“Rules: Break Them Or Change Them?”

Rules are in place for a reason, especially when it pertains to a job. They are not meant to be broken, yet sometimes they need to be changed for the best interest of the company, the employee, and the family behind the employee.

I worked for a large company years ago and saw a need to “change” the rules a bit when it came to the employees and boosting their morale. Parties were not something the company smiled upon as they believed it would take the employees out of the “work mode” and into a “party mode.” I thought differently so I went to the head of the company and explained my idea.

I told him that as a supervisor I wanted my staff to love their job, as a happy employee promotes greater work from them. The people I was supervisor to were hard workers, yet there were days I listened to them complain about the job and how they felt they weren’t appreciated. My idea was simple: on the first day of each season we would have a party: seasonal foods, decorations and dress. There was a strict dress code within the company and I thought that four times a year that could be lifted, and that a party for each season would bring the staff closer to one another and would most assuredly boost their morale.

The rule was never to have such parties, and I didn’t want to break them, but I thought it was worth the attempt to “change” them. After all, some rules have been in place for many years and as life changes, so should some of the rules.

And the “change” was approved.

And every employee was excited over the first party I had planned.

The first one was our “Welcome to Summer” party. Each employee decorated their work area with beach towels, flip flops, pails and shovel, seashells and palm trees. They dressed in “summer” clothes; shorts, Hawaiian shirts and sandals. There were even a few beach chairs and umbrellas decorating the office. Each person brought in a summer dish to share with their unit: there was fruit salad, potato and macaroni salad, pasta salad and more! We played Beach Boys music and had a day of fun together and a day of everyone still getting their work done…and completed with perfection.

The day was filled with smiles, laughter, singing and getting to know each other better…and it was filled with happiness.

So you see, the rules that are in place aren’t meant to be broken, but are certainly worth the effort to attempt to “change” them for the best interest of everyone involved. I know from experience that not every rule will be chanegd, yet it’s certainly worth it to try.

It was worth it for me.

And it was worth it for my staff.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

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“My Interview With GenZ Publishing”

I was blessed enough to be interviewed by my publisher, Morissa Schwartz, owner of GenZ Publishing this morning. It was an exciting experience and hope that you enjoy it! You’ll learn a little bit more about my life as a writer and about my life as “me.”

I hope you enjoy it!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

Author Anne Dennish and Morrissa Schwartz, Owner of GenZ Publishing

“On Board A Tanker”

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Every so often Rob takes me to a sailing with him. His job as a ship agent takes him to many port on the shores of New York and New Jersey and it’s exciting to go to work with him and see what he does. It’s also cool to be up close to these giant sized ships.tanker 5

Our adventure last weekend began at 8am on Saturday morning. We drove to a port in Newark so that he could board an orange juice ship. I sat in the car near the water’s edge and watched him as he walked through the gates and up the gangway. It’s an amazing sight to see the  crew members walking along the top of this massive ship…and it’s pretty cool to know that it’s delivering orange juice!

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Our view for lunch in Staten Island

We left Newark and drove to the launch in Staten Island where he was scheduled to board a tanker carrying petro. It was near lunch time so we stopped at a local Italian deli and took our food to a park nearby; it was beautiful to be eating lunch by the water with the skyline of New York City as our view. We finished eating and headed to the launch.

The person behind the desk was waiting for Rob to show them the paperwork to get a launch boat to take him to the tanker waiting for him in New York harbor. He asked if I could get on the launch with him and they said “yes.” I thought I was just taking a ride to the ship and was a bit surprised, and scared, to know that I could board the tanker with him. The gangway that led up the side of the ship was more than 50 steps high; Rob climbed up in front of me quickly and with ease; I climbed up behind himslowly and cautiously. We got on the ship and had to climb up and down more ladders, signed in with a crew member and proceeded to the captain’s office.

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My view from the bridge

The captain and crew were from India. At first they seemed a bit quiet and reserved while Rob did all the necessary paperwork with them, and then I began to ask questions (as only a writer will do!) I asked the captain and the crew  what they do while they’re at sea to pass the time. He told me that they watch television, read, relax, and spend time together yet he did tell me that this type of tanker doesn’t allow any alcohol on board for safety reasons. No beer, no wine, no anything. The captain said it doesn’t bother them and that no one misses it.

He began to tell me that he’s at sea for four months, then home for four, then the cycle starts all over again, and keep in mind, he’s been a captain for over 15 years. He told me that he’s married with three young children. I asked him how his time away from home affected his marriage. He told me that his wife likes the four months of handling the money and being in charge of the household, and that she has a “to do list” ready for him when he gets home.

And then he told me something that surprised me yet melted my heart. He said that “even though my wife and I are apart for four months, each time I go home is like the first time and it’s as if we fall in love all over again. It’s still exciting and we make the most of our time together until I leave again.”

Wow…he’s not only a ship captain, he’s a hopeless romantic.

Before we left the captain was gracious enough to show me the bridge and give us a tour.

I learned a lot on that ship last weekend.

I learned that no matter where anyone is from there is a universal language of love.

I learned that we’re all connected in some way.

I learned that everyone truly does have a story.

And I learned that my love for people, their stories and trying new things is far greater than my fear of climbing up the side of a ship on a gangway.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

*For more information on the job description of a ship agent, you can search this website for my story  “A Day In The Life Of A Ship Agent.”

 

 

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“A Day In The Life Of A Ship Agent”

If you’ve read my blog today called “Our Home At The Hyatt” you may be wondering what a ship agent is. Here is the story I wrote to explain the job and life of a ship agent…and I should know because I love and live with one! Enjoy!

Anne Dennish - Writer

When I first met my love he was a self- employed custom tile worker. He did the most amazing sawork yet a few months into our relationship he suffered an injury that would end his days of tile work. I remember how frustrated he was at not working, yet I kept reminding him that everything happens for a reason, and within 3 months time he knew the reason. A job that he had done many years prior suddenly had an opening and my love finally had his reason for the injury: he became a ship agent. It’s a job he loved before and one that he loves even more now.

So what is a ship agent? Well, it’s many things, and my love let me spend an entire Saturday with him on a day he had to “sail a ship.” It was an incredible experience for me to see what…

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“Our Home At The Hyatt”

It was quite an adventure for my love and I last weekend. His job as a ship agent took him to Connecticut so we decided to make a weekend getaway out of it as well. We searched for hotels in the area and found The Hyatt Place in Milford, Connecticut. Some think that a hotel is simply a hotel, a place to lay your head at night and a home base for you during the day, but this hotel was different. We felt like we were home.

We got to the hotel around 4 in the afternoon, dropped our bags in the room and headed out for dinner. Once we finished our meal it was back to the hotel for me, and off to work for Rob. Now you might think I would be bored being alone but I wasn’t. Sure, I watched television and ordered Starbucks, but my experience at this hotel went far beyond their amenities: I met three people who worked there which became our “friends” by the time we checked out 24 hours later on Sunday.

Rob got back from work after midnight and was fairly wound up from five hours of work, so we decided to go down to the lobby and have a cocktail at the bar there. Our bartender was John, a young man who shared his life with us. He chatted with us about the cost of college, dreams of his future, and all about being called a “millennial.” Let me tell you this: he became my favorite “millennial” and not one to fit the general definition of one. He was bright, energetic, sweet, and kind. We listened to him and he listened to Rob talk about his job as a ship agent and to me about my life as a writer. He was working the night shift until 7 am and told Rob that he’d had coffee ready for him in the morning when he left for work, and he did. John was interested in my life as a writer and needless to say, I had a copy of my last book, “Waking Up,” with me so I ran up to the room, signed a copy and gave it to him. He was thankful and said he’d be reading it throughout the long night ahead of him.

We headed to our room, which by the way, was absolutely beautiful and more comfortable than most hotels we’ve stayed at in the past. I’d like to say that the alarm went off for us early in the next morning, but instead Rob got a phone call at 5 am. Needless to say, we got up and I decided to stay up until he got back from work. We headed down to the lobby and true to his word, John had the coffee ready! And then he did something that warmed my heart: he came out from behind the desk, told me he started reading my book, and said that he just needed to hug me! Coffee and a hug is the best way to start your day!

Rob left and when I went back to the lobby I met Lindsay, a young mom with three year old twins and a teenager. It took but minutes before we struck up a personal conversation. John was getting ready to go home after his shift and I told him I wanted to share “one more thing” with him. Lindsay was with him so I told the both of them about my 27 year old nephew, Sean Wotherspoon, and how he had a dream and made it come true. I showed them pictures of the Nike Air Max shoe he designed and told them of the stores he owns, the reality show he has once a month, and how everything he’s dreamed of he’s made come true. I hoped that by sharing my nephew’s story of dreams coming true would show them that “anything and everything” is possible. It doesn’t matter if you’re “a millennial” or a “young mom;” we all need to know that there’s hope in our dreams.

John hugged me good-bye and I decided to run back upstairs and sign a book for Lindsay.

As the morning progressed, I’d run into Lindsay here and there. We struck up conversations of breast cancer, parenting, our families, working and of our lives. I remember walking back into the lobby only to see her walking out of the elevator with her nose pressed in my book reading it. It’s funny, as a writer, I sign books but I never see anyone reading them, let alone reading them while they’re walking off an elevator! That was such a great moment for me.

She looked up and told me she loved what she had read so far. Within the hour, just as she was leaving, we’d end up talking endlessly together outside. She told me that my book and me sharing my positive attitude  was my life’s purpose…and that was a “be still my heart” moment for me. I told her I saw that same thing in her. Lindsay is an amazing woman, and as we hugged good-bye I felt like I was saying good-bye to family. She told me to make sure that Rob and I come back to the hotel for a visit!

The third person I met was Andrew. He was a bit more reserved at first, but once we began talking we realized we had something in common: we both loved New Hope, Pennsylvania and both of us spent a lot of time there. Before long I gave Andrew a copy of the book and soon thereafter, felt even more at home. We needed a “late check-out” and Andrew was more than happy to see that it happened. He told us we could stay as long as we needed and if there was anything else he could do, he’d make it happen.

The time had finally come to leave this amazing hotel. I had already said my good-byes to Lindsay and John, and now it was time to say good-bye to Andrew. He told me that we were one of his favorite couples to come to the hotel and to absolutely come back to see him, except he joked that we should come back when Rob isn’t working! He said he’d be sure our stay would be just as good as this one.

We packed the car and left. Both Rob and I felt the same way about this hotel: we found our home away from home. We felt a sadness leaving our new friends behind but knew that we’d be going back soon.

So you see, there are amazing adventures and experiences to be found all around us, and I found mine at the Hyatt Place in Milford, Connecticut last weekend. You just have to keep your eyes and your mind open to the endless possibilities. You don’t have to look for it; it will find you.

And an adventure found me 24 hours and 3 people later…and for that, I’m grateful.

Thank you to John, Lindsay and Andrew of The Hyatt Place in Milford…you not only made our stay at the hotel an amazing experience, but you touched this writer’s heart by sharing a small piece of your life with me. We met as strangers and left as friends.

And that is priceless.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

 

“Stepping Out Of Your Routine”

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Last weekend was a whirlwind of adventures in Connecticut and my mind is filled with all the stories of it that I want to share with you.

Yet as the week progressed I realized that I needed to just “be.” I needed to step out of my normal routine of writing all morning and day and rest. I needed to spend some much needed time with my kids and get my house ready for Christmas.

I was feeling badly about not getting my “adventures” written so that I could post them, yet once I thought about it I thought to myself: “Don’t you tell people that it’s okay to take some time for themselves? Don’t you say that you have to be your best self in order to share that with others? And don’t you always write about it being okay to step out of your normal routine and do what you need for yourself?”

Okay, guilty as charged. I “preach” it and sometimes forget to “practice” it! So after a few days of allowing myself to “be,” I’m more rested, the house is almost ready for Christmas and I’m feeling more creative at writing.

You see, I’m forever learning lessons and this week was one of remembering to just “be.”

Remember: Every so often we need to step outside of our normal routine and just “be.”

It’s a good thing.

And I promise, my “adventures” of last weekend are coming to you soon!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Life Is An Adventure”

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It was quite the weekend for me and after a 36 hour adventure in Connecticut, I’m home. I’m tired, yet filled with so many exciting stories to share with you about all that happened over the weekend! It was an adventure packed with new experiences and new people.

I always say: “Adventure is held within us and found all around us.” Remember that when you wake up each morning; you never know what the day will hold for you.

Life truly is an adventure, my friends, so enjoy the journey!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Happy December!”

Happy December 1st! It’s the first day of the last month of the year! Soon we’ll be welcoming a whole new year…

Until then, how are you going to spend the last month of 2017, a month filled with many holidays?

I know it’s a “hustle and bustle” time of year as we prepare for the holidays we celebrate, yet be sure to take some time to enjoy the holiday and embrace those celebrating with you. All too often the holiday is over before we could even enjoy it and a lesson I learned throughout the years is this: stop and look around at the loved ones surrounding you and let your heart take a picture! Enjoy each and every moment!

“Welcome December!”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~