Category Archives: review

Same Kind of Different As Me

Not a Netflix Original, But I Found It There.

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I love movies with a deeper message than you think you will get in the beginning. I was a big old baby crying in the end. (Don’t worry, as usual, I will not spoil the good things for you).

This movie is a flashback movie it starts with Ron Hall (Greg Kinnear) leaving his home so he can write a book. Something that he has never done before. He goes to a remote place and stays at a friend home to begin writing this novel uninterrupted. The flashback starts off by telling his story as an art dealer, a husband, and a father. While at an art viewing, a woman comes up to him and tells him that she knows about his affair, and if he doesn’t tell his wife, she would.

Screenshot 2018-08-25 09.58.48To me, his wife, Debbie (Renée Zellweger), was the perfect mixture of love and grace. She was furious with him but eventually asked for her number. Told her she was not mad at her and that she forgave her. She said she hoped that one day she could find the kind of love that she and her husband had and hopefully if they got there again she would not be hearing from her husband again.  – That was amazing. I could’ve never had the courage to say that.

She told him that if he wanted to go he could and then asked him what he wanted. He told her he wanted her, and here is where the story begins. To be hurt and angry and say you know if you are not happy, you can go. Is a level of patience and understanding that many of us only dream of getting to. Now she made him make it up to her, and he tried to complain, but she never listened, and everything she made him do made him a better person.

Screenshot 2018-08-25 10.01.48One night his wife has a dream that she’s in a hospital bed, but she was sitting in the chair watching herself. She gets up and walks down a hallway that leads to a set of double doors.  The doors open up to a field. She walks out the doors and a tall black man is standing there waiting for her, not in a romantic way, but in a saving grace kind of way. She tells her husband and they begin searching for him. Only when they find him, his nickname is Suicide (Djimon Hounsou) and he is a tough cookie to break through to.

This story is beautiful, it shows when people step out there comfort zone and meet people outside their circle, that there is magic there. Not fairytale magic, but pure joy and a different understanding of life. Debbie opened Ron’s eyes to people he would walk past and not think twice about. Debbie, a visionary and changed the lives of everyone she touched.

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This movie was based off a true story and I cried big baby tears of joy and sorrow at the end (I can be mushy at times.) The original book was written by John Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent. I haven’t read this, but this book and the next book that is a continuation of the story are definitely on my TBR (to be read) list.

 

The director Michael Carney did an amazing job of capturing a story that needed to be told. The characters were amazingly cast, and that credit goes to Tracy Kilpatrick and John Papsidera.

If you haven’t watched and need something beautifully motivating, go watch and enjoy. 

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Netflix

I have never read this book…

Screenshot 2018-08-17 17.29.46But I have always intended to. Just reading the description on the back made me super interested, but as a reader who is completely unable to make decisions between book, this one was always on my TBR (to be read) list.

I definitely regret it now!

Screenshot 2018-08-17 17.32.07First of all, I knew this was an amazing book. I have heard amazing reviews. But the movie… Oh, the movie dragged me in and made me completely in love. I absolutely love Laura Jean, because although she wasn’t me in high school, she is me now. I don’t have crushes, but I have the type of person in my head that I want, but I am too worried about getting back out there, about losing people that I stay to myself.

My Fridays and weekends include books, coffee, and my laptop. If I am not writing, I am reading and if I am not doing that I am binge watching something to write to you all about. I do not do parties, nor do I date. Most would say it was pitiful, but me, I am enjoying the peace. Well, all the peace I can get with four daughters. Which at times, is none at all. Screenshot 2018-08-17 17.31.46

Back To The Story

Screenshot 2018-08-17 17.29.07Laura Jean the middle child, with an older and younger sister, growing up with a single Dad and a mother who passed away. She is entering her junior year, never having a relationship and now the oldest in the house. Her sister is going away to college in a whole other county!

Laura Jean has had five amazing crushes in her life. Crushes so deep that she wrote letters, put them in envelopes, addressed them, but put them in a box for her to look at. She admired them after finishing romance novels. She was quite a sucker for them. She didn’t have the guts to send them or tell these guys how she felt, because one was her sister’s boyfriend, one her enemies boyfriend, one was now gay, and a few others were from camp.

Screenshot 2018-08-17 17.30.50None of the letters were written recently, she being sixteen the recent one was written in Jr. High.

Well, one day her worse nightmare happened. Her letters were mailed off and she was confronted by the guys who the letters were addressed to. The worst of it was the one that was addressed to her sister’s boyfriend. She kissed one of the other guys to pretend she was not into him.

This movie follows what happens after the letters are out and her life is now changed in a way she never thought it could be.

Netflix is killing it with the movies and television shows, so much that my subscription is one of the first things I pay every month, well right after my kindle unlimited. As usual, I promise not to ruin it for you, but if you need a new chick flick to watch, this one is definitely one to watch.

Now time to go and read the book. I’ve got to see which is better. I do say that Sofia Alvarez wrote an amazing screenplay, and I can’t wait to do a comparison of the book and movie. Maybe I will share it with you… I have heard a few reviews who didn’t love it as much as I did, but I am always a hopeless romantic and this touched that side.

Extinction – A Netflix Film

Screenshot 2018-08-08 21.02.51I would’ve normally skipped this movie, it’s really not my thing, I have never been into alien invasion movies, but I am glad I watched this one. The cast Micheal Peña, Lizzy Caplan and Isreal Broussard (to name a few), were amazing in delivering this action thriller.

I was so caught up in the film, that I was screaming at the tv to the point that my mother thought I was on the phone. She came looking when I yelled out to kill him, kill him! This was unlike any other alien invasion film, and I can’t give too much without it being a spoiler, but it worth watching.

Screenshot 2018-08-08 21.00.12It has its sad moments when characters you have become attached to die, and the kid keeps screaming and running when she should be still and shut up. Which is most of the reason I was screaming at the t.v…. the kid was super annoying. Her and that damn monkey toy. (insert eye roll).

The graphics were amazing, the cameramen and the director Ben Young, did an excellent job with the point of views and the angles they shot the film in. I loved that the main character kept seeing what was happening before it did, and yet, no one believed him. They wanted him to see someone and talk about it.

If you want a good movie to watch (that’s new) check it out. You will not be disappointed, and when you do, comment below. Tell me what you thought about it. Check out the trailer below!

This Is Us

This is real. This is love. This is life.

Screenshot 2018-08-06 22.31.57This is Us, is an emotional story of a couple who had triplet, where one died and was replaced with a baby who was abandoned at the hospital. So they came with three in her belly and left with three in her hands.

I have to say that after the first episode I was reluctant to watch because I just knew I would be crying. Tears do not explain how I have felt getting through this first few seasons.

Screenshot 2018-08-06 22.31.35Now with 8 Emmy Nominations the world is watching and the whole world is in love with Jack and Rebecca Pearson and their love for three beautiful babies. Seeing these babies grown with thier own problems and families shows us that what we does as parents matter. The mistakes, the things we thing we’re hiding, kids know it all.

I’m not giving any spoilers, but I am saying that if you love a drama that reminds you of a Nicholas Sparks movie, then I don’t know why you’re not watching this show. I am not all the way caught up, but this was something I knew I needed to review. This is more than love, this is real, this is life.

Screenshot 2018-08-06 22.31.13The cast is amazing with Mandy Moore playing Rebecca and Milo Ventimiglia playing Jack Pearson. Their adult children are played by Sterling K Brown as Randall, Chrissy Metz as Kate, and Justin Hartley as Kevin.

This show has the right people playing the right parts Ryan Tymensky is a great casting associate and Ken Olin is an awesome Director. But I have to give props to the writers on this one. Dan Fogelman (the creator), Kay Oyegun, Jas Waters, Aurin Spears, Isaac Aptaker, Elizabeth Berger, Vera Herbert, K.J. Steinberg, Bekah Brunstetter, Joe Lawson, Donald Todd, Laura Kenar, Don Roos, Shukree Tilghman, Tyler Bensinger and Rebecca Brunstetter are amazing writers who have created amazing story that has taken all of us by our hearts.

People always give a lot of credit to the actors or the directors but none to the writers who spend many hours creating and discussing whats going to happen next before the the actors even know. The writers capture the voice and stories that each character carries over to the cast and the director.

I am at awe at the whole story behind this and cannot wait to see where it takes us. I am definitely along for the ride.

Self Love – TL Clark

I received an ARC  and couldn’t put it down!

SO I have to admit when I looked at the cover I thought it was a self help book, I was wrong, but I wasn’t. This novel was a game changer. No Spoilers because I want you all to purchase and read this book. 

Self Love follows a heavy set Molly who has an addiction to comfort food. She loaves in self-doubt and talks down on herself because her mother and others have done it for so long. She sees no good in herself, has no belief in anything but, she is a goal setter.

She doesn’t realize it but leaving her job and starting her own business was the first step. She realized she deserved more than a job that she doesn’t love. This book itself, is written in first person and she engages with the reader while telling her story, an angle I haven’t really seen used in a novel before and I quite enjoyed it.

This book at the end left me in real life tears, she goes on a journey far deeper than a diet. Far deeper than she thought she could. Molly does a lifestyle change, a wholesome retreat of mind, body and soul, all while running a new business, trying multiple times to date and licking her wounds from parental let downs.

Molly is me, Molly is all of us and her journey is better than any self-help book. I feel refreshed and renewed from a deep cry and I want more of Mollys life goals and answers. I am sooo glad I was given this book to review and now know I need to read more of TL Clarks books.

I can’t post the cover of the book, because it literally has not been released, maybe before this post publishes it will and I would have added it. But here are her previous book covers.

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Check out her website http://tlclarkauthor.blogspot.co.uk/ and @tlclarkauthor across social media. I am a new fan, and will check out her many other titles. Look for future reviews.

~Loving yourself has to come before you can truly love yourself.

The Hate You Give – Angie Thomas

This is More Than A Story – This is Our Life

Screenshot 2018-07-21 01.54.02As I hear the stories and then find out this movie is about to be made into a book, I pull it out my TBR, out of order, and begin to flip the pages. Yes I had the hardback book, and it made it that more important to me as I flipped the pages in reality. I am shaking as I am writing this, because this book is so realistic, so powerful.

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Starr is your normal kid, I mean she is living in the hood but has the privilege to go to a private school on the other side of town. Her uncle, a police officer, lives over there. But in the beginning, she was just a girl, in a party in her neighborhood. They were celebrating Spring Break and it was the annual party that the local DJ did every year.

Starr never went to these but her best friend/her brothers other sister invited her. She sees her old best friend Khalil come in and they back and forth like it hasn’t been awhile since they hung out. A fight breaks out, and Khalil grabs her out and takes her to his car to take her home.

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Photo by Andras Vas on Unsplash

The blue lights pull up behind them, and while she remembers her parents instructions, she wonders if anyone has had the talk with Khalil. You know the talk, speak only when spoken to, keep your hands in sight and don’t make sudden movements. The talk that every Black parent has with their kid about being stopped by the police. He didn’t, he moved and came back to the car to see if Starr was ok, and the cop shot. He shot more than once until Khalil’s bullet ridden body was on the ground leaking his blood into the pavement.

This is Starrs story of being a witness to something horrible and not wanting to be public, to showing not only did she have enemies of the police, but the streets were not all on the side of justice. This shows how hard it is to know whats going on but still have to deal with death everyday.

To deal with the racism that comes with a black boy being a victim of a cop, because of course he has to be a gang banger or a drug dealer. How the victim was put on trail to determine if the police officer would even be charged.

Screenshot 2018-07-21 02.33.54.pngThis may be a work of fiction, but its not. Its the reality of being black in America. Being in poverty and feeling like you have no choice in your life decisions. In having white friends who go by everything that the media says, because their comfort is more important than our lives.

This book is a reality, and I cannot wait to see how beautiful the movie is going to be. EVERYONE needs to see this movie, and read this book, because the pain felt behind Angies words, are the pain we felt after each hashtag died.

 

SVU – S19 E4

Spoilers and Trigger Warning – Sexual Assault

Screenshot 2018-07-26 17.36.43I am a survivor of sexual assault, on more than one occasion. This episode really got to me because it was like my first assault, but there wasn’t an easy resolution like Mandy got. In this episode, a girl, Mandy went to a party. She was super popular because she was a vlogger, and she was beautiful. She went to a party where she was raped and written all over in black marker. The next day she was chastised and bullied because she spoke up.

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Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Kids were calling her names, threatening her, assaulting her and forcing her to hold her head down. She had no friends left, no one to stand up for her even though many saw what happened. They blamed her for the guys getting in trouble instead of blaming the true responsible parties.

In the end, the rapist confessed in open court, apologized and then there was an assembly with an open discussion about being victims and how you’re not alone. She was able to go back to the school and hold her head high, because the police had her back, the boy admitting to his wrong doing and other students spoke up about bullying and why they didn’t speak up for her.

For me although my case was very similar to her, I didn’t get the same luxuries as she did in the end. In seventh grade I had a Halloween party because my mother wasn’t going to be home. It was all anyone could talk about. I was excited because I invited my crush, who I won’t name, although I should.

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Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

Everyone was at my house, everyone saw the things that my crush and his three friends did. No one stood up for me, minus one friend and she was attacked as well. Everyone else went outside and waited for their rides to come, ignoring my screams, my pleas and my childhood being ripped away from me. The next day, I tried filing a police report. I told the same story four times, and was finally told by an Alexandria (Fairfax County) Police officer, that as a black girl, I probably wanted it. Four black boys wouldn’t rape a black girl. If I was white, they would’ve believed me.

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Photo by Carlos Arthur on Unsplash

Crushed is not the word that defines this moment. I felt victimized again, but trust it didn’t end there. I was branded a whore. Everyday I got on the bus things were thrown at me, people tried to fight me, and school was worse. I was pushed in the eight grade boys gym hallway where boys grabbed at me and stuck their hands in my clothes. I had girls who fought me for trying to get the “cool guys” in trouble. I had a girl pull a gun on me in the middle of the park for “lying on them”.

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Photo by Andrei Lazarev on Unsplash

I was afraid to go to school, and what made it worse, Walt Whitman Middle School did nothing to protect me no matter how many times my mother went to the school. We eventually moved after months of bullying and fights. Which doesn’t help a kid. I tried to commit suicide, I had a plan. I told two friends who called my Mom and prevented it from happening, but it took a long time to get through.

Its crazy how years later I have heard a handful of apologies from now adults who had something to do with it. One of the guys tried to friend me on social media (he got a quick decline and block). I share my story because this episode almost triggered something in me. I felt for this girl, and then I felt bad for the reality. Not all of us survive, not all of us get to where they can speak up about the harsh realities of sexual assault.

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Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash

I don’t consider myself a victim. I consider myself a survivor because I fought everyday to protect me, even years after it was over. I fought to get passed and to tell my story. Yes I am a #metoo and I am opening up and finally telling my story. I hope that perhaps I can help one person to know they are not alone.

 

If you or anyone you know have suicide thoughts or plans please call 1-800-273-8255 or you can text HOME (0r CONNECT) to 741741 and someone can text you through it. Also if you have been a victim to a sexual assault call 1-800-656-4673. These numbers are available 24/7. Reach out for help! You are not alone and cannot get through it alone. 

 

Cute With Bad Qualities

Cute With Bad Qualities – An Understatement

Screenshot 2018-07-21 14.27.35I don’t know how many times I tell people with children to stop coddling them. Introduce them to the real world and tell them how shit really is. If you put your children in a bubble, when they go to college, they wild out. This movie here is a straight up proof of how it normally goes, because its not always black and white, its grey areas in between.

Her mother waited until she was an adult, and heading to college before taking to her. Something that should NOT be a last minute conversation. This is something we should talk to our daughters now in elementary school, to build them up as women and let them know that everything that glitters ain’t gold.

Screenshot 2018-07-21 14.28.09Cute with Bad Qualities – I thought in the beginning was a horrible title, but I get it, Donovan was the “cute” one, and his qualities were horrible. Her being a “caged child”, she was easily open to the first guy that gave her attention. Her friends had a bet on how long she would be cool until she wilded out. It clearly didn’t take long.

This girl made a 32 on her SATs (not an accurate score, thats more an ACT score, but I’ll leave that flaw in the script alone… No I didn’t). Although she stayed in her books, but she became all about this man. She didn’t follow up on his story he told about Sheena, which lead to Sheen being shady to her, not her fault and continue to sleep with him behind her back.

The tagline “If he shows you who is he, believe him.” Was perfect, because as a woman, this was something that was always told to me. As a mother of teenage girls, I let them have boyfriends, explain to them the horrors of sex and people who don’t mean you any good. I also tell them the importance of looking at every angle and being true to themselves. Never letting someone dictate their lives or tell them what they can and cannot do.

Screenshot 2018-07-21 14.27.08This man disrespected her mother when he first met her, telling her excuse me, but me and Mya are grown, when she told him to take her straight home. And instead of taking her back to her dorms, like her mother asked, he took her back to his place where there was a bra in his bed, which he hid. They didn’t have sex that night, he played the role of the gentlemen, sleeping on the floor.

Screenshot 2018-07-21 14.28.58In the beginning, Mya, played by Samantha Smith, was a quiet girl who was a freshman in college. She was a private school girl who was raised in a strict religious home. She saw this boy and literally ran into Sheena, who invited her to a party that Donovan, Tasmin Williams, was supposed to be in attendance.

She showed him in the beginning that he could run her, because he told her to call Sheena back when she called to check on her. He told her not to be friends with certain people and she was all about listening to him. It was like she had no mind of her own and let him check her. Which, he took every moment to brag about to his friends.

When her best friend came in town, he was all about getting to know her friend on a deeper level calling her friend fine and flirting across the table. He kept looking her friend up and down. Her friend saw him for who he was, someone sneaky.

When he was injured, she told him to get seen and he blamed her for not getting medically cleared. Then when he found out he had DBT and couldn’t play he went off on her blaming her for him not being able to play. He broke up with her.

Unlike other stories, Mya and Donovan got married but not because he loved her, from the beginning he was telling his friends that she was a gold mine. He made this big marriage proposal after leaving her for a month. A virgin and a woman who will make money, but he quickly tried to make her his woman who did what he said.  This is not a love story, not a story of romance, its a story of being entrapped, feeling like you have to hold on because he’s your husband.

Screenshot 2018-07-21 14.28.26When her husband told her she was getting fat, she went to the doctors office and found out she was pregnant. He told her she should go and get an abortion. Something he knew she would not do, because she is very religious. In the next several scenes, you can see him celebrating graduation and hanging with friends while she goes to doctors visits and has the baby. He refused to even help out with the baby at night.

He starts spending time with Sheena on the side, and hanging out without his wife at certain events. Sheena recorded their conversation on the voicemail to their house. To him it was never about making her happy or even comfortable in their marriage, when she brought up him cheating, he just went to bed. Didn’t even try to explain, because he knew she wouldn’t go anywhere or do anything. She being still in school and having a baby. What could she do?

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Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

It took for her to realize that she married who she picked and not who she was supposed to marry. It took for her to stand up for herself and realize that she was fighting for a marriage on her own. We have to understand what love looks like, we are responsible for our children knowing that so that they don’t repeat the mistakes we have made in our lives.

 

The Beloveds – Maureen Lindley

Jealousy can grow out of control if not tamed.

I despise Betty Stash! I have never hated a main character in all of my life as I do Betty Stash, she is privileged and bratty. If things do not go her way there is no length that she will not do to get it.

This book at first was a little hard to keep picking up, only because I simply wanted to slap some sense in Betty. She was vindictive against her sister Gloria. I mean yes, she was a “beloved”, you know the type of person that everything turns out ok in their life, but she was Betty’s little sister. The little sister that she regretted since the day she was born. This was more than sibling rivalry, this was pure hatred and Gloria never knew she was even a target.

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To Betty’s defense, Gloria was a head in the clouds, a well deal with it type person. No one really looked at Betty’s point of view as even being valid. She was written off, but she also pushed people away as if she didn’t need anyone.

To her, Gloria was beautiful, charming and got everything in life right. Betty, she made do with what she had. Her rages didn’t come until their mother passed and she was not given the family home. It was something she always knew she would have, but her mother left the home to her sister and her husband, who ungratefully would not cherish and take care of the home as Betty wished they did.

This book was unlike any book I have ever read before, and not one that I probably would have picked up but it shows the ugliness of someone’s mind. Just how spiteful and hatred someone could be. How alcohol and medication can make someone the worst version of themselves.

Screenshot 2018-07-10 20.24.16Maureen Lindley has made my mind into complete jelly with this novel. I don’t even know how to feel after the end of it. It was left unknown to what more Betty will do.

*NO SPOILERS*

So honestly I had to ask myself several times what this book was about, and what the point would ever be. I don’t think I ever found it or understood. I would recommend this book to someone who is interested in the psyche of someone’s mind. The start of a snap of someone sanity. It wasn’t my cup of tea, but I thank Scribbler for introducing me to something different, something new.

 

The Devil Wears Prada – A Classic

Work isn’t always fun, but we have to start somewhere, right?

 

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The Devil Wears Prada staring Meryl Streep and Anna Hathaway has always been one of my favorites, only because as much as everyone thinks this movie is over dramatized, its the reality for so many in today’s job market. As hiring managers and companies ask for more than the college student has in experience, or more than the experienced has in education leaving many to survive off assistant jobs or labor jobs that are long demanding hours, and hardly no pay.

Screenshot 2018-07-08 21.41.47Look at Miranda Priestley’s character (Meryl Streep), she was a no nonsense boss who stepped on everyone to get what she wanted. She wasn’t an effective leader, which left her staff fighting for her attention. She was full of awful comments and always disappointed in everyone else.

This movie shows that when a woman is on top, men will call you bitches and say you cannot keep a man or a personal life. She took that back out on the world, standing above everyones reach and pulling people back down to secure her position at all cost. Including back stabbing a long time employee who was desperate for a way out.

There are thousands of Emily’s (the first assistant in the movie), who play dirty, talk catty about other people in front of them to make themselves seem more important to others around them. This created an awful work environment for Andy, who never receives clear instructions, but monumental requests from Miranda.

Screenshot 2018-07-08 21.42.47.pngThe scene that shows just how much chaos is present, is when Andy is to deliver the “book” to Miranda’s house. Andy was told to put the dry-cleaning in a closet, there are two and place the book on the table with the flowers on it there are four. She is asked to do all of this and without making a sound. Then Mirandas two spiteful children told her the opposite which resulted in Andy having to do the impossible in order to keep her job.

I have to say I was happy Andy succeeded and even happier she made Miranda choke on her words, but it wasn’t enough, now she was going in Emily’s place to Paris, and she had to be the one to tell her. This low down scheme that made Andy feel she had no other place but to play the game because she was trying to advance her career in journalism. Miranda told her, in fact she is more like her than she thought, which finally made Andy leave.

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Photo by Quinten de Graaf on Unsplash

The sad part is, this is America. This is the American dream that so many come after and get chased away from. I watched the latest episode of the Bold Type (July 8th), and it was a similar situation. Her was Kat looking to hire a social media guru but the board refused her because she didn’t finish college. It leaves a market that is already full of privileged people still full of those same type. You know, the ones who Momma and Daddy knew someone to get them on as an intern. Interning to many is not an option. As a single mother of four girls, and a recent graduate, its not for me. And unfortunately, not everyone thinks they can make it to college. Depending on where you come from, some kids don’t even think college is an option for them. There are way too many first time family graduates, people who took a step out of going straight to work or worse.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

So, what do you get from this? Don’t be that boss that creates an unhealthy environment for your staff. Good bosses don’t lose good employees, and great companies have a better business thrive and growth when they treat their staff fairly and like people instead of a HR number.