Thursday, April 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Thursday, March 13, 2014, 2:46 PM

No one told me to write this blog post. I'm self-motivated and a hard worker, also a team player, because when I write a blog it contributes to the overall success of my company. Maybe you could call me a go-getter or a go-to person, because I proactively decided to write this blog, hoping that it creates synergy with my workplace beat. The dynamic approach I'm taking reveals that I think outside the box. Bottom-line: I hope you read on and appreciate my thought leadership on this important topic. It's a value add for the Inquirer and

And if I use any of these terms in a resume, I won't get the job, according to survey of hiring managers by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilders, the online job board. They are too cliched, and even I flinch at best of breed. Can't even imagine what breed reporters are in! Look at the worst list and then scroll down for better choices.

The Worst Résumé Terms

POSTED: Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 4:20 AM
Jeffrey A. Bartos

As a division leader at Toll Brothers Inc., the home-building company, Jeffrey A. Bartos had a front-row seat for the collapse of the housing market, with the horrible job of laying off the company's workers as business conditions deteriorated. "You never get used to it," he said. "A lot of times driving home with tears in my eyes and deep regret for the colleagues, you couldn’t keep working.

Bartos is now chief executive officer of the U.S. office of the Mark Group Inc., a British-based company that analyzes homes and buildings for energy efficiency and then makes the necessary repairs. He worked at Toll from 2001 to August 2010, and he describes the period from August 2006 through 2009 as the worst.

"That was a crazy time," he said, during our Leadership Agenda interview published Monday in the Philadelphia Inquirer. "You are laying off people, because you don’t have work. These are good people who worked really hard. Toll is  wonderful company and Toll, to its credit, worked really hard to help find other jobs for these people and they’ve hired back a lot of people."

What was it like to have to lay off constantly, I asked him.
POSTED: Monday, March 10, 2014, 4:20 AM
Jeffrey A. Bartos

Maybe it's a characteristic of the CEO species, but many of them work incredibly hard, on duty most of the time, and compensated more than accordingly. Should chief executives expect the same drive from their employees?

"That's a great question," Mark Group CEO Jeffrey A. Bartos responded during our Leadership Agenda interview published in Monday's Inquirer. "I had to learn to not expect that same level of time and hours from everyone and I had to learn that in the job. I give Abby [Feinstein, Mark's marketing executive] a lot of credit. She’s been good at pointing out that, `this is my personal time.'  I respect that.

"I think there’s a give and take. You know someone’s committed; they work hard; they are passionate; they love the company, and they are good at their jobs and you have to respect those boundaries," he said.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 3:30 AM
SEPTA general manager Joseph M. Casey, here in the Market East Station, uses the system himself to commute from his home in Elwyn, using the Media line. (Tom Gralish / Staff Photographer)

Now that SEPTA’s got some money, there’s a lot of clamoring, general manager Joseph M. Casey said, for projects that would extend SEPTA’s reach into the suburbs in various ways. Even then, the question is how to get riders from the nearest SEPTA stop, be it bus or rail, to their offices – the last-mile question. “That’s the dilemma,” Casey said during our Leadership Agenda interview published in Monday’s Philadelphia Inquirer. “The population of this region hasn’t changed that much in the last 20 or 30 years. You just have sprawl. And we, as an agency, can’t continue chasing that sprawl.

“When businesses develop, they should think about how the people get to work. Until recently, it was people would drive and we’ll build parking lots,” Casey said. “Now when the price of gas goes up, they think transit: Wouldn’t it be nice to have transit? But it has to be part of the development and planning and land use.”

In the past, he said, there were “all these small railroad towns,” like Glenside, or Ambler, or Lansdale. People “walked downtown. They walked to train.  But [through] all these years, the people and businesses who worked in those towns spread out and made those stations less efficient.”

POSTED: Monday, March 3, 2014, 3:15 AM
SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey (Michael Bryant/Staff photographer)

When Joseph M. Casey first became SEPTA general manager in 2008, he quickly learned how to score points as the new guy in charge. 

“One of the first visits I had was at the Callowhill depot,” Casey told me during our Leadership Agenda interview published in Monday’s Philadelphia Inquirer. “I’ll never forget it. Mr. James approached me and said, `I want to show you something.’

“I said, `Fine.’ He showed me the restroom facilities and they were similar to the City Hall [subway station], probably even worse. They were to me, unusable. I came back and I asked my facilities people what we could do. We went out there and within a couple of months, we had all new facilities. Don’t get me wrong, this is turn-of-the-century facility, but we went out and fixed them up.”

POSTED: Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 4:35 AM
U.S. District Judge Stanley Brotman (Tom Gralish/Inquirer Staff)

U.S. District Judge Stanley Brotman was a lucky man.

Judge Brotman died on Friday and his funeral was Tuesday, but a few months before he died, he had an opportunity that very few people have.

In September, when he finally retired, after closing out a long-standing case in the Virgin Islands, where he also served, his colleagues held a retirement dinner for him in Princeton. Because he was the longest-serving federal judge for the U.S. District Court in New Jersey, he had more than 38 years on the federal bench, mostly in Camden, to build long relationships. More than 80 people attended, said U.S. District Judge Jerome Simandle, who now heads the New Jersey court, but started out as a magistrate when Brotman was one of three judges sitting in Camden.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 3:55 AM
Cynthia Figueroa

Most nonprofits are eager to tout the number of people served, so it probably wasn't the greatest news that when Congreso de Latinos Unidos started more carefully measuring its results its client numbers actually went down. 

"The number of people we served actually shrunk dramatically when we started doing it, because we started to catch the duplicates and how many times they were served by Congreso," Cynthia Figueroa, Congreso's chief executive, said during our Leadership Agenda interview published in Monday's Inquirer.

Nothing wrong with that, obviously. It doesn't hurt clients to get more help. 

POSTED: Monday, February 24, 2014, 3:00 AM
Cynthia Figueroa

Cynthia Figueroa heads a $25 million nonprofit, and she said, it didn't happen by accident. That's something ambitious young women need to understand, Figueroa, the chief executive at Congreso de Latinos Unidos, told me during our Leadership Agenda interview published in Monday's Philadelphia Inquirer.

About this blog

Jobbing covers the workplace – employment, unemployment, management, unions, legal issues, labor economics, benefits, work-life balance, workforce development, trends and profiles.

Jane M. Von Bergen writes about workplace issues for the Inquirer.

Married to a photographer she met at her college newspaper, Von Bergen has been a reporter since fourth grade, covering education, government, retailing, courts, marketing and business. “I love the specific detail that tells the story,” she says.

Reach Jane M. at

Jane M. Von Bergen Inquirer Staff Writer