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What it Takes to Choose Between Family and Work



Falling victim to toxic work cultures isn’t something we chose. But what if we happen to strike into an organization as our luck would have it? – It’s a do or die!

Such was a heart-breaking story of a man whose oppressive boss at Amazon told him to perform or quit even while his wife was suffering from brain cancer. She was virtually dying but her husband had no choice – he was told to choose – his wife or the job!

In a conversation of an ex-Amazonian with Noah Lanard, of Mother Jones, he said: “I remember sitting there thinking, what the hell did I do wrong?”

It can be argued that everyone would believe that they have been a part of such toxic work cultures for even the slightest period. Many might have been lucky to come out of it peacefully, while the rest may have bled a stroke of hard luck like him.

It is known that work cultures like Amazon are denunciated for functioning through a toxic work culture and keep their workers at their disposal. There are several stories of contractors and drivers who were forcefully made to urinate in bottles; warehouse employees’ labor getting tracked down to the second, and much more.

While major tech companies function in diverse ways, Amazon’s work culture stands quite unlikely. How could a reputable Company with such a massive endowment not fathom their employee’s worth? Here, at Amazon, the white-collar workers, who are supposed to write codes and maintain relationships with major companies have to fit in their so-called, exhaustible desensitized ‘corporate culture’.

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Mother Jones stated that this white-collar worker, who was employed at Amazon got himself under a pitiless boss who was obsessed with performance and quantifiable results.

However, in a statement to Mother Jones by one of an Amazon spokesperson, he said, “Mother Jones has not provided enough information for us to verify or investigate these claims, the situation described does not reflect our guidance to managers or our performance management policies in respect to employees experiencing personal hardship.”

“We work hard to ensure that all employees have what they need to be successful in their roles, including resources for employees who need additional support to navigate challenging personal circumstances or to meet performance expectations,” he added.

Work cultures can make or break you

The man at the centre of this article had joined Amazon in July 2018 and offered him almost $300,000 a year. “

That was a shitload of money in Tennessee. You can’t say no, right?” he recalled.

Like many others, he also thought of becoming an Amazonian.

Little did he know that this would soon turn into a nightmare.

“Amazon doesn’t care about its employees or their families. There are no leadership principles. It’s unbelievable from a big giant like Amazon,” he alleged.

He went on to face challenges. Even though he voiced his boss his concern about his wife, his boss turned a blind eye, even as his wife underwent MRI every month due to her recurrent tumors.

He said, “We were just trying to keep my wife alive.”

His grief and concerns for his family did not melt a heart at work.

When he approached the company’s HR department and told them of his brother’s death and his wife’s growing terminal sickness, HR presented just two options to him.

He recalled the HR executive say: “Okay, you have two options here: You go on family leave, or you can perform. Those are your two options.”

“I was thinking, if I take family leave, I get no income. I remember talking to my wife about it and saying, I can’t believe these are my options. So, I ended up trying my best to power through with the added pressure of knowing my boss wasn’t happy with me, even though I’m not sure what I did. I feel like I was doing the things I needed to do”, he added.

For him, it became a matter of heavy concern as now it was not just his boss, but the HR department too who did not cooperate.

In February 2020, he was put on a pivot, which is done deliberately to make the employer fail and in the end, quit. He recalled: “As an example, I was going to be judged by a metric I had no control over. They give you an option: Do the Pivot or take $30,000 in severance. A week before the Pivot was supposed to end, I finally said, I can’t do this anymore. I was at my wits’ end. I felt like I was going to lose it at any point. Not that I was going to kill myself, but that I was going to be put in a rubber room. I was able to take family leave because I finally realized I was just clinically depressed. I spent from about February until about June working with a therapist trying to work through my issues. I finally got right in my head.”

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He could do nothing but send a long letter to Amazon saying that he wasn’t the person he joined, to which, Amazon’s response was: We started the Pivot process. We don’t have a choice. We have to do this.

He even contemplated hiring a lawyer who expressed discern about similar cases at Amazon.

“At the end of the Pivot, my boss said I failed. I had the ability to go to a board to explain why I shouldn’t be on Pivot, but the chances of that working were minimal”, he stated.

He was eventually fired in August.

His wife got hospitalized in September. Later, she decided to stop all treatments. This left him completely heartbroken and he blamed Amazon for what happened to him. He blamed his boss too.

“I think it was probably 60 or 70 percent my boss, and 30 or 40 percent coming from Amazon’s culture:, he said.

He lost his wife after two months.

He was left wondering: “What if she had survived five months? What would I have done? They gave me three months of COBRA. I had savings so we probably could have lasted a period. At some point, money would have become an issue, but I would have begged forever to have my wife last longer.”

We could all feel his grieve, the grieve of losing a loved one, and his suffering awfully as a human being. Such toxic work cultures should cease to exist, where people don’t need to choose between their family and work – the most crucial part of one’s survival.

The story is an excerpt from Mother Jones.

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Ukraine: NATO Sends More Ships And Fighter Jets To Eastern Europe



NATO Sends More Ships And Fighter Jets To Eastern Europe

NATO said Monday it would send extra ships and contender planes to Eastern Europe as Britain requested a few representatives and their families to leave Ukraine, in the midst of developing alert that Russia might attack as it accumulates a huge number of troops close to the boundary.

The steps came after the United States Sunday requested groups of ambassadors to pass on Kyiv and approved unnecessary political staff to leave. The State Department additionally forewarned American residents to think about leaving Ukraine, with U.S. authorities cautioning that an assault could occur “at any time.”

NATO said on Monday its members are “putting forces on standby and sending additional ships and fighter jets to NATO deployments in eastern Europe, reinforcing Allied deterrence and defense as Russia continues its military build-up in and around Ukraine.”

Russia has proceeded to quickly increase its tactical presence close to Ukraine and in Belarus to remarkable levels as of late, as per military investigators. As Russia massed powers close to Ukraine, it gave a progression of clearing requests on the United States and NATO last month, including that Ukraine is banned from joining the union, a condition NATO authorities precluded. Conciliatory discussions have neglected to determine the emergency.

Russian authorities have over and over denied any arrangement to attack Ukraine, and guarantee Russia has a privilege to move troops and hold military activities in Russia. Russian and Belarusian authorities have declared joint military activities in Belarus one month from now, raising Western feelings of fear of a potential ground assault on northern Ukraine from Belarus.

“I welcome Allies contributing additional forces to NATO,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said. “NATO will continue to take all necessary measures to protect and defend all Allies, including by reinforcing the eastern part of the Alliance.”

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Regardless of the acceleration, the European Union’s top negotiator Josep Borrell said Monday that European Union nations would not downsize staffing at international safe havens or send conciliatory families home.

Russia’s military build-up on Ukraine’s borders started in April, he said.

Short of a multi-front invasion of Ukraine, Putin has options.
Putin has kept US and NATO officials on edge, accusing Russian aggression and threatening a “military-technical” reaction.

The diplomatic whirlwind between the US, NATO, and Russian officials in recent weeks has not settled the issue.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova called the US move “strange.”

“Their information policy agenda is strange and unwise,” Zakharova told the independent Echo of Moscow radio. “They’ve been shooting off their reports one after another, but all of them have missed.” She denied reports in Western media that Russia’s embassy in Kyiv had decreased employees.

Previous to that, Zakharova warned Washington of preparing future “military provocations” in Ukraine.

The US threatens to target Russia’s strategic industries if Moscow invades Ukraine
She surmised that Washington and its allies wanted to “prepare” Western public opinion for war.

The State Department explained that Russia was “conducting disinformation operations and fomenting unrest” in Ukraine. It said it was unclear whether Putin had decided to invade, “but he is building the military capacity along Ukraine’s borders to have that option ready at any time.”

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Basil Hayden: Why This Wine Is So Popular? Know All The Major Expensive Constituents!



Basil Hayden

Beam Suntory (a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings of Osaka, Japan) produces Jim Beam small batch bourbons, among which Basil Hayden’s is the lightest in body. Unlike its three more potent sibling brands (Knob Creek, Booker’s, and Baker’s), this one has an alcohol content of just 80 proof.

Branded in honour of Basil Hayden Sr., Basil Hayden’s bourbon was first launched in 1992. Distiller Hayden employed more rye in his mash than other bourbon distillers. On the label of his own distillery in Nelson County, Raymond B. Hayden[citation needed] pays homage to his grandpa Basil Sr., with a representation of his visage. It was part of Beam Industries’ new “small batch” line that included “Basil Hayden’s,” which Beam claims follows a method identical to that used by Hayden in 1792.

At first the age statement on the label read “Aged 8 Years,” but in 2014 that was changed to “Artfully Aged,” implying that the company no longer offers an age guarantee.

Twenty-five Maryland Catholic families led by Basil Hayden Sr. ventured into what is now Nelson County, Kentucky (near Bardstown) in 1785. First Catholic church west of the Allegheny Mountains, first Catholic church in what is now Kentucky were built on land provided by Hayden there.

In the 1660s, when Catholics were being persecuted across the British Isles, the Heydons (spelled with the old spelling) fled to the Virginia Colony. It was Francis Hayden who came from Virginia to Maryland in 1678 to settle in St. Mary’s County on St. Clement’s Bay, which is now Nelson County, Kentucky, where the family lived until Basil Sr. brought his band of Catholic families into the area. Basil Sr. provided the Colonial Army with food during the American Revolution. citations needed

As far back as the Norman Conquest, Hayden’s ancestors may be traced to England (Norfolk). During Richard the Lionheart’s Third Crusade in the 1190s, one of my ancestors, Simon de Heydon, was knighted in Jerusalem.

Henry III appointed his son, Thomas de Heydon, as Norfolk’s Justice Itinerant. An further progenitor, John Heydon, is believed to have been linked with “The Grove”  around 1400, a substantial estate in Watford (Hertfordshire), some twenty miles northwest of London.

Sir Richard de Heydon was killed in the French Wars, and some academics believe that John Heydon was awarded the estate as a reward for his father’s service.

Others aren’t so sure. Even so, Heydons resided in Watford for the better part of a century, dating from the 14th to the 17th century.

Note- Even if you simply drink one to three glasses of wine a week, you may be increasing your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Premature death is also associated with excessive alcohol use. We are not promoting such kinds. The above write-up is because of the informational purpose.

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Calzony: It’s A Pizza-Calzone Mashup That Looks, Uh, Interesting From Little Caesars




Even if we didn’t need it, we may ask why it wasn’t in our life sooner…

This new pizza-calzone combination from Little Caesars, dubbed the Crazy Calzony, may become our newest pizza-night obsession, despite its outlandish appearance.

Online pre-orders of the Crazy Calzony began on August 16 and will be available for walk-in orders (a.k.a. “HOT-N-READY”) between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on August 23 for a limited period.

Pepperoni pizza is sandwiched between four calzone slices to form the overall shape of the pizza. (It’s a good shape because it’s so over-the-top). Garlic white sauce, mozzarella cheese, julienned pepperoni, and some parmesan cheese are all stuffed into the calzone portions that are formed by folding the crust in half.

It comes with a Crazy Sauce, but we didn’t miss it at all when we tried an early sample of the new menu item without the sauce.

There is a cheese variant of the Crazy Calzony, which is a pizza-calzone hybrid split into eight portions. (Excuse me while I put a hold on the pepperoni.) This is what we tried and found to be rather tasty.

The crust around the calzone pieces had a salty, almost pretzel-like flavour to it, at least to me and my other tasters. Despite the fact that one member of my tasting group complained that it was very salty, I devoured the entire thing.) We all loved how the calzone (with its garlicky, gooey cheese!) and pizza (with sauce) were combined into one delicious meal.

“One of our most exciting items ever,” according to Little Caesars’ chief marketing officer Jeff Klein, has been in the works for months. Klein is anxious for consumers to experience “the cheesy bliss” of the new item.

If you’re looking for something a little out-of-the-ordinary yet still delicious, the Crazy Calzony is for you. (It’s logical, given the name.) Even if you and your family can’t agree on whether to order pizza or calzones, it looks like a suitable alternative for those occasions.

The pizza world is full with calzones for me. However, this is no longer an issue.

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