Happy New Year – My Top 7 Blogs of 2019

One of my top blogs of the year just published in mid December deals with how the huge proliferation of robocalls are ruining our lives and productivity.

I am now enjoying this annual tradition of reviewing my website statistics for the past entire year and listing my top seven most read blogs as a New Year feature.  And this year, since there was a tie for 7th, I will feature 8 blogs.

I normally blog about my two areas of consulting a few times each month: Diversity with a specialization in the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) workplace and marketplace; and career and skills development based on my innovative Total Engagement Career Mapping process. And once in a while I throw in a more personal blog or rant about something that is irking me.

In 2019, only three of my top 8 were published this year; the rest were first published in previous years, but people are finding them by web searching on various topics. Six of the top 8 dealt with some kind of diversity topic, one was around career development, and one a personal rant about the dramatic disturbing increase in robocalls.

Here are the “Top 7 of 2019” in reverse order:

7) Tied for number 7 was a blog about including people with mental illness in the diversity discussion. It featured a game-changing organization, the Farm at Penny Lane, and its many innovative programs to integrate people with severe mental illness into the mainstream.

Also at number 7 was a blog that reached this height for the year even though it was not published until mid-December and only had a few weeks to run. It’s title: “Help this blog go viral and create a movement – shut down all robocalls.” Robocalls are ruining our way of life and destroying productivity.

6) Blog #6 was also published in December and reached this level quite quickly – In “Five Examples of LGBTQ Equality – It’s Equal Rights, Not Special Rights,” I dispel this myth of so-called “special rights” by sharing five examples.

5) Number 5 was the 2014 – 2016 number 1,the 2017 #2, and the 2018 #3, actually published way back in 2011! As many people search for online resources about diversity training, they found and read my 2011 blog “Three Components of Diversity Training,” where I discuss three major components required for diversity training and exactly who within an enterprise should be trained. I have also updated that blog to include links to more resources including to a blog sharing a sample outline of diversity and inclusion training contents.

An illustration of a partial career map as interest in skills and career development grows.

4) My fourth most popular blog was last year’s number 5 – “Three Wonderful Recent Examples of Diversity and Sports,” in which I provide short summaries with links about an NFL football player with one hand, an WNBA player who is a new mother with her wife, and a college track star who overcame a harsh abusive upbringing in Africa.

3) And a surprising number 3 this year was my blog published way back in 2011 on using career mapping as a tool for career development. This new-comer to the list may signal an increased focus on the importance of investing in skills and career development as a way to recruit and retain the best employees. You may also want to check out my 11-question Skills Development and Career Road Mapping organizational self-assessment.

2) Number 2 for the second year in a row was “Seven Misconceptions or Stereotypes of Hispanic People”, a guest piece written in 2016 by my part-time bilingual consultant on staff, Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado.

2019 Pair Skating Champion Timothy LeDuc (center with partner Ashley Cain-Dribble, my parents and me) is one of my featured out gay skaters – he’s a great community advocate

1) And finally, by a complete runaway with over 13,000 hits across the two blogs was last year’s Seven More Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating (and One Bisexual Woman) and my 2016 personal labor of love which included several personal photos that I took, “Seven Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating.”

Thanks to all the readers who enjoy and share my blogs. In 2020, if you want to be notified each time I do publish, you can like my business facebook page (Link), or if you subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter, I include a short summary and links to the past month’s writings.

Wishing all my readers a wonderful 2020 filled with much contentment, success and probably a wild and crazy US Presidential election year!

Help this blog go viral and create a movement – Shut down all Robocalls!

NOTE: I drafted this blog in the middle of November with plans to publish after the new year. But then a friend published this link on her Facebook page that the US House has now passed legislation to deal with this issue. I sure hope it has some teeth and calls for quick action. And I hope the Senate passes it and President Trump signs it.

Spread this around – help this blog go viral – maybe someone will do something. Share it with your Congressional Representative, State Senators and your phone carrier.

OK – I am going to be bipartisan here and blame all Republicans and all Democrats in our do-nothing Congress that cannot seem to do anything that will benefit every single American. Democrats blame Republicans, Republican blame Democrats, but I will blame everyone.

Congress! Want to do something bipartisan that will make 99% of Americans happy? Make all telemarketing robocalls illegal! They are one of the most disruptive and disrespectful aspects of our modern society. They impact our productivity: try working from home, playing with your children, taking a nap or cooking dinner when the phone rings every 10 minutes. You pick it up, say Hello and after 2 seconds of silence some person who barely speaks English mispronounces your name. Or a recording comes on “Hello Senior, Do you need a walker to get around,” or “Attention, this call is about your credit card account.”

Now that I am approaching 65, I get at least 10 calls a day from agencies trying to set me up with Medicare supplement insurance. Where did they get the info that I am close to 65? From our US Government Social Security administration? One of my friends around the same age told me she now gets 100 calls per day! This is destroying our lives!

I bet most of us want to do this in response to all these annoying robocalls.

I would say that 50% of my robocalls come when I am trying to take a 45 minute mid-afternoon nap, when I am about to walk out of the house already late for an appointment, or trying to cook or eat dinner.

I contacted my land-line provider AT&T to ask them to block all robo-generated calls. With all their advanced technology, they have nothing to do this! I guess they are happy that 90% of the calls going over their lines are telemarketing and they don’t give a damn about what their customers want. Their customer service levels are on par with Time Warner Cable and most states’ departments of motor vehicles.

So another thing our government can do is make it mandatory for all phone service providers to provide robocall blocking capabilities at no charge.

And the US Government’s “Do Not Call” list is a complete joke! My home, business and cell lines are all registered and I still get over 50 telemarketing calls per day.

My suggestions to Congress … put some real teeth into new legislation!

1) Outlaw all robocalls. Pass a law that all phone calls must be dialed by humans. Violators of this law and of calling people on the “do not call” list will have a mandatory 10 year prison sentence without parole for all company managers and owners. Maybe after publicizing the first several prison sentences, violators will be deterred.

2) For all robocalls coming from outside the US; withdraw all US foreign aid to those countries until they put technology in place to stop telemarketing calls to the US.

3) Require all telephone carriers to provide robocall blocking technology free of charge.

Bottom line – this explosion of robocalls and telemarketing calls is destroying our way of life and well as becoming a huge productivity drain. It has to stop!

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When not writing caustic blogs … Stan Kimer is a nationally recognized diversity and career development consultant. Plus I love to speak and lead workshops.  Please explore the rest of my website and get in touch.