The Baby Boomers vs. The Millenials

If you are a young person sitting at a family event and happen to be texting your best friend about the next time you want to hang out, you may have been told by your grandmother to get off your phone and that you are becoming antisocial. It may not have happened to you, but it sure has happened to me.

What I do not think the generations before us understand is that communication is evolving with society. They see our ways of communicating with each other as unnecessary or inefficient. However, I feel that our generations have similar ways of communicating. Past generations would write letters to friends that lived farther away because they had no way of communicating with them otherwise. Heck, they would even use telephones to call them. The combination of these sound fairly familiar to me. I see the combination as a cell phone. The letters are the equivalent to texts, and the calls are pretty obvious. A major difference between the two generations would be having a landline vs. having a cell phone. I know my grandmother has a landline, but I do not.

Also, each generation has their own lingo. With each generation comes new words. For our generation words like “swag” and “twerk” have formed, but the older generations look down on us for them. I am not saying I myself am proud of these words, but they also formed words like “hickey” and “fuzz”, which means police. These words are also not the most intelligent, and I bet the generation before the baby boomers found this lingo unnecessary. It is like a never ending cycle.

Seth Sharpe


A Good Way to Deliver Bad News?

Is there a right way for a company to announce bad news? The answer is yes, even though bad news is never good, there is a good way of announcing it.

An example of someone delivering bad news the wrong way would be BP’s CEO Tony Hayward. When the BP oil spill that happened in the Gulf of Mexico. Hayward said in his speech how the oil spill was relatively tiny and that the environmental effects would be modest. This was a lie, the BP oil spill spilt billions of gallons of oil into the ocean and cost 11 people their lives.

Tony Hayward made the mistake of saying that a huge incident with massive environmental effects. This was a way for him to feel better about delivering such bad news to so many people, but it also undermined just how big the incident was.

There are many wrong ways to deliver bad news but there are also some guidelines to help deliver it properly. You always need to speak up and deliver the news as soon as possible. This means that there’s no hiding it or setting it aside for later. Secondly you need to make your statement accurate, don’t try to make it seem like a smaller deal than it is. Lastly, you need to say what your plan to do next is. You should never deliver bad news with no attempt at a solution. This causes people to panic a bit more trying to think of something to do.

Through all the horrible examples of people deliver bad news like Tony Howard, there is a proper way to deliver bad news. All you have to do is follow the steps.


Andersen, Erika. “How Great Leaders Deliver Bad News.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 07 Mar. 2013. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

Murderer, Widower, or Both?

“He’s cute,” said Penny. “Doesn’t that teardrop tattoo mean he murdered someone?” asked Bernadette. Canned laughter ensued. I was watching The Big Bang Theory, and that one statement was all I knew about teardrop tattoos. I have since researched teardrop tattoos and learned that, while the tattoo can have many criminal connotations, it may also simply signify the death of a loved one or some other tragedy the wearer has experienced. At the time, however, based on the information I had, teardrop tattoo equated to murderer; and this was further supported by my past experience of having a coworker with a teardrop tattoo, who, rumor had it, had been convicted of attempted murder.

Clearly, how we present ourselves matters, and in the workforce, it matters based not on what we mean to portray, but based on how we are viewed by those we are portraying ourselves to. Tattoos are an example of nonverbal communication, something that gives people an impression of us based on their own interpretations of how we look. A first impression is made in a matter of seconds, and, later, is very hard to overturn, which means that how we present ourselves can be our biggest weapon or our greatest downfall. Navigating the world of nonverbal communication is especially difficult when dealing with a workforce comprised of multiple generations.

A Harris research poll found that nearly half of millennials and a little over a third of Gen Xers have tattoos, while barely over 10% of Baby Boomers sport tattoos. In a workforce composed of at least these three generations, a tattoo will mean different things depending on the viewer. The fact that first impressions are made within the first few seconds of meeting someone means that, in an interview, a decision to NOT hire a candidate may be based on the nonverbal communication that occurs before a job applicant even has a chance to open his/her mouth.

As a millennial myself, I am not arguing that people should not express themselves via tattoos. I am simply urging readers to know their audience. An interview at a start-up begun by millennials like ourselves and an interview at a long established company with Baby Boomers in the positions of authority should be approached differently in regards to physical appearance. The same goes for actually working at these different establishments; being taken seriously at one may require a different appearance than being taking seriously at another. We can argue about the ‘injustice’ of the subconscious discrimination occurring or we can take control of the only aspect of it we are truly in charge of: ourselves. As Oscar Wilde says, “It’s the spectator, and not life, that art truly mirrors.” In other words, that teardrop tattoo can signify your heartache for your late wife all you want, but if the viewer thinks it means you murdered her…chances are…you won’t be hired.
By: Stephanie Baumgartner, Biology major at IUPUC

Ad Web Audience Targeting

Defining and targeting an audience are vital steps in great communication.  In publications, the ads are an excellent representation of who the targeted audience is.  Websites of these publications also target an audience but with an added dimension, the ability to individually target the viewer (audience.)  The ads vary by the choices selected within the publication website thus, redefining the audience.

Forbes website was the chosen publication to illustrate this changing targeted audience.  On the homepage of Forbes, the ads are geared toward a well-defined target group.  The initial ads were for Wall Street Journal; government tax programs; CD bank rates; oil dividends; filmmaking courses; and senior cell phone plans.  Together, these ads are for older wealthy businessmen. These are representative of the homepage initial ads.  The target audience is towards one who is interested in financial issues of taxes, CD notes, dividends, and business news from the WSJ…a businessman of diverse monetary concerns.  Definitely, the “senior plan” refers to an older generation.  The filmmaking courses also reinforce the older target group with an advertisement for a new hobby or starting a new business.  This is an extremely focused target audience.

Having the advantage of real-time viewing, websites can narrow the target audience.  When a viewer chooses a selection, a story or an article, the site chooses ads focusing on the audience’s interests.  If the chosen article deals with businesses with negative issues then the ads may change to customer service aids for businesses, insurance ads, or company improvement ads.  Relating the ads to the different types of articles narrows the targeted audience.

Another audience-targeting dimension of websites is third party advertising, directly targeting the individual viewer.  Third party advertising is advertisers which monitor viewers’ web surfing on their computers.  Directing ads of the real-time viewer’s interests allows the publication to broaden its audience.  These viewer-interest ads frame the articles with familiar and personal target ads.  Even though these ads may not have any connection with the article or the publication, the audience is familiar with these ads.  This frame may keep them reading the articles.  This allows for various changes so the targeted audience is the viewer even if the viewers do not fit the original targeted audience.  A young want-to-be businesswoman planning to start her own business would now be a targeted audience.  This real-time changing redefines the target audience as the current viewer to keep them interested in the publication even if they may not initially seem to be the audience targeted.

Concluding, this publication’s ads were aimed at a senior population of wealthy businessmen.  In general, this is the overall targeted audience but with websites drawing in different audiences with a specific article, the website uses ads to include the new audience in real-time viewing.  This advantage allows websites to reframe the site to include the viewer.  This is the magic of website ads – framing articles with advertising content this viewer is interested in seeing.

By Kentrina Freeman, Liberal Arts Major – IUPUC

Oversea Conflict

Going overseas can be stressful for many people, especially if it is for a business assignment. Even though it may be stressful there are many ways to try to help make it less stressful. A good way to help with this stressful situation is to be prepared for talking with foreign co-workers. There are many ways to prepare for this like, knowing which country the assignment is in, the length of the assignment, and learn some about their culture.

Upon getting tasked to an assignment in a foreign country, first figure out which country it will be in. Knowing which country the assignment will be in will help to break the language barrier if there is one. The co-workers may speak the same language or they may speak the one common in their country. Knowing what language your co-workers speak will help to know if there will be a language barrier that could cause problems. If there is going to be a language barrier, then the best thing to do would be to learn more about their language. When learning another language some research is going to have to be done in order to efficiently learn the language. The amount of their language that would need to be learned would have to depend on the length of the assignment.

The length of the assignment can determine a lot about how prepared a person needs to be when going on an overseas assignment. If a person is only going to be there for about a week or two then some language should be learned. For this short amount of time, a person should be prepared enough that the language will not be a problem for them to speak and understand, but the person would not need to become fluent in the language. However, if the person is going to be on the assignment for a year or more, then the language should be more familiar to them before they leave.

The knowledge of the culture of the country is very important to know in order to be prepared for an overseas assignment. Knowing the culture is very important especially if the person has to do any public speaking. Some cultures can have different meanings to things than other countries. For instance, in the United States the cuss words are different from the cuss words of Great Britain. Therefore, something that would mean nothing in the U.S. can cause some conflict if unknowingly said in Great Britain. Another big example would be hand gestures, like the okay hand symbol. This is normal everyday behavior in the U.S. that means okay, but in other countries this symbol would be ‘flipping someone off’. To be prepared for speaking to foreign co-workers knowing the culture is a big one to ensure that there would not be any conflict or awkward situations.

Being unprepared for a business assignment overseas can be very stressful. The best way to reduce stress during this situation is to be prepared for everything that could make the assignment stressful, like a gesture that could ruin the speech that will land the company a new business in another country. Overall, an employee can best be prepared by knowing where, how long, and the culture of the business assignment.

By Heather Hehe, English Major-IUPUC

Water Cooler Worries

What is a water cooler conversation? states that a water cooler conversation is an “informal conversation among office staff.” I believe that the word office is not needed in this definition because informal conversations take place in retail and factory work the same way that they would in an office setting.

What drew me to this topic was that this was brought up as an issue in a recent review of my company’s policies. We may have misused the definition of the topic, our problem was hallway conversations. Two employees would see each other in the hallway and they would talk about a current conversation and move on, but everyone else on that project would be left out.

This is not the typical issue with water cooler conversation. Most of the places that I looked, water cooler conversations were viewed positively. Talking to other employees allows people to recharge their batteries, build relationships and if used correctly can raise work place morale.  When the conversations are negative about other employees or if major negative news about the company is delivered with this method, the workplace morale can be drastically brought down.  Overall in general I believe that water cooler conversations are good for companies and can be beneficial for employees.

By Zach Walker, Mechanical Engineering Technology- Purdue College of Technology

Puppies: Being Bad or Sending a Message?

You’re walking down the street window shopping and you pass by a very cute puppy in the pet store window. Instantly, you fall in love with the cute little face and go inside to cuddle with the darling innocent baby. The second you hold and play with the yopetland-janesville-teddybearung pup you know it’s an instant match. You and your new love are soon on your way to starting a new life together and nothing is in your way. Well, until you get home and the puppy starts to destroy the beautifully decorated home. Wait! Don’t take that puppy back to the store yet. Listen to what the fur kid is telling you! Those bad behaviors could be a message to you.
•BARKING: Is the barking keeping you up at night?
You had a long day at work and ready for some relaxation time. Without thinking you go to your room, flip on the TV and then doze to sleep. Then it starts, your young canine friend starts barking, barking and barking. You’re enraged! You want sleep.
STOP! It’s not ALL about you. Like a human baby or young child, the puppy gets hungry, has to go to the bathroom, or is bored from not having enough play time earlier. Just be lucky the puppy gave you a warning before messing in the house.
•BITING OR NIPPING: Your hand hurt after the puppy thinks it is a toy?
Now you are awake and moving again, and your puppy friend is very excited! Now free from the crate, the puppy can’t wait to show you how excited and tugs on your hand. Ouch! Ok, this behavior does need to be stopped while your puppy is very young; however, do be patient. Puppies nip and mouth each other as a form of play and is a common phase and play method with their litter mates. Since this is a natural form of communication, this behavior will take lots of patience and time to overcome.
puppy_advice_image•CHEWING: Missing your favorite shoes yet?
Now you have gone outside and enjoyed a nice late night walk, since you are alert and having a hard time finding the desire to go to bed you start to clean your home. Uh oh! You have now remembered that you left your favorite pair or running shoes right by the front door. Since one is there, you know the other should be right next to it. Surprise! They were your favorite shoes, but before getting too mad at your young friend, remember the teething stage of babies? Oh yes puppies do that too. Chewing helps puppies from having plaque buildup on their teeth, minimizes the pain of teething and build the jaw muscles.
•MESSING IN THE HOUSE: Tired of cleaning up the puddles in the kitchen?
Finally, you have fallen asleep and enjoy the rest of your evening rest. In the morning you wake up, the first spot you stop is to see your cute little puppy because you have forgiven it for the bad behaviors of yesterday. Oh no! The bad behaviors are quickly remembered and you hurry the puppy outside you can clean up the puddle. Potty training can be difficult for many puppies. This process can take several weeks for the puppy to “catch on”. Lucky for you, cleaning the puddles is not puppy-in-a-hole-july-241as messy or smelly as changing diapers.
•DIGGING: You say you have flowers planted out front? How about HAD flowers planted?
Successfully, you have cleaned the kitchen and begun the rest of your day. On your way out the door, you realize the puppy isn’t trying to squeeze between your feet. Rushing to your back door, you look out to find your flowers in a pile of dirt, but not where you planted them. Going outside, you go to find the little puppy sleeping innocently in the small hole. Puppies and dogs have a tendency to dig for a few reasons. Some dogs dig out of boredom or to utilize extra energy. Others dig to bury their precious possessions or to find a comfort such as a nesting spot or to cool off.

-Kayleigh Clear, Business Student-IUPUC

Miscommunication in the Workplace

I’m sure we can all relate to miscommunication with a boss or fellow employee at work. When this happens, processes could potentially fall behind or customers could become angry about not being properly attended to. Without having good communication skills in the workplace, it is hard to get things done in a timely manner. Proper communication is vital to a workplace running smoothly and efficiently.

There are many reasons behind miscommunication in the workplace. One of the main issues is language barriers. I have had bosses, as well as customers, who spoke a different language than I do and it is tough trying to figure out what they need and how to appropriately help them. It is nice having interpreters that can help, but the communication issue is still always there. Another really big reason behind the lack of communication is being given confusing information. For example, if my boss tells me to do something but I am not sure what she means, I might not get the process done as effectively as I would if I fully understood what needed to be done. Be sure to double check information with the person in charge to make sure it is correct.

Along with confusing information being given, there might also not be enough information being given. If there isn’t enough information given, the process might not get completed all the way. My boss has left out some information when giving me a project to do and I had to go back and redo some of it and it is just frustrating. Be sure to get all of the information out in a timely manner to the person doing the job in order for the job to get completed properly.

There might also be miscommunication between employees. When talking to a coworker, people need to be sure to not put it in a way for the other person to misinterpret what is trying to be said. Be sure to have a clear understanding of the point you are trying to get across before sharing it with someone. Some employees have trouble listening to their leaders. If employees don’t fully listen to what their bosses are telling them to do, they won’t efficiently get the job done.

Another big issue in the workplace is mixing personal lives with professional lives. People need to be sure to leave their personal lives at home before coming to work. There is no reason for everyone to know what is going on with you outside of work, unless you feel the need to talk to human resources. Bringing personal lives into the workplace takes the mind off of the job you are doing, causing mistakes to happen and sometimes those mistakes could cost you your job.

Having negative attitudes in the workplace could cause miscommunication to occur. There could be two employees that do not get along, creating communication issues. There could also be an employee that doesn’t particularly care for their job, causing them to not listen to direction as much as others. Negative attitudes could cause the workplace to be a hostile environment, which could lead to other problems in the future.

Having effective communication in a workplace is an essential part of getting the job done that is needed. If there are communication issues, the workplace could have meetings to talk about them and fix them to the best of their abilities. It is a good idea to talk about things that are going wrong so that it won’t be an issue in the future and things will fun more efficiently and smoothly. Good communication leads to effective productivity, which leads to happy managers and employees.

By: Taylor Bray, Accounting major at IUPUC

Communication Breakdown in the Business World

What is communication breakdown? I have researched the definition of communication breakdown, however, I have not found a source that gives an exact definition of the term. This may be because communication breakdown happens all the time, whether it be in our personal life or in our work life. Think about someone saying, “Hey we need to get this done ASAP!” Most people interpret “ASAP” very differently. One person may think “ASAP” means by the end of the day, while someone else may feel “ASAP” means sometime this month. The smallest detail can cause communication to breakdown, which is the failure to get a point across. Communication breakdown happens all the time in the business world, which is what I will be focusing on, and giving you some examples of how communication can breakdown.

One example of communication breakdown is no communication at all. Lets assume there is bicycle factory that manufactures different types and styles of bikes on the same assembly line. One of the large customers decides they would like to order a different style bike than usual. Management decides the company has been doing well in productivity and will be better off not telling the shop floor employees to ensure the productivity stays up. However, a few days later people realize that they weren’t making near as many of the bikes that customer used to order time and time again. At the same time, not realizing how many more of the different styles were being produced that the customer switched to. This is when rumors begin to arise. Not updating employees on certain changes and important information can begin rumors like layoffs, decrease in pay, decrease in hours, or loss of benefits. Once rumors begin, you can expect employee moral to decrease along with productivity. You can avoid rumors by keeping employees up to date on what is happening with the business and not to keep them in the dark about issues that may arise.

Now lets say, for example, you tell your boss that you need the materials, to complete your job, delivered to your station by Friday. However, you forgot to tell him that you needed those materials by 7:00am. You don’t get the materials for the job until 2:00pm. The ending result was you missed the deadline for your job because you failed to communicate a specific detail. If you say you need something tomorrow, you can bet on getting it tomorrow but you can’t bet on what time it will come unless you specify exactly when you need it. Specifying the smallest details can greatly improve communication and give it less chance of breaking down.

Here is another example of communication breakdown. A manager runs a team of employees that tests the product of the company. The manager got orders from the vice president that she wants each employee on the team to test five products a day versus the four that they have always done. The manager realizes the employees will not like that very much, so instead of explaining the matter, he decides to take action and bark the orders at the employees to push them up to five tested products per day. This in return caused a crisis causing all of the employees to quit the job because they had enough of being pushed to hard. The manager could ask for feedback from the employees to see what improvements need to be made to test one more product per day. Barking the orders and trying to rush the employees caused a loss in important feedback that could help the test department.

Communication breakdown happens everyday, especially in business. There are so many ways for communication breakdown to come about but there is plenty of ways to help prevent it. Here are some tips to prevent communication breakdown between yourself and others in the workplace or in your personal life.

· Be specific on detail. Who, what, when, where, why, how
· Don’t rush the information you are trying to tell someone
· Acknowledge they are on the same page all the way through
· Use proper grammar in emails
· Encourage questions and feedback!

Here are a few tips for a business to improve communication and decrease breakdown.

· Be specific
· Don’t keep employees in the dark about important issues
· Constantly update employees to ensure they are on the same page
· Encourage feedback from employees!

This is just a brief explanation of communication breakdown, but hopefully this will help you realize the simplest of things can cause miscommunication. So the next time you tell someone “ASAP” you may want to go ahead and give them a date and time as well.

By: Joey Wilkerson, IUPUC Student

Work Cited

“Liberal” and “Conservative”: The effects of labels and language on Government.

Have you ever asked yourself way politics have so many different ways of grouping political groups?  Why do Democrats and Republicans often get called by some label other than Democrats and Republicans?  Why does it matter what words are used to describe any given group?  All of this shows the power that language can have on how individuals view each other.

Here is an example of how just the simple words used to describe a situation can change every assumption that is made about the situation.

If a group of individuals are describe as wearing similar baggy clothing and hanging out downtown in a large metropolitan area conclusions will be drawing as to this being some form of a gang and thus being in a “gang” they must be criminals.  Now if that same group of individuals are described as wearing keikogi (traditional Japanese martial arts uniform) and waiting outside of a large sporting complex on the weekend of a martial arts tournament a completely different conclusion will be drawn.  These individuals will no longer be viewed as a “gang” and therefore the concern of them being criminals will be removed.

As can be seen the words used to describe the clothing as well as the location of the individuals changed the picture that was painted.  Giving different details on both the clothing and the location allows one to understand more of the picture.

Now looking at American politics and you have 3 major groups’ Democrats, Republicans, and Independent.  Given the United States was formed after a war for independents from English rule and with the government structured as a democratically elected republic.  That puts all three groups’ labels at the very core of the nation’s identity.

Just like the first two major political groups of the Federalist and the Anti-Federalist names were picked with the soul proposes of shaping populist views.  The Federalist group was formed to gain support for the replacement of the Articles of Confederation with a new stronger government with more powers of a central government as the current government lack the power needed to insure the peace and tranquility that the general society wanted.  The group that formed to express fear over the increasing power of the government under the proposed government was named by the Federalist as the Anti-Federalist.  The naming of the opposing group as Anti-Federalist which was done by the Federalist group allowed the Federalist to argue that this group was against the constitution and therefore a better government, as opposed to the idea that this group was for a better government than that Articles of Confederation just not the government that was purposed under the Federalist idea.  Therefore from the start of the American government language has always played a very important role.  So how does the labels of liberal and conservative affect today’s views of government.  For this the two terms need to be defined.  So what does the term liberal mean, as defined by liberal means;

“Favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties”

So by using the label as liberal a group will appear to be for increasing the degree of freedoms individuals have and therefore will have good populist support.  If “liberal” is for individual freedoms than what does conservative mean.  For this we shall return to to define conservative;

“Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions etc, or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.”         

So if a conservative is for limited change and the US was founded as a free nation then both a liberal and a conservative still want freedom.  Therefore neither label by itself has a negative effect on the groups’ populist view.

However the liberal wanting to have the government insure freedoms and the conservative not wanting change can cause issues.  The end effect of the two opposing view have driven more topics in to the view of the government.  Topics like gay marriage at the Federal level is a product of the Liberal side wanting to insure the right of gay marriage in all states by way of the Federal Government   This in turn resulting in a “Conservative” movement to make gay marriages illegal by law to preserve what is viewed as traditional values. 

The question is no longer ask if an issues is a Federal issue or a State issue it is view as the Federal Government is the absolute power of the land.  This changing view has allowed the common view of the Bill of Rights to be a document that gives freedoms to the people from the government as opposed to the document insuring that the people never gave the power to the government to address the topics protected by the Bill of Rights. 

The usage of labels can be seen throughout the political environment today to allow the depersonalization of a topic.  This can be as simple as Harry Reid using the term anarchist to describe the Tea Party as populist view of anarchy is a negative view.  The usage of extreme to describe the Tea Party as well as terms like anarchist has allowed the simple association of Tea Party to have a negative effect.  Even with the idea behind the name of Tea Party was to draw upon the ideas behind the Boston Tea Party.  The term Tea in Tea Party was an acronym for Taxed Enough Already.

The Occupy Wall Street movement also used the label 1% to describe individuals with large income and wealth.  The usage of this label allowed that subgroup to be viewed as not the same as the other 99%.   This allowed populist support for the Occupy Wall Street movement as it is the voice of the 99%. Therefore if you did not support them the result was that you had to be part of the 1% that caused all the problems. 

The usage of labels in government and politics at all levels allow the alienation of any person that does not agree with the matter at hand.  The health care reform law which is named the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” allows any argument against it to sound like an argument against protecting patients and making insurance health care cost affordable.  Using the label Obamacare it now changes the argument to one between the President’s ideal and the ideals’ of others. 

The 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act sounds like a law to protect gun owners but the law ban the sale machine gun made after May of 1986 to individuals.  The law also changed the rules around the inspection of gun stores.  Any argument against this act would appear to be an argument not to protect firearm owners.   Then there is the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act which requires background checks on all firearm not just handguns purchases thru a licensed dealer.  This was a restriction of the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution but once again any argument against the act would appear to be one that supported handgun violence. 

 An additional example of how labeling is used is the “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” which is the current name for the food stamp program.  This program gives money to individual to purchase prepackaged edible foods but does not require the food to have any given nutrition valve.  Therefore this program can be used to purchase thing like soft drinks and junk food.  To top it off this program is funded by the “Food, Conservation, and Energy Act” which is then called the “farm bill”.  If an individual tried to add requirement that any food purchased under the aforementioned program have some degree of nutritional value than then the opposing side could claim that this individual do not support the farm bill this  would sound like the individual did not support American Farmers.

In the end one has to assume that any word spoken or written by a person involved with politics was choosing to paint the picture that person wanted painted.  A reporter may try not to “spin” the news that is covered but the simple act of choosing which part of news to cover can have an effect on what the picture of the world looks like.  


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