APRIL 2014 ALSO INSIDE : Leadership skills | Easter egg excess | Fashion giveaway
TA K E A CHILL PILL Learn to manage your work-related stress
A P R 2 014 The clocks have gone back, the days are drawing out and a nation sits in expectation, waiting in hope for that elusive beast… a long, hot summer. But it’s not quite here yet, so get your head down and keep reading Olé. This month we’ve got everything to help you achieve a Zen-like state in the office. If you don’t think your voice gets heard at work, perhaps you’ll benefit from our feature on leadership skills. Or if it’s all getting too much and you’re two days away from a breakdown, pop the kettle on and we’ll tell you how to take a chill pill. As if all that wasn’t enough, we’ve got a round-up of the most alluring Easter eggs known to man, some beautiful satchels to give you a spring in your step, and a couple of delightful Eucalyptus dresses to giveaway.
NOTICE BOARD UPDATE Fun with the Fins and the fivesecond rule SAY WHAT?! He won’t listen
ON THE JOB JOB NEWS The latest career news of choice TAKE A CHILL PILL Learn to manage your workrelated stress LEADING BY EXAMPLE A few leadership skills can really reap rewards at work 60 SECONDS WITH MasterChef favourite and pudding enthusiast Gregg Wallace
LUNCH BREAK BREAKTIME Catch up with the latest reviews and recipes Editor George Carey
OFFICE CATWALK Sling a slinky satchel over your shoulder – try saying that quickly AND ONE MORE THING…
senior account manager
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TIPS FOR A CHEAP FAMILY HOLIDAY
Lifestyle magazines are awash with reports on the happiest countries in the world, with Denmark clinching the number one spot. Four of the countries to reach the top 10 were Scandinavian. So what better place for a holiday? The easiest way to visit all four countries is by rail, with services that enable visitors to stop off at each of the countries as well as taking in the scenery that Scandinavia has to offer. Denmark is rammed with culture. Copenhagen is known for its exquisite food and shopping. Finland is the best place to see the Northern Lights, swim in an icy pool or see Santa Claus. If you love the outdoors, Norway is the place to be. Boasting deep fjords and high mountains, there are plenty of places to hike and ski. Sweden offers adventure sports such as timber rafting plus spas and copious amount of shopping.
While Parliament continues to debate the problem of soaring travel prices during school holidays, a growing number of schools are introducing the threat of fines for parents who take their children away during term time. Responding to this, ICE (International Currency Exchange), has offered advice on getting the best value for money for parents who don’t want to take their kids out of school in term time. Tom Johnson, head of online business at ICE, explained: “Over half (53%) of our customers spend over a month’s salary on their holiday and the majority (80%) dip into their savings. A week away is precious time for families, but it’s a big financial investment which is why it’s understandable that some parents may think the only way to be able to afford the holiday is to take their children away during term time.” However, for those parents who want to abide by school rules, ICE believes it makes sense to consider the rate of exchange against the pound and the local cost of living, rather than just being influenced by glossy pictures and local attractions. Johnson added: “Travellers need to consider choosing destinations that offer the best exchange rate for the pound.”
Fedor Selivanov / Shutterstock.com
TAKE A TRIP TO HAPPY LAND
C H A R I T Y W AT C H
Guy Martin’s Big Brew - 2 – 5 May This event sees bikers visit their motorcycle dealer, club or café and enjoy a cuppa while donating to Spinal Research. You can organise a ride out, quiz night or simply sell tea and cakes. Spinal Research offers fundraising packs and your event will be listed on their map of events across the UK.
IN BRIEF Pick that up!
TOP TIPS • Pick the locations that offer good value against the pound and are known for low living costs so eating out and day time excursions are not too expensive • Book early to get good deals on flights and accommodation • Book flights and accommodation using the ICE Travellers Cashcard to avoid paying interest on a credit card • Plan to travel mid-week and book early flights – that will often save money • Add savings each month to a prepaid currency card for Euro destinations – then the money’s ready to spend when you arrive at your destination • Plan for tipping as part of your holiday spending money so you don’t get caught short • Pay strict attention to baggage allowances if opting for no frills flights so you don’t have to pay extra for luggage • Look at package holidays – they can offer better value than booking hotel and flights separately.
Science students have proven the belief that food is still ok to eat if it’s been dropped on the floor for fewer than six seconds – commonly known as the fivesecond rule. Biology students at Aston University found that time is a ‘significant factor’ in the transfer of bacteria from the floor to a piece of food. They also found that the type of flooring is crucial in the transfer of bacteria, with carpet, surprisingly, the safest.
Dog day afternoon A British woman has found true love… with her terrier, Sheba. Amanda Rodgers and Sheba became a couple in front of 200 people in Split, Croatia. “I know the wedding wasn’t real,” said the blushing bride, “but it was nice to mark what Sheba means to me.” She married a man 20 years ago but it ended after a few months.
We give you our pick of the top comedy viral videos this month. Click on the text below and enjoy. Tweet us your top videos @olemagazine
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T A H W S AY
TURNING THE AIR BLUE
HE’S SO SINGLE-MINDED
My office is awash with bad language and tasteless jokes and I really don’t like it. It’s a small company and we all work in one room, so there’s no getting away from it. One of the guys is particularly bad and just finds it funny when I complain. I’m not a prude but I really want them to lay off the expletives. What can I do? Tash, London
A guy I work with is good at his job and generally a nice guy, but he can be so blinkered. He’s got a pathological resistance to anyone else’s opinion once he’s settled on an idea. He’d do so much better and I’d have fewer grey hairs if he would just listen. How can I get my voice heard? Paula, Manchester
While an element of fun is important in the work place, it’s equally vital that everyone feels comfortable. When you do complain, do people actually know how strongly you feel about it? If they did, I doubt they would carry on being quite so insensitive. If you try that and they continue to be quite so free with their language, unfortunately, a trip to HR may be your only option.
I think tolerance might be your best option here. When people are as stultifyingly single-minded as your colleague, trying to reason with them can be a head-against-brick-wall situation. If that sounds too painful, you could go rogue. If he won’t listen to your opinion and chooses a doomed path, you could pursue your own course, in the hope of a better result. When your option turns out better, a wellplaced ‘I told you so’ may help to wake him up.
This month’s picture
Last month’s winner: Steve, Middlesbrough
I came from where? That’s disgusting! ”
Win £50 worth of M&S vouchers! Email your captions to email@example.com
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on the job
JOB NEWS oubles Temperature tr at work
poll ws Sykes and One re nd A by y ud st A imate s a poor office cl ct fe ef e th s ow sh e ability to work. Th r ou on ve ha n ca about K office workers U 0 00 2, of ey rv su arly ronment found ne vi en ng ki or w r ei th complain. 80% had cause to ed r of those survey Around a quarte n lleague had take said they or a co t with managemen up climate issues % of people were staff, while only 24 res in office temperatu comfortable with r months. summer or winte cold can have a Being too hot or the on productivity in significant effect s erage, respondent workplace. On av g more than 7.5 admitted to wastin e to poor office minutes a day du 28 ng in more than conditions, resulti omen hours per year. W wasted working ine 33% more time (n said they wasted en (6.5). minutes) than m
Brits top unpaid hours Employees across the UK worked a record amount of unpaid overtime last yea r, with over 5.4 million workers putting in aro und £640m worth of unpaid hours every week, according to figures published by the TUC. The union’s analysis shows the num ber of people regularly doing unpaid hou rs at work increased by 331,000 last yea r to 5.42 million – the biggest annual rise since comparable records began in 1998. The proportion of people doing unp aid overtime is at its highest-ever level (21.2% of the UK workforce), while the ave rage amount of unpaid overtime has also reached a record high of seven hou rs and 48 minutes a week. Employees acr oss the UK are now putting in around £64 0m worth of unpaid hours every week, or £33bn a year. The TUC believes that while the rise in the amount of unpaid overtime is par tly due to there being more people in work – the number of employees rose by 351 ,000 over the last yearthe likelihood of someone having to work extra hours for free is also increasing. This suggests that people are being put under increasing pressure to do extra hours at work – often without getting paid for them.
on the job
Tech trends for 2014 IT managed service provider Advanced 365 has announced its top five business technology trends for 2014. 1) Network security – With 81% of workers using own devices to access their employer’s network without their employer’s knowledge, businesses must improve security. Safeguarding networks is a must and requires BYOD usage guidelines alongside technical controls. 2) Infrastructure intelligence – By 2020 it is estimated there will be four billion people online using 50 trillion gigabytes of data. With storage growing at 20-40% each year, businesses need to improve their intelligence and implement an infrastructure to store such vast quantities of data. 3) Data analytics – If businesses are to harness big data, they need to invest in data analytics. Continued growth in the volumes of enterprise data is only valuable if they obtain cross-functional buy-in in order to break down the organisational silos that still exist within organisations. 4) The cloud – 90% of UK businesses expect to move some of their applications to the cloud by 2017. 5) 24/7 business connectivity – To meet demand for round-the-clock services, businesses must invest in new technology and rework their working processes accordingly.
Despite the rise of socia l media, 88% of IT and fin ance profes sionals still rate email a s the best w ay to receive business info rmation, wh ile the popularity o f paper in th e office app to be declin ears ing. A survey ca rried out by software provider V1 explored ho w generations prefer to rec eive informa ti on. The survey a sked respon dents to classify them selves as eit h er baby boomers (bo rn in the 194 0 s and 50s), Generation X (born in th e 6 0s and 70s) or Generatio n Y (80s and 9 0 s). All generatio ns selected email as the preferre d choice for re c eiving information, with each sc o ri ng social media chan nels such as Tw it ter and Facebook as being of low im portance. All three age groups rated F a cebook and Twitter a s their two le a s t preferred methods of business co mmunicatio n.
S TAT AT TA C K
The value of unpaid hours UK employees across the UK are now working in overtime every week
on the job
TA K E A CHILL PILL Stress at work can cause major problems for you and your colleagues, resulting in an unhappy environment for all concerned. GEORGE CAREY finds out how to keep it at bay
on the job
he problems around work-based stress are well documented and while the stigma formerly attached to raising such issues has thankfully disappeared, it’s still an issue for millions of people in the UK. To acknowledge and attempt to alleviate the stress that people can experience and pass on to their colleagues, The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development launched a free stress management tool last year, developed with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Ben Willmott, CIPD head of public policy, comments: “Stress is a major cause of sickness absence and lost productivity and is linked to a higher risk of accidents at work. Prolonged exposure to stress is also linked to conditions such as depression, anxiety and an increased risk of heart disease. Colleagues can either cause or exacerbate stress, or help prevent and manage it.” So how can you go about creating a stress-free environment? The HSE defines stress as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other demands placed on them”. Stress symptoms include a pounding heart or palpitations, a dry mouth, headaches, odd aches and pains, and loss of appetite. Also, the way you deal with stress can encourage unhealthy behaviour, such as smoking and drinking too much. Life coach Suzy Greaves says one of the key skills to managing workplace stress is knowing how to say ‘no’: “I’m constantly challenging clients who say they have no choice but to overwork,” she says. “I coach people to become empowered and believe they have a choice.” She explains that saying yes can win you brownie points in the short term, but if you take on too much and fail to deliver, it can be a disastrous long term strategy. “Have confidence in your ‘no’ when you think it’s the right decision, even though it may not be the most popular one,” she says. “In the long-term, your ability to say no will be one of your most valuable attributes.” Greaves says you can prevent exhaustion by knowing how much work you can take on. By taking on
too much, you could end up doing nothing well. Calculate how long you’ll need to deal with your current workload so that you can see if you have any extra capacity. “If you’re extremely busy and someone asks you to do more, you can say no. Outline your reasons in a specific, measurable way, but always offer a solution.” Stress therapist Helen Wingstedt’s approach is all about separating positive and negative stress. Negative stress is driven by baggage, conflict and upset from the past. Positive stress is more task-orientated, such as: I need to get to work on time; finish this report; or complete the staff rota. It’s about achievable goals. As she explains: “When someone’s got lots of short-term tasks, it keeps stress down because you can achieve them quicker. Every time you achieve one, you dump a load of stress. As soon as you’ve completed something, your mind dumps the stress because you don’t need it anymore, which makes you feel really good and gives you a natural high.” The real issues come with longer-term problems such as planning big projects. The more long-term goals you have, the less you’re achieving, but stress is mounting up all the time. The answer is to break them up into small tasks. Wingstedt explains: “Rather than worrying about a long-term project that takes three years, you work backwards and work out what you have to do between then and now. You can break it down into 60 more manageable tasks in those three years. It lets you dump loads of stress in the meantime and lets things happen naturally.” She concludes: “It’s about setting up work practices so that you can recognise the problems and deal with them. Once you tell someone, it seems really obvious but it’s just a matter of reminding yourself that you don’t have these issues and taking a step back.” While all of this sounds like common sense, it can be difficult to remember at nine o’clock on a Monday morning with a mountain of work precariously balanced on the edge of your desk. If all else fails, take a holiday, but be warned: it will all be waiting for you when you get back.
“ONE OF THE KEY SKILLS TO MANAGING WORKPLACE STRESS IS KNOWING HOW TO SAY NO”
on the job
N AT U R A L
TA U G H T LEADER
Whatever your role in the office environment, a few leadership skills can never hurt. Here, Jo Owen, author of How to Lead and an authority on business skills, gives his top 10 characteristics of leadership
on the job
1. EVERYONE CAN LEARN TO LEAD, AND TO LEAD BETTER You do not need to be born to lead. Leadership is based on skills that everyone can and must learn: delegating, directing, influencing, motivating, decision-making. Most of us learn from role models and experience, both good and bad. What counts is to make sure you never stop learning, never stop improving. 2. NO LEADER IS PERFECT No leader gets ticks in all the boxes. As your career progresses, you will find that you live increasingly in a goldfish bowl where everyone will examine and comment on all you do: weaknesses become more visible over time. But do not worry. Do not strive for perfection, strive for improvement and build on your strengths. No one succeeded by building on weaknesses. Find the context in which your strengths will flourish. 3. YOU CAN LEAD AT ANY LEVEL Leadership is about performance, not position. An effective leader is someone who takes people where they would not have got by themselves. That means you have to make a real difference: be brave, be bold. 4. BUILD ON YOUR STRENGTHS All leaders have a signature strength that lets them succeed in the right context. Build on your strengths and work around your weaknesses. The best work around is to hire people into your team who are strong in the areas where you are weak. Share the burden. 5. LEADERSHIP IS A TEAM SPORT Don’t try to be the lone hero. You cannot do it all yourself. Work with others who have strengths that are different from yours and will compensate for any gaps you may have. Weak and defensive leaders hire clones of themselves, and get weak performance as a result. Confident leaders gather the best possible talent around themselves. 6. MAKE A DIFFERENCE Leaders do not manage the status quo. They make a difference. Leaders push themselves and others to go beyond their comfort zone, to develop themselves and their organisation. Be ready to challenge. Don’t accept excuses, because once you accept excuses you accept failure. Be selectively unreasonable in stretching and pushing people. We all remember Alexander the Great: who remembers his cousin Alexander the Reasonable?
“WHAT COUNTS IS TO MAKE SURE YOU NEVER STOP LEARNING, NEVER STOP IMPROVING” 7. FIND YOUR CONTEXT Leaders who succeed in one context can fail in another. Think of Churchill: a great hero in the war. Before the war he was a maverick and when he was PM after the war he was totally forgettable. Context is everything. Risk is like ambrosia to investment bankers and like kryptonite to civil servants: so is risk good or bad for leaders? Different contexts lead to different outcomes. 8. PEOPLE AND POLITICAL SKILLS BECOME MORE IMPORTANT WITH SENIORITY Technical skills are enough to gain promotion at junior levels. The more senior you become, the more your job becomes about people and politics. Leaders only succeed by making things happen through other people, so you have to learn the arts of influence, managing conflicts and crises, aligning agendas, building trust, doing deals and knowing which battles to fight. As one CEO put it: “I hire most people for their technical skills and fire most for their (lack of) personal skills.” 9. THE RULES OF SURVIVAL AND SUCCESS CHANGE AT EVERY LEVEL OF THE ORGANISATION That means as a leader you have to keep on learning and keep on changing. The technical skills you learned at the start of your career are likely to be more or less irrelevant by they time you become CEO. The only way to avoid career altitude sickness is to learn and adapt. 10. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE Many leaders like to be responsible for successes, not for setbacks. You can delegate away most things, but you cannot delegate away your accountability: you are accountable for the performance of your team. You are also responsible for your career: if you have a lousy job with a lousy boss in a lousy firm then that is your responsibility and you have to find a solution. Finally, and most surprisingly, you are responsible for your own feelings. If you want to be miserable, you can be: your little cloud of gloom will spread like a major depression across your team. Choose well.
on the job
6 0 S ECONDS WITH…
GREGG WALLACE The Master Chef favourite and pudding enthusiast tells you which spring vegetables to look out for
What have been your best MasterChef memories?
I think that aside from some fantastic dishes, what really stands out with MasterChef is the travelling we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy. We’ve been to some amazing places. Amongst my favourites I think are Thailand and India, where there is such a strong food culture and yet so different to our own.
As we enter spring, as a former green grocer, what are your tips for finding the best vegetables? We are now at one of the most exciting times of the year for fresh produce, which you can pick up at the old-fashioned greengrocers. The first of the broad beans, the start of the runner beans and spring peas are all coming through. There’s the first of the Cornish new potatoes too, and the Jersey new potatoes are just around the corner. And, of course, the ultimate in luxury vegetables, asparagus!
Aside from your love of vegetables, you have another, very well-known, food romance… I do love puddings. Not desserts… dessert is a French word. In this country we have puddings, Sir. I love them because they’re so unnecessary; they are purely an indulgence. They’re a present to ourselves and that why I love them. And when Britain was in the culinary wilderness of cuisine with the rest of Europe laughing at us, we were still world leaders in the big, thick, sticky sweet puddings. We do it very well.
What do you do to escape the culinary world?
MasterChef takes up a lot of my life, but when I’m not doing that my favourite pastime, funnily enough, is fitness and gym work. I’m in the gym six days a week, sometimes twice a day. People don’t realise that I’m also a qualified rugby coach and I absolutely love my rugby. Another thing people don’t realise about me is I’m a very keen amateur historian, so my house is stacked full of reference books. All those things, and I love my children – I’m a single parent and I love spending time with them. It keeps me busy, and busy is good! Gregg Wallace is one of the celebrity ambassadors for the Ideal Home Show Manchester, 6-8 November at EventCity, Manchester. Tickets are available Here.
BREAKTIME desktop dining G I V E A W AY
E U C A LY P T U S With conditions outside creeping up above freezing and the days starting to draw out, itâ€™s time to start thinking about your summer wardrobe. The lovely people at Eucalyptus are keen to lend a helping hand, and theyâ€™ve got two dresses to give away. Click here to enter.
S A L M O N , S W E E T P O TAT O AND ORANGE FISHCAKES SERVES FOUR Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 6-8 minutes
INGREDIENTS 450g cooked sweet potato, mashed 150g salmon fillet, poached and flaked 2-4 tbsp instantaneous polenta flour Salt and pepper to taste 3 spring onions, finely sliced 2 garlic cloves, chopped Zest of 1 orange, grated Small bunch of basil and parsley, shredded
METHOD In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients together, mixing gently so not to break the fish into very small pieces. The quantity of polenta flour needed in the mix will depend on how wet the sweet potatoes are. Split the mixture into four fishcakes and shape them. Coat the outside with more polenta flour. Shallow fry for 3-4 minutes on each side so that the inside is hot and the outside is golden and crisp
T R E AT Y O U R S E L F WATCH THIS The Amazing Spider-Man 2
After a bumper period of great films earlier this year, the star turn in an ordinary line-up sees Andrew Garfield swing back into action in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which picks up with Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy as they prepare to graduate. The web-slinging, wisecracking superhero is struggling to keep his promise to stay away from Gwen. Meanwhile, he has a bunch of hulking new baddies to scare off, including The Rhino (Paul Giamatti). But the real threat comes from super-charged enemy Electro (Jamie Foxx), an Oscorp employee who gains powers of electrokinesis. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will also feature Dane DeHaan as a young Harry Osborn. Released 18 April
POWER HOUR Fierce This African dance-inspired class is set to tribal rhythms and offers an overall body workout with natural and bold movements that work the major muscle groups. With squatting, swinging and warrior-style kicking this is brilliant for toning legs, thighs and bottoms. The rhythmic stamping and pounding music makes this utterly exhilarating, so it’s also great for stress-relief and has all of the cardiovascular benefits you would expect from a dance-based class. It’s suitable for everyone from beginner to advanced fitness levels and has a fantastic social side to add to the exercise.
LISTEN TO THIS Kaiser Chiefs
Fresh from his stint on The Voice, Ricky Wilson and his fellow Kaiser Chiefs return with an album called Education, Education, Education & War. Referencing Tony Blair’s infamous speech, the album is described as “taking the temperature of a nation living through seven years of economic troubles while questioning the role and importance of modern conflict, the wars waged in Afghanistan and Iraq”. The Kaiser Chiefs, who emerged from near-collapse in 2012, appear galvanised, bolstered by the addition of a new drummer, Vijay Mistry. The result is an album that is their most considered, literate, and impassioned to date. Out now
BOOK THIS CHAOPHRAYA
HHHHH What is it? This north west favourite has some truly unique Thai food to tempt you, such as ‘sorng pee norng’ – sea bass in tamarind and chilli sauce – backed up by old favourites like green curry. As if that’s not enough, The Times named it the best vegetarian restaurant in the UK. 19 Chapel Walks Manchester
LOVES EASTER EXCESS Whether you’ve endured 40 days of disciplined abstinence for Lent or simply want to seize any chance to get better acquainted with the cocoa plant, it’s time to rejoice. That’s right folks, its Easter, so why not tuck into one of these beauties?
1. Butlers, white chocolate gourmet egg, £10.50 2. M&S, milk chocolate golden lattice egg, £15 3. Hotel Chocolat, the half & half ostrich egg, £75 4. M&S, dulce de leche egg, £15 5. Hotel Chocolat, Easter pick me up, £13 6. Hotel Chocolat, your eggsellency extra thick egg, £28
O F F I C E C AT W A L K We’re constantly told the school years are the best of our lives, so inject a bit of that magic into your working day with one of these stylish satchels
1 George at Asda, black satchel, £12 2 House of Fraser, Pied a Terre satchel, £149 3 La Redoute, Black satchel, £119.00 4 M&S, Best Of British magenta satchel, £299 5 La Redoute, nude satchel, £119
MEN 1 M&S, leather bag, £129 2 M&S, Best of British satchel, £129 3 M&S, red shoulder bag, £39.50
AND ONE MORE THING ...
B E AT T H E S U N D AY B L U E S Marketing manager Pete Abbot finds that the most relaxing day can also end up the most stressful. That’s why he’s now taking action
PETE ABBOT Marketing manager
Did you agree with the columnist? Think you can do better? Email us with your ‘And one more thing’ of approx. 300 words to firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture the scene: It’s seven o’clock in the evening, I’ve just has a delightful dinner and I’m relaxing on the sofa with my girlfriend, about to watch a film that I’ve been particularly keen to see. A rather happy moment, I think we can all agree. So why am I experiencing a creeping sense of unrest? Ah yes, of course, it’s Sunday. And it would appear that I’m not alone. Mind, a mental health charity, found that more than 26% of employees said they felt dread and apprehension the day before they were due to go back to work after the weekend. So what can be done about this most heinous of first world problems? Activity, I have discovered, is the only answer. Fear not, it doesn’t have to be healthy, or even wholesome, it just needs to take your mind off the impending Monday morning. Idol mind, devils plaything, etc. And the more people you can get involved, the better. Start a Sunday film club, a come-dine-with-me circuit or a badminton round robin, it really doesn’t matter. A word of warning though, I’ve found out the hard way that getting too much drink involved is not a wise move. At the time it’s fantastic, and I can honestly say that you won’t be worrying about the next day. But if you don’t enjoy Mondays normally, I’ve got to tell you, they’re a whole lot worse with a hangover. That’s the risky thing about starting a dinner club on a Sunday evening; one thing does tend to lead to the other. If you’re disciplined enough to enjoy a teetotal dining experience, go ahead, but my friends and I enjoy no such mental fortitude. Needless to say, drinking wine until one o’clock in the morning did nothing for my Monday morning pep. So make a few phone calls or get a Facebook going and organise yourself something fun to do with your friends. It might just save your Sunday nights.
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