🐤 Like a boss

Talking trash about your manager might be therapeutic, but does he or she really deserve it?

Wednesday | November 15th, 2023
Early Chirp

Happy Wednesday, chirpers! And here’s a reminder that your outlook on life is largely a matter of perspective.

For example, you probably don’t have access to a half-billion-dollar yacht or plans to fly off into space next year. But you know who does? Lauren Sanchez, the fiancee of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

And as absurd as it might sound, here’s how she described things in a recent interview: “Our lives are pretty normal.”

Um, OK.

-Chris Agee

Markets
NASDAQ
IXIC
$14,119.62
$351.88 (2.56%)
Dow Jones
DJI
$34,875.02
$537.15 (1.56%)
S&P 500
GSPC
$4,504.37
$92.82 (2.10%)
EUR-USD
EURUSD
$1.09
$0.02 (1.74%)
Bitcoin
BTC-USD
$35,255.66
-$1,246.70 (-3.42%)
ChargePoint
CHPT
$3.24
$0.49 (17.64%)
*Market data for this issue is from November 14th, 2023 at 3:58pm EST

🏦 Markets: Who’s ready for some positive inflation news? Well, Wall Street investors certainly are.

Consumer price index numbers surfaced yesterday, showing that inflation was flat last month while most analysts expected a modest increase. This provided another glimmer of hope that inflation rate hikes that have dominated the market recently could be coming to an end.

And all three major stock indexes reacted to the news enthusiastically, boosting gains they’ve already accumulated since the beginning of the month.

World

The Breakdown

A quick look around the world.

The Breakdown Shutterstock

📱 Social disruption: Governments around the world have taken action to limit or regulate the use of TikTok, due to a range of concerns from privacy to potentially dangerous content on the platform. But Nepal recently announced a particularly harsh stance, joining India in implementing an all-out ban on the app nationwide. As one official explained, “TikTok is disrupting our social harmony” and negatively impacting “our family and social structures.”

💵 Keep it separated: It’s about to become easier to divvy up expenses using the digital payment app Venmo. The company, which is owned by PayPal, unveiled a new feature this week that will help automate standard bookkeeping tasks. In addition to allowing users to separate expenses by type — i.e., vacation, household bills, activities — the Venmo Group feature also promises to make it easier for customers to calculate and budget how much they’re spending.

🎲 Betting big: A new gambling function under the ESPN umbrella officially launched in 17 states yesterday, and it represented a huge investment from PENN Entertainment. The company previously lost nearly $1 billion when it purchased Barstool Sports and saw the resulting app fail to capture more than a tiny sliver of the potentially lucrative online sports betting market. It’s hoping that teaming up with ESPN for a new venture — ESPN Bet — will help reverse its fortunes.

⛓️ Beg your pardon: As if Russian Leader Vladimir Putin needed more negative press, reports indicate he recently granted a reprieve for a criminal convicted for aiding in the plot to murder journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2006. Sergei Khadzhikurbanov was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2014 but recently became one of the latest inmates to receive a pardon from the Kremlin in exchange for fighting in the country’s ongoing war with Ukraine.

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work life

Think Your Boss Is A Jerk? This Survey Shows You’re In The Minority

Most employers are a lot more complimentary than you might assume.

Think Your Boss Is A Jerk? This Survey Shows You’re In The Minority Giphy

It’s pretty common to share complaints about a manager or supervisor, but in the grand scheme of things most Americans seem to have a pretty positive view of their bosses. That’s the takeaway from a recent Pew Research Center poll, at least.

A mixed bag

Sure, there are some complaints that are common across most U.S. workplaces. Employees often don’t think they’re getting paid enough and don’t have sufficient opportunity for promotion or job growth. But a majority of them aren’t blaming their bosses.

In fact, a full 55% of respondents described their manager or supervisor as either “excellent” or “very good.” Another 26% said they have “good” bosses and just one-fifth of all respondents labeled their boss as “poor.”

The positive trait that most employees (63%) think their bosses have is an ability to provide a healthy balance between their work and personal lives. But a majority of those surveyed also think their bosses are good at:

  • Recognizing employees for good work
  • Remaining calm and even-tempered
  • Holding workers to high standards
  • Accepting new ideas from subordinates

Across the board

Pollsters found that these generally high marks are common across industries and regardless of whether the boss in question is a man or a woman. There are a few minor differences, e.g. female supervisors might be a little quicker to give credit when it’s due, but overall the results are fairly uniform.

Of course, it’s worth noting that high-income workers are somewhat more likely to rate their bosses more positively than those who earn less.

So what are some of the characteristics that workers look for in an excellent boss? The answers might not surprise you, but the survey identified several — capable, confident, fair, and caring — that are common among managers who received that top rating.

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technology

Smartphones Are Leading To More Distracted Driving — And Laws Often Aren’t Keeping Up

Some motorists are actively watching videos while they cruise down the road.

Smartphones Are Leading To More Distracted Driving — And Laws Often Aren’t Keeping Up Shutterstock

Chances are you’ve seen distracted drivers on the road, and if you’re being honest you might even admit that you’ve been guilty of it yourself.

But all it takes is a moment of distraction to cause a potentially life-altering crash. And as smartphones become an even bigger part of daily life, those distractions are becoming even more outrageous.

A rolling hazard

Far too many motorists these days are taking huge risks, such as watching videos or scrolling through social media while they’re behind the wheel. And folks like Louisville resident Geoff Glaab say they could easily become a casualty of such carelessness.

He frequently rides his bike or walks the streets of his hometown and recalled a recent incident during which he could clearly observe a driver watching a YouTube video while stopped at a red light. It’s unclear whether that motorist kept the video rolling after the light turned green, but Glaab noted that such mobile distractions have become par for the course in recent years.

“I don’t know when people began to think this was a good idea, but here we are,” he said.

Legal loopholes

While you might think people who watch videos while they’re supposed to be watching the road should face fines or other penalties, it’s not always that simple. Kentucky law doesn’t include watching videos as part of its distracted-driving bans.

Only texting is explicitly prohibited, and law enforcement officers have been highlighting this legal gray area for years.

“The way the law is written, you could be driving down the road playing Angry Birds,” said state trooper Paul Blanton nearly a decade ago.

Only 18 states explicitly prohibit watching videos while driving, and there’s a growing effort to convince state legislators to bring outdated laws into the modern age.

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finance

These Tips Can Help Parents Deflect The Impact Of Ads Targeting Their Kids

This time of year, the onslaught of marketing becomes unavoidable.

These Tips Can Help Parents Deflect The Impact Of Ads Targeting Their Kids Giphy

Let’s face it, ads have been targeted to kids for generations and parents are often left with the tough choice of caving into pressure to buy the latest toy or looking like the bad guy in an effort to teach a valuable lesson about materialism.

And as the holidays approach, there’s always an onslaught of commercials aimed at children.

But if you’re struggling to find a way to counter this often deafening mantra, experts say there are three pretty simple lessons you can use to give your kids a healthier perspective.

Get real about advertising

While parents might recall an era when ads were limited to TV commercial breaks and newspaper inserts, today’s kids are bombarded with advertisements everywhere they turn. And such marketing is often meant to blend into other content, so it’s not always even clear that a product is being advertised in the first place.

So teaching kids how to spot these tricky ads — from “unboxing” videos to posts by social media influencers — can be helpful as they learn how to make informed and responsible choices.

Teach the value of money

Providing an allowance is a great way to help children learn that money doesn’t just grow on trees. And if a toy they want is too expensive, this can offer a great opening to discuss budgeting and build skills that will help them be more responsible with their own money later in life.

Harnessing your desires

At the root of most consumerism is a feeling — it could be that the latest product will meet an immediate need or it might be the belief that owning it is the only way to fit in with the cool kids.

But parents can address these feelings with compassion and understanding without giving into the inescapable message of materialism.

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Early Chirp

Written by Chris Agee

90 N Church St, The Strathvale House
Grand Cayman KY1, 9006, Cayman Islands

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