Working Notes: August 22, 2012

Dear Readers,

From time to time I will use this new Working Notes feature to briefly flag items of interest, especially if I’m pressed for time and not able to write up a full blog post about each of them.  Here goes:

The e-mail deluge

Remember when e-mail was the neatest thing? Like when you had your first e-mail account? How exciting it was to receive and send those early missives! In fact, if you were like me, some of those e-mails involved exchanges with friends about “incredible” it was to be able to communicate this way!

AOL’s “You’ve Got Mail” message was so popular and recognizable that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan could star in the 1998 romantic comedy built around the line. Today, they’d have to title the sequel “You’ve Got 5,000 E-Mails” — and they’d have to update the plot to have Amazon clobbering Barnes & Noble and Borders (RIP). (It would be a horror movie.)

If you’re looking for some quick but serious advice on how to control the deluge, Christina Reinwald recently contributed a helpful Boston Globe feature on managing your e-mail, “11 steps to clean up your inbox.”

Suicides in the U.S. military

Robert Burns reports for the Associated Press (via Yahoo! News, here) on the spike in suicides in the U.S. Army:

Suicides among active-duty soldiers in July more than doubled from June, accelerating a trend throughout the military this year that has prompted Pentagon leaders to redouble efforts to solve a puzzling problem.

The Army, which is the only branch of the military that issues monthly press statements on suicides, said 26 active-duty soldiers killed themselves in July, compared with 12 in June. The July total was the highest for any month since the Army began reporting suicides by month in 2009, according to Lt. Col. Lisa Garcia, an Army spokeswoman.

Suicides in the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps are at high rates as well. This is an ongoing tragedy and a national shame. I’ll be writing more about this in the near future.

More on unpaid internships

Christian Neumeier writes about unpaid internships in a thorough, informative piece for

Companies across the nation are gleefully denying interns fair wages for their work, in flagrant violation of long-standing labor law, and have the nerve to tell the world they are doing these people a favor.

I’ve written a lot about this topic. Go here for more blog posts and resources.

Kim Webster’s law school co-op with the New Workplace Institute

I’m delighted to welcome Kimberly Webster, Northeastern University law student and longtime Healthy Workplace Bill advocate, who will spend the fall quarter with the New Workplace Institute as a legal intern.

Northeastern, located here in Boston, is one of the nation’s leading training grounds for public interest lawyers. It is highly regarded for its innovative co-op program, in which students do full-time legal internships every other quarter. Kim has just completed her first year, and she’ll be joining us for her first co-op placement.

Kim will be playing an important role with several Institute projects, all of which you’ll be hearing about later.

More save-the-date: Author of Almost a Psychopath to speak at October 19 event

I’m also pleased to report that Dr. Ronald Schouten, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital and author (with James Silver) of Almost a Psychopath will be the featured speaker at the NWI’s Friday, October 19 program on workplace bullying, a half-day program in the morning through early afternoon.

I wrote a short, enthusiastic review of the book here and believe it offers valuable insights about certain individuals who engage in bullying at work and in abusive behaviors generally. We’ll be circulating more details about the program, which will be held at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, during the weeks to come.

One response

  1. I met Kim at WBU! Congratulations on having secured the services of a high quality worker…and for ensuring that her work is compensated appropriately. It warms my heart for both the employee and the employer…and gives me hope for us all!

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