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On this day 75 years ago, rock and blues singer–songwriter Janis Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas. She was one of the biggest female rock stars of the psychedelic 60s, with five of her singles reaching the Billboard Hot 100, including her #1 hit cover of the song “Me and Bobby McGee”, and an original [...]

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Good News in History, January 19








































2018 flu season sick work illness



The flu is widespread in 49 US states right now, Business Insider's Hilary Brueck reports, and CDC officials say the 2018 flu season "is proving particularly difficult."

The CDC reports that across the country, hospitals are seeing roughly twice the typical baseline of patients with flu-like symptoms, Brueck reports. And the 2017 flu shot isn't working very well against one of the most common strains of the virus.

What's more, global outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. estimates that the flu could cost employers more than $9.4 billion in lost productivity.

To calculate this cost, Challenger factored in the number of illnesses for adults during the previous flu season, the current employment to population ratio of 60.1%, and the average hourly wage, allowing for four sick days for each employee to recover from the flu. 

So what can you do to help stop the spread of flu?

Don't go to work when you're sick. In fact, the CDC recommends that if you have flu symptoms, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. Flu symptoms typically include (but you may not have all of them) fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting.

Stay home and recover. The CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine. The only exceptions are to get medical care or other necessities.

If you haven't gotten sick yet, get vaccinated anyway. According to the CDC, antibodies made in response to vaccination with one flu virus can sometimes provide protection against different but related viruses. So even though the 2017 flu shot isn't working very well against what is most commonly going around right now, it can still provide some protection against the flu.

Spreading the flu to your coworkers comes at a high cost for businesses, so it's also up to employers to discourage people from coming into work sick.

More than a quarter of American workers admit to having gone to work while sick, and employees are incentivized to tough it out for a number of reasons, including fear of penalization, an overwhelming workload, lost wages, or fear of losing their job.

According to one CDC study, workers miss out on about $6.2 billion a year in wages thanks to lost productivity from illness. 

Offering paid sick leave (and being clear about how people can use it) is one key way to help mitigate these fears.

A recent study out of Florida Atlantic University found that, unsurprisingly, US workers without paid sick leave are more likely than those with paid sick leave to keep going to work when they're ill.

Those who get paid for sick days are more likely to "self-quarantine when necessary, without the worries of losing their job or income, while also not spreading illness to others," said lead study author LeaAnne DeRigne.

SEE ALSO: This year's deadly flu season is reaching its peak — here's how to tell if you're contagious

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women china phone face masks pollution

• Chinese authorities shut down Marriott International's Chinese website after discovering the company listed Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, and Macao as countries.

• Craig S. Smith, the president and managing director of Marriott's Asia-Pacific office, apologized for the incident in an interview with the state-run China Daily.

Business Insider's Tara Francis Chan reported that Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson also released an apology.

• The hospitality company's global Twitter accounts have largely remained quiet since January 11, due to the incident.



Many of Marriott International's global Twitter accounts have stayed silent since January 11, ever since China accused the company of breaking its cybersecurity laws.

Chinese authorities previously shut down the hospitality company's Chinese website and mobile apps, after discovering it listed Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, and Macao as countries, Business Insider reported. Marriott managers were reportedly called in for questioning over the incident, according to The Associated Press.

In response, Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson issued an apology, saying his company supported "the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China," Business Insider's Tara Francis Chan reported.

President and managing director of Marriott's Asia-Pacific office Craig S. Smith also apologized in an interview with The China Daily, a state-run media outlet.

"This is a huge mistake, probably one of the biggest in my career," Smith told The China Daily. "To regain confidence and trust, the first thing is to admit the mistake, then fix it, and it would come back slowly as we prove we really mean what we say."

Smith has held the role since June 2015, and previously worked as the president of Marriott International's Caribbean and Latin American region.

"Asia Pacific is integral to Marriott International achieving its objective of becoming the world's favourite travel company," Smith said, in a 2015 interview with Travel Span.

In the interview with China Daily, Smith described the company's plans to expand "employee education globally," set up complaint channels for Chinese customers, and oversee "the work of third-party agents for projects largely targeting the China market."

"A freeze on its social media across the world" was also part of Marriott's "rectification plan," the China Daily reported.

Marriott's main Twitter hasn't tweeted since January 10, although they have responded to customers' tweets. It's the same case for Marriott International, Marriott Rewards, Marriott Rewards Latin America, Marriott Rewards Europe, The London Marriott, Marriott Careers, and Marriott Traveller Asia which all haven't tweeted anything aside from replies to customers since January 11 or before.

GreatFire.org, an organization that tracks censorship in China, tweeted that the social media silence was a result of orders from the Chinese government.

Chinese authorities demanded that Marriott implement a global freeze on all its social media posts. https://t.co/UZu8QutMNQ

— GreatFire.org (@GreatFireChina) January 18, 2018

On Twitter, Bloomberg reporter David Ramli pointed out that the move may serve as a warning sign to other international countries with operations in China.

Almost all of Marriott’s many global accounts stopped tweeting on Jan 10, followed by a capitulating apology on Jan 11. Since then, its accounts have only sent replies. If it turns out this was ordered by Chinese authorities it greatly changes the calculus of doing business here. https://t.co/G8bf2hs6zf

— David Ramli (@Davidramli) January 18, 2018

Francis Chan reported that Marriott isn't the only company that's submitted to China's foreign policy. Zara, Qantas, and Delta all either released apologies or issued "corrections" after they were found to list Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Tibet as countries.

But other companies, including Uniqlo, Uber, H&M, and Amazon still recognize both Hong Kong and Taiwan as countries on their sites.

Marriott International did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Do you have a story to share about working for Marriott or another international corporation with operations in China? Email careers@businessinsider.com

SEE ALSO: Facebook and Apple praise China as Beijing introduces strict new censorship, data storage laws

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DON'T FORGET: 'Economic blackmail': Zara, Qantas, Marriott and Delta Air Lines reverse position on Taiwan for fear of angering China

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PEACHTREE CORNERS, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FLEETCOR Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:FLT), a leading global provider of commercial payment solutions, today announced it has named Jim Eglseder as its new head of investor relations. He will report to Eric Dey, FLEETCOR’s chief financial officer. “Jim is a well-regarded investor relations professional in the financial services industry, and his unique combination of strategy and IR experience at a large financial services company, makes him an ideal person

FLEETCOR Names Head of Investor Relations





Patty McCord

  • Netflix encourages employees to interview at other companies, and to talk with their managers about what they learn.
  • The company's former chief talent officer, Patty McCord, says it can help you learn how much you're worth and clarify your professional goals. It can even help you find people to recruit to your current company.
  • The main idea is that your company is a team, not a family, so no one has any real allegiance to each other.


Netflix's approach to people management can come off as logical but harsh.

Case in point: Hard work isn't enough to get ahead. If you're not effective at your job, you're gone. And even if you are effective, when the company's needs evolve, it may very well oust you — albeit with a generous severance package.

Patty McCord describes many of these unconventional management practices in her new book, "Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility." McCord is a former chief talent officer at Netflix; now she runs her own consulting business.

One of McCord's more shocking revelations is that Netflix actively encourages its employees to interview at other companies.

I asked McCord to explain the logic behind this practice and she outlined a few reasons why it makes sense.

1. It helps you clarify your professional goals

"My experience is that you're more honest with a perfect stranger than you are with your own manager after a while," McCord told Business Insider.

"You know what management wants to hear. But you go to talk to a perfect stranger and they're like, 'What do you want to do?' You're like, 'Well! Actually I've got a couple of ideas.'"

2. You start to learn how much you're worth

"You want to find out what you're worth to another company because that really is what determines your salary level," McCord said.

She advises women in particular to shop around at other companies: "Don't feel like you're cheating on your husband when you're interviewing for another job! You're just finding out what's happening in the market."

3. You expand your network

"Let's say you interview at another company and you don't really want the job, but you really like the people that you met," McCord said. "Now you have a source of candidates for your own company. It's all about networking."

4. It can make you appreciate your current company more

"Sometimes you just find out the grass isn't greener," McCord said.

"I've found people who, after they interviewed, came back and said, 'Wow, I just thought that other company would be so much cooler and there would be so much more opportunity. And I realized when I got there and sat down with them, I kind of like what I'm doing a lot. It made me happy to stay.'"

Although McCord is no longer at Netflix, the company still condones this interviewing practice. The "culture" section of its website reads: "Knowing that other companies would quickly hire you if you left Netflix is comforting. We see occasional outside interviewing as healthy, and encourage employees to talk with their managers about what they learn in the process."

McCord's arguments about why outside interviewing can be helpful go back to her core philosophy: You're building a team, not a family. You don't have any obligation to keep an employee and, likewise, your employee doesn't have any obligation to stay with you.

Harsh? Yes.

Interestingly though, Netflix was rated one of the top tech companies (and one of the top big companies) to work for in 2017. It's possible people appreciate the transparency from both ends.

SEE ALSO: A simple but ruthless exercise reveals who your star employees are — and who should be fired

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The number one reason why people refuse to donate blood and platelets is because of their fear of needles – but the Red Cross wants to help ease that fear. In celebration of National Blood Donor Month, the Red Cross is trying to recruit as many volunteers for blood donations as possible. Harsh weather conditions [...]

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Giving Blood: 5 Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Needles