you want to travel the world? Once you answer that initial question, ask yourself why you want that thing, and then that thing, and so on until you hit the rock bottom of your desire. This is where you will discover your core values, the things most important to you. Without figuring out your core values, your efforts at change will be half-hearted, and you will probably give up eventually. But, with a strong “why,” you will muster the motivation; you will have less difficulty making the decisions that are necessary. The “sacrifices” you must make to achieve your goals won’t seem so bad.

Feed Your Mind The Info That Forms Your New Belief System And Behavior

Right now, you hold so many limiting beliefs, and have so many self-sabotaging behaviors, you have no idea. You have no idea because this stuff is so deeply rooted, you are not even fully aware of it. But, once you start thinking more deliberately about changing your life, you will start to see more clearly the negative beliefs you hold about love, money, success and life in general; you will become more aware of the behaviors. The only way you will make the changes you desire is to flood your mind with information that is more positive and empowering; information to help you develop a new outlook on life, an outlook that supports your success, not detracts from it. And this is not something you can only do once in a while; you must do it all the time. This constant repetition is the only thing that will help shake loose the negative stuff that has been living quite comfortably in your mind this whole time.

You want to read and listen to everything you can get your hands on. Read about general personal development, read about law of attraction, read about any topic that resonates with you. Different people have different styles, and some will vibe with you and some won’t. Find the ones that do and devour their material.

One of the best types of information is stories about real people who have succeeded in the ways in which you hope. Learning about them will inspire you. If you hope to become a successful entrepreneur, read more about people like Richard Branson. If you hope to run a successful e-commerce website, learn more about someone like Patrick Byrne, the CEO of the monster hit, or Amazon’s genius Jeff Bezos.

Start Going After What You Want Without Worrying About How

Surely logic serves us well in our lives, but when it comes to creating the life you dream of, it can be a real drag. We are so conditioned to plan, and figure things out. When you first start thinking about your ideal life, you will look at your current life and try to figure out “how” you will get from here to there. Then you will start feeling discouraged because you won’t be able to figure it out. But, it is not your job to do so. You may be afraid you will fail, and that will stop you in your tracks. Just start focusing and taking any necessary steps, and things will unfold along the way. You can’t possibly anticipate all the ways your wish can be fulfilled, so leave that to the Universe, and focus on the “what.”

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Posted by Jenna Smith on May 20th, 2014 in Career, New Directions, Personal Stories, Spirituality | No comments

15 may

Adult Kids at Home: A Failure in Society’s Eye

JennaSmithFrom dozens of online columns to Dr. Phil, the debate over adult children living at home remains a topical issue, especially given the economic recovery that never seems to be forever moving at a snail’s pace.

From Dr. Phil, a recent estimate says 14 million adult children are living with their parents. From reporter Katie Couric, there are 22 million “boomerang kids,” which refers to kids returning to their parents domicile after an attempt to make it on their own.

After all, this is by evolutionary design: When humans reach adulthood, we are evidently programed to reach the boiling point on general cleanliness and sleeping habits, so that children are forced to find their own living arrangements. Eighteen years is roughly the tolerance level for Moms to play indentured servant or for Dad’s to play chief, cook and bottle washer. At about this children have had it up to their briskets with being woken up on Saturday morning by Dad running that infernal lawn mower.

For some time, however, the economy been forcing us to reconsider the expectation of a young adult finding living quarters separate from his or her family of origin. In 1980, 32 percent of adults under 25 were living with their parents. That had reached 43 percent by 2007-2009, when the Great Recession turned the economic tide.

There is one refreshing article in British newspaper “The Guardian,” that addresses the rise in adult children living with their parents, noting that one mother was happy her 21-year old daughter had returned home. The parade of guests coming and going and the extra cleaning kept the house “vibrant,” she said. You, go, Mom!

While some grouse about the financial strain of having adult children hanging around indefinitely, there are advantages to having an extra breadwinner in the house, even if there is only part time work available.

The wages an adult child working at a part time job while living in the parents’ home can be considered extra income. That same wage, when the child is on his or her own, is entirely drained by necessary expenses such as rent, utilities and food. That’s no way to get ahead.

Living at home with that in mind opens the door for part time work that was not a favorable option when the offspring was trying to make it on his or her own.

The first step is to accept the inevitable. Get over your disappointment of having to share the television remote with your adult child and look at the bright side. Some adult kids can work off room and board by cutting the lawn – then you can be the one trying to sleep in on Saturday mornings. Adult children can also do the laundry or the shopping. This beats allowing some inner rage to develop while you imagine the child’s life is a perpetual vacation while yours is stuck in endless servitude.

Poor families suffer the most strain from having an adult child remain at home. In traditional agrarian societies, people have large families, so that offspring can take over the farm or the family business and take care of their aging parents. When there is no work in a modern scenario, this safety net backfires. Extra mouths to feed become a liability rather than a retirement investment.

Immigrant families present even more difficulties. Often family members arriving from abroad join with established family members who have settled in to their new country. An adult child living at home might be an adult brother or sister moving to the United States and looking for help from a sibling who has already moved here. There could be language barriers. An adult brother or sister might require help applying for a green card, which is required for an immigrant to work in the United States.

Instead of looking at an adult child living at home as a burden or a source of friction, families can return to an old mindset, considering the child part of a safety net, albeit one that has yet to realize their earning potential. For some, children living on their own is mot a given; it’s a luxury that a slow economy cannot support.

In turn, this suggests that an adult child living away from the home is an option based on culture, but it is not an emotional necessity. When Dr. Phil and others point to the statistics of adult children living at home, under the assumption that something has gone wrong, they are talking about a modern luxury that is backsliding.

“When we talk about loving our children, loving them means preparing them [for the real world],” Dr. Phil said in an article titled, “Steps to Independence: How to Get Your Adult Children Living on Their Own.”

That only applies if you want the kids to leave. That is the norm. But it isn’t mandatory.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on May 15th, 2014 in Family, Global/Social Change, House and Home | No comments

14 may

The Stressful Job Interview: 7 Preparation Tips

RobertCordrayIt’s the chance of a lifetime you’ve been waiting for. You’ve finally gotten past the application process and gotten an interview for the job of your dreams. It’s something you only have one shot at, so it’s understandable if you’re nervous and excited at the same time. The key to overcoming those nerves is to go in prepared for whatever happens. So how do you prepare? Here are just a few tips that should prove helpful.

1. Clear Your Schedule

Act as if your job interview is the most important thing you’re doing that day, because it most likely really is. Once you know what time your interview is, clear out as much space in your schedule as you can. Leave well ahead of time; there’s nothing wrong with getting there early but plenty wrong with arriving late. You should also find out if there will be any pre-assessment tests beforehand, which might affect your schedule.

2. Know the Company

Before setting foot in the office, find out as much as you can about the company you’re interviewing for. Researching the company can help prepare you for any questions the interviewer may ask. You’ll be able to find out what kind of culture the company has, and you’ll have more knowledge on your prospective job.

3. Dress the Part

Choose what you’ll wear to the interview at least a day before the interview is scheduled to take place. That will give you plenty of time to clean and press it if necessary. When it comes to selecting the right outfit, dress in the type of clothes appropriate for your job or go even nicer. You won’t look bad if you overdress, but you’ll definitely look out of place if you underdress.

4. Prepare Your Answers

There are many questions interviewers will likely ask. Perhaps you’ve already been asked some in previous interviews. Before the interview, practice answering these common questions, like what interests you about the job, or what some of your biggest achievements are, or even what salary you’re looking for. Knowing how you’ll answer beforehand will help calm those nerves.

5. Loosen Up With Exercise

Perhaps you’re still feeling nervous and tense. The best way to get the blood flowing and the muscles relaxed is through exercise. That doesn’t mean a strenuous regimen a few hours before the interview. Just take a few minutes to stretch, get physically active, or do one of the short exercises diagrammed on NuSkin’s Facebook page. While you’re waiting, you can also calm yourself with some simple breathing exercises.

6. Study Your Resume

Know what you have in your resume from top to bottom. The interviewer will likely ask a lot of questions based off of what’s in there. Be prepared to talk all about your education, qualifications, and past jobs you’ve held. Showing confidence in your resume also shows confidence in your skills.

7. Ask Questions

Once you’re finally in the interview, listen closely and ask questions of your own. By engaging the interviewer, you show more interest in the job and the company. This also makes the interaction less like an interview and more like a conversation. If you need to, prepare your questions beforehand so you’re ready when the opportunity arrives.

There’s no denying that a job interview can be a stressful experience, but you can ease your worries with enough preparation. Following these tips can help you get that job you’ve always wanted.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on May 14th, 2014 in Career | No comments Read related posts in , ,

09 may

Well-known Companies and Their Warehouses

RobertCordrayLarge box retail chains with large stock and receivables depend on effective movement of goods into and out of the warehouse. Accurate, reliable, and fast cubing, weighing, and scanning systems must be effectively integrated to move products quickly.

Warehouse needs and considerations of large companies are fairly predictable, and industry experts watch the trends to predict changes in the warehousing industry. Value-added warehousing includes storage and system transportation management capabilities. Traffic and shipment needs and schedules fluctuate on a daily basis, so logistics planning and shipment management are crucial components of product movement.

Logistics matter. In a conventional warehouse, high volume transportation of heavy products over long distances can increase product damage. The use of the right flexible Storage/Retrieval Machine (S/RM) can reduce costs of transporting stock through large horizontal and vertical distances in any warehouse. Safe handling of pallets requires the right automated system for tracking and controlling inventory to increase accuracy and eliminate product damage.

The right automation system in any warehouse will also reduce overall costs including labor costs because they lower workforce requirements and increase safety. A typical conventional manually operated fork-truck, for example, handles an average of 15 pallets per hour. Automated cranes can handle an average of 85 pallets per hour, which means they do the work of 15 fork trucks. The right design and installation of automated storage solutions for manufacturers and distributors can triple their storage capacity.

The right automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) should be considered and designed as early in the planning process as possible for any high-density warehouse. Large and fast-distribution companies should assess a number of profit-driving factors when deciding how to automate their warehouse, including:

• Labeling applications- larger warehouse capacity for full automatic or quasi-automatic print and apply label system.

• Barcode systems- fixed or multiple applications should provide flexibility for the right barcode scanning system.

• Shipping systems- large automated warehouse requirements for end of line systems to scan, convey, weigh, label and communicate with host and shipping software.

• Receiving systems for automatic slotting, inventory control and inventory verification.

Most of the big box retailers have an automated system for warehouse and inventory control. Walmart, for example, has 42 regional U.S. distribution centers. Each Walmart distribution center is over 1 million square feet, with more than 12 miles of conveyor belts moving 5.5 billion cases of merchandise. Several Walmart distribution centers operate twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week.

Target has 37 distribution centers in the United States, and uses automation as well as manual retrieval of warehoused merchandise. Target employs more than 16,000 staff in its distribution centers and delivers products to over 1,700 Target stores.

Many corporations outsource their warehousing systems. Outsourced warehousing has created a separate industry of third-party logistics providers. (3PL). These providers are gauged according to their warehousing space and services, which are increasing nationwide. From 2010 to 2011, the top 20 3PL warehouse operators increased their square footage 5.6%, from 514 million square feet to 543 million square feet. 3PL vacancy rates are declining and the amount of space under management is on the rise, however, the industry is not building new warehouse space.

The top 3PL warehouses in North America currently include DHL Exel Supply, with a total storage space of 95 million square feet. Genco ATC, closely following DHL Exel Supply has a total of 37 million square feet of warehouse space. In the No. 3 position is Jacobson Companies. Jacobson’s total square footage is 35 million square feet.

The 3PL industry is also growing in the international sector. Pepsico, for example, owner and manufacturer of a large portfolio of billion-dollar brands including Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana, and Gatorade, outsources its warehousing, freight management and distribution operations in the Netherlands. Pepsico wanted to reduce customer response time and supply chain costs, and awarded a ten-year contract to Kuehne + Nagel for its Dutch warehousing and distribution activities.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on May 9th, 2014 in Career, Technology | No comments Read related posts in , , , , ,

09 may

Flying and Mobility for Those in Wheelchairs

RobertCordrayYou are likely wondering how you will catch your next flight if you have mobility issues. The airline industry is addressing concerns about mobility in many different ways, and these methods should enable you to catch a plane more comfortably.

The Wheelchair lift

Wheelchair Lifts have been used for years on buses to ensure that you can get on and off the bus. Whether you were at an amusement park or riding across the city, the bus likely had a special lift installed that allowed you to wheel onto the bus. These lifts are now being installed on airplanes to ensure that you can get onto any plane.

The Commercial Liner

Many small airports board their passengers on the tarmac. The small size of these airports forces the planes to board from the tarmac because the terminals are not as tall as the planes. Even in some of the largest airports in the world, there are flights that must be boarded from the tarmac for a variety of reasons. If you are in a wheelchair, you will not be able to get onto the plane without a lift.

Airplane personnel are currently being trained to use lifts that have been installed on the planes. The lifts are installed behind the wing or at the rear of the aircraft. A steward or pilot will lower the lift for you, allow you onto the lift and ride with you back to the airplane. Once on board, the airline staff will help you to your seat and stow your wheelchair for you.

Smaller airplanes have run into problems with lifts and storing wheelchairs because of limited space, but airlines are not retrofitting airliners of all sizes with lifts to make certain than passengers with mobility issues can board the plane. You do not have control over which plane is assigned to the route you wish to fly, and your mobility issues should be addressed by the airline.

Private Planes

Private jets that also board on the tarmac present a different issues for riders with mobility issues. You may be a few feet from boarding the plane, but you do not have a way to climb the few steps that are necessary to get on the plane. Lift installations help you to ride onto the lift, board the plane and take your seat.

On private planes, you will be more likely to sit in your wheelchair in a special area of the plane. Once in the air, the pilot may allow you to move about the cabin freely on your wheelchair until it is time to land.

Changes In Commercial Airliners

As stated above, commercial airliners are currently being retrofitted with lifts to accommodate passengers with mobility issues. However, you cannot expect that every plane you are to fly on will have a lift. The best thing for you to do is contact the airline and ask about mobility assistance on their flights.

Airlines who are alerted in advance can make accommodations for you, change your flight or even assign a new plane to make sure that your needs are met. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that your problems will be solved, but you must ask the airline for assistance.

The future of air travel is mobility friendly. There are many passengers just like you all over the world who have problems boarding and disembarking an airplane. If you plan to travel, you can ask the airline for assistance. Plus, you should take solace in knowing that airlines are working very hard to equip all their planes with lifts that will serve you. In the future, all your air travels will be much simpler.

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Posted by Robert Cordray on May 9th, 2014 in New Directions | No comments