First Look: “‘Til Death Do Us Part” | Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots | OWN

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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The moment when 12 boys, coach trapped inside Thai cave were found alive: Part 2

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Manafort campaign ties now part of Mueller investigation

Prosecutors for special counsel Robert Mueller said in a court filing that they intend to present evidence at the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort that a banking executive allegedly helped Manafort obtain loans of more than $ 6 million while the banker sought a role in the Trump campaign. CNN’s Sara Murray reports.


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New The Last of Us Part 2 Gameplay Details Revealed

New gameplay and story details about The Last of Us Part 2 have been revealed.

Writer and director Neil Druckmann, along with co-game directors Anthony Newman and Kurt Margenau, shared new information about the highly anticipated PlayStation 4 exclusive during an E3 Coliseum panel, hosted by IGN’s own Lucy O’Brien.

Ellie’s ability to move around the environment will be key to survival. The game’s expanded traversal and stealth mechanics allow Ellie to interact with the environment in a much deeper way than the first game and add an extra sense of realism to the experience. Unlike the first game, a jump button is included, and the new dodge mechanic shown off in the recently released gameplay demo is an important part of the combat.

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Trump is skipping part of the G7 summit after a spat with the French President and Canadian Prime Minister

President Donald Trump flies to Canada on Friday expecting a knock-out, drag-down fight with top US allies over trade — a battle he believes he can win but which he’s unenthusiastic about waging in person.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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For Parkland seniors, families, graduation marks the start of a new path: Part 1

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’: Watch Funny First Trailer

'The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part': Watch Funny First Trailer

The first trailer for The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part begins on a somber note, as Lucy (voiced by Elizabeth Banks) talks about a "new life that has hardened and toughened us all." Except for Emmet Brickowski (voiced by Chris Pratt), of course, who still thinks everything is awesome!

Five years have passed since the events in the smash-hit The Lego Movie, so what exactly has changed? Watch the first trailer below and then check out our summary of everything we know about the…

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North Korea summit cancellation part of ‘downside risks’ for the economy, Fed’s Bostic says

Geopolitical turmoil and policy certainty making businesses more cautious, Richmond Fed President Raphael Bostic says.
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‘It was terrifying,’ recalls passenger on deadly Southwest flight: Part 2

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Sony to showcase ‘Spider-Man,’ ‘Death Stranding,’ ‘The Last of Us Part II,’ and ‘Ghost of Tsushima’ at E3

Sony E3 2018 showcase

Sony this week announced that its E3 2018 showcase will take place on Monday, June 11th at 6:00 PM PT / 9:00 PM ET, but also that it may look slightly different than it has in recent years. In the most recent episode of the PlayStation Blogcast, Sony Interactive Entertainment America CEO Shawn Layden seemed to suggest that the company will veer from tradition, noting that Sony will be taking “a different angle” when it comes to this year’s showcase.

First off, the event will be highlighted by four console exclusives: Death Stranding from Kojima Productions, Ghost of Tsushima from Sucker Punch, Marvel’s Spider-Man from Insomniac Games, and The Last of Us Part II from Naughty Dog. Layden says that Sony will take a “deep dive” into each of these PS4 exclusives.

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Sony to showcase ‘Spider-Man,’ ‘Death Stranding,’ ‘The Last of Us Part II,’ and ‘Ghost of Tsushima’ at E3 originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 11 May 2018 at 23:34:02 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Scarlett Moffatt lands first movie role as Caitlin Moran reveals she’s writing her a part in new film How To Build A Girl

SCARLETT Moffatt has landed her first movie role.

The former Gogglebox star is making the transition from the small screen to the big screen with a cameo in author Caitlin Moran’s upcoming movie How To Build A Girl.

Scarlett Moffatt has landed her first movie role
PA:Press Association

The movie adaptation of her popular novel will star Lady Bird actress Beanie Feldstein in the lead role of Johanna Morrigan, who leaves her hometown to reinvent herself.

Caitlin, 43, took to Twitter on Wednesday to discuss the project, writing: “Can FINALLY talk about this – what we’ve been working on for the last two years.

“SCREAMINGLY excited. Oh, the first scene is a DOOZY. And Beanie is just … astonishing. The world is going to EXPLODE with love for her.”

Scarlett, 27, quickly replied: “Omg omg OMG” with two in love emoji faces.

Caitlin Moran is writing a cameo part for Scarlett in her new movie How To Build A Girl
PA:Press Association
The pair discussed the cameo on Twitter
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Caitlin tweeted back: “I KNOW RIGHT. You still want that cameo? GONNA WRITE YOU IN” to which Scarlett responded: “Omg yes yes yes!! Can’t even contain my excitement xx”.

How To Build A Girl is a semi-autobiographical tale and was Caitlin’s second novel.

The movie is being produced by Debra Hayward and Alison Owen for Monumental Pictures.

Of the film, Alison said: “We could not be more excited for Johanna Morrigan to burst onto the big screen.


Scarlett is making the move from the small screen to the big screen
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“We searched high and low for a girl who could match the boundless wit, sparkle and big heart of Caitlin’s super-heroine and feel incredibly lucky to have found her in the effervescent Beanie Feldstein.”

Beanie, 24, is best known for her role in Bad Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising and Lady Bird.

She also starred in the 2017 Broadway production of Hello, Dolly! alongside Bette Midler.


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FDA commissioner to drug middlemen: You’re part of the problem

The FDA chief said he worries PBMs have been "complacent participants" in schemes to keep biosimilars off the market.
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SCOTUS nixes part of law requiring deportation of immigrants convicted of some crimes

The Supreme Court on Tuesday invalidated a provision of federal law that requires the mandatory deportation of immigrants who have been convicted of some crimes, holding that the law is unconstitutionally vague.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Kim Zolciak Apologizes To NeNe Leakes After The Second Part Of RHOA Reunion – Here’s What She Said

Earlier we reported what happened during the second part of RHOA reunion for the series’ fans who didn’t get to see it yesterday. It also seems that Kim Zolciak felt sorry, or at least seemed to feel sorry about the […]
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The Wild Wild Country Team Knows They Left Out Part of the Story. But They Did it on Purpose

Netflix’s latest documentary series, Wild Wild Country, takes viewers through a tumultuous period in American history that had until recently been all but forgotten.

After gaining access to more than 300 hours of archived footage about Rajneeshpuram, a commune established in eastern Oregon in the early 1980s, brothers Maclain and Chapman Way knew they had to make a series exploring how the commune’s power grew — and eventually crumbled in violence. Rajneeshpuram sprang up in a remote area of Oregon after followers of the Indian spiritual leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a bearded guru with a love of Rolls Royces, took over the area in an effort to build a utopia, much to the chagrin of local townspeople. But what began as a culture of peace and free love morphed, as the group struggled to keep control of the area, into a saga marked by poison attacks, attempted murders and rampant immigration fraud.

The Ways received the footage after finishing up their first documentary, The Battered Bastards of Baseball, which was based in Portland, Oregon. An archivist at the Oregon Historical Society alerted them to the story, giving them hundreds of hours of archived footage, the bulk of which news stations intentionally did not tape over, sensing an imperative to preserve the coverage of such a bizarre, divisive time in history. As they geared up to interview people involved on all sides of the conflict, the brothers found that their subjects wanted to share their stories as a warning for the future.

“They see it as different types of warnings,” Maclain Ways says, referring to the locals and the Rajneeshees, who are also known as sannyasins. “If you ask the sanyassins, a lot of them will tell you this is a warning of religious persecution and government overreach. If you talk to the neighboring ranchers of the Rajneeshees, they’ll tell you the story of Rajneeshpuram is a warning of cults and what happens when people become brainwashed and do destructive things.”

Wild Wild Country refuses to establish clear heroes or villains. The Way brothers wanted to let the Rajneeshees’ actions and the complaints of locals unfold without an added layer of condemnation. The group’s members, clad in uniforms of red, orange and purple clothing, quickly made enemies of the local residents of Antelope, Oregon, a small town located near the compound. As the commune grew into a city of its own, complete with an airport, malls and restaurants, the largely conservative Antelopeans became angrier and more resentful of the outsiders practicing their own form of spirituality on land they felt rightfully belonged to them.

The skirmishes only intensified as the Rajneeshees doubled down on taking over the local government, and although they went to illegal lengths to establish control — including attempts by a devotee to murder the Rajneeshee’s doctor and the poisoning of 750 people with salmonella made on the compound — the pushback from locals who tried to drive the followers away revealed the story to be more layered than the Ways initially anticipated.

“We were trying to tap into a conversation about, well, what is the difference between cult and religion? What are religious minority rights? Where is everyone’s line of tolerance where they have to say, ‘Enough is enough, we can’t have these people take over my town anymore?’” says Maclain Way.

One criticism of the show posits that it glosses over some of Rajneeshees’ more egregious actions. After all, commune members caused the largest biochemical terror attack in the country with the mass salmonella poisoning, engaged in suspicious intra-group violence and cooked up a plot involving multi-state immigration fraud in order to gain political control. Brief scenes in the series showing group members beating each other as part of purging meditation exercises are never fully explained.

But the Ways say they did not worry about any potential imbalances in the series because they trusted audiences to judge the Rajneeshees’ actions as negative without having to totally condemn the commune. “We are interested in showing this to a mature audience that would be able to kind of push themselves to then hear from the people who did these things themselves, about why they did it,” says Maclain. The series includes interviews with several former members of the commune, all of whom have different reflections upon their time there.

Jane Stork, one woman featured in the series, who moved her family from Australia to the commune in search of enlightenment, now believes Rajneeshpuram was a cult that sowed destruction in eastern Oregon. She later wrote a book, called Breaking the Spell, that details her disenchantment with the group. On the other end of the spectrum is Philip Toelkes, known in the group as Swami Prem Niren, an attorney who still considers himself to be a follower of Rajneesh and now runs his own “conscious coaching” business.

The ambiguity has led some viewers to feel conflicted about how much they empathize with the Rajneeshees — many people joked online about how the red outfits and free love lifestyle would have totally convinced them to join the commune had they been around in the 1980s. Audiences also felt torn over their love for Ma Anand Sheela, the Bhagwan’s tough-talking second-in-command at the Oregon commune, who played an integral role in the Rajneeshees’ darker plots and later pleaded guilty to attempted murder, immigration fraud and orchestrating the salmonella outbreak. She served 29 months of a 20-year prison sentence.

Sheela, now 68 and living in Switzerland, is the showstopper of the documentary and seems to have no regrets about her actions at Rajneeshpuram. The Ways, who had heard from state and federal officials that she was “pure evil,” say they were “definitely a little timid and a little scared” when they flew out to meet her. They found her to be “smart, cunning and charming” — almost exactly how she appeared in 1980s television appearances talking up the Rajneeshees — and say she clearly still cares very much about the past.

“She definitely feels there was a lot of religious persecution and bigotry toward her group,” Chapman says. “She was going to go to all lengths to protect her commune and her master.”

Other former Rajneeshees were less willing to talk, feeling that past attempts to document what happened in Oregon, including a documentary by Oregon Public Broadcasting, were unfair, says Maclain. But devotees and Antelope residents alike eventually came around out of a reverence for preserving history — and until the series debuted on Netflix, the story of what happened at Rajneeshpuram had long remained hidden in news archives. According to Chapman, the incidents are not ingrained in the collective American memory largely because no one died due to the Rajneeshees’ crimes.

“You look at Jonestown, you look at Waco, you look at the death tolls those events had,” he says, referring to two infamous cults whose members died in great numbers. “This one was just easier to forget about over time.”

Though the Ways started making Wild Wild Country in 2014, two years before Donald Trump won the presidential election largely on a platform of stoking fears about immigrants and religious minorities, the series hit Netflix as such topics continue to dominate national conversation. The timing didn’t go unnoticed by the bothers, and Wild Wild Country presents an American tale as old as time.

I joke around, but it was honestly comforting as an American to realize we have always struggled with these issues. What’s happening to our country isn’t just new right now,” Chapman says. “Every generation has dealt with these issues.”


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4 Things to Consider Before Signing an Employment Contract: Part 2

There are so many things to consider before signing an Employment Contract for a new job that we’ve decided to include a second part to our original post, “4 Things to Consider Before Signing an Employment Contract”.

In the first post, we discussed how, before signing your employee agreement, it’s wise to:

  • Review your job title and duties to ensure they match the position you interviewed for
  • Double check the salary listed is the one you agreed upon
  • Ensure you understand how overtime and time off benefits work
  • Familiarize yourself with any additional or restrictive clauses in the employment agreement (e.g. non-compete, non-solicitation, and confidentiality clauses)

In this second part, we’ll discuss considering travel requirements, clarifying work hours, reviewing employee benefits, and evaluating company culture before signing on the dotted line.

Consider the Travel Requirements in Your Employment Contract

Travel is something many people often overlook when they’re considering taking a job, but it’s important to keep in mind that traveling to and from work, in some cases, can be a large part of your day.

If you’re fielding multiple job offers where all other factors (like pay, benefits, workload, etc.) are equal, the commute could possibly be your deal breaker. Having a 30- or 45-minute trip doesn’t necessarily sound too horrible until you consider that both ways (to and from work) can mean up to an hour-and-a-half in your car or on public transit.

It’s also important to consider how commute times can alter (sometimes drastically) at different times of day (e.g. morning and evening rush hour, lunch time, etc.) and different times of year.

For example, in Maine or even upstate New York, a typical 30-minute commute can very easily become an hour or an hour-and-a-half in the winter.

One last thing to keep in mind is business travel. Some jobs expect no travel at all, while others expect the majority of your work time to be spent out of the office. This can mean traveling to various job sites or other cities, states, or countries for meetings and conferences. Before you sign your Employment Contract, you should ask about the travel requirements and you should clarify whether or not you’ll be compensated for travel time, meals, flights, gas, etc., and what that compensation will be.

Clarify the Working Hours for Your New Position

Sometimes there can be a difference between the hours you are expected to work on paper and an unspoken expectation of the hours you’re really meant to work.

This doesn’t mean that an employer might expect you to underreport your hours or leave off any overtime (although this does happen), it just means you might have to consider how your work life might intermingle with your personal life.

Many people work a standard 9 to 5, Monday to Friday job (or some such variation), and when everyone punches out, the day is done. But there are certain employers that expect their employees to check their work emails after hours and on weekends or to be on call at all times in case of work emergencies.

Before you sign your contract, you should ask about what’s expected of you in terms of being on call. Are you meant to put in your 40 hours in the office and keep an eye out for phone calls or emails from your boss on Saturdays?

Some employers expect you to work your 40 hours and nothing more, while others expect you to be at their beck and call. It’s best to clarify this before you accept the position so you know exactly what you’re getting into on day one.

Review and Understand the Benefits Plans

In today’s economy, employee benefits are an important factor when workers are contemplating employment opportunities.

The U.S. Department of Labor released a report in 2017 that detailed the percentage of employers (across the civilian, private, and local and state government sectors) that offer some form of benefits (retirement, medical care, and life insurance) to their employees. The results found an average of 72% of employees had access to these types of benefits and an average of 65% of employees used the benefits.

Typically, employers who offer benefits plans include some form of the following:

  • Retirement plan
  • Health insurance
  • Vision and dental coverage
  • Life insurance
  • Short- or long-term disability

With the majority of employers offering benefits, applicants and job hunters have the chance to compare benefits packages so they can make judgments about which job offer they might take. It’s a good idea to review the employer’s benefits plans, make sure you understand them, and see how they measure up to other plans from your current job or another position you might be contemplating.

Evaluate the Company Culture

One final thing you should reflect on is what the working environment is like. People struggle and thrive in very different environments, so it’s important to consider how you’ll fare in a specific environment before you sign up.

Determining a company’s culture can be a hard concept to navigate, so here are some questions you can ask yourself to get started:

  • What kind of people will you be working with?
  • Do you think you’ll get along with your co-workers?
  • Do the people look content to be at work? Or are they all visibly stressed and discontent?
  • Will you fit in?

One last question you might also ask yourself is “Do I care about the company culture?” because it’s not something that matters to everyone. Many people can put up with working in an environment where they aren’t always content if other factors (like pay or benefits or the company’s mission) outweigh their needs for contentment. Hopefully, you’ll never have to choose between your personal happiness and a paycheck, but it’s a choice that some people have to consider.

Taking the Next Steps in Your Career

Receiving a job offer is a thrilling experience, but it can come with many uncertainties that you’ll want to clarify. Don’t be afraid to evaluate the implications of accepting the offer before you sign the contract. There’s no harm in being a little cautious and ensuring you understand everything you’re getting into before taking a new job.

What are some other things you consider before accepting a job offer?

The post 4 Things to Consider Before Signing an Employment Contract: Part 2 appeared first on LawDepot Blog.

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4 Things to Consider Before Signing an Employment Contract: Part 1

When you’re reading over your job contract, you should make sure you understand everything from your job duties to your rights as an employee—you don’t want to run into any surprises after signing on the dotted line.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some things you should consider before signing an Employment Agreement.

Job Title and Duties in Your Employment Contract

The first thing you should check in your Employment Contract is that your job title and responsibilities match the position you interviewed for. If the description doesn’t match your expectations, bring it up to your supervisor or the HR representative walking you through your orientation before you sign.

It’s possible that there was just a clerical error, but if that’s not the case and you suspect your new employer’s expectations are different than what you thought, you can take this opportunity to voice your concerns or leave before you’re bound to a written contract.

For instance, some employees find themselves in circumstances where they interview for a “Manager” position but find their job title changed to “Lead” on their contract.

While a small change in wording like this doesn’t seem like much, it can affect things like wage increases because a team leader is often below a manager within a company’s structure. Moreover, being a lead versus a manager might also affect your job responsibilities.

Reviewing Your Salary Before Signing Your Contract

Salary is something many people take for granted when looking over their employment contracts.

You’d think the salary you agreed on in your job offer would be the same as the one included in your contract, but mistakes can happen. It’s best to be safe and check before signing your job agreement.

If your salary is different than you expected, it’s important to determine if there is an explanation in the contract. For instance, part of your salary might be divided into commission or bonuses or other benefits granted by your employer.

It’s crucial that you understand exactly how you’re meant to be compensated for your work and if economic incentives based on job performance (like tips, commission, or bonuses) affect your salary or hourly wage.

You should also take time to familiarize yourself with how often you’re paid (e.g. weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) as the pay period can differ from company to company.

Some employers even offer advances, which might not be something you’re aware of before signing your contract and could come in handy later if you’re ever in a financial pinch.

Although many employers pay their employees through a direct deposit system, there are still those who use checks. Be sure to double check the manner in which you’re paid in case you have to plan cashing your check into your regular routine.

Overtime and Time Off Benefits at Work

Many employers offer overtime pay and time off allowances (like vacation and sick time), but they can differ from job to job. Some employers pay out overtime (usually an increased wage like time-and-a-half for each extra hour worked) and others will bank overtime which can either be used later in the form of time off or can be cashed in at your regular hourly wage.

When looking into overtime, you should consider:

  • When overtime kicks in: Does it kick in after you work more than 8 hours in a day? Does it only take effect if you work more than 40 hours per week?
  • How much your wage increases if the time isn’t banked: Is it time-and-a-half? Double-time? Does it increase as your overtime hours increase?
  • How to cash in banked overtime hours: Do you get time off? Do you cash it in as your hourly wage? Do you cash in an overtime (increased) wage? Can you do a mix of both time off and payout?

Be sure to look at your state laws on overtime as well, as there may be regulations on when and how overtime is calculated.

You should also ask about the time off procedure if you’re unsure. Is it divided up into sick time, personal time, and vacation, or is it just one lump of time that you can divvy up however you’d like?

Keep in mind, some employers require you to work a full year to build up vacation and sick time before you’re entitled to use it. Others simply require you complete your probation period (usually three to six months) before you start using your time off benefits.

Additional and Restrictive Clauses in Your Employment Agreement

There are some clauses that appear in many Employment Agreements that you should familiarize yourself with.

Non-compete: A non-compete clause prevents the employee from unfairly competing against the employer during employment and after it ends. For example, an employee cannot open a competing business while employed with the current company.

Non-solicitation: A non-solicitation clause is a stipulation that prevents an employee from recruiting any of the company’s employees or contractors after said employee has left the company. Although poaching is popular in many industries, a former employee who is bound by a non-solicitation clause cannot participate in this practice without the risk of getting sued.

Confidentiality: A confidentiality clause keeps employees from divulging the company’s confidential information to anyone outside of the company or who is not privileged to that knowledge. This gets many people in trouble especially if they leave one company for a competitor and pass on client, supplier, or employee information to the competitor.

It’s important to read through these clauses in your contract and keep them in mind should you ever leave your current employer. The last thing you need is a lawsuit against you for passing on the names of your former employer’s major clients because you didn’t know the potential consequences.

Beginning a New Chapter in Your Career

Starting a new job is an exciting experience that can present you with new challenges and opportunities. Though it may be difficult, try not to let your excitement get to your head while you’re reviewing your contract.

After you look over your Employment Contract, write down any questions you have so that you can go over them with your manager or the hiring manager. You may feel obligated to return your signed contract quickly, but you’re entitled to take time to review it carefully to make sure that you understand what you are signing.

What’s the first thing you look at in an Employment Contract? Let us know in the comments!

The post 4 Things to Consider Before Signing an Employment Contract: Part 1 appeared first on LawDepot Blog.

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Etiquette Guide – Basic Dining Etiquette Part II – Before & After The Meal

So you’ve been invited to dinner or you have invited someone and there are certain rules before and after that are just as important as the table manners you display during a meal.

Basic Etiquette Before & After The Meal

RSVP

RSVP

Reply To The Invitation In A Timely Manner

First of all, you should reply promptly to an invitation. In the US, it’s also called RSVP which stands for repondez sil vous plait or please respond. Traditionally, you should respond in the same way you receive the invitation. So if someone called you, call back. If someone actually wrote you a card or a letter, you should write back.

At larger gatherings, you are usually asked to respond by a certain date and you should definitely not miss that line. If nothing is indicated on invitation, respond in a timely manner. If you’re not sure about it yet, just give it a few days but not longer. If you already know whether you can or cannot make it at a certain date, get back to them right away because the sooner they know, the better they can plan and accommodate you and what you need. Once you’ve replied, add it to your calendar so you won’t forget it. Note, the invitation is only ever for people that are mentioned on the invitation.

By asking them if you can bring friends or your kids, you may put an unfair restrain on them because they may have budgetary reasons not to invite more people or they may not like others to be there so, just be polite and respect their wishes. On the other hand, if it’s an informal invitation, let’s say a barbecue at the neighbors, it’s totally fine to send them a text or call them and ask who exactly is invited. Children can always be tricky because on the one hand, they’re part of your family and you may not be inclined to pay for a babysitter, at the same time, it’s best to assume they’re not invited. If it hasn’t specifically mentioned children, look at the time of the event, a cocktail party likely is not meant to include children, a brunch, on the other hand, maybe so. In any case, if you bring your kids along, make sure to know proper table manners.

Let them know ahead of time if you have food allergies

Let them know ahead of time if you have food allergies

Inform The Hosts In Advance If You Have Food Allergies

If you suffer from any food allergies, you should tell the hosts in advance, otherwise, they may prepare a meal and not be able to change and accommodate you on the spot. If you have a special diet that’s not medically prescribed, such as the Paleo diet, it’s quite impolite to ask the host to accommodate that because there may be other people invited.

Maybe you have actual allergies such as gluten intolerance, a seafood allergy, and if you also have requests, at the end of the day, the host may narrow down in the portfolio what they can offer. So if you’re truly not open to any other kinds of foods, not even willing to try a little bit of something that isn’t something you like, then I suggest you rather decline the invitation, otherwise, it will create awkward moments and people will be maybe irritated about you.

Dinner Party

Always Keep Your Commitments

You should always keep your commitments. Not only does this reflect poorly in your character and people may consider you flaky, but the host and or hostess have gone to incredible lengths to accommodate you, they went grocery shopping, they made a meal plan, they invested in their liquor cabinet, in their wine selection, and they just made a huge effort, so just not showing up is extremely disrespectful. Cancellations for anything other than medical emergencies maybe deaths in a family, or other serious reasons, are simply not acceptable.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to back out of an invitation, always give a reason and apologize. Don’t just say I can’t come because that is extremely rude. Generally, it’s a good idea to confirm the invitation, the date, the occasion, and the time, just a few days in advance to make sure everyone is on the same page and no one marked it wrong on their calendar.

Davidoff Dom Perignon cigars

Davidoff Dom Perignon cigars

Offer To Bring Something

If you are invited to a dinner party, maybe a barbecue, or any other kind of informal arrangement, you should always offer to bring something. Only ask if you’re actually prepared to bring what the host requests from you. Most hosts won’t ask you to bring six bottles of champagne but if they do and you don’t bring it, it makes it look extremely cheap.

Also, be considerate and never create more work for the host. True story, once I had a guest and he volunteered to bring something so we asked them to bring dessert and they showed up with a box of brownie mix. I don’t have time to prepare dessert it has to be ready. If they say don’t bring anything at all, then you should definitely bring a gift such as a bottle of wine, maybe some chocolates, or flowers.

Various Sparkling Wines

Various Sparkling Wines

If you know the host and hostess pretty well or you know if they have a specific hobby or something small that they would particularly like, it’s a very nice gesture of you to accommodate that because it makes them feel special and they can see that you put effort into it. You should never assume that a six-pack of beer or the wine you bring is for your own or for immediate consumption, it’s a gift and that’s it. If the host decides to open the bottle, it’s up to them, but you should never expect that in any way, shape, or form.

Mad Men Dinner Party

Mad Men Dinner Party

Show Up On Time

Always make sure to arrive on time which means you show up exactly the requested time or about 5 to 10 minutes later. Never show up earlier because everyone who has ever hosted a party knows that there’s a lot of work to be done and if guests show up early and you’re not done yet with your preparations, it’s frustrating and it’s just hard for you to manage with your time.

Be sure to let the hosts know if you will be late

Be sure to let the hosts know if you will be late

So don’t be that guy who shows up early. If you’re stuck in traffic or you know you’re gonna be late in 5 or 10 minutes, call ahead, let them know and don’t just leave a voicemail or a text. Make sure they get the message because otherwise, they may have food that will be bad by the time you arrive and it doesn’t just affect you, if you have to eat a well-done steak but also as the host or hostess, you’re embarrassed and you feel like your investment was wasted if someone just shows up and the food is not good anymore. Many restaurants won’t seat you if show up more than 15 minutes late and even a home-based setting, it’s just impolite and rude.

Greet The Hosts Personally

Once you arrive, you should always greet the host and a hostess personally. Ideally with a handshake or a hug depending on what culture you’re in. If other people are invited that you don’t know, a good host will always introduce you to each other and he will always try to point out a similarity so you have a starting point for your conversation. Unfortunately, not all hosts do that. In that case, introduce yourself in the same way you would, otherwise.

Buffet style food service with plates.

Buffet style food service with plates.

Never Ask To Bring Anything Home

Once the meal is over, they may be leftovers. If you’re at someone’s home, you never ask to bring anything home even if you brought the dessert or the salad, you just leave it there in its entirety. If it’s a bowl or a tray that you’re particularly attached to, you can get it back at a later point in time but don’t create extra stress by having the host clean your bowl so you can take it home right away.

If at a restaurant, it’s a little different. If you are in Europe or in a business meeting, I suggest you don’t ask for boxes because it may come up as awkward, otherwise, in the US, in a more social setting, it’s perfectly appropriate to ask for a box to bring your leftovers home.

When Dining Out, Who Pays The Bill?

If you’re the restaurant, It can be a little tricky. In countries like Germany, if someone specifically invites you, it implies that they’re going to pay for the meal. In the US, it’s a little different because it only implies that your presence is welcomed, not that your bill will be paid for. Unless someone specifically says “let me buy you dinner”. Don’t assume that someone else will pay for your meal.

In more ambiguous situations, let’s say at a business meal, the person requesting the meeting should always pay for the dinner, of course, if you’re a business owner and a customer requests a meeting, you as the business owner should pay for dinner. The worst thing you can do is to argue over a bill at the restaurant. Sometimes people stubbornly insist on paying the tip and it’s a long back-and-forth and that’s almost worse than if you would just pay the entire bill or nothing at all because it creates a negative vibe.

In social situations in the US, you should assume that you pay for what you consumed, on the other hand, if you go to Italy, it’s very normal that you just split the bill evenly by the number of heads no matter who consumed what. If you splurged and added caviar for an appetizer, the champagne, or the Kobe beef, you should never offer to just split the bill evenly because that would mean other people have to pay for your luxury expenditures.

Never Leave Too Early Or Too Late – Be On The Lookout For Cues

It’s always impolite to leave a party early or right after dinner because it implies that you’re just there for the food and you’re not interested in the company. At the same time, don’t stay too late. Look for cues of the host, are they may be yawning because they’re tired, already starting to clean up and doing the dishes, or staring at their watch many times, or maybe have they stopped serving drinks two hours ago, that’s the case, it’s time to leave now.

I have been the host for a number of times where people really didn’t get the cue, in that case, I had to say you know, “I really have to get up early tomorrow morning, so it was a pleasure to have you but I must go to bed now” and that’s when I understood it. Usually, you’ll never have to go to those lengths because people will get your cues but if you have to say something, be polite and friendly.

A small bbq with friends is a great weekend tradition

A small bbq with friends is a great weekend tradition

No matter if you’re at a party with a hundred people or at a small intimate dinner, you should always personally say goodbye to the host and hostess. It’s quite rude to just disappear and people sometimes think “oh I don’t want to disturb them they’re just in conversation”, if they are, just wait, stick it out, and say goodbye personally because otherwise, they will always remember you in a bad way as the person who just leaves without saying goodbye.

If you’re part of a smaller dinner party with maybe four, six, eight, or ten people, you should always say goodbye to everybody. Of course, in a larger party, it’s not feasible to shake 200 hands and so it’s okay to just say goodbye to the host, maybe the people you had a conversation with or the people you know very well. In a business meeting, that means you shake everyone’s hand. If you’re in Germany, it also means you shake everyone’s hand no matter if it’s business or social. In the US, that’s not necessarily the case.

Be Sure To Return The Favor

If you enjoyed your evening, you should always return the favor and invite the host and hostess to you. It doesn’t matter if you think you can’t cook, you either come up with an idea or you invite them to a nice restaurant that you like and pick up the bill, it’s just a way to show them that you appreciate that they invited you and that you like to hang out with them. If you never invite people back, eventually, they’ll stop inviting you and that will be the end of the relationship.

Also, don’t come up with cheap excuses along the lines of “oh well, what could I offer them that they don’t know or they don’t have?”, even if they’re in a completely different pay grade than you are, they will always appreciate a sincere invitation and you can have great meals on a small dime. Just make it special, make it yours, and they’ll appreciate it. If not, maybe they are not the right people to hang out with in the first place. If someone invited you to their home, it is nice to invite them to your home as well. Again it doesn’t matter if you live in a much smaller place and it’s not as impressive what counts is the gesture.

Do Your Research

Etiquettes are different in different cultures and countries. If you’re traveling to a specific place, make sure to look up common habits beforehand so you know what you’re getting into and you’re not being perceived as rude.

 

 

Share your most unforgettable dinner party experiences below!


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How to Iron a Suit Jacket Part IV – The Complete Guide to Ironing

How to Iron a Suit Jacket or Sport Coat

Ironing a suit jacket uses similar techniques to pressing a shirt because they share a similar shape and structure. The principles of ironing wool trousers would also apply to wool jackets. People may hesitate to press a jacket because of its complexity, including canvasing, lining, and padding, but, with the information in this article of our series on ironing, you’ll be able to de-wrinkle your jackets without fear.

Removing Wrinkles without Ironing

In some ways, getting the wrinkles out of a jacket is easy because most wrinkles will come out if you just apply steam without even making contact, and the weight of the jacket assists with this. De-wrinkling of specific areas can be achieved by expelling steam from an iron or handheld steamer held a few inches from the jacket surface. An even easier hands-off option, and maybe the most effective, is running a hot shower and then hanging the jacket in the steam afterwards. It may take some time for the effect to be noticeable, so run the shower before bed, shut it off, and keep the jacket in the closed bathroom overnight.

When it comes to the detailed work that requires an iron, the approach is similar to what you would do with a shirt. However, odds are, if you cared for it properly, your jacket will never be as wrinkled as your shirts (unless its linen) and will require less ironing. Therefore, you’ll only need to address specific areas with a touch-up, which shouldn’t be hard at all.

How to Press a Jacket

1. The Sleeves

Begin with the sleeves. Using a sleeve board if you have one, place the jacket shoulder over the narrow end of the board you are using and lay the sleeve flat. Use a pressing cloth, so you won’t be ironing directly on the wool. As with a shirt, concentrate on pressing the middle of the sleeve as needed for its full length. Be careful not to press hard where the edges of the sleeve meets the board or you will leave sharp “military creases” down the middle of the sleeves unless this is what you want; it’s a matter of preference, but such creases are usually seen only on the shirts of military personnel, not jackets (Prince Charles notwithstanding). Press around the sleeve head below the shoulder. Especially with the heavier structured nature of suit jackets and sport coats, the trick is always to follow the contours of the fabric. In other words, don’t try to straighten the arm; go along the curve.

Prince Charles is known for occasionally sporting military creases on his jackets

Prince Charles is known for occasionally sporting military creases on his jackets

2. The Body (Including Lapels)

To avoid any risk of shining your wool, continue to use a pressing cloth. Follow the method for shirts by doing one half of each side of the jacket (a panel) at a time, working your way around the jacket or doing both front panels and then both of the back ones. The back area, which is essentially flat, is the easiest. One area that tends to fold and wrinkle is around the vent flaps. Concentrate your pressing efforts on the edges of these.

The main concern when working on the front of a jacket is pressing it to death, especially the lapels. You don’t want to flatten them so they look like a steamroller ran over them because the lapels, in many ways, define the appearance of the jacket, especially if you have a beautiful 3-roll-2. Again, the solution is to go with the contours. Press the lapels lightly. Flip each one up and run the iron along the crease below it (called the hollow), smoothly following the curve to preserve the roll. Even if they aren’t wrinkled, this will liven them up.

Lastly, work on the most difficult area: the shoulders. Use a presser’s ham or a sleeve board, if you have one, to keep the shoulder round, its natural shape, as you press it. You want to imitate the way it sits on your shoulders when you’re wearing it. Finish your pressing by applying some steam to the inside lining and armpit areas; apply a scented spray, such as lavender water.

Jackets made of materials that wrinkle more than wool–linens, cottons, hemp/linen combinations, etc.– don’t require as much caution, though you still don’t want to press them flat. You can, however, use a higher temperature and more sprayed water and steam; in fact, particularly with linen, you’ll probably need to.

With time, you’ll appreciate working on individual parts of the jacket, just like detailing your car, and going with the shape of the garment becomes intuitive with practice.

Green herringbone lining

Green herringbone lining

3. Special Consideration: Pressing the Lining

If you’ve packed a suit for traveling at all, you likely know what a wrinkled inner lining looks like. Yet, the nature of the cupro or Bemberg that quality linings are made of is such that pressing can be difficult. The light and loose aspect of the lining prevents the iron from moving smoothly over the surface, and it tends to cling to the soleplate. The best approach is to hover the iron over the material and steam liberally to loosen up the wrinkles without making contact. If you find you do need to press the fabric, reduce the heat setting to a medium or low level and skim the surface lightly. As always, push, pull and straighten the cupro to get as smooth a starting surface as possible.

Conclusion

Hopefully, after viewing the three parts of our Complete Guide to Ironing, you’ve been convinced to try your hand at ironing your own tailored clothes. You may even have a wishlist of ironing gear that you never imagined having.  In the long run, it’ll save you time and money, and once you have some hands-on experience putting your knowledge into practice, seeing the finished product will prove quite rewarding.

Gentleman’s Gazette readers, do you press your own suit jackets and sport coats? Share your techniques, insights, and experiences in the comments below.


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How to Iron Dress Pants – Part III The Complete Guide to Ironing

In the first installment of our series on ironing, we introduced the equipment and preparations required to press tailored clothing effectively, with a specific focus on how to iron a shirt. In Part II, we intensively discussed how to iron dress shirts. Today, we move on to the more challenging task of pressing dress pants.

Pressing Trousers: Perceived Difficulties

Although they may not hesitate to iron a cotton shirt, some men shy away from pressing dress pants, whether they are separates or part of a suit, because they’re afraid the iron will “shine” the wool and ruin it. Or, they think that they will not be able to create a sharp crease down the front and back of the legs. Beyond this, the construction of trousers is such that you will most often be pressing two layers of cloth (the pant leg) while a shirt most often involves ironing a single layer, except for the sleeves. These aspects present an additional level of challenge, but they are easily handled by learning the correct techniques.

How to Iron Pants

As with shirts, begin by preparing your ironing equipment, referring to Part I of our series if necessary. Make sure your pants and iron are clean. Set your iron to the proper setting, which, for wool pants, will be lower than for cotton, which is itself lower than linen. Fill your iron with distilled water if you have hard tap water. This prevents limescale from building up inside the iron and later coming out onto your pants in the form of white flakes when you use the steam. You can brush these off the fabric, but it’s an added nuisance, especially if you’re working on darker colored trousers; better an ounce of prevention.

1. The Pants Rise

Begin with the top area of your trousers, the waist and the rise, which require similar techniques to the upper portions of a shirt. Because there aren’t long stretches of fabric, you’ll essentially be doing detail work to begin. Here’s where a tailor’s ham comes in handy; it allows you to press along a contoured surface that better follows the curve of the fabric and of the human form that will wear it. Shove a ham inside your pants and lay the curved areas of the hip and rise over it, moving the cloth as you press. If you are concerned that the iron may create an unsightly shine on wool trousers, use a pressing cloth between the iron and the fabric.

If you don’t have a tailor’s ham, you can still use a sleeve board or regular ironing surface. The lack of extended surface area at the top of trousers guarantees that you won’t really be able to move the iron back and forth, which is a good thing: it’ll train you to make small movements, pressing down with the iron and lifting it up afterwards to move it around instead of dragging it along the fabric, which can catch and cause more wrinkling, not to mention shine the wool. The area in between the belt loops, if you have them, can be approached the same way you would tackle the space between shirt buttons, by using the tip of the iron.

 

 

2. Pants Legs: Making a Crease

Legs of dress pants are tricky because you need to create a sharp crease up the center of the leg, both front and back to give it the proper finish. Something that comes up specifically when ironing cotton pants is whether or not to create a front crease at all. The answer depends on whether they had a crease when you bought them, and this depends on the formality of the pants. Casual chinos will have a completely flat front, while those that are formal enough to be worn with a sport coat should have a crease. Since we’re discussing tailored clothing, we’ll assume the need to make a crease.

The main challenges are to ensure the crease is perfectly centered in the middle of the leg and, assuming you already have a crease there, not to create a different one. A lot of ironing guides online speak of the process like you are creating a crease from scratch, but most of the time you will just be reestablishing and refreshing the original, existing one, especially with wool pants, which don’t lose the crease easily. On the other hand, with cotton dress pants, the crease may fade, or you may lose it. In such a case, it may be easier to iron the front of your trouser legs completely flat and start a completely new crease rather than trying to restore it.

After laying the legs on the ironing board, take the bottom leg and locate the top and bottom center seam inside the opening of the leg. It’s important to do only one leg at a time because doing two would mean pressing four layers of fabric at the same time, which will not yield good results. Line up the two center seams carefully. You should be able to use the existing crease to judge whether the fold is in exactly the right place; adjust as necessary, and press the hem area at the front of the leg firmly against the board to set the start of the crease.

Next, locate the same center seams inside the top of the pants to guarantee the leg is straight and that the crease you create will be right in the center of the leg. Press the top edge of the front leg as high up as you want the crease to go, usually about 18″ below the waist to set that spot. Then press methodically up or down the front edge, again being careful not to drag the iron. If you have a wooden tailor’s clapper and want to have fun, bang it down along the crease you have just created to make it extra crisp. Repeat the entire process with the crease at the back of the leg. An alternative is to buy and use a pants press just for this purpose. You line up the seams and close the press on the leg. This is fine, but you’d still want to use an iron for the rise of the pants, so there is little value in having a specialized $ 250 piece of equipment just for legs. Better to put the money toward a vacuum ironing board.

 

 

The lesson of not sweeping the iron back and forth is especially important with wool trousers, not just to avoid creating new wrinkles and keep your crease straight but to steer clear of shining the wool, especially navy blue wool.  When you think about it, that sweeping motion is similar to what you would do when polishing or buffing shoes, so it makes sense that it might shine your wool too. Instead, press with some force in one spot, drag the iron slightly, lift, and go to another spot. Pressing your pants in this way, and even better, using a pressing cloth too, will virtually eliminate the risk of shine.

3. Pants Legs: To Steam or Not to Steam

Despite the overall benefits of steam in the ironing process, it is not your friend when pressing trouser legs. Wool is more resistant to wrinkling than cotton, so pants don’t need as much steam as shirts, especially when you are pressing the legs. If you apply a lot of steam, the top layer of cloth right below the iron will look great, but moisture will remain in the bottom layer, leaving it puckered and wrinkled. If you flip it and try to fix the problem with more pressing and steaming, now the other side will be puckered, and you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle. The problem is that you’re steaming through more than one layer of cloth.

For this reason, it is most important to press as few layers of fabric as possible, in other words, only one leg at a time, and to avoid steam. Instead, apply a light misting on surface wrinkles before pressing. Some pros just brush the wool lightly with a wet paintbrush. Of course, if you have that vacuum ironing board, its suction will draw out the moisture and hold your pants completely flat, so there will not be any issues.

Wool that is saturated with moisture will pucker like Mark Zuckerberg's lapel.

Wool that is saturated with moisture will pucker like Mark Zuckerberg’s lapel.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are special considerations to keep in mind when pressing pants as opposed to shirts. However, once you realize how easy it is to avoid shining your wool trousers and that you can create a professional-looking crease, you’ll have the confidence to move on to pressing your own suit jackets.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Things to Consider Before Signing an Employment Contract: Part 1

employment-contract-work-agreement

When you’re reading over your job contract, you should make sure you understand everything from your job duties to your rights as an employee—you don’t want to run into any surprises after signing on the dotted line.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some things you should consider before signing an Employment Agreement.

Job Title and Duties in Your Employment Contract

The first thing you should check in your Employment Contract is that your job title and responsibilities match the position you interviewed for. If the description doesn’t match your expectations, bring it up to your supervisor or the HR representative walking you through your orientation before you sign.

It’s possible that there was just a clerical error, but if that’s not the case and you suspect your new employer’s expectations are different than what you thought, you can take this opportunity to voice your concerns or leave before you’re bound to a written contract.

For instance, some employees find themselves in circumstances where they interview for a “Manager” position but find their job title changed to “Lead” on their contract.

While a small change in wording like this doesn’t seem like much, it can affect things like wage increases because a team leader is often below a manager within a company’s structure. Moreover, being a lead versus a manager might also affect your job responsibilities.

Reviewing Your Salary Before Signing Your Contract

Salary is something many people take for granted when looking over their employment contracts.

You’d think the salary you agreed on in your job offer would be the same as the one included in your contract, but mistakes can happen. It’s best to be safe and check before signing your job agreement.

If your salary is different than you expected, it’s important to determine if there is an explanation in the contract. For instance, part of your salary might be divided into commission or bonuses or other benefits granted by your employer.

It’s crucial that you understand exactly how you’re meant to be compensated for your work and if economic incentives based on job performance (like tips, commission, or bonuses) affect your salary or hourly wage.

You should also take time to familiarize yourself with how often you’re paid (e.g. weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) as the pay period can differ from company to company.

Some employers even offer advances, which might not be something you’re aware of before signing your contract and could come in handy later if you’re ever in a financial pinch.

Although many employers pay their employees through a direct deposit system, there are still those who use checks. Be sure to double check the manner in which you’re paid in case you have to plan cashing your check into your regular routine.

Overtime and Time Off Benefits at Work

Many employers offer overtime pay and time off allowances (like vacation and sick time), but they can differ from job to job. Some employers pay out overtime (usually an increased wage like time-and-a-half for each extra hour worked) and others will bank overtime which can either be used later in the form of time off or can be cashed in at your regular hourly wage.

When looking into overtime, you should consider:

  • When overtime kicks in: Does it kick in after you work more than 8 hours in a day? Does it only take effect if you work more than 40 hours per week?
  • How much your wage increases if the time isn’t banked: Is it time-and-a-half? Double-time? Does it increase as your overtime hours increase?
  • How to cash in banked overtime hours: Do you get time off? Do you cash it in as your hourly wage? Do you cash in an overtime (increased) wage? Can you do a mix of both time off and payout?

Be sure to look at your state laws on overtime as well, as there may be regulations on when and how overtime is calculated.

You should also ask about the time off procedure if you’re unsure. Is it divided up into sick time, personal time, and vacation, or is it just one lump of time that you can divvy up however you’d like?

Keep in mind, some employers require you to work a full year to build up vacation and sick time before you’re entitled to use it. Others simply require you complete your probation period (usually three to six months) before you start using your time off benefits.

Additional and Restrictive Clauses in Your Employment Agreement

There are some clauses that appear in many Employment Agreements that you should familiarize yourself with.

Non-compete: A non-compete clause prevents the employee from unfairly competing against the employer during employment and after it ends. For example, an employee cannot open a competing business while employed with the current company.

Non-solicitation: A non-solicitation clause is a stipulation that prevents an employee from recruiting any of the company’s employees or contractors after said employee has left the company. Although poaching is popular in many industries, a former employee who is bound by a non-solicitation clause cannot participate in this practice without the risk of getting sued.

Confidentiality: A confidentiality clause keeps employees from divulging the company’s confidential information to anyone outside of the company or who is not privileged to that knowledge. This gets many people in trouble especially if they leave one company for a competitor and pass on client, supplier, or employee information to the competitor.

It’s important to read through these clauses in your contract and keep them in mind should you ever leave your current employer. The last thing you need is a lawsuit against you for passing on the names of your former employer’s major clients because you didn’t know the potential consequences.

Beginning a New Chapter in Your Career

Starting a new job is an exciting experience that can present you with new challenges and opportunities. Though it may be difficult, try not to let your excitement get to your head while you’re reviewing your contract.

After you look over your Employment Contract, write down any questions you have so that you can go over them with your manager or the hiring manager. You may feel obligated to return your signed contract quickly, but you’re entitled to take time to review it carefully to make sure that you understand what you are signing.

What’s the first thing you look at in an Employment Contract? Let us know in the comments!

The post Things to Consider Before Signing an Employment Contract: Part 1 appeared first on LawDepot Blog.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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‘The Tick’ Season 1: Part 2 Review: The Silly, Sweet Superhero Series We Need

SPOILERS for Season 1: Part 1 of The Tick.

The Tick released the first half of its inaugural season and it was a smile-inducing shot in the arm for superhero television. But, with only six episodes to consume, it like an appetizer instead of a full course meal. Now, with the second half of the season hitting Amazon on February 23, we finally have a better look at how the first season of The Tick shakes out.

And to no surprise, it’s still a delight.

Grown-up Silliness


tick-1
The big blue bonehead is back.

The best weapon in The Tick‘s arsenal is how knowingly dopey it is. Yes, there are some bits of meta-humor that are a little too wink-wink, but it never devolves into such self-awareness that it pulls you out of the story and the characters. The show remains light and accessible enough that both casual viewers and hardcore fans will find things to enjoy.

Probably the thing that sets The Tick apart from its peers is its balance of adult content and cartoon elements. This is a show aimed at adults but doesn’t feel the need to be overly adulty. That’s a problem that the Netflix/Marvel shows like The Punisher often falls into. The Tick isn’t afraid to deliver jokes and plotlines for mature audiences, but it also never draws attention to these moments in a shock value way. They feel as natural to the world of the show as the overtly

The Good, the Bad, and the Goofy

As we learned at the end of Season 1 Part 1, The Terror is alive and planning some big supervillainy. Jackie Earle Haley really gets to shine in this second half of the season. His performance makes The Terror as bonkers and enjoyable as Peter Serafinowicz’s Tick. In fact, everyone in the cast nails their characters. Granted, these are fairly light characters so there isn’t a huge amount of psychological depth to them, but they still make the best use of their time.

While the show might not reach the heights of lunacy that previous incarnations of The Tick have achieved, it still offers that ludicrous tone that personifies the character and his world. The overarching story isn’t a fantastic one but it gets the job done and sets up the characters for some entertaining scenarios.

Probably the biggest knock against The Tick is its budgetary restraints. This show is definitely a case where its reach exceeds its grasp, but it’s endearing to see it reaching for such lofty goals. It wants to be on par with other television superhero fare but provide something a little breezier and dorky. It mostly succeeds at that, but the seams are a little too apparent to ignore during certain climactic showdowns. In fact, the show isn’t too focused on big action. That’s okay when it’s working on pure comedy, but fans of superhero action might find the show to be a tad lacking.

Is The Tick Good?

It is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. There is such a clear love of the inherent absurdity of superhero stories, and a lot of comic book adaptations try to approach these things with the straightest of faces. The Tick has no such interest in that. Yes, it does treat its characters with respect but never at the cost of a hearty laugh.

The Tick is probably the best live-action version of a Saturday morning cartoon that’s available. That comes with ingrained flaws but they aren’t so detrimental that it stops you from having a good time.

The Tick Season 1: Part 2 debuts Friday, February 23rd on Amazon Prime Video.

The post ‘The Tick’ Season 1: Part 2 Review: The Silly, Sweet Superhero Series We Need appeared first on FANDOM.

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Watch Exclusive ‘Coco’ Video: You Got the Part

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In Coco, young Miguel, voiced by newcomer Anthony Gonzalez, is an aspiring musician who embarks on an extraordinary journey to the magical land of his ancestors. Miguel proves to be a bright, enthusiastic and loving character who stands out in this vibrant, charming movie.

Our exclusive video from Coco goes behind the scenes for a truly unexpected moment. It captures the spirit of the movie in live-action form, as Anthony Gonzalez, who had been temporarily voicing the role of Miguel,…

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Essential Ironing Tools – Part I The Complete Guide to Ironing

The amount of cuff Sven Raphael Schneider like to show

The amount of cuff Sven Raphael Schneider like to show

Those who appreciate classic tailoring take considerable time and care when selecting the clothes they buy and wear. A similar level of dedication is needed to maintain and protect your investment. Knowing how to iron your dress shirts, trousers, and tailored jackets is a useful skill to keep you looking sharp; on the other hand, ironing incorrectly can ruin your clothes. In the first of our three-part series, we talk about the preparations and equipment you need for successful ironing and explain the process of ironing a dress shirt.

Why Iron Your Own Tailored Clothes?

If you live in or near a major city, and even in many smaller towns, you can probably find a tailor, dry cleaner or laundry that offers a clothes pressing service. They will almost certainly have professional equipment like commercial-grade irons, a vacuum table, and a self-inflating, steam-generating dummy to make quick work of your wrinkled garments. So, why should you bother to do it yourself?

dry cleaner ironing

dry cleaner ironing

1. It Can Be Tricky to Find a Reliable Service

One reason is trust. You first need to be assured that the service has experience handling expensive fine tailoring and the skill to make them look their best. Have they pressed suits before, or will they flatten out your lapels and shine up the wool? Horror stories of such damage are not exactly rare on Styleforum. Your chances may be better in the UK, where there is a higher concentration of long-established professional ironing services.

Iron Maiden is one of a number of professional pressers in the UK.

Iron Maiden is one of a number of professional pressers in the UK.

2. It’s More Convenient and Saves Cash

Another reason is cost in time and money. Depending on the size of your wardrobe (and your wallet) and how often you need to remove wrinkles, professional pressing can add up. It also requires you to spend time dropping off and picking up your items.

3. Quality

If you invest $ 200+ in dress shirts, you want them to last and not be damaged by improper washing and ironing. Unless you have a professional available who irons your shirts by hand and treats your shirts with care, you are better off ironing yourself because you will get a better quality result and your shirts will last longer. Alternatively, you can hire maybe a house cleaner who is willing and able to also iron your shirts.

4. Personal Satisfaction

Lastly, there is the simple satisfaction of being self-reliant. When you press your clothes and end up with a crisp white shirt and a sharp trouser crease, you feel a sense of pride and accomplishment that you literally carry with you when you wear them. Readers with a military background who had to keep their dress uniforms well pressed will know the feeling.  Even if you do send your clothes for professional ironing occasionally, possessing the knowledge of how to do it yourself is invaluable.

In the military, properly ironed dress uniforms are a matter of pride.

In the military, properly ironed dress uniforms are a matter of pride.

Preparing to Iron: Getting the Right Equipment

Like any maintenance task, from shaving to detailing your car, successful ironing requires some gear. If you’re the sort of person who collects specialty tools, athletic equipment, or kitchen utensils, you may be up for some ironing equipment too. Detailed below are some items for your ironing setup from the basic necessities to those you might consider for a more sophisticated arrangement.

1. The Best Sturdy Ironing Board You Can Afford

Though an ironing board seems to be just a board, it will be your primary work surface, where all the action takes place. And, as with most things in life, including clothes, it’s worth investing in higher-quality, more expensive items that will last longer and yield better results rather than getting a cheap alternative that will ultimately disappoint. Your ironing board needs to be long enough to lay flat a pair of pants or a shirt sleeve fully extended and wide enough to spread out one side of a jacket or shirt. A free-standing model about 18″ wide by 48″ long would be a good choice and costs anywhere from around $ 40 to over $ 100.  A good option in this range is made by Brabantia.

Some come with an iron rest, cord manager and racks to place finished ironing, though you may find you don’t use these and simply stand the iron up on the board. The padded cover for the board should be sufficiently padded to give you a smooth, uniform surface; you shouldn’t be able to feel the material of the board through it. The pad shouldn’t shift or come off easily either. Lastly, the metal underside of the board should be perforated to allow steam and moisture to escape easily through the padding.

Professional Vacuum Ironing Boards Are Best

If you can afford it, a professional grade ironing board with a vacuum engine should actually be number one on your list of requirements.

Essentially, these provide vacuum suction at the touch of a switch or foot pedal. When you place an article of clothing on the board, the vacuum grabs it firmly and evenly to the surface, eliminating the possibility of dragging and further wrinkling as you move your iron on the fabric. The suction also draws the moisture from your steam iron down and out of your clothes as you press them. This will release all the wrinkles, but you do not need to wait until your shirt is dry. The result is a shirt that is pressed better, in less time than you would need on a conventional ironing board.

Vacuum boards are, honestly, the secret to professional-looking results. They do cost more, but once you have an ironing board with a vacuum pump, you never go back because it is superior in every way. In fact, the result of a cheap iron with a vacuum board will still be better than a higher-end iron with a conventional board.  The true perfectionist or dandy should ultimately budget for replacing a traditional ironing board with one that contains a vacuum. Sven Raphael Schneider has been using this professional grade vacuum board for years.

2. The Best Iron You Can Afford

Like boards, irons themselves come in a range of prices (again from $ 40 to several hundred dollars) with various options. The underside or sole plates of better irons are either ceramic coated or stainless steel, and both are fairly interchangeable in terms of how well they glide over fabric (though, as we will discuss later, you won’t be doing that much gliding). The most important factors for choosing an iron are then its weight and the number of steam holes. If you’re looking to start with a basic iron, a  Sunbeam with a convenient retractable cord is a good budget option for around $ 30. In the video we use a double pointed iron by Panasonic that won’t break the bank. In the mid-range ($ 60), this Rowenta model has great reviews.

Online ratings may promote lightness as a selling point, but weight is important for pressing. The heaviest iron you can handle reasonably will be an advantage when pressing a sharp crease into trouser legs, and professional pressers often express nostalgia for hefty antique models that were actually made of iron.

Vintage irons are known for their weight.

Vintage irons are known for their weight.

The second key feature is how well the iron delivers steam. Higher pressure and a large number of steam holes in the sole plate will help remove wrinkles quickly from a hanging suit jacket. Other than these attributes, there aren’t particular advantages to more expensive irons except, perhaps, the presence of a larger attached water reservoir, often called a “steam station,” which can be seen in higher-end Rowenta irons like this one (under $ 300), which boasts 400 steam holes.

3. Distilled Water and a Way to Deliver it

You can use tap water to fill your iron, but, for reasons we’ll talk about below, it’s better to use pure, distilled water instead. You can buy a gallon for around $ 1 at any grocery store. In addition to steam, you’ll sometimes want to spray the surfaces of your clothes to press out wrinkles. Your iron will already have a spray function, but this only puts water directly in front of the iron and doesn’t allow you to get good coverage anywhere you want. Opt for a spray bottle instead and set it to mist. Some professionals actually use a 2-3″ paintbrush and a bowl of water, especially when moistening wool.

4. A Pressing Cloth

To avoid creating unsightly shine or glossing on dark wool garments, it’s important to own a pressing cloth, homemade or otherwise. You simply press through the cloth rather than applying the iron directly to the fabric. You can easily findan inexpensive commercial pressing cloth made of mesh to enable you to see through to what you are ironing. Some people just use a small towel, but professionals, like tailor Alex Hamka in Detroit, often recommend old shirting fabric or pocket liner cloth for the best results. To get a large enough piece, you’d need to buy a pocket liner from a fabric store, but you can readily recycle your defunct shirts into pressing cloths for free.

Using press cloth

Using press cloth

5.  A Sleeve Board

If you frequent tailor shops, you’ve likely encountered what looks like a mini tabletop ironing-board. This is a sleeve board, and as the name implies, it’s the perfect size for pressing shirt and jacket sleeves. However, you will see professional pressers using it to do much more, such as ironing pants legs and doing concentrated work on smaller areas like waistbands and shirt collars since it raises the work up closer to your view.

It’s not a necessity but worth a try as an added convenience.  A basic sleeve board can be purchased for $ 10 on Amazon, while a tailor-quality one will run you over $ 40.

Sven Raphael Schneider of Gentleman’s Gazette highly recommends this sleeve board.

 

A spacious ironing board with attached sleeve board

A spacious ironing board with attached sleeve board

6. A Presser’s Ham

Also known as a tailor’s ham, this is a cushion shaped, as the name suggests, like a baked ham. A ham is similar to a sleeve board in its use though with less firmness and more shaping power. Its purpose is to serve as a curved ironing surface for areas of clothing that aren’t meant to sit entirely flat when worn, like the rise of a pair of trousers or the upper chest of a jacket. Its shape more closely reflects the curves of the human form than an ironing board and thus enables pressed clothes to conform better to the body when worn. We are using this one from Amazon, which is quite affordable. It’s worth having one for the versatility it provides, especially if you are keen on details. You can also substitute a similarly shaped cushion if you already have one with a smooth surface.

 

Tailor's ham

Tailor’s ham

7. A Tailor’s Clapper or Point Press

A clapper is essentially a block of wood, usually similar in shape and size to the bottom of a broom, minus the bristles. It’s used primarily to finish the crease on the front of dress pants. Immediately after pressing in the trouser crease, you either apply the weight of the clapper onto the crease or bang it down for more dramatic effect. A clapper isn’t strictly needed but those who use it, including the pros, praise the amazingly crisp results it gives. You can find a wooden tailor’s clapper on Amazon, or make your own with any block of wood as long as it has a completely smooth finish, to avoid catching on fabric.

8. A Steam Press

Steam presses, such as those made by Singer ($ 250), tend to be popular with people who want to get wrinkles out as quickly as possible and are willing to sacrifice precision. They can do a nice job of pressing a crease into your trouser legs–if you line up the seams properly. They can also flatten broad areas, like the front of a shirt, but they don’t do as well with details like waistbands and collars. They can’t press a sleeve without risking an unwanted crease and certainly shouldn’t be used on a suit jacket. For the true attention to detail required by tailored clothing you still need the precision of a hand iron. Therefore, a press is not recommended unless you don’t mind owning a specialized $ 250 piece of equipment just for pants legs.  Better to invest the cash in a vacuum ironing board.

9. A Clothes Steamer

A handheld steamer for clothes ($ 60 on Amazon) is somewhat more useful than a pants press though its role can also be fulfilled by other options. The main benefit of a steamer is that it releases wrinkles from suit jackets and sport coats without contacting the fabric. You just hang the clothes and apply the steam from a few inches away. However, this can also be done by puffing out steam from a standard iron if you don’t mind holding the button down a bit more or simply by hanging suits overnight in the bathroom after a hot shower. Therefore a steamer should only be a secondary purchase, especially if you can also use it on curtains.

10. Linen Sprays

Naturally scented sprays, like lavender water, are a nice touch to add extra deodorizing when ironing. Because they do contain essential oil, it’s best to spray them lightly on the inside of clothing rather than on the outer surface to prevent any chance of staining. As a finishing touch, I spray mine on the Bemberg lining of jackets, especially in the underarm area, followed by a burst of steam.

Not on the List: Spray Starch

Conspicuous by its absence from this list is spray starch. You’ll find a lot of debate online over whether starching a shirt trades a crisp look for a shorter garment life, but that isn’t the motive for excluding spray starch from our ironing requirement. The reason is that a light spray with a supermarket brand will have minimal effect. Those who like stiff shirts need instead to immerse them in a liquid starch solution after washing, which is the traditional method employed by laundries.

Preparing to Iron: Rethink the Concept

Once you have the proper gear, you are ready to make basic preparations for successful ironing. Similar to taping off window frames and moldings before painting a room, preliminary steps are important.

In our fast-paced, over-scheduled age, people too often prefer to do things with haste and indifference. That’s why so-called “wrinkle-resistant” and “non-iron” clothes are popular. But these are either made of cheap synthetic materials or are coated with chemicals that give them an unusual sheen until the treatment inevitably washes out. So, if you choose quality clothes made of natural fibers, you’ll need to iron, and, the fact is, ironing is a process; it should be done with care and deliberation, not last minute before running off to work. However, it doesn’t have to be the chore it is made out to be.

Psychologically, it’s worth looking at ironing in a positive light. You might plan for it to be a weekend ritual, some quiet time set aside when you can think and de-stress by yourself while you multitask by refreshing your garments. Or, you can put on some music you enjoy. Ironing time will be an opportunity to relax without feeling like you aren’t doing something productive. Not surprisingly, the Japanese are known for ironing competitions and skilled ironing, as it reflects their culture’s attention to deliberative, ritualized practice like the tea ceremony, bonsai cultivation or ikebana flower arrangement.

Conclusion

It is absolutely possible to iron at home like a pro. If your budget allows for it, a vacuum table is a great investment into your wardrobe. In any case, you should invest in a steam iron, a tailor’s ham, a sleeve board, a spray bottle, a plastic bag, and a clapper. These items will help you to get perfectly ironed garments.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Ballet star Acosta’s company is part of Cuban arts rebirth

HAVANA (Reuters) – Former Royal Ballet star Carlos Acosta, whose dynamic masculinity on stage exemplified the style of his native Cuba, is breaking more boundaries as his young dance company showcases more foreign choreography in an island-wide cultural revival.


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The Complete Guide to Ironing: Part I, How to Iron a Shirt

The amount of cuff Sven Raphael Schneider like to show

The amount of cuff Sven Raphael Schneider like to show

Those who appreciate classic tailoring take considerable time and care when selecting the clothes they buy and wear. A similar level of dedication is needed to maintain and protect your investment. Knowing how to iron your dress shirts, trousers, and tailored jackets is a useful skill to keep you looking sharp; on the other hand, ironing incorrectly can ruin your clothes. In the first of our three-part series, we talk about the preparations and equipment you need for successful ironing and explain the process of ironing a dress shirt.

Why Iron Your Own Tailored Clothes?

If you live in or near a major city, and even in many smaller towns, you can probably find a tailor, dry cleaner or laundry that offers a clothes pressing service. They will almost certainly have professional equipment like commercial-grade irons, a vacuum table, and a self-inflating, steam-generating dummy to make quick work of your wrinkled garments. So, why should you bother to do it yourself?

dry cleaner ironing

dry cleaner ironing

1. It Can Be Tricky to Find a Reliable Service

One reason is trust. You first need to be assured that the service has experience handling expensive fine tailoring and the skill to make them look their best. Have they pressed suits before, or will they flatten out your lapels and shine up the wool? Horror stories of such damage are not exactly rare on Styleforum. Your chances may be better in the UK, where there is a higher concentration of long-established professional ironing services.

Iron Maiden is one of a number of professional pressers in the UK.

Iron Maiden is one of a number of professional pressers in the UK.

2. It’s More Convenient and Saves Cash

Another reason is cost in time and money. Depending on the size of your wardrobe (and your wallet) and how often you need to remove wrinkles, professional pressing can add up. It also requires you to spend time dropping off and picking up your items.

3. Quality

If you invest $ 200+ in dress shirts, you want them to last and not be damaged by improper washing and ironing. Unless you have a professional available who irons your shirts by hand and treats your shirts with care, you are better off ironing yourself because you will get a better quality result and your shirts will last longer. Alternatively, you can hire maybe a house cleaner who is willing and able to also iron your shirts.

4. Personal Satisfaction

Lastly, there is the simple satisfaction of being self-reliant. When you press your clothes and end up with a crisp white shirt and a sharp trouser crease, you feel a sense of pride and accomplishment that you literally carry with you when you wear them. Readers with a military background who had to keep their dress uniforms well pressed will know the feeling.  Even if you do send your clothes for professional ironing occasionally, possessing the knowledge of how to do it yourself is invaluable.

In the military, properly ironed dress uniforms are a matter of pride.

In the military, properly ironed dress uniforms are a matter of pride.

Preparing to Iron: Getting the Right Equipment

Like any maintenance task, from shaving to detailing your car, successful ironing requires some gear. If you’re the sort of person who collects specialty tools, athletic equipment, or kitchen utensils, you may be up for some ironing equipment too. Detailed below are some items for your ironing setup from the basic necessities to those you might consider for a more sophisticated arrangement.

1. The Best Sturdy Ironing Board You Can Afford

Though an ironing board seems to be just a board, it will be your primary work surface, where all the action takes place. And, as with most things in life, including clothes, it’s worth investing in higher-quality, more expensive items that will last longer and yield better results rather than getting a cheap alternative that will ultimately disappoint. Your ironing board needs to be long enough to lay flat a pair of pants or a shirt sleeve fully extended and wide enough to spread out one side of a jacket or shirt. A free-standing model about 18″ wide by 48″ long would be a good choice and costs anywhere from around $ 40 to over $ 100.  A good option in this range is made by Brabantia.

Some come with an iron rest, cord manager and racks to place finished ironing, though you may find you don’t use these and simply stand the iron up on the board. The padded cover for the board should be sufficiently padded to give you a smooth, uniform surface; you shouldn’t be able to feel the material of the board through it. The pad shouldn’t shift or come off easily either. Lastly, the metal underside of the board should be perforated to allow steam and moisture to escape easily through the padding.

Professional Vacuum Ironing Boards Are Best

If you can afford it, a professional grade ironing board with a vacuum engine should actually be number one on your list of requirements.

Essentially, these provide vacuum suction at the touch of a switch or foot pedal. When you place an article of clothing on the board, the vacuum grabs it firmly and evenly to the surface, eliminating the possibility of dragging and further wrinkling as you move your iron on the fabric. The suction also draws the moisture from your steam iron down and out of your clothes as you press them. This will release all the wrinkles, but you do not need to wait until your shirt is dry. The result is a shirt that is pressed better, in less time than you would need on a conventional ironing board.

Vacuum boards are, honestly, the secret to professional-looking results. They do cost more, but once you have an ironing board with a vacuum pump, you never go back because it is superior in every way. In fact, the result of a cheap iron with a vacuum board will still be better than a higher-end iron with a conventional board.  The true perfectionist or dandy should ultimately budget for replacing a traditional ironing board with one that contains a vacuum. Sven Raphael Schneider has been using this professional grade vacuum board for years.

2. The Best Iron You Can Afford

Like boards, irons themselves come in a range of prices (again from $ 40 to several hundred dollars) with various options. The underside or sole plates of better irons are either ceramic coated or stainless steel, and both are fairly interchangeable in terms of how well they glide over fabric (though, as we will discuss later, you won’t be doing that much gliding). The most important factors for choosing an iron are then its weight and the number of steam holes. If you’re looking to start with a basic iron, a  Sunbeam with a convenient retractable cord is a good budget option for around $ 30. In the mid-range ($ 60), this Rowenta model has great reviews.

Online ratings may promote lightness as a selling point, but weight is important for pressing. The heaviest iron you can handle reasonably will be an advantage when pressing a sharp crease into trouser legs, and professional pressers often express nostalgia for hefty antique models that were actually made of iron.

Vintage irons are known for their weight.

Vintage irons are known for their weight.

The second key feature is how well the iron delivers steam. Higher pressure and a large number of steam holes in the sole plate will help remove wrinkles quickly from a hanging suit jacket. Other than these attributes, there aren’t particular advantages to more expensive irons except, perhaps, the presence of a larger attached water reservoir, often called a “steam station,” which can be seen in higher-end Rowenta irons like this one (under $ 300), which boasts 400 steam holes.

3. Distilled Water and a Way to Deliver it

You can use tap water to fill your iron, but, for reasons we’ll talk about below, it’s better to use pure, distilled water instead. You can buy a gallon for around $ 1 at any grocery store. In addition to steam, you’ll sometimes want to spray the surfaces of your clothes to press out wrinkles. Your iron will already have a spray function, but this only puts water directly in front of the iron and doesn’t allow you to get good coverage anywhere you want. Opt for a spray bottle instead and set it to mist. Some professionals actually use a 2-3″ paintbrush and a bowl of water, especially when moistening wool.

4. A Pressing Cloth

To avoid creating unsightly shine or glossing on dark wool garments, it’s important to own a pressing cloth, homemade or otherwise. You simply press through the cloth rather than applying the iron directly to the fabric. You can easily findan inexpensive commercial pressing cloth made of mesh to enable you to see through to what you are ironing. Some people just use a small towel, but professionals, like tailor Alex Hamka in Detroit, often recommend old shirting fabric or pocket liner cloth for the best results. To get a large enough piece, you’d need to buy a pocket liner from a fabric store, but you can readily recycle your defunct shirts into pressing cloths for free.

Using press cloth

Using press cloth

5.  A Sleeve Board

If you frequent tailor shops, you’ve likely encountered what looks like a mini tabletop ironing-board. This is a sleeve board, and as the name implies, it’s the perfect size for pressing shirt and jacket sleeves. However, you will see professional pressers using it to do much more, such as ironing pants legs and doing concentrated work on smaller areas like waistbands and shirt collars since it raises the work up closer to your view.

It’s not a necessity but worth a try as an added convenience.  A basic sleeve board can be purchased for $ 10 on Amazon, while a tailor-quality one will run you over $ 40.

Sven Raphael Schneider of Gentleman’s Gazette highly recommends this sleeve board.

 

A spacious ironing board with attached sleeve board

A spacious ironing board with attached sleeve board

6. A Presser’s Ham

Also known as a tailor’s ham, this is a cushion shaped, as the name suggests, like a baked ham. A ham is similar to a sleeve board in its use though with less firmness and more shaping power. Its purpose is to serve as a curved ironing surface for areas of clothing that aren’t meant to sit entirely flat when worn, like the rise of a pair of trousers or the upper chest of a jacket. Its shape more closely reflects the curves of the human form than an ironing board and thus enables pressed clothes to conform better to the body when worn. At $ 10-$ 15 on Amazon, it’s worth having one for the versatility it provides, especially if you are keen on details. You can also substitute a similarly shaped cushion if you already have one with a smooth surface.

 

Tailor's ham

Tailor’s ham

7. A Tailor’s Clapper or Point Press

A clapper is essentially a block of wood, usually similar in shape and size to the bottom of a broom, minus the bristles. It’s used primarily to finish the crease on the front of dress pants. Immediately after pressing in the trouser crease, you either apply the weight of the clapper onto the crease or bang it down for more dramatic effect. A clapper isn’t strictly needed but those who use it, including the pros, praise the amazingly crisp results it gives. You can find a wooden tailor’s clapper on Amazon for around $ 25, or make your own with any block of wood as long as it has a completely smooth finish, to avoid catching on fabric.

8. A Steam Press

Steam presses, such as those made by Singer ($ 250), tend to be popular with people who want to get wrinkles out as quickly as possible and are willing to sacrifice precision. They can do a nice job of pressing a crease into your trouser legs–if you line up the seams properly. They can also flatten broad areas, like the front of a shirt, but they don’t do as well with details like waistbands and collars. They can’t press a sleeve without risking an unwanted crease and certainly shouldn’t be used on a suit jacket. For the true attention to detail required by tailored clothing you still need the precision of a hand iron. Therefore, a press is not recommended unless you don’t mind owning a specialized $ 250 piece of equipment just for pants legs.  Better to invest the cash in a vacuum ironing board.

9. A Clothes Steamer

A handheld steamer for clothes ($ 60 on Amazon) is somewhat more useful than a pants press though its role can also be fulfilled by other options. The main benefit of a steamer is that it releases wrinkles from suit jackets and sport coats without contacting the fabric. You just hang the clothes and apply the steam from a few inches away. However, this can also be done by puffing out steam from a standard iron if you don’t mind holding the button down a bit more or simply by hanging suits overnight in the bathroom after a hot shower. Therefore a steamer should only be a secondary purchase, especially if you can also use it on curtains.

10. Linen Sprays

Naturally scented sprays, like lavender water, are a nice touch to add extra deodorizing when ironing. Because they do contain essential oil, it’s best to spray them lightly on the inside of clothing rather than on the outer surface to prevent any chance of staining. As a finishing touch, I spray mine on the Bemberg lining of jackets, especially in the underarm area, followed by a burst of steam.

Not on the List: Spray Starch

Conspicuous by its absence from this list is spray starch. You’ll find a lot of debate online over whether starching a shirt trades a crisp look for a shorter garment life, but that isn’t the motive for excluding spray starch from our ironing requirement. The reason is that a light spray with a supermarket brand will have minimal effect. Those who like stiff shirts need instead to immerse them in a liquid starch solution after washing, which is the traditional method employed by laundries.

Preparing to Iron: Rethink the Concept

Once you have the proper gear, you are ready to make basic preparations for successful ironing. Similar to taping off window frames and moldings before painting a room, preliminary steps are important.

In our fast-paced, over-scheduled age, people too often prefer to do things with haste and indifference. That’s why so-called “wrinkle-resistant” and “non-iron” clothes are popular. But these are either made of cheap synthetic materials or are coated with chemicals that give them an unusual sheen until the treatment inevitably washes out. So, if you choose quality clothes made of natural fibers, you’ll need to iron, and, the fact is, ironing is a process; it should be done with care and deliberation, not last minute before running off to work. However, it doesn’t have to be the chore it is made out to be.

Psychologically, it’s worth looking at ironing in a positive light. You might plan for it to be a weekend ritual, some quiet time set aside when you can think and de-stress by yourself while you multitask by refreshing your garments. Or, you can put on some music you enjoy. Ironing time will be an opportunity to relax without feeling like you aren’t doing something productive. Not surprisingly, the Japanese are known for ironing competitions and skilled ironing, as it reflects their culture’s attention to deliberative, ritualized practice like the tea ceremony, bonsai cultivation or ikebana flower arrangement.

How to Iron a Dress Shirt

Of the three major garments worn for tailored clothing, a dress shirt is the easiest to iron and the best one to begin with when learning how to iron correctly. Preparations actually begin in the laundry room. Though you would never throw a suit into the washing machine, cotton dress shirts will obviously find their way into the wash, and how you handle them when they come out can help with effective ironing.  To preserve the life of your shirts and eliminate any risk of shrinkage, using a dryer is not recommended at all, but whether you use or skip the dryer, promptly removing your shirts from either machine, smoothing them out, and hanging them are important steps to avoid over-wrinkling. You don’t want to let your shirts sit crumpled in the washer or dryer for any length of time. Then, iron your shirts when they are still damp or slightly wet, which enables you to shape the cloth better than ironing something that is fully dry.

Clothes wrinkle more if not taken out of the washer or dryer promptly.

Clothes wrinkle more if not taken out of the washer or dryer promptly.

1. Lay out Your Equipment

When your shirts are ready for ironing, prepare your board and other equipment, such as a sleeve board, tailor’s ham, and spray bottle. Turn the ironing board with the pointed end to the left if you’re right-handed and to the right, if you’re a lefty.

2. Make Sure Everything is Clean

Check over your shirts closely to make sure there are no recent stains or spots. If you iron these, the heat will set them in and make them difficult to remove. Instead, ensure all stains are taken out beforehand.

It’s also important to make sure the sole plate or underside of your iron is clean. Hopefully, you haven’t allowed your iron to get filthy, but if something has burned onto the bottom of the iron in the past, what’s stuck there will almost certainly spread onto your clothes if you use it in an unclean state. Put some detergent on the iron and let it sit, using a scouring pad if needed to get it clean.

3. Add Water

Unless you have a water softener, fill your iron’s reservoir with distilled water. In many places, tap water is “hard,” meaning it’s rich in minerals that will eventually precipitate calcium and magnesium scale inside your iron when the water in it evaporates.  Scale can clog up the holes and prevent any steam from coming out of your iron. And, if you do get steam, whitish solids will come out with it onto your clothes. Usually, you’d be able to sweep the particles away with your hand, but they are a nuisance. Better to invest a dollar for a jug of distilled water when you iron.

4. Set the Proper Temperature

Set the proper temperature on the iron for cotton.  Don’t start ironing immediately, however. Give the iron some time to reach the proper temperature. Ironing prematurely can cause water to sputter and spit from the underside of the iron onto your clothes; any rust inside the iron also has a tendency to spill out if the iron is put in the horizontal position too soon. You don’t want this to happen on a white shirt that is waiting to be pressed.

5. Press the Cuffs and Sleeves

Begin by laying a sleeve on the board. If you have a sleeve board, now is the time to use it. Open the cuff button and lay it flat; press it, first the inside and then the outside. Then press the length of the sleeve.

A key to success with all ironing is not to make broad sweeping motions with the iron but to apply short, controlled movements, applying consistent pressure to the cloth. Moving your arm like you’re conducting an orchestra or swinging a mug of beer to a German drinking song will pinch the fabric, adding new creases. Remember, ironing is also called “pressing” and putting weight on the material as you do it is essential for good results.

If you don’t want a crease down the middle of your bicep and elbow, avoid pressing the edges of the sleeve down against the board. Instead, concentrate on the middle of the sleeve. Repeat with the other arm.

6. Press the Collar

Next, pop the collar and check that you’ve removed collar stays, especially plastic ones that might melt; press the inside flat. Fold it back to the normal position and press the outside. If you want a soft roll, don’t press down to the points, just the portion that will sit behind your neck.

7. Finish with the Body

You’ll find that the pointed part of the ironing board is perfect for curved areas like the shoulder and upper chest of shirts and jackets. So, with either the top button of your shirt closed or not, align the top area of your shirt with the narrow part of the board and press the shoulder and chest on one side of your shirt. Spray the shirt with water and apply steam liberally to make the fabric supple. Then, either iron the other front half or rotate the shirt to work your way around the back. Look for any wrinkles and press those out.  No matter what you iron, spreading the fabric out on the board or actively smoothing it with your hands is essential. As you press, keep pulling and moving the shirt as needed to keep it flat. Concentrate on small areas and avoid putting weight on the tip of the iron; if you drive the iron forward, the point will act like the cow-catcher on a steam train, but instead of catching livestock, it will cause ripples and creases in the fabric. The only time you need to apply force to the tip is when pressing between the buttons of your shirt. Conclude by ironing there and down the placket.

Conclusion

Once you develop the proper mindset for ironing and get the basic equipment, you’ll find that ironing shirts is straightforward. You’ll quickly get the hang of making your shirts look sharp within minutes, and, before you know it, you can graduate to the slightly more challenging task of pressing pants. Meanwhile, give us your own tips for ironing shirts. What ironing gear do you own? Tell us in the comments below.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Trump’s Racially-Charged Remarks Part of Presidential Hall of Shame

Vile. Racist. Unpresidential. From the Haitian government and African Union to Mexico and the European Union, officials have shared their fury and anguish in protesting Donald Trump’s derogatory, profane and racially-charged comments about Haiti, El Salvador and African nations. At home, civil rights leaders, members of the Congressional Black Caucus and a number of other representatives condemned the statement while most politicians were noticeably mute.

His comments were made just days before the celebration of the national holiday that commemorates the contributions of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. to equality, racial healing and advancement to our society.

This latest outburst is a continuation of Trump’s use of incendiary rhetoric, which started with the “Birther” campaign to discredit the presidency of Barack Obama by promoting the false claim that Obama had been born in Kenya and was not a U.S. citizen. Appealing to his growing angry white constituency on the political front, he intensified his sweeping and outlandish statements to denounce Mexico immigrants, characterize African Americans and Latinos in inner cities as “living in Hell,” back supremacist agitators and decry black professional athletes who took a knee against racial injustice. Moreover, The New York Times recently reported that at another closed-door meeting with advisers in June, he asserted that Haitians “all have AIDS” and that Nigerians who visit the U.S. “would never want to go back to their huts” in Africa.

Trump’s diatribes do not represent moments of unconscious bias or instances of being “racially ignorant and racially uninformed” as Isaac Newton Farris, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s nephew told CNN. He engages in this pattern to move forward his policy agenda whether its the Muslim travel ban or repeal of TPS (temporary protected status) as well as directly communicate with his base of diehard supporters – and not with a dog whistle but surround sound.

Years ago, I read a fascinating book, Nixon’s Piano: Presidents and Racial Politics from Washington to Clinton, which took a incisive look at how presidential symbolism and rhetoric – on the campaign trail and in the White House – have been used for political gain at, in many cases, the expense of civil rights. I had our researchers identify other examples related to the modern presidency and conduct unbecoming on race, Consider it our presidential Hall of Shame.

Here’s our snapshot:

Dwight Eisenhower (1953-1961): The year before the Supreme Court’s historic 1954 decision on Brown v. the Board of Education declaring school segregation unconstitutional, he told Chief Justice Earl Warren at a White House Dinner he understood why white Southerners wanted to make sure “their sweet little girls are not required to sit in school alongside some big black buck.” Citing it as his most distasteful act as president, Eisenhower reluctantly sent federal troops to protect the “Little Rock Nine,” the first black students to desegregate an Arkansas high school.

Lyndon Johnson (1963-1969): Although he worked with Rev. Martin Luther king, Jr. and other civil rights leaders to gain passage of two of the 20th Century’s most, historic and groundbreaking pieces of legislation – the Civil rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 – Johnson was notorious for using the N-Word in White House conversations and to describe prior civil rights bills. According to historians, he lacked decorum even when he made historic appointments such as naming civil rights legend Thurgood Marshall as a justice on the Supreme Court: “When I appoint a n***er to the court, I want everyone to know he’s a n***er.”

Richard Nixon (1969-1974): Known as one of the chief architects of the “Southern Strategy,” the GOP electoral strategy in the 1960s to boost conservative white political support in the South through racially divisive tactics, he often made offensive statements about African Americans and other ethnic groups. As revealed in released White House tapes, Nixon shared his views of African American advancement in 1973, dismissing the outlook from his Secretary of State: “I think he’s right if you’re talking in terms of 500 years. I think it’s wrong if you’re talking in terms of 50 years. What has to happen is they have to be, frankly, inbred.”  in another statement, he said blacks were incapable of running Jamaica: “They won’t be able to for a hundred years, and maybe not for a thousand…do you know, maybe one black country that’s well run.” And his Chief Domestic Advisor John Ehrlichman admitted in a 1994 interview that the administration’s drug offensive was targeted at “the antiwar left and blacks…We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to either be against the war or blacks, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.”

Ronald Reagan (1981-1989): He continually used racially-coded language and imagery throughout his political career to bolster his base and push forward his domestic agenda. For years, he attacked government-financed public assistance programs for the poor. He openly disparaged recipients of such aid by creating the myth of the fraudulent “welfare queen” and a “strapping young buck” buying T-bone steaks with food stamps. In fact, he launched his 1980 presidential bid outside of Philadelphia, Mississippi, site of the much-publicized 1964 murder of three civil rights workers — one black, two white — advocating for “States’ Rights,”  a platform  used by Southern “Dixiecrat” pols to validate eight decades of discriminatory Jim Crow laws.

George H. W. Bush (1989-1993): In his 1988 campaign against Democratic frontrunner Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, the Bush campaign ran a series of ads focused on Willie Horton, a black convict who committed violent felonies after being released through that state’s weekend furlough program. Masterminded by campaign manager Lee Atwater, the television spots, which included an image of Horton’s “scouring, angry face” with details on his crimes and another depicting inmates going through a revolving door at a prison that emphasized a menacing black convict, inspired fear-filled white voters to go the polls. Civil rights ads cited the ads as being “racist” at the time.

There are, of course, other examples of past presidential policies and actions that have devastated African Americans such as Bill Clinton’s 1994 crime bill that inevitably led to mass incarceration of multitudes of African Americans and George W. Bush’s tepid response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and Gulf Coast states in 2005.

As the Trump administration continues to unfold its agenda, we will continue to review its place in history, it meaning for people of color – and uncover other moments of shame.

— Additional reporting by Lisa Fraser, Roland Michel, Delicia Paisley-Smith and Tiamari Whitted

The post Trump’s Racially-Charged Remarks Part of Presidential Hall of Shame appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Bannon and Trump Part Ways, as Thieves Fall Out

An old proverb: “When thieves fall out, honest men come by their own.” Thanks to Michael Wolff, the thieves are at one another’s throats, and it’s a joy to watch. But will honest men and women benefit? I think so, yes—but only if more people in this town are willing to admit what’s obvious.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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ceremony by the ethnic Gayo people.
CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN / AFP

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