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Freebie Etiquette (Yes, There is Such a Thing!)
When you are on the hunt for free stuff, it can be easy to be so blinded by the offers that your manners go flying out the window completely. You may also just not realize that when it comes to taking advantage of freebies there is a general code of conduct that it pays to follow. While you are racking up the free stuff, keep these common courtesy rules in mind so that you are doing your part to keep the hunt for freebies fun and enjoyable.
Freebie etiquette rule number one is to remember that there is a face behind every freebie, no matter how distant it may seem. Since so many freebies come from websites and you don?t actually have interaction with a human being while you are getting them, it can be very easy to forget that someone (or very likely, a lot of someones) worked hard to bring you that website and that free deal. If you have a problem with a website or a form while trying to get some free stuff, deal with it as respectfully as you would if you had to approach a customer service rep in person. Leaving foul-mouthed posts on a message board or unloading a barrage of outrage on a customer reply form isn?t the way forward. Someone ? a real person ? will have to help you, and you?ll get a lot further by treating them with respect.
Respect is also the name of the game when it comes to rules attached for freebie offers. There are often restrictions in place for taking advantage of free offers, such as the age you have to be to cash in on the offer or how many offers per household can be taken. Sure, there are plenty of ways to get around these rules and ?trick? a company into giving you an offer for which you are not really eligible. However, when you try to simply bleed out as many free offers as you can, you?re only making it hard on companies to be able to keep bringing these offers to you. If this freebie isn?t for you, take a back seat and make room for the folks who can take advantage of it. Your time will come.
Related to this last rule is the idea of not being too greedy when gobbling up the free stuff. Just because something is free doesn?t mean you should use a ?smash and grab? approach and go for as much as you can get of anything you can get. Remember that there are a lot of other people out there who like to get in on the freebies, too, and think about how you would feel if you lost out on something you really wanted because someone came along and took them all. Don?t take more than your share of any free offer, and don?t take things you don?t want or need just because they?re free. Everyone loses when you do that.
Last but not least, if you have an opportunity to say thanks for a freebie, grab it. Of course, this can be hard to do when the free offers you are taking advantage of are found on the Internet, but there are still ways. Look for the customer comment field in the request forms you fill out to get your free stuff and leave a quick thank you there. You can also write a thank you on message boards and chat rooms that are associated with the freebie websites. The good will generated by your gratitude will only help convince companies that freebie offers are useful tools for reeling in the customers.
Web Hosting - Changing Web Hosts, Pitfalls and Planning At some point, nearly everyone finds it necessary to change web hosts. It may be just a migration to another server, or it may be changing web hosting companies entirely. Either way, the process is fraught with potential dangers. But there are ways to minimize the odds of problems and maximize your changes of a smooth migration. Plan, plan, plan. Make a very detailed list of everything that is on your current system. Review what is static and what changes frequently. Note any tailoring done to software and files. Be prepared to remake them if the systems aren't transferred properly or can't be restored. Keep careful track of all old and new names, IP addresses and other information needed to make the migration. Backup and Test Backup everything on your system yourself, whenever possible. Web hosting companies typically offer that as a service, but the staff and/or software are often less than par. Often backups appear to go well, but they're rarely tested by restoring to a spare server. When the time comes that they're needed, they sometimes don't work. Do a dry run, if you can. Restore the system to its new location and make any needed changes. If you have the host name and or IP address buried in files, make sure it gets changed. This is often true of databases. SQL Server on Windows, for example, picks up the host name during installation. Moving a single database, or even multiple ones, to a new server is straightforward using in-built utilities or commercial backup/restore software. But moving certain system-related information may require changing the host name stored inside the master database. Similar considerations apply to web servers and other components. Accept Some Downtime Be prepared for some downtime. Very few systems can be picked up, moved to another place, then brought online with zero downtime. Doing so is possible, in fact it's common. But in such scenarios high-powered professionals use state-of-the-art tools to make the transition seamless. Most staff at web hosting companies don't have the skills or the resources to pull it off. Prepare for Name Changes One aspect of moving to a new host can bedevil the most skilled professionals: changing domain names and or domain name/IP address combinations. When you type a URL into your browser, or click on one, that name is used because it's easier for people to remember. www.yahoo.com is a lot easier to remember than 220.127.116.11. Yet the name and or name/IP address combination can (and does) change. Still, specialized servers called DNS (Domain Name System) servers have to keep track of them. And there are a lot of them. There may be only two (rarely) or there may be a dozen or more DNS servers between your visitors' browsers/computers and your web host. Every system along the chain has to keep track of who is who. When a name/IP address changes, that pair has to be communicated to everyone along the chain, and that takes time. In the meantime, it's possible for one visitor to find you at the new place, while another will be pointing to the old one. Some amount of downtime will usually occur while everything gets back in sync. The Little Gotchas But even apart from name and IP address changes, there are a hundred little things that can, and often do, go wrong. That's not a disaster. It's just the normal hurdles that arise when changing something as complicated as a web site and the associated systems that underlie it. Gather Tools and Support Having an FTP program that you're familiar with will help facilitate the change. That will allow you to quickly move files from one place to the next to do your part to get the system ready to go or make repairs. Making the effort to get to know, and become friendly with, support staff at the new site can be a huge benefit. They may be more willing to address your problem before the dozen others they have to deal with at any given moment. Ok. On your mark. Get ready. Go.
Do and Don?ts of the Interview Process No one likes job interviews. From the moment you schedule the interview you are under a microscope. Your potential employers waiting for you to make the move that make you stand out or eliminates you from being a candidate for the job. This necessary dance that just about everyone, has to go through can be mastered. Learn the key things to do to become a high-ranking candidate for a job. First of all, before you go to the interview be prepared. Having copies of your resume and pens are only half the battle. Where exactly is the office located? Do not leave the location or the interview site up to chance. The only way to know exactly where your interview is and how much travel time you should allow is to go there. Even if you are interviewing out of town, find out how long the drive is to the interview. Nothing disqualifies you, in most cases, faster than being late for your interview. Before you are sitting across from the interviewer, accumulate some knowledge about the company. Knowing about the position is not enough. Everyone that interviews will have read the advertisement for the position. You need to be armed with information about the company. Have they won any service awards? Are they ranked as one of the best companies in America to work for? Find out and impress the interviewer. Another way to impress the interviewer is to have intelligent, thoughtful questions to ask. Ask about productivity, benefits or training procedures. Show that you have done your homework and are truly extend about the position. Be attentive and bring the interviewer as much information as possible about yourself. If you have a portfolio or reference letters, be sure you take them to the interview. Also be prepared with complete work history and information as well as past residency information. Be ready to answer a few probing questions. Why do you want the job you have applied for? What makes this a good time for a job or career change? Have some intelligent answers for these questions. Interviews will know if you are nervous. No matter how badly you need the job, do not appear desperate. Show that you believe in yourself and are confident about your ability to do the job. Speak in terms of when you get the job opposed to it. While this is a bold move it is a way to reinforce the idea of you being chosen for the job. This is a trick for both you and the interviewer. No matter how true this may be, never tell the interviewer that you ?really need a job?. If this is what you tell the interviewer they will think that you are willing to take any job. Also, never talk negatively about your current boss or co-workers. Give as objective view as possible if you are asked about your current job relationship. Inquire about the next interviewing steps. This will not only show the interviewer that you are interested in the position it will also give you some time to prepare if you are called for the next interviewing step. Be sure to keep a notebook in your car so you can jot down notes immediately after you leave the interview. This is the best way to keep track of important facts about the position. In a day or so, mail a thank you card to your interviewer. This could be the added interest they are waiting to see from you in order to eliminate the other candidates.