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Ravings of a Mad Printer…..Dealing with Illness in the Workplace

By: John Sarantakos, February 2017

This is an incredibly difficult topic to discuss and deal with inside your workplace. Let’s face it, people get sick and I’m not just talking about the flu. Real life, down and dirty, crappy kind of sick. Whether it is an employee, one of their family members or even yourself. It happens. The ripples created will affect everyone within your work group.
If you have been a manager for any length of time, you have probably had to deal with this exact situation. It is personal and upsetting. Yet we must actively make decisions and take actions that will lead the “business” forward, while not marginalizing or minimizing the personal aspect. Compassion has to be the center piece. But what happens when we must choose a direction that is contrary to a person that is suffering? A perfect example would be a staff member that has been on FLMA for the allotted 12 weeks. They perform a critical job and their absence has put a huge stress on the operation. Overtime and missed deadlines are just a few of the issues. So, do you exercise your rights as an employer and fill the position? Do you limp along and hope the person returns soon? What if that person is you?
I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Stage one, very treatable. Will it kill me? No, but only because I’m too damn mean. Can it be deadly? Sure it can. Does every man that has ever lived have or will have prostate cancer? Yes, it is just that most don’t know it and almost all die of something else before it ever shows up on a test. My doctor told me that if men lived to be 150, we would all eventually develop this type of cancer. This statement is not to minimize the disease because it can be deadly if left unchecked.
I am telling you this not because I want sympathy. Although I will readily accept any prayers directed my direction. I wanted to emphasis a point; anyone’s life can change in an instant. Even your own and how will you “manage” it?
There is no prescribed method or set of rules to follow. Each person must look deeply into themselves and choose a course of action that they can live with and still allow the work to continue. The reality is that sometime the two don’t mesh. Difficult decisions wouldn’t be called difficult if they were easy.
Whether your work group is five or fifty strong, long term illnesses have an impact. At some point the “whole” begins to suffer and while it sounds heartless, you have to do what is best for your company and your employees. Can one person becoming ill jeopardize your operation? Maybe and maybe not. Everyone has a different situation. The only truth is that you can’t plan for anything like this.
That, my friends, is called management.
Postscript: As of May 4th I have completed my treatment. After 44 sessions and 3000 driving miles, I can rest easy and not worry, at least about this type of cancer. I want to thank my wonderful staff for handling my absences flawlessly and the administration for their complete support. I want to especially thank my family and the special people at ProCure Oklahoma City for their caring and supportive treatment. I had the opportunity to meet many people from around the world and several young children that were facing much worse situations than myself. These kids are the real hero’s in my book. All the folks had a special story to tell. Knowing that you are not making a fresh path, but walking one that many others have taken is very comforting.


Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in News | 0 comments

IPMA’s Certification Program includes The Certified Graphic Communications Manager and Certified Mail Manager programs. These tests will provide an opportunity to gauge your knowledge and provide you with an industry recognized certification. These types of certifications can help reinforce your position with in your organization and provide CEU credits for advancement. The CGCM and CMM tests are constantly being updated to stay current with technologies and processes. Join the elite group of the Franklin Stamp and Ink Society, whose 55 members have completed the exam. These are the industry leaders of today and tomorrow....

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Posted by on Mar 8, 2017 in Blogs, News | 0 comments

The Brahney Scholarship presented annually by InPlant Printing and Mailing Association is in memory of James M. Brahney, a founder of IPMA and its first international president. This scholarship serves to promote education in the field of in-house print, mail, and management. Applications for the James M. Brahney Scholarship are now being accepted. The Scholarship is available to an IPMA member, child, or grandchild of a member who wants to advance his/her education related to Graphic Arts, Printing, Design or Mailing. A Scholarship is also available to help members defray a portion of the registration fee for IPMA 2017 Educational Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. You are encouraged to include any additional information/materials that may be helpful to the judges when making their decision. All entries must include the official entry form and...

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The World Bank – IPMA 2017 In-Plant Awareness Month

Posted by on Feb 22, 2017 in Blogs, News | 0 comments

Our team members are the “unsung heroes” at The World Bank. We’ve served behind the scenes and our contribution often goes unmentioned. In support of the institution’s mission of ending poverty and sharing prosperity, our function is vital in the transformation of the world. In that sense, the awareness month campaign is a self-driven initiative to look back on our past, to reinstate our position, and to remind our colleagues of our importance. As a first step, the team in Printing & Multimedia division conceptualized what our clients should know about us. As a central theme of the awareness campaign, we want to remind our colleagues that what we do best is storytelling. The message “we help tell your story” is concise, direct and clear. It is imprinted on various marketing materials that are strategically placed in high traffic areas of the World Bank Group headquarters. All available communication channels such as lobby posters, digital displays, cafeteria table tent cards, intranet, and internal social media sites are utilized to broadcast the message. In support of the campaign effort, we are publishing a series of stories, each from a different areas of the Printing & Multimedia unit. These stories inform and educate our colleagues about the services each team offers and are being published across our intranet websites. Our goal is to inspire our clients and provide over-all dialogue of a more effective and effortless communication. In the spirit of raising awareness, we are providing tours of our production facility in Landover Maryland. The tour will showcase our capabilities, entertain our clients and provide an opportunity for our clients to see actual printing production processes in action. Our services are indispensable for creating and sharing developmental knowledge in support of the Bank’s mission. Our efforts are remarkable and definitely worthy of notice. Collectively, we have engaged in a comprehensive awareness campaign to make our presence widely known during the IPMA awareness month. Our goal is bring awareness to the value our team provides and kindle mutual appreciation with our colleagues, inspire stakeholders, and always, foster our relationships. We would like to extend a big thanks to IPMA and its community for the mutual support and motivation! Diane Kim Business Development Officer...

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IPMA Awards by Richard Beto, University of Texas at Austin

Posted by on Feb 20, 2017 in Blogs, News | 0 comments

Since becoming an IPMA member, Document Solutions has received 38 awards in 10 consecutive years. In addition to the 34 awards for printing excellence, we have received the In-House Promotional Excellence award in 2010 and 2011. Additionally, Document Solutions received the 2013 award for Mail Center of the Year and the 2015 award for Print Center of the Year. Trust is the single most important element in any relationship and the IPMA awards signify to our customers their orders are entrusted to the best craftsmen and craftswomen in our industry. These noteworthy awards represent the contributions, pride in ownership and hard work of our Document Solutions staff and you will find them celebrated on the web pages of Document Solutions and our Vice President. The awards themselves are prominently displayed in our lobby for visitors to see the recognition we have received for our demonstrated commitment to excellence. Additionally, the awards are a component of our marketing efforts to those potential customers who may not be otherwise aware of our talented employees.   Richard F. Beto Director of Document Services University of Texas at Austin For more...

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LA Roadshow Great Success!!

Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 in Blogs, News | 0 comments

Church of Scientology opened their doors Tuesday, February 7, 2017, to welcome near 100 in-plant managers and others in the printing industry. Church of Scientology’s Jud Posner, Pressroom Manager, along with Angela Furness, Production Manager, extended their hand of hospitality to all. They talked about the birth of their operation almost eight years ago. To read further please see article by Bob Neubauer of In-Plant Graphics   “2nd largest in-plant event of the year. Pittsburgh of course will be #1” – John Sarantakos, University of...

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Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in News, Video Slider | 0 comments

IPMA 2017 PITTSBURGH PENNSYLVANIA CITY FACTS Pittsburgh is One of the Best Places in the World to Visit in 2013! Welcome to one of the country’s most delightful surprises. No longer the dirty steel town of old, Pittsburgh is now a true renaissance city. A city of modern cathedrals and Old World, neighborly charms, filled with high-tech companies, friendly faces, fun and adventure! Was recently named one of the top 10 most beautiful places in America by USA Today Weekend magazine. MORE PITTSBURGH INFORMATION...

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Letter from IPMA President, Dwayne Magee

Posted by on Jan 31, 2017 in Blogs | 0 comments

From: Dwayne Magee, President Elect, IPMA Date: January 31, 2017 Subject: IPMA Election Results Dear IPMA Member, Thank you for casting your votes with regards to the IPMA 2017 election for the two open board positions. Congratulations to Sherri Isbell, International President Elect and Linda Winn, Member-at-Large. This election serves as affirmation of the esteem your colleagues hold for you as leaders. Each candidate deserves credit for stepping up to take part in the work of serving our in-plant community and each candidate has clearly demonstrated a strong commitment to IPMA. As such, I am additionally glad to announce that Mike O’Hara has agreed to accept the board position of Member Representative which will be vacated as Sherri steps into her new role. With that, I hope to see you all in Pittsburgh in June or perhaps sooner at one of our 2 remaining Road Shows. Here now is your 2017 IPMA leadership team: Staff • Mike Loyd, Executive Director • Jennifer Chambers, Executive Assistant • Amy Banker, Membership Sales Coordinator Board of Directors • John Sarantakos, Director of Printing, Mailing and Document Services, University of Oklahoma, IPMA International Past President • Tammy Golden, Assistant Commissioner of Communication, Publishing and Distribution, Department of General Services for the State of Tennessee, IPMA Secretary/Treasurer • Tim Hendrix, State Printer, State Of Oregon Publishing & Distribution, IPMA Vendor Representative • Sherri Isbell, Assistant Director, University of Oklahoma, IPMA International President Elect • Mike O’Hara, Manager of the Central Services Department at Deseret Mutual Benefit Administrators, Salt Lake City Utah, IPMA Membership Representative • Linda Winn, Manager of Document Services and Printing for Shelter Insurance Companies in Columbia Missouri, IPMA Member at Large • Dwayne Magee, Director of Messiah College Press and Postal Services, Messiah College, IPMA International President Sincerely, Dwayne A. Magee, CGCM President, Board of Directors, IPMA 103 North Jefferson Street Kearney, MO 64060 (816) 919 – 1691...

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“Take Me Out To The Ball Game!!!”

Posted by on Jan 31, 2017 in Blogs, News | 1 comment

Let’s play ball!!! Are you going to be coming into Pittsburgh early and need something to do? We have a block of seats reserved for Saturday, June 10,2017 for us at PNC’s stadium to root on the Pittsburgh Pirates as they take on the Miami Marlins. The first pitch will be thrown at 4:05pm and we would love for you to join us for one big party! The cost is only $49 and we will be sitting along the 3rd base line. Space is limited so don’t delay and register today . If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Richard Silver...

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