Archives for June 2015

President’s Trip To Nashville

Fidelis Companies President’s Trip is awarded to employees and managers who exceed annual sales and performance goals.  Previous President’s trip destinations include New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Steamboat Springs, CO. This year’s excursion was a 4-day visit to Nashville with five employees and their significant others…and, Alan and Karen, of course.  Setting foot on Nashville turf on Thursday morning, and having arrived at the hotel too early for check-in, eight of the twelve Fidelis crew headed over to The Pharmacy for lunch, and what turned out to be one of the best burgers any of us had ever eaten. The craft beers were pretty tasty, too.  Dinner With All




After check-in, the same eight headed out for a two-hour walking tour, experiencing some of the downtown Nashville highlights.  It was led by Bill DeMain, a Grammy nominated country music journalist, songwriter and musician (  Bill was quite knowledgeable and entertaining; the tour was laced with history and stories about Chet Atkins, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and many others. Some of the most memorable sites of the tour were Skull Shulman’s and Bourbon Street, both located in Printer’s Alley, Tootsie’s (originally knows as The Orchid Lounge where many famous songs were written on napkins, and where many musicians got their start), the Ryman Auditorium (originally, The Union Gospel Tabernacle and the original home of the Grand Ole Opry) and Hatch Print Shop, which has been in business for over 100 years and still uses the same printing method it did in it’s original day.

On Friday, some of the crew hit the town on the Sprocket Rocket, pedaling and suds-ing their way around town.  On Friday night, all of us were treated to second row, center stage seats at The Grand Ole Opry, where we experienced a live radio show! With almost a dozen different acts, the music, humor and entertainment made it a great evening, highlighted by Little Big Town, Mo Pitney, Chip Esten, Whispering Bill Anderson and Exile (yes, we all belted out, “I Wanna Kiss You All Over” as loud as we could).  

Many of us toured the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, featuring “Dylan, Cash & The Nashville Cats,” with very cool and historical displays of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, of course; but, also of Elvis, Kenny Rogers, George Strait, Patsy Cline…you name the CM star, there was something there about them…as far back as you can remember, Roy Acuff, Roy Rogers, Loretta Lynn…up to today – Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan…

Most, if not everyone, made it to “Hattie B’s,” across the street from the hotel, for “hot chicken,” which was pretty tasty.  And, if you turned up the heat and ordered the “Shut the Cluck Up” level of spice, it lived up to it’s name.  I sweated and teared-up through a couple of pieces, but was unable to finish, and my stomach was warm for several hours after!

The other music and entertainment that we all experienced was The Bluebird Café, where Garth Brooks got his start in 1987, filling in for someone.  It’s a small and quaint, 90-seat restaurant tucked away in a strip center that features all types of musical talent and is always sold out.  We were serenaded by four singer/song-writers performing acoustic versions of songs they had written and published.  Each of the artist took turns explaining how, when and why they wrote the songs before performing them, making it a cool evening full of fun, laughter and even a few tears as they mixed in a few emotional ballads.  

On Saturday night, Alan and Karen treated all of us to an incredible dinner at Kayne Prime Steakhouse. The menu included Lobster Buttered Popcorn and Black Peppercorn Bacon wrapped with Maple Cotton Candy for appetizers, Black Kale salad with almonds and currants, and Filet Mignon, Salmon and Porterhouse steaks for dinner – all with fine wine, of course; and, closed out with several incredible desserts. 


Tell Recruiters The Truth

Individuals looking for employment need to be honest with the recruiters they are going to for help. All recruiters will ask why you left past employers.  Just be honest and talk about it. Most recruiters, HR people, and hiring managers understand layoffs. Describe the situation in a way that’s most beneficial to you. 30-50% of your group being laid off is significantly different from 5%. If you were the sole person laid off in your group, that is not a layoff.  Surviving multiple layoffs and getting caught in a third or forth is something to point out to the interviewer.  

Lying on your resume or during the interview process is a major mistake, especially in the age of information, where most information is verifiable. Don’t exaggerate your resume with information that has no truth behind it.  Seasoned recruiters and hiring managers will find out and they will follow up with questions.  Even if you don’t like what the recruiter has to say, be patient, because they are just trying to help you. Do not burn these important bridges by lying or purposely misleading recruiters. You will be most successful in your job search if you listen to what your recruiter has to say. They normally know more about the client at hand than you.  

Biggest mistake: telling lies in an interview. All of the below have been used for years. You aren’t the first.


The Education Lies

  • “I had all the credits, I just didn’t graduate.” If you have the credits, you have the degree.
  • “I did all the classes, I just need to pay the fees to graduate.” Who would take the time and spend the money to attend and complete a college degree and then not graduate because of fees. It’s an unbelievable story.
  • “I graduated from X but it was a long time ago, I don’t know why they can’t verify my degree.” Degrees are verifiable.

The No-Show Interview Lies

  • “My car broke down.” If your car does break down, make a call and reschedule. There is no excuse for not showing up.
  • “I couldn’t find your location.” Researching the location is one of many things you need to accomplish during your interview preparation. Everyone with a smart phone has a map.

The Termination Lies

  • “It was a mutual decision that I left.” It is assumed that you resigned because you were going to be terminated. Break-ups are always initiated by one side. If the job wasn’t a fit for you, state that and explain the specifics. An A-player at one company can be a C-player at another. Success is a by-product of many things.
  • “I was in a bad accident and they fired me for not showing up to work.” Bad accidents are written up. This can always be corroborated. Make sure it happened and you notified your employer if you make this claim.
  • “I didn’t like the people I worked with.” This might be true, but it is never appropriate to bad mouth a former employer or co-worker. The person sitting in the interviewer chair doesn’t want someone to bad mouth them. You don’t want to give the impression that that is your character.