Sunday, March 22, 2020

History of Labor Relations Essays - AFLCIO, , Term Papers

History of Labor Relations Joshua Reynolds Everest University History of Labor Relations Who was one of the most effective union leaders during the 1930s and 1940s? Would this leader be effective now? Why or why not? John L. Lewis who was recognized as the voice of the labor movement decided to push for industrial organizing after he noticed the UMW membership was declining. After receiving persistent opposition from the American Federation of Labor, Lewis, Phillip Murray along with other union leaders created the successful Committee for Industrial Organizations. Lewis was voted to be a local delegate to the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) convention in 1906, which marked the beginning of Lewis' quick rise as a leader of laborers. In 1909, he would serve, successively, as president of the Panama local of the United Mine Workers of America, and later as a lobbyist for the UMW. The following year he would be elected as an Illinois representative on UMW's state legislature. He took a national position in the American Federation of Labor (AFL), as an organizer, in 1911. In five years, Lewis was the UMWA convention's pro-tem president and appointed chief statistician for the union. In 1917, John P. White resigned as president of the UMW, and vice president Frank J. Hayes succeeded him. President Hayes appointed Lewis vice president, but due to President Hayes' alcoholism, Lewis assumed Hayes' duties in 1919, by becoming acting president. He was elected president of the UMWA in 1920. In today's world, these leaders would not have the same effect as before. The government now regulates and has protective laws that have since calmed what Lewis was opposing. Who is one of the most effective contemporary union leaders (from the 1970s to today)? Trade unions' relationship with the Labour Party also changed. After 1979 an electoral college gave unions a direct vote for the first time in the election of the Labour Party leader and deputy. The Labour leadership's quest for electability in a period of Conservative dominance saw it shift from a left-wing programmer at the beginning of the 1980s to gradually accept many of the Conservative changes. From Labor's link with unions having been seen as an electoral asset in the mid-1970s, the Conservatives had turned it into an electoral liability by skillfully exploiting and exaggerating the so-called 'Winter of Discontent' under the Labour government in 1978-79. How do the union leaders of today compare to those of the 1930s and 1940s? The changing conditions of the 1980s and 1990s undermined the position of organized labor, which now represented a shrinking share of the work force. While more than one-third of employed people belonged to unions in 1945, union membership fell to 24.1 percent of the U.S. work force in 1979 and to 13.9 percent in 1998. Dues increases, continuing union contributions to political campaigns, and union members' diligent voter-turnout efforts kept unions' political power from ebbing as much as their membership. But court decisions and National Labor Relations Board rulings allowing workers to withhold the portion of their union dues used to back, or oppose, political candidates, undercut unions' influence. Management, feeling the heat of foreign and domestic competition, is today less willing to accede to union demands for higher wages and benefits than in earlier decades. It also is much more aggressive about fighting unions' attempts to organize workers. Strikes were infrequent in the 1980s and 1990s, as employers became more willing to hire strikebreakers when unions walk out and to keep them on the job when the strike was over. References: Holley, W.H. Ross, W.H. (2017). The Labor Relations Process. (11th edition.) Mason,OH: South-Western Cengage Learning. ISBN: 9781337521727

Thursday, March 5, 2020

71 Body Parts in Spanishand How to Talk About Them

71 Body Parts in Spanishand How to Talk About Them SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips Are you studying Spanish and want to know the Spanish names of different parts of the body? In this guide we’ve created three charts of human body parts in Spanish and English. The charts cover external body parts, like hair and toes, internal organs, and the skeleton. Together, these charts contain more than 70 parts of the body, so you’re sure to find the Spanish vocab words you’re looking for. We also include a chart of common phrases you can use to talk about body parts in Spanish so that you can put your new vocab skills to use. 71 Body Parts in English and Spanish Below are three charts of common parts of the body in Spanish and English. The first chart is external body parts, the second is internal organs, and the third is vocabulary for the skeleton. Each of the charts is organized in alphabetical order in English. Body Parts Vocab Words English Spanish Ankle el tobillo Arm el brazo Back la espalda Beard la barba Breast el seno Buttocks las nalgas Calf la pantorrilla Cheek la mejilla, el cachete Chest el pecho Chin la barbilla, el mentà ³n Ear el oà ­do, la oreja Elbow el codo Eye el ojo Eyebrows las cejas Eyelashes las pestaà ±as Face la cara Finger el dedo Foot el pie Forehead la frente Hair el pelo Hand la mano Head la cabeza Heel el talà ³n Hip la cadera Human body el cuerpo humano Knee la rodilla Leg la pierna Lips los labios Mustache el bigote, el mostacho Mouth la boca Navel/belly button el ombligo Neck el cuello Nose la nariz Shoulder el hombro Skin la piel Stomach (abdomen) el vientre Thigh el muslo Throat la garganta Thumb el pulgar Toe el dedo del pie Tongue la lengua Tooth/Teeth el diente, la muela/los dientes Waist la cintura Wrist la muà ±eca Internal Organs Vocab Words English Spanish Brain el cerebro, el seso Lung/Lungs el pulmà ³n/los pulmones Heart el corazà ³n Internal organs los à ³rganos internos Kidney/Kidneys el rià ±Ãƒ ³n/los rià ±ones Large intestine el intestino grueso Liver el hà ­gado Muscle el mà ºsculo Small intestine el intestino delgado Stomach el està ³mago Tonsils las amà ­gdalas Skeleton Vocab Words English Spanish Bone el hueso Clavicle la clavà ­cula Femur el fà ©mur Fibula la fà ­bula Humerus el hà ºmero Jawbone la mandà ­bula Patella la rà ³tula Radius el radio Ribs las costillas Scapula el omà ³plato Skeleton el esqueleto Skull el crneo Spinal column la columna vertebral, la espina dorsal Sternum el esternà ³n Tibia la tibia Vertebra la và ©rtebra 2 Important Rules to Remember When Talking About Body Parts in Spanish There are two major differences in speaking about body parts in Spanish compared to speaking about body parts in English. The first is that, in Spanish, you must include a definite article with each body part term.Each singular body part will be preceded by the definite article el or la. The plural versions are los and las, respectively.In English, you could say, â€Å"The wrist and elbow are swollen,† with just one definite article before â€Å"wrist.† For parts of the body in Spanish, however, you’d need to say â€Å"La muà ±eca y el codo estn hinchados† which directly translates to â€Å"The wrist and the elbow are swollen.† Each body part needs its own definite article. The second difference between discussing body parts in Spanish vs English is that, in English, it’s common to use possessive adjectives when referring to a specific person’s body part (ex. my hair, your hands, her feet†¦). In Spanish, you almost always use definite articles like â€Å"the† or â€Å"a† when discussing body parts in Spanish, no matter whose body part it is. In Spanish, possessive adjectives are only used with body parts when it’d otherwise be unclear whose body part is being referenced. For example, â€Å"I like your hair† is â€Å"Me gusta tu pelo† in Spanish. In this case, you need the possessive adjective to know whose hair you like. As another example, in English you could say â€Å"I broke my leg and ankle,† but in Spanish you’d say â€Å"Me rompà ­ la pierna y el tobillo.† which directly translates to â€Å"I broke the leg and the ankle.† (Note again that each body part has its own definite article.)Similarly, in English you’d say â€Å"I brush my hair,† but in Spanish you’d say â€Å"Me cepillo el pelo.† (I brush the hair.) Common Phrases to Discuss Parts of the Body in Spanish Knowing all the body parts in Spanish is useful, but to really get the most out of these vocab words, you should know at least a few phrases to use them with. Below are some of the most common Spanish phrases used to discuss parts of the body. English Spanish Brush your teeth. Cepà ­llate los dientes. I broke my [body part]. (Ex. I broke my arm.) Me rompà ­ [body part]. (Ex. Me rompà ­ el brazo.) I cut my finger. Me corto el dedo. I have a pain/ache of [body part]. (Ex. I have a headache.)** Tengo dolor de [body part]. (Ex.Tengo dolor de cabeza.) I have black/blond/brown/red/gray hair. Tengo el pelo negro/rubio/castaà ±o/rojo/gris. I sprained my ankle. Me torcà ­ el tobillo. I stubbed my toe. Golpeà © el dedo del pie. My [singular body part] hurts. (Ex. My arm hurts.)** Me duele [singular body part]. (Ex. Me duele el brazo.) My [plural body part] hurt. (Ex. My feet hurt.)** Me duelen [plural body part]. (Ex. Me duelen los pies.) Open your eyes!  ¡Abre los ojos! Wash your hands. Lvate las manos. **The "me duele(n)" and "tengo dolor" phrases can both be used to describe pain in a body part, but the former is more common. For example, both "me duele la cabeza" and "tengo dolor de cabeza" mean "I have a headache," but most Spanish speakers will say "me duele la cabeza." Summary: List of Body Parts in Spanish You can use these charts to study the parts of the body in Spanish, make them into flashcards, and expand your Spanish vocabulary. When speaking or writing human body parts in Spanish, it’s important to remember two rules. First, each body part must have its own article preceding it, which you don’t need in English. Second, when discussing a particular person’s body part in English, we typically use personal adjectives such as my, your, or his/her. When discussing body parts in Spanish, you typically use definite articles such as "a" or "the." The learning doesn’t end with just a list of body parts in Spanish though; to be a high-level Spanish speaker, you need to use these body part terms in longer phrases and sentences. What's Next? Want help with some common Spanish phrases? Find out the nuances of how to ask where the bathroom is in Spanish with this article. Need to brush up on your Spanish conjugations? Start with our article covering ser conjugations for every tense. Not sure if Spanish is the right language for you to study? Learn which is the best foreign language to study in high school. Thinking about taking the Spanish SAT Subject Test? We've got a complete guide on everything you need to know about the Spanish Subject Test. Interested in learning Japanese, too? Learn how to say "good morning" in Japanese, plus nine other key greetings.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Competition in Energy Drinks Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

Competition in Energy Drinks - Essay Example In essence, the Porter’s five theory comprise of five forces namely: existing competitive rivalry between suppliers, threat of new entrants, bargaining power of buyers, power of suppliers and the threat of substitute products with the inclusion of technological change (Orcullo 48). Competition in Energy Drinks, Sports Drinks and Vitamin Enhanced Beverages United States is one of the countries that serves the market for drink such as energy, sports drinks and vitamin enhanced beverages. Apparently, energy drinks are consumed by young people who want to increase their healthy levels. On the other hand, the sport drinks are mostly consumed by people who constantly watch their fitness and those who engage in sporting activities. In the same way, vitamin enhanced beverages are mostly consumed by adults especially those that have varying health issues (Bangs and Henricks 226). Some of the companies that are involved in the production of these alternative beverages include Coca cola Company, Pepsi Company and the Red Bull GmbH among others. ...It is worth mentioning that most people have opted to consume alterative drinks as opposed to carbonated drinks. This in turn has translated to an increase in the demand for the alternative drinks as compared to other drinks in the market. In response to this, the Coca cola Company and the Pepsi Company have gradually increased their production of alternative beverages. For instance, there has been extension of product line and the development of new products which moves in to capture the demand from buyers (Gamble 77). The Threat of Substitute Product It is often argued that any competition is endangered if there is presence of substitute products in the market (Orcullo 50). Although, Coca cola Company and the Pepsi Company are ancient in the world in regard to production of soft drinks and the gradual production of alternative beverages, other companies such as Red Bull GmbH have come up with substitute drinks with vary ing prices. As a result, buyers have options while purchasing such drinks making the market extremely competitive. The Threat of Supplier Bargaining Power In the same way, the bargaining power of Suppliers is very crucial in any market. In essence, the power depends on issues such as degree of differentiation of inputs, cost of inputs in relation to selling prices of the product, and the presence of substitute products (Bangs and Henricks 226).

Monday, February 3, 2020

Assignment Week Two Term Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words

Assignment Week Two - Term Paper Example arch is being carried out in different parts of the world, thus no one can claim that he is not a learner or he knows everything on any specific topic. Yes, one who evolved any principle theory on any subject and the theory is recognized scientifically worldwide, he can only claim to be the owner of that particular idea until and unless his idea / theory is challenged , changed, rejected or improved. If this is done that once again that individuals becomes a learner on the topic. The next idea that I liked a lot is the idea of five disciplines discussed in the â€Å"Training Guide† because I had been involved in training people and had been imparting training on various topics frequently. Since, personal mastery involves a huge exposure on the topic therefore, it helps out the trainer to share his knowledge and experience, and also enables him to reply each and every question satisfactorily quoting examples from what he practically dealt with. While involving participants in two way talks, we ultimately share a lot of knowledge and personal experience of each other and thereby understand counter productivity. The shared vision certainly brings a lot of new ideas for every one especially for the leader and enables him to satisfy his topic of lecture more satisfactorily. I similarly do agree with the third discipline ‘Mental Model’. During all trainings, I myself frequently adapted this discipline and obtained a lot of new ideas to make the topic of lecture more satisfying and more useful. Every participant, who had some experience on the topic and could share his own mental model, was also making contribution that added to the knowledge base. This is important discipline and I always used it extensively. Team learning and system thinking are also deeply experienced in all training sessions. I always have taken opportunity of team learning by making two separate teams of equal participants and thereafter presenting ideas of each team to summaries the topic

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Evaluating The Sustainability Business Of Hotels In Azerbaijan Tourism Essay

Evaluating The Sustainability Business Of Hotels In Azerbaijan Tourism Essay Azerbaijan, as a country situated in the Caucasus has a very advantageous location for tourism, but tourism is not a leading sector in Azerbaijan. The most important industry here is oil sector as Azerbaijan has very rich oil reserves and economy depends and develops on the oil industry. Over 90% of annual income comes from our oil industry and the difference between oil industry and the others is huge. So thats why Azerbaijani government wants to cover this difference and the best way is to improve tourism sector because we have the potential. Even in the world tourism is the second biggest industry after the oil sector. Most of the tourists coming to Azerbaijan are business travellers and the reason is oil industry again. That is why the hotels are mostly specialized in business tourism. There are some hotels that I would like to mention: The Landmark Hotel, Hyatt, Ramada Baku, Radisson SAS and Park Inn. As a best practice in sustainable hospitality experience I would like talk about Hyatt. In comparison with above mentioned hotels, Hyatt Hotels Baku has a real professional background and prosperous experience in hospitality industry. Contribution to the Body of Knowledge Actually there have been done no studies and researches on sustainability of the hotels in the market in Azerbaijan that made it a challenge to discuss the topic with extremely lack of information given. Therefore, this thesis can be accepted as one of the first researches on the sustainability of the hotels in the market, but not in respect to the environment and nature. Research Questions While working on this topic I am going to find answers to the following questions: What is the current situation in hospitality industry? What are the barriers for sustainability of hotels? Which are the ways of breaking the barriers of hotels sustainability? SWOT analyze What are the recommendations and suggestions for sustainability? Methodology This thesis will be done by hermeneutical kind of research as I am going to search existing literature, statistical reports, articles, etc. While reviewing these materials I will analyze and gather all necessary information and give a final report on sustainability of hotels. In order to get intended information about the hotel I have contacted the sales marketing manager of Hyatt Baku Mrs. Bahar Dadashova. So far we had only one conference call to inform her about my intention, however in the run of the thesis we will keep in touch. Definitions This chapter gives an overview of the different definitions of sustainable tourism. On the other hand, some studies done concerning kinds of sustainable tourism itself. So far, these definitions give an idea about sustainable tourism and its main factors. Sustainable Tourism Sustainable tourism development is defined by the Word Tourism Organisation (WTO), as a development that meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future. It is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social, and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, and biological diversity, and life support systems (World Tourism Organisation (WTO), 2003). Based on the Rio de Janeiro Declaration on Environment and Development, 12 guiding principles of sustainable tourism are set in the Agenda 21 for the travel and tourism industry (United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), 2002). In the tourism context, sustainable tourism is often associated with nature orientated tourism or eco-tourism (Eagles et al., 2002) and has become central in the debate on environmentally integrated tourism development (Gà ¶ssling et al., 2002). Tourism in Azerbaijan Sustainability of the hotels in Azerbaijan is very young as the tourism industry itself. The Republic of Azerbaijan was established in the early 1990s. Since the establishment economy of the country was depending on oil industry. 95% of the budget was contributed by the countrys oil industry. The best alternative to cut down this dependency on oil in the budget is to develop tourism industry. Azerbaijan has very good potential for tourism; high mountains, beautiful forests, ancient history, different historical sites and monuments, lots of artists, poets etc. The Ministry of Tourism and Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan was established in 2005. One year later Azerbaijan Tourism Institute (ATI) under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Azerbaijan was opened. ATI is established in order to cover the lack of qualified staff in tourism sector which is a global issue in world tourism industry as well. Sustainable Tourism in Azerbaijan As it was mentioned above tourism sector in Azerbaijan is young compared to the other industries. Talking about sustainability of the hotels in Azerbaijan we can only mention very few hotels e.g., Hyatt Hotels Baku, Radisson SAS Baku. The names mentioned above are one of the first hotels in Azerbaijan. They are still operating successfully and still very strong in the market. To go back to the Soviet Union period then we can talk about the Hotel Azerbaijan and Absheron Hotel. Those hotels had a big market share as well and were very popular at that time. They had been operating for a long time. The sustainability factors were; Good location Contribution by the government Best service for that time Best staff Since 2005 these both of the hotels were destroyed one after another and now there are 2 big constructions going on; Hilton and JW Marriott. The JW Marriott is replacing Bakus famous Absheron Hotel, which has been demolished, and will be part of a mixed use development designed by ReardonSmith to include 16 floors of private residences, serviced apartments, retail and offices as well as the 20-storey hotel. The architects had a number of key considerations to balance in their concept: location, the high water table, local conventions and successful hotel operations and of course, the clients aspirations for this important building. The result is a unique design that makes a virtue out of addressing these potentially competing dictums. The Hotel Hilton Baku, which is being built in Baku on Azadlig Avenue (instead the hotel Azerbaijan), will be commissioned in August 2011. The total area of five-star hotel Hilton Baku is 42,160 square meters. The hotel will consist of 25 floors and 308 rooms. There will be elevators with panoramic views, different restaurants, concert and exhibition halls, recreation centre at the 670 square meters, sports and fitness centres and swimming pools in the hotel. A bar, which rotates 360 degrees and covers the entire panorama of Baku, will be located on the top floor of the hotel. Hyatt Hotels Global Hyatt I guess this is the only hotel that actually stopped growth of the company related to its policy: Global Hyatt has concentrated on high-end segment, but nevertheless it is among the ten largest. In 2007, the chain launched an innovative hotel brand Hyatt Place, where everything is created based on the results of surveys carried out among the discerning tourists. The hotel is not only providing exclusive services but also tries to make emphasize on its buildings and design. History Hyatt Hotels Corporations well-established reputation as an industry innovator provides a wealth of inspiration as the company looks forward to its next era of creative hospitality. Known around the world for its brands Hyatt Regency , Grand Hyatt , Park Hyatt , Hyatt Place , Hyatt Summerfield Suites and Andaz the entire collection of Hyatt hotels and resorts weaves together authentic service with leading technology to offer its guests unique restaurants, luxury accommodations and distinctive spas. With its new initiatives and design elements continuing to evolve, the next half-century of Hyatt innovation will continue to provide its guests a world of uncommon travel experiences. Hyatt Hotels Resorts opened its first property, a small motor hotel at the Los Angeles International Airport, in 1957 and its portfolio quickly grew to include several other modest hotels along the West Coast and in Chicago over the next ten years. In 1967, Hyatt opened its first major John Portman design ed hotel, Hyatt Regency Atlanta, in Georgia, which featured a space-age design with a dramatic, 21-story atrium lobby. The revolutionary architecture spawned scores of atrium lobbies around the world, effectively changing the course of the lodging industry and reshaping the Hyatt brand as an innovative and significant global hospitality leader. Hyatt successfully distinguishes itself within the competitive hospitality marketplace with six different brands, each designed to deliver experiences attuned to the lifestyles, attitudes, values, and aspirations of the guests for whom it is designed. The 2007-launched Andaz brand is sophistication made simple delivered with a genuine warmth; Hyatt Regency enables productivity and revitalization within a responsive, convenient and contemporary environment; Park Hyatt , a discreet and refined collection located in fashionable cities around the world, epitomizes modern luxury; Grand Hyatt properties are some of the most architecturally dramatic hotels in the world, offering stunning design and a myriad of innovative food and beverage concepts; Hyatt Place is designed for the 24/7 lifestyle of todays multi-tasking business traveller, and Hyatt Summerfield Suites , a reinvention of the all-suites, extended-stay hotel, features timely amenities and inviting, residential design. As a unified portfolio, Hyatts properties share core values across the Hyatt brand: exceptional guest service, upscale amenities, popular food and beverage programs, and innovative interior designs that incorporate local art and style. Currently offering travellers a choice of more than 365 hotels and resorts in over 45 countries, Hyatt Hotels Corporation continues to build on its commitment to clients, staff, partners and the environment as it grows its dynamic vision for the future of hospitality. International chain Hyatt Corporation is one of the leading hotel companies in North America. Owned by the Pritzker family of Chicago, Hyatt manages or licenses the management of 87 hotels and 16 resorts (with a total of 55,000 rooms) in 83 cities in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. In addition to its resorts, Hyatt has also developed other special hotel conceptsthe Grand Hyatt, the Park Hyatt, and Classic Residence by Hyatt. Grand Hyatts are large-scale, higher priced hotels located in culturally rich cities, with three in the United States (New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.). Park Hyatts are modelled after small European hotels and are located in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The Classic Residence by Hyatt properties offers luxury retirement apartments for rental. Starting in the mid-1990s, the company has also sought growth opportunities in franchising, time-share properties, free-standing golf courses, and casinos. Hyatt Hotels Baku Hyatt Hotels Baku consists of 2 hotels -Hyatt Regency Baku and Park Hyatt Baku Hyatt Regency Baku was reconstructed and opened in 1995; second renovation was implemented in 2005; Park Hyatt Baku was open in 1999 and most of the rooms were refurbished with new facilities in 2008 Best Sustainable Hotel Chains InterContinental Hotel Group Since 2004, this hotels chain became the largest in the world. To date, it owns more than 600 thousand hotel rooms, scattered across the globe. Each year their number is being increased by 5,9%, mainly due to the expansion of Holiday Inn Express, but also because of the increasing number of hotels Crowne Plaza and the emergence in Europe, Staybridge Suites and Indigo boutique hotel. Marriott International The company claims that every year, growing by 4,7% and in the near future has plans to build 800 hotel and add to the existing 500 thousand rooms 125 thousand more. The Group also promises to invest a lot in pre-existing ones, including the Marriott floor, numerous brands, covering all niches of the hotel business from budget options for poor tourists to luxury hotels for the discerning VIP-persons. Hilton Hotels Ranking as the fourth largest chain, this brand is popular not only with luxury hotels, but also because of the scandalous Paris Hiltons escapades, the former heir to the empire hotel room. The company is known propensity for innovations: the first one of its owners have introduced a system of star ratings, equipped hotel with Wi-Fi. However, the chain began to suffer losses, and in 2007 the former owners were forced to sell the hotel business group Blackstone. In 2008 net increased with 300 new sites, and the growth of the company was mainly due to expanses of the United States. But the emergence of the companys portfolio of brands Doubletree, Homewood Suites, and especially the Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn, as well as the construction of Hilton Hotel in provincial Russia say the desire to start taking over the world. ANALYZING THE general statement Hyatt Hotels in Azerbaijan Hyatt Hotels Group is focused on enhancing the brand preference by continuously improving the performance of their existing hotels and successfully expanding the presence of their brands in select markets worldwide. Smart growth and development is fundamental to achieving these aims. As a company, they add hotels in locations throughout the world where their loyal guests and customers want them to be. Hyatt team works closely with the development partners to ensure their success through innovative and efficient design, operational excellence and effective sales and marketing strategies. Hyatt Hotels are focused on the role of development within the organization and have formed a dedicated and experienced global development team. Hyatt Hotels Baku is committed to establishing a reputation as the leading hotel complex in Azerbaijan and the Caucasus region. Their service is known to anticipate, meet and exceed the guest expectations. In order to retain the established position as the market leader in Baku, they focus on the quality of the operation, the physical aspects of both of the hotels, safety and security as well as creating exciting, innovative and trend setting products throughout. Management Widely recognized and industry leading brands of Hyatt Hotels have consistently received top rankings, awards and accolades for service and guest experience from independent publications and surveys, including Travel and Leisure, Mobil and AAA. The mission of Hyatt is to provide authentic hospitality by making a difference in the lives of the people. They focus on this mission in pursuit of the goal of becoming the most preferred brand in each segment that they serve for the associates, guests, and owners. Hyatt Hotels support their mission and goal by adhering to a set of core values that characterizes their culture. Globally, they manage, franchise, own and develop Hyatt branded hotels, resorts and residential and vacation ownership properties around the world. As of March 31, 2010, the companys worldwide portfolio consisted of 434 properties. Sales marketing department of Hyatt Hotels Baku Sales and Marketing department in Hyatt Hotels Baku consists of 8 employees which are-Director of Sales, Catering Manager, 2 Banquet Sales Managers, 2 Rooms Sales Managers, Sales Executive and Revenue Analyst. Besides, there can be Sales Admin Assistant, Sales Coordinator, Regional Director of Marketing, Marketing Communications Manager. Hyatts worldwide Sales and Marketing teams strive to build brand preference and drive revenue to our hotels. Our sales and marketing strategies are rooted in a comprehensive understanding of our customer segments, the current dynamics of the marketplace and the most effective use of new technology and media platforms. Hyatts marketing strategy is designed to secure and build brand value and awareness while meeting the specific business needs of hotel operations. Building and differentiating the brand position of Hyatt and our sub-brands is fundamental to increasing Hyatts brand preference and demand, rate premium and related business imperatives. Hya tt is focused on targeting the distinct customer segments that each of our brands serves and supporting the needs of the hotels by thorough analysis and application of data and analytics. There is a coordinated and integrated communication strategy for the Hyatt master brand and each of the sub-brands across every distribution channel. Promotion of Hyatt Hotels Baku in the World Hyatts Central Reservation System is an important contributor to the performance of the hotels system wide. The system booked 11.8 million room-nights in 2008, representing approximately $2.3 billion in rooms department revenue. Reservation centres are located in the United States, Australia, India, UAE, Germany, Japan and China to provide 24/7 access to prospective guests. Hyatt Hotels work closely with the distribution partners to ensure that they maximize market share across all channels. These include traditional travel agencies (e.g., American Express, Carlson Wagonlit), online travel agencies (e.g., Expedia, Travelocity and multiple regional agencies, etc.), opaque agencies (e.g., Priceline, Hotwire) and multiple user-generated sites that link back to Hyatt.com (e.g., Trip Advisor). Hyatt also has extensive marketing partnerships with all global and regional airlines. Product knowhow Hyatt Baku Hotels offers unmatched variety of facilities and services within one complex, including business and communication technology, vast fitness and relaxation facilities, an array of dining and entertainment opportunities, shops and offices. The USP of Hyatt Hotels Baku is: favourable location and convenient access to select business centres and government offices; the only complete lifestyle complex in the city, featuring 2 hotels, office and residential facilities, wide variety of FB Outlets, multifunctional meeting and conference facilities and state-of-the-art Health and Fitness Centre; largest global distribution / reservation system; largest inventory of suites present in the city suitable for large VIP government groups. Contribution from the Hyatt Hotels International Hyatts properties and preopening sales offices are supported by a network of salespeople in key markets around the world. Sales professionals represent all Hyatt destinations and focus on all relevant market segments e.g., corporate accounts, M.I.C.E. accounts, key wholesalers, travel agencies and luxury travel specialists. Additional support is provided to hotels with dedicated resources managing programs such as Virtuoso American Express Fine Hotels Resorts. The network includes offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Mexico City, London, Mainz, Sydney, Melbourne, Riyadh, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai, as well as additional coverage throughout Continental Europe. Each office is responsible for ongoing support of the Hyatt portfolio. Additionally, each office coordinates the presentation of Hyatt and Hyatts sub-brands at important industry events and shows such as ITB, World Travel Market and Asia Luxury Travel Market. Hotels also have the opportunity to participate in annual Hyatt fairs and sales calls coordinated by each worldwide sales office. These events provide the hotels with face-to-face access to Hyatts best existing and potential clients. Competitiveness of Hyatt Hotels Currently eight five-star international hotels are under construction in Baku. This is not just about attracting well-heeled tourists, as Baku still has a relatively small demand for luxury hotels. It is about making Baku competitive as a mega-event Mecca. Baku will be promoted as a site for conference tourism, Gurbatov, the tourism official, said. Each year, Baku hosts more government-sponsored conferences and other events. But the creation of the appropriate infrastructure luxury hotels, large expo-centres, convention centres, conference halls and stadiums will allow the government to bid on hosting large-scale international events. One 33,800-square-meter exposition centre opened in Baku in May; the government has also begun construction of a 60,000-seat soccer stadium. The sprawling 90,071-square-meter Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre, designed to look like rippling waves, will open in 2013. Attracting sporting events and conferences to these venues is a matter of both the country s prestige and commercial profit from foreign visitors, Gurbatov added. For now, expectations run high that the owners of the new hotel under construction will benefit from their investments assuming that the government succeeds with its conference tourism strategy. Commented Kenan Aslanly, an analyst at Bakus Public Finance Monitoring Centre: If this strategy is successfully implemented, the country will win both economically and politically. Jumeirah will be the first new hotel to open in 2011. Jumeirah will have reasonably strong brand awareness in Baku, since a) Dubai is a very familiar weekend / holiday retreat for Azerbaijanis and b) Middle-Eastern and Persian business is growing in Baku due to the development in the city with Dubai as an ideal. Jumeirah is located close to the Presidents Dacha, approx 15 minutes outside the airport (45 minutes from city centre). The President will use this hotel to host visiting diplomatic delegations and Ministry conferences due to the close proximity to the airport, Buta Palace conference centre and to his summer residence / Dacha, where he resides between April October every year. This will affect Park Hyatt, as we currently get the majority of this business. It will also affect Hyatt Regency when it comes to groups and associations (e.g. sport groups) which look for a secluded place with spaces for outdoor activities (pools, golf course, tennis etc), and groups looking for a location outside the city centre to avoid late party nights. The Marriott (80 room inventory) is located close to Jumeirah. Due to a small inventory and inconvenient location, it will not impact Hyatt much, despite being a well known, international brand with an aggressive opening-strategy to drive occupancy. JW Marriott (228 room inventory)will open Q1 2012.Located at Bakus Freedom Square a national symbol and location of military parades as well as the seafront boulevard with the Caspian Sea beyond. This hotel will also have to compete in the corporate market to achieve occupancy. Hilton will open in June 2011 and is located right next to Park Inn, sea side in the centre of the city. The two hotels have the same owner, something which is of great concern for Park Inn. Park Inn opened in 2005, but is still worried about getting a new, international brand as competitor- and has great concerns about losing corporate agreements for companies located around the hotel and group business. Landmark is also very concerned about this new entry on th e hotel scene. We think the Hilton will also affect Hyatt Regency, both for groups and transient business. Fairmont is the largest of the new hotels; the hotel will also have to compete in the corporate market to achieve occupancy. They will be able to offer moderate corporate rates due to the size of the property, and due to the location we can expect companies and individuals visiting for meetings with ministries etc to perhaps choose this location. Hyatt used to be a good location as we are only a 5-10 minutes drive from the parliament and several ministries. Four Seasons hotel is scheduled to open late 2011. Park Hyatt is currently the only official protocol hotel in Baku, but it will mainly lose this status once Four Seasons is opening. The hotel will be more or less purpose built to host high-ranking government officials, diplomatic visits, VIPs etc., with a 3-bedroom Presidential suite and several 3-bedroom and 2-bedroom suites and a room type called Deluxe deluxe with two k ing beds in the same room (suited for the American- and Asian market). Four Seasons will also have a 330 m2 ballroom. Sheraton is still a project to rebrand the Airport hotel (ex Holiday Inn) Sustainability of Hyatt Baku Hotels Hyatt Hotels Baku has started operating in Azerbaijan since 1995. First, Hyatt Regency was opened in 1995 after the à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã… ¾Contract of Century (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline). Then in 1999 due to the high demand Park Hyatt was opened next to the Hyatt Regency. Till 2004 both of the hotels were very strong and almost alone in the market. The only competitor was Radisson SAS. In 2004 another brand Park Inn penetrated into the market. Since then the market share of Hyatt Hotels in Baku is decreased slightly. Because still the demand is high and accommodation facilities are not enough to meet the need. Currently, Baku features only a few luxury hotels run by international chains the Hyatt Regency, Park Hyatt and Radisson SAS, Park Inn and Airport Hotel. If Azerbaijans Eurovision contestant, Safura, had triumphed at the annual pop extravaganza this year, Baku would not have had the facilities to host the event in 2011, noted Faig Gurbatov, national coordinator of the governmen ts Tourism Development Project, an initiative run jointly with the United Nations Development Programme. Since the 1995 to nowadays both of the Hyatt Hotels in Baku were operating very successfully. This is a main factor showing its sustainability. Demand Demand for Hyatt Regency and Hyatt Park (Baku) is quite high. The average occupancy rate (annually) is around 69%. In high seasons this figure increases up to 90-95%. Target Market One of the components needed to apply hotel revenue management is market segmentation. It allows you to target and market to a variety of consumer groups with different behaviour with an offer that matches their needs and budget level. Your hotel market segmentation shall help to identify the purpose of the trip: either business or leisure. The price does not decide of the market segmentation. Clear distinction must also be achieved between individual and group business .The market segmentation shall help you identify the trends of your business: Length of Stay Day of Weeks stays Total Revenue per room, Total Revenue per client Lead Time Cancellation No Show ratio Due to the last trends in Azerbaijan 3 industries are increasing rapidly e.g., oil business, pharmaceutical industry and information telecommunications sector. Guests from the above mentioned industries are coming to stay at Hyatt very often. Also, the number of governmental officials and walk-in tourists is high enough. Maritz guest satisfaction survey (Benchmarking) Since the competitor hotels give wrong information, Hyatt International has decided to change their strategy. Now, Hyatt Hotels are not doing benchmarking. Hyatt Hotels Baku uses the services of Maritz. Maritz is a guest satisfaction survey. Maritz protects the data about the companies by the world-class policies and procedures. Maritz has developed a security program which includes: Physical Security and Controls Network Architecture and Security System and Remote Access Controls Application Security Database Security Call Centre Security Security Administration Intrusion Detection Change Management Data Back-up and Retention Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Guest Satisfaction Surveys As many hotel chains Hyatt hotels International check the guest satisfaction level. In order to obtain the information about the service quality and better to understand the needs and wants of the guests. Hyatt Hotels Baku is also conducting such kind of surveys in order to get the needed information. Mostly the comment cards are used in hospitality sector. Either the cards are put on the table in the rooms or reception provides with comment cards at the check out. As I have mentioned already, I had a meeting with the sales marketing manager of Hyatt Hotels Baku. She showed me a guest comment card. How would you rate the quality of the food? How would you rate the service quality? Please rate the cleanliness of the facilities. Please rate the friendliness of the staff. Please rate your overall experience. How likely are you to refer us to a friend? Each question can get minimum 1, maximum 5 points from each respondent. The points from each respondent per question are added together. Then they calculate the percentage out of the maximum e.g., 3 respondents answered the 1st question and the results were 5, 4 and 3 points. 5+4+3=12 12*100/15=80% (15) is the maximum number of points for 3 respondents With the results of this short survey conducted among the guests of Hyatt Baku Hotels you can get to know in the chart below: Figure 1: Guest satisfaction survey chart Guest portfolio of Hyatt Hotels Baku by the regions The guest of Hyatt Regency and Park Hyatt are very multi-national. All around the world guests come to stay at Hyatt. Mainly the guests of Hyatt Hotels Baku are Europeans, from GCC and North America. SWOT Analysis Figure 3: Strength Weaknesses Internationally recognized brand Global reservation system with the link to all GDS distributors Quality service and facilities Excellent FB choices Known Health Fitness facilities Extensive room suite inventory with two hotels Increased sales presence NFPA standard life safety Multi lingual/ international staff WWSOs Some companies perceive Hyatt as expensive Hotel considering it only for the management Location away from the city business district is a barrier to some companies All hotels offer complimentary Internet facilities, unlike Hyatt, where the service is perceived too expensive by corporate travellers Opportunities Threats Brand awareness for potential acquisition. To be in line with modest technologies and systems Constantly work on improvements Active promotion on local market Upscale fitness facilities is a very strong decision making point for hotel choice on the market Luxury room inventory and good balance between suites and standard rooms is a strong asset to target any business opportunities in the market Continue building necessary networking and be aware of latest market trends Additional distribution channels Brand restrictions do not allow to compete with lower brand rate offers Create inconveniences in acquisition of leisure business Internet is still very expensive, thus it affects in decision making process for most of organizations

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Law Self Reflection for Mgt388 Module

Self-Reflection I didn’t think that management and law were important to me before I came to the UK. I did accounting in my high school but it was all just about getting high marks. This is because I have always been studying scientific things and I didn’t think that the lack of knowledge about law and finance would affect or bother me. This was until I moved into a house, and the landlord refused to pay me back my deposit as we only had an oral agreement; no contract was made. Furthermore, I started a business on eBay. I discovered I managed my business poorly as I didn’t keep any records.From that moment, I felt that I needed to improve my ability to manage my money and be professional with my future jobs. MGT388, this module gave me a chance to study something that I indeed wanted to learn. Learning: This module gave me a chance to learn things in another field I haven’t touched before. I felt challenged, but I was excited. I attended every lecture and most of the tutorials in the 10 weeks, and studied hard by reading extra information as I knew the importance of this module related to my present and my future career. I found out that taking notes in colourful pens and doing mind maps helps me a lot in learning.Experience: I enjoyed the law tutorials. We discussed with the tutor based on real scenarios. It was not the traditional learning pattern, it was more interactive. We had a chance to say what we thought and judge the colleagues' opinion too. The tutor in my tutorial is a really nice lady, she is very patient and explains things really clearly. Reflection: The coursework and the online tests are the best reflections from the module. The team coursework not only revised what we have studied, it also improved my leadership and communication skill.It helped me develop more understanding about company management and contract. I found that the four management accounting tests were really helpful; I did each test two times so that I understand where I went wrong. I always improved on the second test as I read the comment of the question and reconsidered the situation in the question. Abstraction: From MGT388, I learnt many new things that I think would help me a lot for my career in the future. The module is an overview of management and law, but the topics in the module are carefully chosen for engineering students.This changes my viewpoint about engineering. Sometimes engineering is not only about calculations and designs. Sometimes, costs and avenues are important too for a company to survive. Learning: In the future, I will apply the knowledge I learnt from this module to my eBay business, and try to get a better management experience from my small business. This is a small practise before I go to a real company for work. Maybe I am going to make mistakes, but I think this module gives me the ability to study and review more information and knowledge.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Night World : Secret Vampire Chapter 2

â€Å"Poppy!† Poppy could hear her mother's voice, but she couldn't see anything. The kitchen floor was obscured by dancing black dots. â€Å"Poppy, are you all right?† Now Poppy felt hermother's hands grasping her upper arms, holding her anxiously. The pain was easing and her vision was coming back. As she straightened up, she saw James in front ofher. His face was almost expressionless, but Poppy knew him well enough to recognize the worry in hiseyes. He was holding the milk carton, she realized. He must have caught it on the fly as she droppedit–amazing reflexes, Poppy thought vaguely. Really amazing. Phillip was on his feet. â€Å"Are you okay? Whathappened?† â€Å"I-don't know.† Poppy looked around, thenshrugged, embarrassed. Now that she felt better shewished they weren't all staring at her so hard. Theway to deal with the pain was to ignore it, to notthink about it. â€Å"It's just this stupid pain-I think it's gastrowhatchmacallit. You know, something I ate.† Poppy's mother gave her daughter the barest fraction of a shake. â€Å"Poppy, this is not gastroenteritis.You were having some pain before-nearly a monthago, wasn't it? Is this the same kind of pain?† Poppy squirmed uncomfortably. As a matter offact, the pain had never really gone away. Somehow,in the excitement of end-of-the-year activities, she'dmanaged to disregard it, and by now she was used to working around it. â€Å"Sort of,† she temporized. â€Å"But That was enough for Poppy's mother. She gavePoppy a little squeeze and headed for the kitchen telephone. â€Å"I know you don't like doctors, but I'mcalling Dr. Franklin. I want him to take a look at you. This isn't something we can ignore.† â€Å"Oh, Mom, it's vacation†¦.† Her mother covered the mouthpiece of the phone.†Poppy, this is nonnegotiable. Go get dressed.† Poppy groaned, but she could see it was no use.She beckoned to James, who was looking thoughtfully into a middle distance. â€Å"Let's at least listen to the CD before I have to go.† He glanced at the CD as if he'd forgotten it, and put down the milk carton. Phillip followed them into the hallway. â€Å"Hey, buddy, you wait out here while she gets dressed.† James barely turned. â€Å"Get a life, Phil,† he said almost absently. â€Å"Just keep your hands off my sister, you deve.† Poppy just shook her head as she went into her room. As if James cared about seeing her undressed. If only,she thought grimly, pulling a pair of shortsout of a drawer. She stepped into them, still shaking her head. James was her best friend, her very bestfriend, and she was his. But he'd never shown even the slightest desire to get his hands on her. Sometimes she wondered if he realized she was a girl. Someday I'm going to makehim see, she thought,and shouted out the door for him. James came in and smiled at her. It was a smile other people rarely saw, not a taunting or ironic grin, but a nice little smile, slightly crooked. â€Å"Sorry about the doctor thing,† Poppy said. â€Å"No. You should go.† James gave her a keenglance. â€Å"Your mom's right, you know. This has been going on way too long. You've lost weight; it's keeping you up at night-â€Å" Poppy looked at him, startled. She hadn't told anybody about how the pain was worse at night, not even James. But sometimes James just knewthings. As if he could read her mind. â€Å"I just know you, that's all,† he said, and then gaveher a mischievous sideways glance as she stared at him. He unwrapped the CD. Poppy shrugged and flopped on her bed, staring atthe ceiling. â€Å"Anyway, I wish Mom would let me have oneday of vacation,† she said. She craned her neckto look at James speculatively. â€Å"I wish I had a mom like yours. Mine's always worrying and trying to fix me.† â€Å"And mine doesn't really care if I come or go. Sowhich is worse?† James said wryly. â€Å"Your parents let you have your own apartment. â€Å" â€Å"In a building they own. Because it's cheaper thanhiring a manager.† James shook his head, his eyeson the CD he was putting in the player. â€Å"Don't knockyour parents, kid. You're luckier than you know.† Poppy thought about that as the CD started. Sheand James both liked trance-the underground electronic sound that had come from Europe. James likedthe techno beat. Poppy loved it because it was real music, raw and unpasteurized, made by people who believed in it. People who had the passion, not people who had the money. Besides, world music made her feel a part of otherplaces. She loved the differentness of it, the alienness. Come to think of it, maybe that was what she likedabout James, too. His differentness. She tilted her head to look at him as the strange rhythms of Burundi drumming filled the air. She knew James better than anyone, but there wasalways something, something about him that was closed off to her. Something about him that nobody could reach. Other people took it for arrogance, or coldness, oraloofness, but it wasn't really any of those things. It was just differentness. He was more different thanany of the exchangestudents at school. Time after time, Poppy felt she had almost put her finger on thedifference, but it always slipped away. And more than once, especially late at night when they were listening to music or watching the ocean, she'd felthe was about to tell her. And she'd always felt that if he didtell her, itwould be something important, something as shocking and lovely as having a stray cat speak to her. Just now she looked at James, at his dean, carvenprofile and at the brown waves of hair on his forehead, and thought, He looks sad. â€Å"Jamie, nothing's wrong, is it? I mean, at home, oranything?† She was the only person on the planet allowed to call him Jamie. Not even Jacklyn or Michaela had ever tried that. â€Å"What could be wrong at home?† he said, with asmile that didn't reach his eyes. Then he shook his head dismissively. â€Å"Don't worry about it, Poppy. It'snothing important-just a relative threatening to visit. An unwanted relative.† Then the smile didreach his eyes, glinting there. â€Å"Or maybe I'm justworried about you,† he said. Poppy started to say, â€Å"Oh, as if, â€Å"but instead she found herself saying, oddly, â€Å"Are you really?† Her seriousness seemed to strike some chord. Hissmile disappeared, and Poppy found that they were simply looking at each other without any insulating humor between them. Just gazing into each other's eyes. James looked uncertain, almost vulnerable. â€Å"Poppy Poppy swallowed. â€Å"Yes?† He opened his mouth-and then he got upabruptly and went to adjust her 170-watt Tall-boy speakers. When he turned back, his gray eyes were dark and fathomless. â€Å"Sure, if you were really sick, I'd be worried,† hesaid lightly. â€Å"That's what friends are for, right?† Poppy deflated. â€Å"Right,† she said wistfully, andthen gave him a determined smile. â€Å"But you're not sick,† he said. â€Å"It's just somethingyou need to get taken care of. The doctor'll probably give you some antibiotics or something-with a bigneedle,† he added wickedly. â€Å"Oh, shut up,† Poppy said. He knew she was terrified of injections. Just the thought of a needle entering her skin †¦ â€Å"Here comes your mom,† James said, glancing atthe door, which was ajar. Poppy didn't see how he could hear anybody coming-the music was loud andthe hallway was carpeted. But an instant later her mother pushed the door open. â€Å"All right, sweetheart,† she said briskly. â€Å"Dr.Franklin says come right in. I'm sorry, James, but I'm going to have to take Poppy away.† â€Å"That's okay. I can come back this afternoon.† Poppy knew when she was defeated. She allowedher mother to tow her to the garage, ignoring James's miming of someone receiving a large injection. An hour later she was lying on Dr. Franklin's examining table, eyes politely averted as his gentle fingers probed her abdomen. Dr. Franklin was tall, lean,and graying, with the air of a country doctor. Some body you could trust absolutely. â€Å"The pain is here?† he said. â€Å"Yeah-but it sort of goes into my back. Or maybe I just pulled a muscle back there or something The gentle, probing fingers moved, then stopped. Dr. Franklin's face changed. And somehow, in that moment, Poppy knew it wasn't a pulled muscle. Itwasn't an upset stomach; it wasn't anything simple; and things were about to change forever. All Dr. Franklin said was, â€Å"You know, I'd like toarrange for a test on this.† His voice was dry and thoughtful, but panic curled through Poppy anyway. She couldn't explain what was happening inside her-some sort of dreadful premonition, like a black pit opening in the ground in front of her. â€Å"Why?† her mother was asking the doctor. â€Å"Well.† Dr. Franklin smiled and pushed his glassesup. He tapped two fingers on the examining table.†Just as part of a process of elimination, really. Poppysays she's been having pain in the upper abdomen, pain that radiates to her back, pain that's worse atnight. She's lost her appetite recently, and she's lost weight. And her gallbladder is palpable-that meansI can feel that it's enlarged. Now, those are symptomsof a lot of things, and a sonogram will help rule out some of them.† Poppy calmed down. She couldn't remember whata gallbladder did but she was pretty sure she didn't need it.Anything involving an organ with such a silly name couldn't be serious. Dr. Franklin was goingon, talking about the pancreas and pancreatitis andpalpable livers, and Poppy's mother was nodding as if she understood. Poppy didn't understand, but thepanic was gone. It was as if a cover had been whisked neatly over the black pit, leaving no sign that it had ever been there. â€Å"You can get the sonogram done at Children's Hospital across the street,† Dr. Franklin wassaying. â€Å"Come back here after it's finished.† Poppy's mother was nodding, calm, serious, andefficient. Like Phil. Or Cliff. Okay, we'll get this taken care of. Poppy felt just slightly important.Nobody sheknew had been to a hospital for tests. Her mother ruffled her hair as they walked out ofDr. Franklin's office. â€Å"Well, Poppet. What have you done to yourself now?† Poppy smiled impishly. She was fully recoveredfrom her earlier worry. â€Å"Maybe I'll have to have an operation and I'll have an interesting scar,† she said,to amuse her mother. â€Å"Let's hope not,† her mother said, unamused. The Suzanne G. Monteforte Children's Hospitalwas a handsome gray building with sinuous curve sand giant picture windows. Poppy looked thoughtfully into the gift shop as they passed. It was clearly akid's gift shop, full of rainbow Slinkys and stuffed animals that a visiting adult could buy as a last-minute present. A girl came out of the shop. She was a little olderthan Poppy, maybe seventeen or eighteen. She was pretty, with an expertly made-up face-and a cutebandanna which didn't quite conceal the fact that she had no hair. She looked happy, round-cheeked,with earrings dangling jauntily beneath the band anna-but Poppy felt a stab of sympathy. Sympathy†¦and fear. That girl was reallysick. Which was what hospitals were for, of course-for really sick people. Suddenly Poppy wanted to get herown tests over with and get out of here. The sonogram wasn't painful, but it was vaguelydisturbing. A technician smeared some kind of jelly over Poppy's middle, then ran a cold scanner over it,shooting sound waves into her, taking pictures of her insides. Poppy found her mind returning to the prettygirl with no hair. To distract herself, she thought about James. And for some reason what came to mind was the first time she'd seen James, the day he came to kindergarten. He'd been a pale, slight boy with big gray eyes and something subtly weirdabout him that made thebigger boys start picking on him immediately. On the playground they ganged up on him like houndsaround a fox-until Poppy saw what was happening. Even at five she'd had a great right hook. She'dburst into the group, slapping faces and kicking shins until the big boys went running. Then she'd turned to James. â€Å"Wanna be friends?† After a brief hesitation he'd nodded shyly. Therehad been something oddly sweet in his smile. But Poppy had soon found that her new friend wasstrange in small ways. When the class lizard died, he'd picked up the corpse without revulsion andasked Poppy if she wanted to hold it. The teacher had been horrified. He knew where to find dead animals, too-he'dshown her a vacant lot where several rabbit carcasseslay in the tall brown grass. He was matter-of-factabout it. When he got older, the big kids stopped pickingon him. He grew up to be as tall as any of them, and surprisingly strong and quick-and he developed areputation for being tough and dangerous. When he got angry, something almost frightening shone in hisgray eyes. He never got angry with Poppy, though. They'dremained best friends all these years. When they'd reached junior high, he'd started having girlfriends all the girls at school wanted himbut he never kept any of them long. And he never confided in them;to them he was a mysterious, secretive bad boy. Only Poppy saw the other side of him, the vulnerable, caring side. â€Å"Okay,† the technician said, bringing Poppy backto the present with a jerk. â€Å"You're done; let's wipe this jelly off you.† â€Å"So what did it show?† Poppy asked, glancing upat the monitor. â€Å"Oh, your own doctor will tell you that. The radiologist will read the results and call them over to your doctor's office.† The technician's voice was absolutely neutral-so neutral that Poppy looked ather sharply. Back in Dr. Franklin's office, Poppy fidgeted whileher mother paged through out-of-date magazines. When the nurse said â€Å"Mrs. Hilgard,† they bothstood up. â€Å"Uh-no,† the nurse said, looking flustered. â€Å"Mrs.Hilgard, the doctor just wants toseeyou for a minute-alone.† Poppy and her mother looked at each other. Then,slowly, Poppy's mother put down her People magazine and followed the nurse. Poppy stared after her. Now, what on earth . . . Dr. Franklin had neverdone that before. Poppy realized that her heart was beating hard. Notfast, just hard. Bang†¦bang†¦ bang, in the middle of her chest, shaking her insides. Making her feelunreal and giddy. Don't think about it. It's probably nothing. Reada magazine. But her fingers didn't seem to work properly. When she finally got the magazine open, her eyes ran over the words without delivering them to herbrain. What are they talking about in there? What's going on?It's been so long†¦. It kept getting longer. As Poppy waited, she foundherself vacillating between two modes of thought. 1) Nothing serious was wrong with her and her motherwas going to come out and laugh at her for even imagining there was, and 2) Something awful waswrong with her and she was going to have to go through some dreadful treatment to get well. The covered pit and the open pit. When the pit was covered, it seemed laughable, and she felt embarrassed for having such melodramatic thoughts. But when it was open, she felt as if all her life before this had been adream, and now she was hitting hard reality at last. I wish I could call James, she thought. At last the nurse said, â€Å"Poppy? Come on in.† Dr. Franklin's office was wood-paneled, with certificates and diplomas hanging on the walls. Poppy sat down in a leather chair and tried not to be tooobvious about scanning her mother's face. Her mother looked†¦too calm. Calm with strainunderneath. She was smiling, but it was an odd,slightly unsteady smile. Oh, God, Poppy thought. Something isgoing on. â€Å"Now, there's no cause for alarm,† the doctor said,and immediately Poppy became more alarmed. Her palms stuck to the leather of the chair arms. â€Å"Something showed up in your sonogram that's alittle unusual, and I'd like to do a couple of othertests,† Dr. Franklin said, his voice slow and measured, soothing. â€Å"One of the tests requires that you fast from midnight the day before you take it. But your mom says you didn't eat breakfast today.† Poppy said mechanically, â€Å"I ate one Frosted Flake.† â€Å"OneFrosted Flake? Well, I think we can countthat as fasting. We'll do the tests today, and I think it's best to admit you to the hospital for them. Now, the tests are called a CAT scan and an ERCP-that's short for something even I can't pronounce.† Hesmiled. Poppy just stared at him. â€Å"There's nothing frightening about either of thesetests,† he said gently. â€Å"The CAT scan is like an X ray. The ERCP involves passing a tube down the throat, through the stomach, and into the pancreas. Then we inject into the tube a liquid that will show up onX rays .† His mouth kept moving, but Poppy had stoppedhearing the words. She was more frightened than she could remember being in a long time. I was just joking about the interesting scar, shethought. I don't want a real disease. I don't want to go to the hospital, and I don't want any tubes down my throat. She looked at her mother in mute appeal. Her mother took her hand. â€Å"It's no big deal, sweetheart. We'll just go home andpack a few things for you; then we'll come back.† â€Å"I have to go into the hospital today?† â€Å"I think that would be best,† Dr. Franklin said. Poppy's hand tightened on her mother's. Her mind was a humming blank. When they left the office, her mother said, â€Å"Thankyou, Owen.† Poppy had never heard her call Dr. Franklin by his first name before. Poppy didn't ask why. She didn't say anything asthey walked out of the building and got in the car. As they drove home, her mother began to chat aboutordinary things in a light, calm voice, and Poppy made herself answer. Pretending that everything wasnormal, while all the time the terrible sick feeling raged inside her. It was only when they were in her bedroom, packing mystery books and cotton pajamas into a small suitcase, that she asked almost casually, â€Å"So whatexactly does he think is wrong with me?† Her mother didn't answer immediately. She waslooking down at the suitcase. Finally she said, â€Å"Well, he's not sure anything is wrong.† â€Å"But what does he think?He must think something. And he was talking about my pancreas-Imean, it sounds like he thinks there's somethingwrong with my pancreas. I thought he was looking at my gallbladderor whatever. I didn't even know that my pancreas was involvedin this†¦.† â€Å"Sweetheart.† Her mother took her by the shoulders, and Poppy realized she was getting a little over wrought. She took a deep breath. â€Å"I just want to know the truth, okay? I just wantto have some idea of what's going on. It's my body, and I've got a right to know what they're lookingfor-don't I?† It was a brave speech, and she didn't mean any of it. What she really wanted was reassurance, a prom ise that Dr. Franklin was looking for something trivial. That the worst that could happen wouldn't be so bad. She didn't get it. â€Å"Yes, you do have a right to know.† Her motherlet a long breath out, then spoke slowly. â€Å"Poppy, Dr. Franklin was concerned about your pancreas allalong. Apparently things can happen in the pancreas that cause changes in other organs, like the gallblad der and liver. When Dr. Franklin felt those changes, he decided to check things out with a sonogram.† Poppy swallowed. â€Å"And he said the sonogramwas-unusual. How unusual?† â€Å"Poppy, this is all preliminary†¦.† Her mothersaw her face and sighed. She went on reluctantly.† The sonogram showed that there might be something in your pancreas. Something that shouldn't bethere. That's why Dr. Franklin wants the other tests;they'll tell us for sure. But-â€Å" â€Å"Something that shouldn't be there? You mean †¦ like a tumor? Like †¦cancer?† Strange, it was hard to say the words. Her mother nodded once. â€Å"Yes. Like cancer.†