In The Office: Practicing Good Office Etiquette

vintage-officeIn an office environment, manners are just as equally important as company policies.  One of the company policies that should be high on the list is chewing gum loudly in an office environment, especially if there is loud popping and smacking involved.  Photo from Lady Daa Doo.

In the 27+ years I have been working chewing gum loudly in the office was always frowned upon, prohibited, and just plain not allowed.  Although it was acceptable to chew gum, it is how the chewing is done that makes a difference, and how it affects those who work closely around you.  So when I walked into an office environment and 2 – 3 people are popping and smacking gum throughout the office I am wondering what hell hole did I crawl into that this is tolerated.  It is very disturbing.

In an article I read, it pretty reiterates what I say that about gum chewing being limited to being done quietly.  When you are interviewing prospective candidates, the one thing they don’t want to hear is employes popping gum through the company.  It will make them lose perspective of the company they have applied to work with and it sets a bad etiquette in the office, and sets a poor precedent.

The article, Gum Chewing at Work:  Appropriate or Not?, describes it perfectly, keeping it short and simple, but plain and clear.  If management is not on top of limiting the gum chewing to appropriate levels, they are just as guilty for not stepping up and reprimanding the offenders.

If you have to chew gum in the office, think about your co-workers.  Think about who might find it offensive and disturbing if you are making sounds while you are chewing, if you are popping and blowing bubbles, if you are leaving it stuck to everything imaginable.  Or better yet, don’t chew it in the office if you cannot contain yourself from the sensation of popping it.  It certainly should not be done when there are important visitors coming for a meeting.  There has to be a high level of professionalism maintained.

City Scape: Senseless Accidents

My husband and I have lived in Long Beach, CA going on 2 1/2 years now.  And I would have to say that we have counted almost a half a dozen accidents if not more during the time we’ve lived here.  Who knows how many there are when we are not home for whatever reason.

The intersection at Anaheim Street and Daisy Avenue is just one of the dangerous intersections with there being more accidents that are caused by careless motorists who have no regards for others safety.  Speeds topping 60 – 80 mph or more coming east from the 710 freeway, trying to beat the lights at Oregon and Daisy before getting to Magnolia, or coming the other direction. 😦

A few months ago, there was a hit and run accident in the middle of the night.  The crash sounded so horrific that it brought many of the residents out of their homes to see what had happened.

Weeks before that I was crossing at Daisy and Anaheim with the right of way and a monster truck blew through the red light to make the left turn after I was still in the middle of the street, he missed me by a hair.  I shouted expletives at the driver whom never acknowledged that he was in the wrong, nearly hitting me, he just looked at me and kept on going.

About two or three weeks ago there as an accident in the early morning hours in the middle of Anaheim Street between Oregon and Daisy Avenue where an SUV collided with another car coming to a stop in the driveway of a building across from 620 Burger.

accident-10-26-16-1On Thursday, October 26, 2016 an accident occurred at the intersection of Anaheim Street and Daisy Avenue.  Apparently a car coming east bound on Anaheim Street must have lost control of his car, skidding several feet before colliding into a car that was sitting at the light on the north bound side of Daisy Avenue.

The details of how the accident actually occurred are not clear, but it is certain that speed played a factor in the cause of the accident, and the driver of the car did not have time to hit the brakes as the light changed red and rather than blowing through the light, most likely he slammed on his brakes that threw the car out of control causing it to skid several feet.

accident-10-28-16-1It doesn’t stop there.  On Friday, two days later there was another accident at Daisy Avenue and Anaheim Street.  According to my husband who saw the accident unfold, stated the woman driving the truck was not paying attention to the sedan making the right turn and she careened into him.  My husband had just moved his car from that corner minutes earlier before the accident happened.  This was another senseless accident that could have been prevented had she been paying attention looking out for other motorist.  Cars have a tendency to fly around that corner.  Pictures courtesy of my husband Mr. Jackson.

The problems coming from either direction on Anaheim drivers think they are above the law.  Drivers boldly take their lives and the lives of others into their own hands.  They purpose blow through red lights with concern for others safety and it is a wonder, since my husband have lived here, no one has been killed.  But then again who knows.

This is one intersection that needs to be clearly monitored because it makes no sense the number of accidents caused by carelessness and stupidity.  And there are those who just have no business being behind the wheel of a car let alone being allowed to drive.  They need to be stripped of their driving privileges and taken off the street because they are bound to kill someone.

Traffic accidents are among the most causes for someone being severely injured. or killed by motorists.

690665_630x354Let’s rewind to last year.  ABC News reported a car plunging into the Long Beach canal off the 710 freeway where three teens were killed.  There were a total of four teens in the car, but only one 19 year-old male was the only survivor.  Two teen males and one teen girl were killed in the horrific accident.  This was two blocks from where we live.  Picture from ABC News.  Click on the link or the image to read the entire article.

What is so scary about this is a friend of mine’s younger sister was supposed to have been in that car that night, but due to an argument she and her younger sister were having, she decided not to go with them and stayed home for the evening.

spl1382242_001_135516983And lets not forget the Texas A &M student who was recently arrested for taking a topless selfie while driving with an open bottle of wine in her car, crashing into a police car.  The New York Post told the story very eloquently of this this Texas A & M student was trying to take a topless selfie for her boyfriend to post on Snapchat.  She obviously had no concern for whomever life she put in danger that night.  And to have crashed into a police car was just fate because she was taken off the street before she could have killed anyone with that foolishness.  Picture from New York Post.  Click on the link or the image to read the entire article.

These are a small handful of the issues we are faced with on the roads today.  It is a subtle reminder that we can’t just be on the road driving as if we are the only ones out there.  We have to drive responsibly and defensively because there are those who don’t care.  Have you ever wondered why someones car looks like it’s been driven off a cliff?  Every dent, ding, rip and tear probably has an accident tied to to it.

Overall it is getting worse as the number of drivers is increasing.  Undocumented citizens are being allowed to get drivers license, more and more kids are getting drivers license, and the number of accidents goes up and insurance rates are through the roof.

The only thing we can do is try to safeguard ourselves and our families as best we can from the retardation of careless and irresponsible drives because clearly law enforcement does not have the man power to take these individuals off the street and keep them off the street.

Employment: Hired Based on Strengths vs. Skills & Qualifications

I don’t know about you, but when I interview for a position that is a good fit with my overall background, I want to be hired knowing that not only do I possess the skills and qualifications to perform the duties of that job, but I am also capable — meaning I have the strengths or can gain the strengths needed to do my job effectively.  But what if you are hired because of what your strengths are over your skills and qualifications?  That can be both a good thing and a bad thing because your skill set is being looked at secondarily, whereas whether or not you are strongly in performing certain tasks and/or functions will weigh over everything else.

From a positive standpoint your strengths will place you in certain places of the company the supervisor will feel you are well suited, on the other hand from a negative point of view, you could feel that your skills are not being utilized to the best of your capabilities ~ thus leaving you to be overlooked for opportunities you are confident you can take on.  You will not be considered for challenges, and you can even be overlooked for training efforts to help you grow and advance in your position.

To be quite honest, I’d rather be considered for a position based on both my strengths, my skills and qualifications, and my long term goals, which 9 times out of 10 include looking to be on a job long term with the opportunity to grown and learn more about who I am working for, and with the opportunity for advancement.  If you find yourself in a position for 3 or more years and have not been considered for other opportunities you are within your rights to question whether or not you are not being overlooked.  And then you have to look at who are getting the advancement opportunities.  It’s been known that management and/or supervisory staff will show favoritism towards others, purposely overlooking those who are more deserving of that particular opportunities.  Also, you have to look at who are being hired into those opportunities, too.  Too many times I have applied for opportunities in-house and was told they would let me know, come to find out, their friends and/or family members have been hired into those positions.

It’s an ongoing problem that companies will not address.  And if you complain, you are likely to be let go for some made up reason because now you are considered a trouble maker even though you do your job well ~ probably better than the co-worker who was there five years longer than you.  Hey!  It’s been known to happen.

What if you come into a company as a temp employee.  Opportunities are not automatically available to you because it’s at the discretion of the company as to how long they want to keep you and if whether or not they want to hire you on permanently.  This is when it becomes a song and dance routine because now you have to do your job better than they expected, exceeding all of their expectations, giving them more than one reason to transition you into a full time permanent position.  But the problem with that can surround whether or not that hire you on at the same pay rate or at an increased salary because you’ve been there an x-amount of time, you know the work, you work well with other staff members and vendors, and everyone likes you.  Hold on!!!  That’s not enough.

When I worked at USC, I worked as a temp from March 2012 to November 2012 before it was decided that I was going to be hired on full time permanent, but on an at-will contractual basis depending on available research funding.  It was not until early December when I received my offer letter.  So, in essence it took eight months to transition from one extreme to another.  Currently I am in that same scenario.  I work for a medical group, coming in as a temp in February 2015.  I heard a few times that I was going to be considered for full time permanent status, however, the last time I heard about it was three months ago and I’ve been a temp since the end of February; therefore, it has been eight months.  I transitioned into a position because a staff member left, but hearing in a staff meeting that they are looking to fill that position was alarming because I thought I was going to be the person to fill that position ~ where does that leave me?

These are things you have to take into consideration when you’re:

  1. Hired based on your strengths over your skills and qualifications, and
  2. Coming in as a temp ~ what to expect and whether or not you should keep your options open.

Bottom line is you don’t want to find yourself temping for the rest of your life.  As a temp you are constantly on the end of the rope.  That rope can be cut any time because you are the odd man out.  A company can choose to go any route they wish with regards to your employment status, which they hold in the palm of their hands.  It would be a mistake to go into any position blindly without knowing what the long term employment status is going to be.  In this case, maintain open communication with your temp agency representative because they will know first about what’s going on unless the company you are assigned to communicates directly with you letting you know what they choose to do.

With that being said, keep your resume updated.  You never know when you are gong to need it.  Hiring practices continues to change and with change comes how hiring managers choose their candidates and what factors they use to make their decisions.

In the article “Model Warren Buffet’s Strategy. Hire Based on Strengths,” it is a different definition altogether on this hiring concept, which focuses on integrity, energy, and characteristics.  While looking at these three elements, it also looks at conscious behavior, subconscious signature strengths, career history, and top important interview questions that are usually thought provoking.  This is because this hiring strategy encompasses both focuses on strengths and employment background which it should in all cases.  But when you are just focusing on strengths, this is when it can turn into a train wreck.

The question will then become, “what’s my motivation for staying if I am being overlooked for opportunities that can help me grow and learn more about my position and the company I work for?”  Whether full time or temping.  That question can be in the back of anybody’s mind who is not looking to be in one place for too long without any chance for room to grow.

These are just things to think about going into any new job.  It doesn’t matter if you are being assigned through a temporary agency or if you are being hired as a direct hire.  You want to make sure there is room from growth.  Otherwise what’s the point?  Don’t waste your time and theirs if what you are looking for in your employment is not visible and/or not at reach.

 

 

Money Matters: The Pros and Destructions of Payday Loans

out-payday-loan-nightmare-800x800How many times have you found yourself short of funds before the end of the month?  You still have bills that need to be paid, you have unexpected car or home repairs that need to be done, an unexpected emergency has risen, or you’ve found yourself in an unsettling situation where you need extra funds right away.  It has happened to the best of us, where some of us have better resources for getting the extra cash we need such as a stashed away savings, a sizeable savings account that’s been growing like crazy, or we have a great support circle among family and friends.  Whereas others are not as lucky and have to scrape and scrounge to find the extra money they need to take care of those unexpected situations that may arise.  Photo from EHow.com.

Payday loans are just that one available and alternative resource to applying for bank loans where good credit is a major factor.  At the time payday loans may seem like a good idea, however, you have to first ask yourself if this is a short-term or long-term need.  I say that because constant use of a payday loan, if not managed properly and responsibly can create havoc in one’s life it gotten out of hand.  What do I mean?  In the state of California, the use of payday loans is limited as to how many you can have outstanding at one time.  A manager at one payday loan store told me that “you really are not supposed to have more than five outstanding payday loans at one time.”  They first look at your ability to pay them back on time and without problems going forward.  But here’s the thing, some payday loan sources, especially those strictly online, do not care how many you have outstanding as long as you have an incoming source of income, a checking account, can vouch for how much you make per month after taxes, if you have direct deposit, and access to your account to pull the money out automatically.

half-of-all-payday-loans-reborrowThe bottom line is they are a good idea at the time, and you may find that you need more than one to cover certain expenses, but keep in mind that if you miss one payment some will work with you as long as you are willing to pay the fees that go along with missing that one payment, or defaulting on the account — then payment arrangements can be made. Some offer refinancing on the loan allowing you to retake the loan out mid way through paying it back just to avoid you defaulting on the loan altogether (not many of those are available).  But if you default on a payday loan altogether, have no payment arrangements in place, have had no communication with the loan company, then it can turn into a nightmare, so be prepared to go a full 12 rounds.  Photo from MoneyNation.com

These companies will continue trying to pull the money out of your account on defaulted payday loans until they get it.  This can result in an enormous amount of bank fees on — the deadly insufficient fee charges in access of $32 per returned ACH item, thus putting your account in jeopardy.  And if you have other items outstanding to be paid out of your account, and that payday loan fee comes out before your other expenses, imagine the hell you will have to go through getting those expenses covered, and possible get hit with a $32 returned item fee.  Who wants to go through that nonsense?

If they are still unsuccessful in getting their money back, you can expect to be haunted by the nightmarish collection calls that will go on for days and nights for several months.  You can try to wait it out until the statutes of limitations run out, but be prepared for the 15-30+ calls a day from some of these companies that become ruthless in chasing you down.

Can defaulting on payday loans ruin your credit?  You shouldn’t even have to ask that question!  They are attached to your social security number, therefore, they will show up on your credit report because they are considered a source of credit that was extended to you with the extreme promise to pay back in full.  Some local payday loans  with well established collection practices in place will have you served and taken to small claims court in order to get their money back, often leading in judgements against you if you still can’t pay and don’t show up to court.  You can spend years fighting payday loan companies until you actually find a reasonable way to pay them back via realistic monthly payment terms.  But once an item has aged well beyond five years, ideally they cannot sue you due to the age of the debt, but they will try to collect on it even if it’s ten years later.

untitled2Unscrupulous collection agencies will contact you to collect on these accounts.  This is because they have bought your account for pennies on the dollar, jacked up the amount from what you originally owe, and will use every tactic known to get you to pay them.  Even scare tactics.

You have to make sure collection agencies call you are who they say they are and make sure they are legitimately representing the payday loan service where you originally took out the loan.  There are horror stories of how fake collection agencies are collecting on these accounts and running off with the money and the original payday loan company never received the money.  If this happens to you makes sure you have retained all of your receipts to show proof of who you paid the money to and how much was paid, and who you spoke to during the time the money was being paid.  It is likely that the payday loan company may cancel the debt altogether and render it paid in full because of this particular scenario, just have excellent records available to provide if asked for it.  Photo from YouTube.com.

Here are some important tips to keep in mind if you are contacted by a collection agency to collect on a payday loan debt:

  1. Collection agencies have to identify themselves as a reputable collection agency attempting to collect a debt and any information they obtain will be used for the purpose of collecting the debt
  2. Collection agencies have to disclose the creditor they are presenting including verifying the legitimacy of the debt, including the amount, the name of the creditor, and all information pertaining to that particular debt.
  3. If you are not sure, or you are leery of who you are speaking with, ask for verification of the debt in writing before agreeing to make a payment or any payment plan.  You want to make sure the debt is indeed yours and is from the company you owe.
  4. If you receive something in writing with regards to the debt and the amount is different than what you originally owe, contact the original creditor to verify the amount.  Get the name of who you spoke to and the date and time.
  5. Beware of collection agencies asking you to pay a past due payday loan via Western Union or MoneyGram, and refuse to use this option.
  6. Always pay though a cashier check or money order or through a debit Visa or MasterCard separate from your personal checking and savings account, and major credit cards if you are making payments.
  7. If the statutes of limitations has run out on the debt, and you are contacted by a collection agency, and the debt is well aged over 5 – 10 years, keep in mind that they cannot sue you (check with the statutes of limitations in your state on credit accounts).  If you are not in the position to pay the debt back, do not discuss any payment arrangements or plans to pay the account in full — especially if you do not have the funds to do so.  Research has indicated that this restarts the collection process and you are stuck all over again with receiving the unwanted collection calls.  But check to be sure.  There is a lot of different information pertaining to the rules of statutes of limitations.
  8. You can ask in writing by sending a certified letter to the company to stop calling you at work and at home.  If this continues after the certified letter has been sent and received, you have rights against collection agencies — they are breaking the law if they continue, and you are within your legal rights to take action.
  9. Report harassment calls to your State District Attorney office. You will be able to file a claim.  Be sure to log all dates and times, and what was said in all calls and voicemails.  If you do owe the debt, harassment calls with a threatening tone are prohibited.  They are not allowed to threaten you with jail, and they are not allowed to represent themselves as legal entities when they indeed are not.
  10. Never offer up vital information when speaking with collection agencies.  If they cannot comply with your request to provide proof of the debt over the phone or preferably in writing, discontinue conversations with them until they are willing to do so.  Identify theft is still high on the rise and some collection agencies are cover up for elaborate criminal activity resulting in stealing people’s money.
  11. Again, it is against the law for collection agencies to represent themselves as legal entities such as law firms when they are clearly not.  There are laws governing this type of action in collection agencies.
  12. Again, it is against the law for collection agencies to threaten you with being arrested at your home or place of business, and threaten the safety of your family.  Lawyers are waiting in the corner to file charges against these agencies who clearly break the law.
  13. More importantly, protect yourself and know your rights as a debtor.

Many of us have fallen on hard times and many of us are still feeling the after effects of the crash of the economy — still fighting to get back on our feet — getting back into the workforce, securing a means of living to stay afloat, keeping a roof our heads.  Times are still tough for many, while some have it a lot better and have not had to experience the struggles that most experience.

Outstanding credit accounts of all kinds are just that…outstanding, and will have fallen into the hands of collection agencies — some more legitimate than others.  How they come at you speaks volumes — collection letters prepared with professionalism providing you adequate information that verifies the validity of the debt, whereas some will come with sketchy information you have to think twice about.

money100Educate yourself on what collection agencies can and cannot do and know who to report them to when they knowingly break the law.

If you can avoid having to go this route in getting payday loans, then by all means do whatever you can in getting involved with this market.  The nightmare will never go away unless you file bankruptcy and file on all those payday loans you have outstanding.  If they call you after you have file for bankruptcy and it’s been charged off then you can forward them copies of the documentation stating you filed for bankruptcy and move on from there; don’t get into conversations with them because you may say something you may ultimately regret — just don’t make the same mistake twice.  Photo from Paydayloanopinion.com.

Entertainment: Blues Legend BB King Dead at 89

It was quite a blow to the music industry when the news came across all news media of the loss of legendary BB King, who died at the age of 89, said his daughter, at his home.  My husband had the greatest opportunity ever of having met BB King and spoken with him on several occasions while working at the LAX airport.  He’d held many conversations every time the blues legend traveled through LAX, often asking for my husband by name.

BB King is famely known for greatest hits such as “The Thrill is Gone” and “Lucille,” tunes I grew up to.  I remember growing up, every time “The Thrill is Gone” was played it was time to hit the road with my mom, and we’d be off on an adventure, often travelling to Northern California on the Greyhound Bus. This was before and after she divorced my late father (he passed away August 2001).

ClaptonridingwiththekingKing partnered with many of the greatest artists during his career, but my most favorite collaboration I can recount is with Eric Clapton on the album, “Riding With the King,” an album that hit our front door as soon as it hit the streets.

I am not a huge blues fan, but this is one album I really enjoyed, and my husband enjoyed playing it on his guitar.

Photo from Wikipedia.

Although I did not follow his career as extensively as my husband did and still does, strumming notes here and there on his guitar, comfortably sitting on the edge of the sofa, finding himself lost in moments of nostalgia, remembering the old days that are not so far from his mind whenever he thinks about BB King and the conversations they exchanged — I can imagine how great a person he was.

Even though he is gone from us now, I do know will continue to be well respected in the entertainment industry, among many friends, a wealth of fans who adored him, and his family — he is well loved, and will be greatly missed.  But we will not mourn his passing, instead we will celebrate his life…it was truly a remarkable walk in life.

Community: Police Arrest Trespasser Knocking on Tenants Doors Asking To Come In To Charge His Phone

Long Beach — residence were on edge when a trespasser, a young Hispanic male in his late teens or early 20’s, got on to the property of two complexes knocking on doors asking several tenants, “can I come in and charge my phone?”  No one knew who he was or where he had come from, or what he was capable of.  One tenant stated, “I saw him walking up and down the street, like he was pacing.”  He went on to say, “He sat down behind my wife’s car and just fell back on his backpack and was out for a few minutes, then jumped up and started walking up and down the street again.  He’s clearly high on something.”

The trespasser managed to lie his way on to one complex property saying he used to live there, but was kicked out.  The tenant who lived at one of the upper units overlooking the street let him into the complex believing his story.  He made his way to the back door of one units where the tenant lived who saw him pacing the block, knocking on their back door shortly after the manager of the complex property spotted him as he passed her front door.  His wife, who thought it to be strange that someone would be knocking on their back door, opened the door, “can I help you?”  Totally shocked to see this man standing at their back door about to plow his way in, “can I come in and charge my phone?” Holding his phone and charger in hand ready to just walk on in.  “I’m sorry, NO, you can’t come in here.”  He had not counted on her husband immediately coming to the back door running him away. “No, man you can’t come in here!!!”  He backed up down the steps mumbling under his breath, walking away from their back door.  Upon checking on his location, he was found sitting on a neighbor’s back door step, then he managed to plug his charger into the plug where the washer and dryer was housed.

The manager found him and chased him away from the area, but he wouldn’t leave right away until she had to force him out after calling the police.  He left and went next door to the bungalow apartments knocking on tenants doors asking the same thing, “can I come in to charge my phone?”  It frightened some of the tenants that this strange man was randomly knocking on their door.  Tenants affected by him from that complex called the police as well.  He came back trying to get back into the complex he was previously in, but the gate was locked tight and the manager was standing guard at the entrance telling him she called the police and he’d better go away, instead he went shouting up and down the block.

The police arrived ten minutes after the ordeal.  He was located, hand cuffed and taken into custody.  The tenant, whom the trespasser knocked on the back door of their apartment, told the police their encounter with the young man.  The officer stated they were familiar with who he was going on to say he lived in the neighborhood but further up and over some blocks.  They indentified that he had done this sort of thing before, and was clearly high on something, but declined to say what it was exactly after they searched him and put him into their squad car.  Their first intent was to find something they could arrest him on.  The only things they could more than likely hold him on or charge him with would be trespassing and being high on an illegal substance, or charge him for trespassing, disturbing the peace, and probably possession of carrying an illegal substance if one was found on him, and nothing more.  No one was injured in the process.

Entertainment: American Idol Cancelled After Season 15

american-idol4

Oh the horror!  Fox announced that it is cancelling American Idol after Season 15.  I heard the news just after getting home from work yesterday evening and went on to research it to find out if it were true.  On CNN Money my fears were confirmed.

If you’re a long-time fan like I am then you have watched American Idol for 14 consecutive years straight — never missing a season — and have had your favorite winners and disappointments.  My favorites winners were Fantasia, Rubin Studdard, Candace Glover, Adam Lambert, and the one who kicked it off was Kelly Clarkson.  But you have to give props to the one lady who took the music industry by storm, is still killing it, and she didn’t even win…Jennifer Hudson!  She took home awards not for being Jennifer Hudson but because she has the vocals that says I’m here to stay and she’s proven hand over fist that she is a true force to be reckoned with.  She’s overcome great tragedies in her life and has not let that stop her.  She nailed it with her title track “Think Like a Man” for the hit movie, “Think Like a Man,” and my “Walk it Off.”  Love her for real!!!

Photo from Showbiz.com.

Carrie Underwood is another great favorite for many Underwood fans who stole the hearts of many with her favorite tunes that are still chart favorites today, “Jesus Take the Wheel,”  “Before He Cheats,” “Two Black Cadillacs.”  I’m not an underwood fan, but I can relate to some of her music.

Candace Glover was a shoe in to win.  I called it from the very beginning when I saw her Idol audition.  And I had the very privileged opportunity of seeing her perform live at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza during their concert series being put on by BET in 2014.  The modest and humble idol winner has gone on to show everyone just what she’s made of, letting her vocal capability continue to shine and give you goosies.  The year Adam Lambert should have won was a hug disappointment because he clearly has vocals to take you from here to eternity and back.  I had goosies every time he opened his mouth to sing.  But even though he didn’t win he’s definitely made a name for himself. The world was not quite ready for him.

Another Idol should have been was David Archuletta.  In Season 7 he did the duet with OneRepublic performing “It’s Too Late.”  I was on my feet when he did that performance, I later downloaded every version of that song  I could find — I felt every word he sung, unfortunately Archuleta didn’t win, and was another disappointment because clearly he was another one who had vocals to carry him through the industry.  He’s not done a whole lot in music, but he is still making a name for himself.

Of course American Idol has had its turn out of surprising (and shocking) winners — some I don’t understand how they won to begin with and those I felt the fans decided right — but the show has had its run — and what a good run it was!  Reading how well the ratings have done up to 2011, the show has started to show signs of fizzing out with viewers, which is not surprising.  I’d say because, too, it’s become too predictable and it’s not really brought anything new and different to the limelight.  And then here comes Empire that knocked American Idol out of the ball park with just one season.  Making ratings for American Idol fall below 10 million in viewers and Empire the highest rated show on Fox.  That’s not surprising because Cookie stole everybody’s heart with her spirit and personality and tough charm.

The ratings for American Idol were already showing signs of falling and had fallen considerably in the last two season including 2015 according to the Neilsen ratings.  Empire helped the ratings for American Idol fall even more.  But what can you say when you have a show like Empire come strong and hard, keeping us on our toes the way it did?  The question is, can it come back with a new season with equal the edginess and equal the power the first season had, and will Cookie be just as tough?

American Idol is returning for its final Season 15.  With the finale this week and the announcement that the show is cancelling (thanks Fox) coming two days before the season finale is expected to rake in top ratings as a new winner is crowned with Rayvon Owen finally out of the running after having been on the bottom for the past several weeks.  It is down to  Nick Fradiani, Clark Beckham and Jax.  Who will go home and who will take home the crown as the Next American Idol?  I say Fradiani should go home.  I have not been enjoying the music he’s chosen in the past weeks.  Jax has been killing it in her performances and Clark Beckham has been showing several ranges to his ability.  It should come down to these two.

What can we expect for the final season?  Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Conick Jr. are returning as the judges and Ryan Seacrest comes back as the show’s host…no surprise there.  It would be stupid to bring in a new judges this late in the game, wouldn’t you think?

Now what should happen is for the final season on the last shows and on the finale show, they should make them huge.  Bring back as many of the Idols from the past 14 years as they can to perform and to give the show a respectable farewell.  Make the last shows as star-studded as they possibly can.  It would only be suiting to do so after all, American Idol had a tremendous run.

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