There are Still Plenty of Reasons to Follow Your Career Dreams

For everyone heading into college, the same speech is probably given. “The economy is different from in my time,” the wizened old person says, “a bachelors degree is not enough anymore, and forget about following your dreams. You need to get into something solid and reliable. Or else, you’ll end up in a dead-end job, just like______.” Then, they insert the name of some well-known local failure or give you a labor statistic.

I don’t want to suggest that that advice is bad in whole. There’s a lot to be said for looking out for your future career from the start of college (if not before). College is expensive these days (more expensive than in the olden days), and to justify that debt, a calculation should be done by every incoming student to find just what work would be worth that much money.

There’s also something to be said for the fact that careers are getting harder to get into and there are fewer in many previous dream-job areas. Journalism, for instance, has severely cut the number of positions over the last couple of decades. What once could promise a decent future on the local paper may now offer only a modicum of unpaid blog work for some nameless and unveiled site.

It’s also true that America is suffering from a lack of people willing to go into careers that for some reason are viewed as undignified. Plenty of plumbers, for instance, find more work and make far better incomes than those people who graduated with journalism degrees. If that seems like a good option for you, take it and don’t feel ashamed about it.

All that can be true, and it can still be worthwhile to follow your dreams, just follow them more realistically. What the old, wizened elder doesn’t tell you is that there are still plenty of fulfilling dream careers out there, they just don’t follow the traditional paths. There aren’t that many artists, for instance, but there are plenty of people in marketing and website design who make a living off their art. There are few journalists, but working hard in the blogging world can pay off. Perhaps instead of studying journalism, study a foreign language and work as a translator, which is still a thriving career. Should a journalism opportunity arrive, you’ll have an extra skill in hand.

Another important factor skipped over is that the so-called steady and reliable jobs have their own hitches. Tech is getting flooded with new applicants because of these wizened elders, and so that market is likely to get increasingly competitive and hard to move ahead. At the same time, there are serious difficulties in the work environment, such as finding full-time versus freelance positions and even getting paid for the overtime expected of you.

The truth of the matter is you can still pursue your dream just as you always wanted to, and you can justify spending the money by finding a good career. The trick isn’t going into an area you’re ill-suited for, the trick is finding out where the careers are that use your skills.

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Coal Company Bankruptcy

It is simply the circle of life; businesses are born, they grow, they have their ups and downs, and sometimes they fail. While personal bankruptcy is a tragedy for anyone, when a business goes belly-up it could negatively impact hundreds of employees. The only way to counteract this is for new businesses to come in and take the place of the old. In St. Louis, a coal company is experiencing heavy losses and may file for bankruptcy, and if it fails to restructure and pay off its debts, new energy companies will need to fill the gap.

According to an article in St. Louis Today, a major energy company, Armstrong Energy, is considering filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company is primarily a coal supplier that runs five mines in Kentucky, and in 2016 the mines produced nearly six million tons of coal. Armstrong provides heat and electricity to huge portions of southern Illinois and Indiana, so a bankruptcy could be a huge blow to all of their customers. Armstrong reported a whopping $17.2 million loss in the second quarter, and this is on top of failing to make an $11.75 million interest payment in June. This follows a disturbing trend, as in 2016 two other coal companies filed for chapter 11, Arch Coal and Peabody, also headquartered in St. Louis. The reason that these companies are failing is because of increased competition from natural gas companies that are offering cleaner and cheaper energy alternatives. Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows these companies to “restructure” and get their finances in order without worrying about having to pay creditors back for a short period of time.

There are many options in the St. Louis area for those considering bankruptcy. For individuals and families, The Powderly Law Firm, L.L.C can assist with either chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy filings. For huge corporations, however, the chapter 11 process is a lot more difficult and requires multiple lawyers and sometimes even multiple firms. “Restructuring” may involve mass layoffs, and even after the debt is repaid the company may still fail if their financial model is not stable. The losses experienced by Armstrong are not new, and it may be time to reevaluate whether or not coal plants are a viable energy source moving forward. The losses in St. Louis and in Kentucky, where the mines are, will be devastating. In order to save these states, new industries will have to come in to take their place.

In the face of climate change, new energy sources are constantly being researched. Natural gas is pushing out coal due to being cleaner and better for the atmosphere, but the methods to extract this energy from the earth are very controversial. It is also not known how long we can sustain ourselves on natural gas, so I think that a push towards wind, solar, and hydroelectric power is the only way forward.

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Harassment in the Workplace

Harassment is one of the last things you want in the workplace. You already have a lot to do and you don’t want to be brought down by such a thing. But sadly, harassment in the workplace still persists, mainly because employers don’t do enough to prevent it and some employees just want to do harm to others.

The website, however, mentions that those who have experienced discriminatory behavior, including harassment, in the workplace, may have legal options. But how can harassment manifest in the workplace?

Physical Harassment

Harassment happens when an employee has received unwelcome behaviors, usually involving harm or threat of harm. Usually, an employee receives these behaviors because of his age, ethnicity, gender preference, race, religion, and sex.

The most common form of physical harassment is sexual, wherein an employee is receiving unwanted sexual advances or is being exposed to sexual contents or gestures that have the intention to gratify the sexual needs of the harasser or offend the harassed.

Another common form of harassment is violence, either through threat of harm or outright assault. This violence can be as mild as shoving, moderate as fist fighting, and severe as murdering and raping.

Emotional Harassment

Emotional harassment may be harder to prove, because it usually doesn’t leave behind physical evidence, unlike physical harassment that often results into injuries. But it can be argued that emotional harassment can be considered worse, because of the detrimental effects on the victim’s psyche.

Like physical harassment, emotional harassment is received by an employee typically because of his age, ethnicity, gender preference, race, religion, and sex.

One of the most common forms of emotional harassment is bullying, wherein an employee is consistently targeted with behavior that is meant to intimidate him or mock his features. This is particularly common on persons with disabilities, mainly because they often cannot fight for themselves and may be too limited to approach management and explain the situation.

Other forms of emotional harassment include backstabbing, defamation, exclusion, sabotage, and suspiciously excessive criticism.

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cruise ship slip and fall injury attorney Louis A. Vucci, PA

A holiday vacation onboard a cruise liner is supposed to be a perfect getaway from the stress and the monotonous everyday life. A vacation boat itself, today’s cruise ship is designed like a mini city due to its complete and modern facilities. Quite better than a city, actually, because besides providing quality entertainment and luxurious comfort at very affordable costs, all possible source of fun and excitement have been built in and on it. But while total fun is never an issue while onboard a cruise ship, authorities remain concerned on the safety of the passengers, especially when an accident occurs while out at sea.

Floors becoming slippery due to sea the breeze, ship fire, the ship running aground or colliding with another vessel, rogue waves or a storm, etc., can often turn a great adventure into a nightmare. Another worse scenario is that when something wrong happens, passengers have very limited places to run to for safety.

Due to reports of different sea tragedies during the past years, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) enforced strict compliance with all international flag and port standards, requirements and guidelines to ensure the safety and security of each passenger. Plus, the Safe Return to Port requirement, which all cruise ships built starting 2010 should meet, has also been mandated. This requirement specifically states that the ship, despite an accident, ought to be able to carry all passengers safely back to port, and that all crew members, especially the medical personnel, should be able to skillfully handle all emergency situations.

Cruise ship lawyer Louis A. Vucci, PA, emphasizes the duty and responsibility of the cruise ship staff in making sure that passengers are safe from any risk of injury; this includes the presence of well-trained medical personnel that should be able to provide the medical assistance needed by the passengers.

Despite the laws governing cruise ships, however, accidents still occur and injuries are still often sustained due to the negligence of many crew members. While no crew member would definitely want a passenger to sustain an injury, being neglectful in his/her administrative duties cannot just go unpunished and be without any legal obligation to the injured. Thus, in the event of an injury, consulting with a highly-trained cruise ship injury lawyer will certainly be to the benefit of the injured victim.

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Motorcycle Accidents: Common Causes and Contributing Factors

Anyone who has had the experiencing of riding a motorcycle will be well aware of the many ways it can prove to be a fast and effective way to travel. On the flip side, these experienced motorcyclists would also be familiar with the many risks involved in using motorcycles on the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycle accidents lead to 30 times more deaths than traffic crashes that involve regular passenger vehicles. Collisions between cars and motorcycles are particularly deadly, given the discrepancy between these two different vehicles in terms of size, speed, and safety features.

There are a number of different factors that contribute to the recurrence of motorcycle accidents in roads all over America. Because of a motorcycle’s size, drivers that become momentarily distracted may take their eyes off the road for a second and miss a motorcyclist giving proper signal before they make a turn or merge into traffic. The lack of any protective chassis around a motorcycle can also cause riders to easily fall or become unseated by even the most minor of collisions. A simple fender bender between two cars can lead to neck and back injuries for an individual riding a motorcycle. It’s also common for motorcyclists to collide with open car doors in busy streets where people typically park their vehicles. These open door collisions can be mitigated and avoided by both motorcyclists and car owners. While car owners are encouraged to keep the doors of their vehicles closed while parked, individuals riding motorcycles should take extra care and maintain a safe speed while navigating down these roads.

Most traffic accidents can be avoided by following good safety practices on the road. Still, for some individuals, the effort to follow traffic laws and regulations won’t matter if they end up sharing the way with a negligent and reckless driver. If you should find yourself in a motorcycle accident despite taking care to mitigate certain risks, the best course of action might be to consult with accident attorneys that can help you learn more about your options.

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Construction Equipment Malfunctions and Workers’ Compensation

Working on a construction site comes with many hazards, and accidents have the potential to do serious damage. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that one-fifth of worker deaths occur in construction accidents each year. In such a hazardous environment, workers expect that their equipment will operate properly and safely. When heavy machinery malfunctions, construction workers can suffer serious injury or death. Heavy-duty construction equipment such as cranes, forklifts, scaffolding, excavation equipment, trucks, and welding equipment can malfunction for a variety of reasons, some of which are the fault of the manufacturer and some of which are the fault of the operator or maintainer. Power tools can also malfunction due to a defect or failure to follow safety procedures, causing burns, electrocutions, or other accidents. The most common causes of malfunctioning construction equipment are:

  • Improper operation or operator error
  • Failure to properly maintain equipment
  • Defective equipment
  • Use of equipment beyond its designed purpose

Two of the most devastating construction accidents include crane collapse and scaffolding collapse. Scaffolding and cranes are typically several stories high and can crush workers with several tons of metal. If death doesn’t occur, victims may experience devastating injuries including brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, lacerations, broken bones, or internal organ damage. Beyond the physical bodily harm caused by the accident, victims may experience financial devastation and psychological trauma affecting their relationships and ability to work. Employees injured in a machinery malfunction may be entitled to workers’ compensation.

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Types of Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice is a form of wrongful death and personal injury claim, according to the lawyers at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP. It is defined as the failure of a medical professional to provide proper care and treatment, leading to the injury or death of a patient. According to Nolo, an online hub for legal information, just because a patient was unsatisfied with a treatment, it does not automatically account for medical malpractice. For a case to be considered medical malpractice, there has to be some sort of negligence from the part of the medical professional, like when a doctor or a nurse potentially put the patient in danger because of the lack of knowledge about the practice.

Most medical malpractice lawsuits allege medical professionals of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, as said by Nolo. The delay or misdiagnosis may lead to the patient missing the chance to be provided with surgery, treatment, or medication at the right time, which could lead to critical condition or death.

Birth injuries are also a well-known type of medical malpractice, and cerebral palsy is just one of the many injuries during childbirth that may have rooted from a professional’s negligence. The carelessness of a doctor during a woman’s pregnancy may also lead to adverse effects, like the failure to identify different complications, which would later take toll on the woman or the child.

A study back in 2006 proved that incorrect amount, incorrect prescription dosage, and just medication errors in general affect 1.5 million people in the country each year, according to Nolo. The excess or lack in the drugs may be the reason for the injury of the person.

Medical malpractice is one of the hardest cases to tackle under personal injury, because it requires an intensive look into the medical history of a patient and the medical records provided. Should one find himself/herself in a position where a medical professional has done them wrong, it is best to consult a personal injury lawyer to understand the situation further. This article dives further into problems associated with medical malpractice.

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What is Chapter 20 Bankruptcy?

For starters, ‘Chapter 20’ bankruptcy is not one process like other forms of bankruptcy. Chapter 20 is actually a combination of both chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcies. According to the website of Erin B. Shank, PC, chapter 7 is filed first in order to discharge unsecured debts before a chapter 13 is filed in order to set up a payment plan to pay off your remaining debts, which is often unpaid taxes. There are a couple benefits and reasons why chapter 20 bankruptcy might be the best option for you.

One of the foremost benefits of chapter 20 bankruptcy is that it can help you to qualify for chapter 13. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is beneficial because it allows you to set up a payment plan over the course of three to five years so you can pay off your debt, or at least catch up on payments, without stretching yourself too thin or having to suffer from relentless collectors. However, chapter 13 has debt limits in its qualifications. If your debt exceeds the limits, then you will be unable to file for chapter 13. Thankfully, chapter 20 can be a remedy for this. The first step in chapter 20 is filing for chapter 7, which can discharge some, or all, of your unsecured debt. This can make it to where you are within the limits and able to file for chapter 13.

Chapter 20 bankruptcy will also allow you to focus primarily on your priority and secured debts, such as your mortgage payments or unpaid taxes. If you filed only a chapter 13, then you may be required to also pay back a portion of your unsecured debts, such as credit cards, on top of your priority and secured debts. However, in chapter 20, you would first file for chapter 7, which would eliminate all or most of your unsecured debts. This would leave you with only the most important and serious debts to pay back, and allow you to commit to a payment plan that will get you out of debt faster or be more manageable for you over time.

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Your Neighbor’s Dog and You

According to the website of Ravid & Assoc, dogs are one of the most popular pets in the US, and according to the United States Census Bureau, millions of households in the US own at least one dog. Odds are, at least one of your neighbors has a dog. Hopefully, they take good care of their pet and you get along with them well. Sadly, that is not always the case. Hundreds of thousands of people go to the emergency room every year for dog bites. While every situation doesn’t escalate to a dog bite or attack, it is something to be wary of if your neighbor’s dog appears particularly aggressive. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you live peacefully with your neighbor and their dog. In the ideal situation there is no threat of an attack, either because the dog is well behaved or because the owner keeps them appropriately secured.

However, the dog can still bark excessively and cause friction between you and your neighbor. In a situation such as this, communication is key. It is important to talk with your neighbor yourself and try to remedy the situation before ever contacting the police in order to prevent a long term grudge from forming. When speaking to your neighbor about their dog, remember to be calm and try to avoid accusations or blame – for many people, their pets are like their children, and how they raise them can be a sensitive issue. Unfortunately, not every situation is ideal. Sometimes dogs get out or owners are not proactive enough to securely keep their dog in their yard.

When owners allow their dogs to escape their yard, it puts not only the dog in danger but yourself as well. Just like the website of Abel Law Firm states, it can be difficult to tell the difference between an aggressive dog and a friendly one. If a dog you are not familiar with approaches you with a stiff demeanor, head down, with teeth bared or growling, it is best for you to try to remove yourself discretely from the situation. If you know the owner of the dog, try to contact them and let them know their dog is loose. If you cannot contact them quickly, or they do not take action quickly, you will have to contact the authorities to come and safely collect the dog in order to prevent any bites or attacks to others.

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What is an SR-22?

Most cautious drivers can go the entirety of their life without needing to know what an SR-22 form is and what it is needed for. Most people generally have an idea or vague notion that it has to do with car insurance, but there is a little more to it than that. For those of us who aren’t as cautious on the road, are a little forgetful at times, or are just plain unlucky, we need to know what the SR-22 is for and when we might need to file one.

What is it? The SR-22 isn’t necessarily insurance, but rather a form of verification. If you do not have car insurance and need to file an SR-22 form, then you will first have to purchase car insurance. If you already have it, then you will need to submit this form to your car insurance agency. What they will then do is send a form to the Secretary of State that lets the big guys know that you have proper coverage. What this is meant to do is make sure that any at-risk drivers (more on that in a bit) have the proper coverage. While an SR-22 doesn’t necessarily mean a type of insurance, your current coverage may have to be extended or your new coverage might be more expensive, depending on the particular company and your driving record.

Who needs it? Drivers who are considered to be at-risk are the ones who will have to file an SR-22. Drivers can be considered as at-risk when they are charged with a DUI, have an accident without insurance, or have more than three moving violations within one year. Part of your ‘punishment’ for these crimes will be filing at SR-22, to make sure that you have enough coverage. If your license was revoked or suspended, then an SR-22 will also be necessary to have this lifted so you can continue driving legally.

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