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Silvercar: Rent a silver luxury Audi, no hassle, no paperwork

(BUSINESS NEWS) SIlvercar is a traveler’s dream – a seamless app offering a luxury A4 with tons of goodies, putting the old school car rental options to shame.

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Taking the hassle out of renting a car

How many times have you found yourself staring down endless rows of boring, humbug rentals, trying to pick which one is the best for your buck? With all the time it takes to stare, compare, and choose, it may just be easier to close your eyes, spin in a circle, and point.

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But lucky for you, you wont have to do either, thanks to what some believe to be the most convenient car rental app to date: Silvercar, headquartered in Austin.

With Silvercar, there are no more endless rows to stare down, no more boring vehicles, and no more paperwork; that’s because every single one of their vehicles is a silver Audi A4, and can be reserved, paid for, and picked up directly from their app. Done.

Let’s see how this works exactly:

First, of course, users must download the Silvercar app, available for both iPhone or Android.

Here, you will be given the option of selecting which city you want to reserve your car in. Right now, Silvercar is available in Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Phoenix, and San Francisco.

The layout is seamless, and the interface is captivating. Each city is highlighted on an infinite scroll feature with an awesome picture from each town as the backdrop. Once you select the city, select the dates you want, and the pick-up and drop-off times.

Then pay and pick up – easy peasy

From there, all you have to do is pay. Now I know this is usually where you say a little prayer, and do a little dance, in hopes that the price is not too high. And I also know you’re pretty positive that same prayer and dance won’t help you with an Audi A4, but you’re wrong!

Prices most certainly vary, but I tested out a weekend trip in four different cities on the Silvercar app, and prices averaged around $55 per day: the same price for a boring, economy, hatchback rental.

Also, get this – they run specials all the time for first time rentals, and they pay you if you refer a friend.

Once you reserve, all you have to do is use the handy app to unlock the car, and there you have it: the coolest, most affordable, predictable rental you’ve probably ever had.

Don’t forget the extra goodies

Now that you know how cool the app is, it’s time to tell you just how cool your actual Silvercar is. First off, there’s fair toll tracking on each car, so you only pay for the toll you incur, and no transponder fees.

There’s also a radio, but not just any radio, free SiriusXM satellite radio. It even has fair fuel planning, which keeps track, and allows you to pay only for the gas you use, at the local pump price. But here’s the mother load of all those features: free Wi-Fi and GPS, so no more roaming overages, or data charges!

How much more cooler, or simpler can car rentals get? I’m actually so excited, I’ve been multi-tasking and planning a trip, this entire time. So if you too want to get in on the excitement, download Silvercar and reserve your silver Audi A4 today!

#silvercar

Lauren Flanigan is a Staff Writer at The American Genius, hailing from the windy hills of Cincinnati, with a degree in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati. She has escaped the hills, and currently resides in Atlanta, where you can almost always find her camping at a Starbucks strategizing on how to take over the world.

Business News

Is insecurity the root of overworking in today’s workforce?

(CAREER) Why are professionals who “made it” in their field still chronically overworked? Why are people still glorifying a lack of sleep in the name of the hustle?!

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startup optimize to key metric

So you got that job you wanted after prepping for months, and everything seems cool and good… but you’re working way more hours than scheduled. Skipping lunch, coming in early and staying late, and picking up any project that comes your way. You’re overworked.

Getting the job was supposed to be a mark of success in itself, but now, work is your life and everyone is wondering how you can be working so much if you’re already successful.

In an article for Harvard Business Review, Laura Empson delves into what drives employees to overwork themselves. Empson is a professor of Management of Professional Service firms at the University of London, and has spend the last 25 years researching business practices.

Her recently published book Leading Professionals: Power, Politics and Prima Donnas, focuses on business organizational theory and behavior, based on 500 interviews with senior professionals in the world’s largest organizations.

Over the course of her research, Empson encountered numerous reports of people in white-collar positions pushing themselves to work exhausting hours. Decades ago, those with white-collar jobs in law firms, accountancy firms, and management consultancies worked towards senior management positions to gain partnership.

Once partnership was reached, all the hard work paid off in the form of autonomy and flexibility with scheduling and projects. Now, even entry-level employees are working overextended hours.

An HR director interviewed by Empson noted, “The rest of the firm sees the senior people working these hours and emulates them.” There’s a drive to mirror upper management, even at the cost of health.

Empson’s research indicates insecurity is the root of this behavior. Insecurity about when work is really done, how management will perceive employees, and what counts as hard work. Intangible knowledge work provokes insecurity since there’s rarely ever a way to tell when this work is complete.

Colleagues turn into competitors, and suddenly working outside of your regular hours becomes seen as normal if you want to keep up with the competition. You want to stand out from the crowd, so staying late a few days a week starts to feel normal.

This can turn into a slippery slope, and when being overworked feels like the norm, you may not notice taking on even more extra hours and responsibilities to feel like you’re contributing efficiently to the company.

During her research, Empson found that some recruiters admitted to hiring “insecure overachievers” for their firms.

Insecure overachievers are incredibly ambitious and motivated, but driven by feelings of inadequacy. Financial insecurity and disproportionately tying self-worth to productivity are just a few contributing factors to their self-doubt.

As a result, these kind of people are amazingly self-disciplined, and likely to pursue elite positions with professional organizations. Fear of being exposed as inadequate drives insecure employees to work long hours to prove themselves

Even upper level management is subject to this same insecurity.

Organizational pressures can make even the most established leader overwork themselves.

Empson notes, “Working hard can be rewarding and exhilarating. But consider how you are living. Recognize when you are driving yourself and your staff too hard, and learn how to help yourself and your colleagues to step back from the brink.“

Analyze your organization’s conscious and unconscious messaging about achievement, and make sure you’re setting and enforcing realistic expectations for your team.

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Business News

How employers should react to the new age discrimination court ruling

(BUSINESS NEWS) A court case that could likely land in the Supreme Court is one that all employers should react to and prepare for.

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age discrimination

In January, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that then 58-year-old Dale Kleber did not get protection against age discrimination from CareFusion as a job applicant.

For employers, there are some important takeaways. Namely, that Kleber v CareFusion does not give employers open season to only hire young workers.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects employees against age discrimination. There are also protections against disparate treatment under ADEA.

Basically, employers cannot intentionally discriminate against aged applicants. When posting a job, that means you should never advertise for someone under the age of 40 when posting job descriptions.

While Federal law may not apply to older applicants, the Texas Labor Code,  for example prohibits discrimination against people over 40 years of age. Employers should be very aware of inequity throughout the hiring process, whether you’re looking at internal or external candidates. You do not want to be a test case for age discrimination.

How can you avoid violating ADEA and other applicable laws?

First, you should work with your legal counsel and HR department to make sure you are following the law. If you are accused of age discrimination, you should talk to your lawyer before responding. It’s a serious complaint that you shouldn’t try to answer on your own.

Next, go through your job postings to make them age-neutral unless there is a reason for hiring someone under the age of 40. The legal term for this is Bona Fide Occupational Definition. The qualifications can’t be arbitrary. There must be industry standards that determine a definable group of employees cannot perform the job safely.  

Words in applications matter. Don’t ask for GPA or SAT scores. Avoid things like “digital native,” “high-energy,” or “overqualified.” These terms indicate that you’re looking for someone young.  

You should also update application forms that request birthdays or graduation dates. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, you should structure interviews around skill sets, not personal information.

Train those responsible for hiring about the current laws in your state.

Make your managers aware of bias, both conscious and unconscious. It’s not age discrimination that runs afoul of the law, and you must be prepared to confront any situation where it occurs.

Talk about age bias and discrimination in your workplace. Don’t assume that older workers aren’t tech savvy or that they don’t want to keep their skills current. Instead of putting generations against each other, have a multigeneration workplace.

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Business News

Cities are fighting back against the motorized scooter companies

(BUSINESS NEWS) The scooter wars are on, and major cities are filled with them – residents and government are finally fighting back.

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bird scooters

When the scooter-pocalypse began, it seemed to come out of nowhere. One day, the most annoying thing in downtown traffic was maybe a pedicab, and then the next: a swarm of zippy electric razor scooters.

This sudden arrival was by design: companies like Lime and Uber’s JUMP simply just began offering their services. There was no negotiation with the city, no opportunity even for residents to say whether or not the scooter pick-up stations could be located in front of their houses—just a sudden horde of scooters (for the record, this do-it-first and then ask permission approach was replicated in all major cities across the United States).

Was this illegal? Nope. There was nothing on the law books about the rental scooter technology so there was technically nothing wrong with the companies just assuming that they could do what they wanted. (Some scooterists have since come to think the same thing, committing crimes and breaking rules.)

Now, enough time has passed for cities to have the opportunity to fight back, as a new year of legislative sessions has begun. San Francisco is one such community, which determined that only permitted companies could operate within the city limits—and, surprise, many of the don’t-ask-permission companies were not given these permits.

Lime, blocked from operating, filed a suit against the city saying that they had been discriminated against based on their … rude … arrival.

A judge has since ruled that there was no bias in the city’s review of the permit applications that were later not awarded to Lime.

As the legislation and the lawsuits play out over the next year, it will be interesting to see if the scooter company’s attitudes toward the cities they operate in change.

If, as they have said all along, they desire to be the next major innovation in urban infrastructure, then they need to be prepared to work with and grow alongside the communities that they inhabit.

It would be a wise move, then, to partner with local governments to ensure that both organizations are working in the best interest of the populations that they serve. 

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