Respect for Valor

Veteran’s Day 2014

Honoring our veterans, and all servicemen/servicewomen, at home and abroad.

The Concert for Valor is being held in Washington, DC on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. The Concert for Valor was created to bring artists and celebrities together to honor the courage and sacrifices of retired veterans, active military personnel and their supportive families.

To show your support, please visit and follow the “support” tab.

Happy Veteran’s Day!

Wall with flowers


Fall in Love with Autumn in Washington, DC

As Bob Dylan once sang, The Leaves They Are a Changin’.  OK, so that’s not right.  Bob D. didn’t really sing that, but fall is in the air, and the leaves really are changing.  Take advantage now, before the trees all shed their leaves for winter.  Here are just a few ideas to enjoy fall’s splendor in and around the Washington, DC area.

I’m sure nobody has forgotten about Skyline Drive, but remember to leave early.  Traffic is sure to be jam-packed this weekend.   For those of you who would rather avoid the schlep and the traffic, here are a few ideas closer to home.

Take a walk, run or bike ride in Rock Creek Park.  See the animals at the National Zoo and visit the bears and other animals before they hibernate for winter.  Check out the grounds and the National Capitol Columns at the National Arboretum (read these wonderful reviews from Trip Advisor –  It’s surely one of Washington’s best kept secrets.

U.S. National Arboretum

If sports is more your style, fall is the time when basketball and hockey season begin.  Both the Washington Capitals, and their star, Alex Ovechkin, and the Washington Wizards with John Wall, play at the Verizon Center in downtown, DC.  While the NFL season is half over, there is still plenty of time to go see the Washington Redskins, or venture 40 miles to the north to go see the neighboring Baltimore Ravens.

For those of you who prefer amateur sports, you won’t find a more awe-inspiring event than watching over 30,000 runners compete in the 39th running of the Marine Corps Marathon.   This year’s event is this Sunday, October 26th.  Be sure to take metro, as driving through the district and parts of Northern Virginia may prove very difficult this Sunday.

When looking to entertain the kids, what better place than the Boo at the Zoo.  Find details and tickets –


More kid-friendly ideas include pumpkin patches and corn mazes

As November turns a bit colder, you might search for the indoors and great photography at DC Photo Week .  This year’s event is being held November 8th-16th.

Last but not least, no list of fall activities would be complete without mentioning Halloween.  As always, there are a cornucopia of events.  If you need a few ideas to help get you going, you can find them here –

So get out and enjoy.  Wishing you and yours a wonderful fall!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month


How many people reading this have personally been affected by the loss of a loved one to Breast Cancer? Who has lost a mother, wife, sister or good friend? Perhaps an aunt, cousin, neighbor, co-worker or acquaintance, and it seems virtually impossible not know someone who lost their battle to Breast Cancer.  Hopefully you know a few “lucky ones” who are in remission, or as we like to appropriately call them, “survivors”.

According to statistics, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. Breast cancer is currently the 2nd most common kind of cancer in women, after skin cancer (so please be careful in the sun too!).

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of screening and the early detection of breast cancer.  The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.

More information can be found at and

It is time to put an end to breast cancer!


Reprinted (with edits) for October 2014

This member chose to be shown as anonymous

Like many business professionals, I utilize LinkedIn as a networking resource.  If you use LinkedIn, you may have noticed that you can see people who have looked at your profile.  I don’t utilize that feature all that often, but I recently noticed that 3 of the last 10 people who looked at my profile had no name or picture (I am not claiming that is the norm or average).  LinkedIn states, “this person chose to be shown as anonymous.”  That’s a fairly large percentage of people who had interest in seeing my profile, but didn’t want me to know who they were.


Perhaps readers can give me some insight into this.  Personally, I don’t understand why anyone would want to remain anonymous.  Could it be a competitor checking out my profile?  Perhaps I have an ex-girlfriend who decided to stalk me?  Perhaps those individuals wanted to remain anonymous due to concerns over their internet privacy.  Wait…that doesn’t make sense!  LinkedIn should be an I see you, you can see me forum.  Anyone with privacy concerns should certainly not be checking out any other profiles, least of all anonymously.

“This member chose to be shown as anonymous.” 

This member chose to be shown as anonymous

Don’t be this person!

LinkedIn can be a valuable business tool, particularly to those in sales and marketing, and certainly for job seekers.  They allow you to create a personal profile that can look different from your company website or your resume.  If you remain “anonymous” you remain unknown.  What good can that do?

LinkedIn is a professional network, so it works best when people introduce themselves with a well-written bio and a reasonably professional looking photo.  Please be yourself and not just some anonymous surfer dude.  And for goodness sake, please don’t scare people into thinking that they have an anonymous stalker.


So, unless your name is Guy Fawkes, or you starred in V for Vendetta, please don’t be anonymous.  Please be the real you!




An open reply to “Lipstick on Pigs”

Having recently read a posting on LinkedIn entitled – Too Many Recruiters Put Lipstick On A Pig– by Jon Bartos – , I felt a need to post my “open reply”.  Perhaps I should let it go, but this article really gets my goat!

To quote Mr. Bartos, he felt that “90% of the recruiters he has worked with in 25 years in the business are focused on making a commission check and not in helping him”.  He suggested that 90% of recruiters “put lipstick on pigs”.   All I can say is…


Surely you get the idea…he implied that 90% of recruiters try to present an inferior candidate, dress them up nicely and attempt to sell them for me than they are worth. I find this assumption to be highly exaggerated and very far from the truth! Naturally, there are bad eggs in any industry, but to imply that 90% of recruiters put “lipstick on pigs” is a completely false statement, based neither in merit or fact.

So, how do clients and candidates find the good recruiters, and not, ahem, the “lipstick” recruiters? Here are some things you should look for –

Being a good recruiter simply means having the ability to provide people with the right skills, attitudes and initiatives, who will make a valuable contribution to an organization.

Professional recruiters excel at developing strong relationships – with both their clients and candidates. Clients and candidates alike should look for recruiters who take the time to truly understand both their immediate needs and their long-term goals.   A good recruiter will get to know their candidates well, to gain an understanding that goes far beyond their resume.

Person-to-Person-to-Person (recruiter/candidate/client) interaction is as important as ever in building strong relationships. A strong recruiter should be able to clearly articulate how they and their candidate can add value to your team.


A professional recruiter responds flexibly to problems and challenges.  A well-trained, professional recruiter asks excellent questions. They possess incredible listening skills.  A professional recruiter is, most of all, ethical, reliable and responsible – they would never consider putting lipstick on a pig.

Always remember that your recruiter is your ally, not your adversary. They serve to help you find the best candidate. They are not a competitor to your Human Resources team, they should be considered a valuable part of your HR team!

Yoga Style Staffing – What a flexible workforce can do for you



Yoga Work

Staffing companies are to human resources departments as yoga is to your body. The goal is to be flexible and fit!

According to the American Staffing Association, U.S. companies rely on staffing services to provide temporary jobs “in the millions”. Three million people are employed by staffing companies every week, and eleven million temporary and contract employees are hired by U.S. staffing firms over the course of a year. (source:

Clearly Staffing Services provide true value. Here are 10 great reasons for using a staffing service:

1. Fill ASAP needs – Helping out clients when they find themselves shorthanded at the last minute.
2. Improve morale and relieve stress – Bringing in additional help when your staff is overworked will help improve morale and relieve potential burnout or stress.
3. Screening, testing and reference checking – Staffing services take specific and necessary steps to ensure that clients receive capable and qualified staff.
4. Compliance – Staffing services protect you by following all proper hiring procedures and legal requirements, including I-9 verification and (following) EEO policies.
5. Build relationships – By getting to know clients and their individual needs, staffing companies are able to find the “perfect” fit.
6. Try before you buy options – When taking advantage of temp-to-hire opportunities, clients can see if candidates are a good fit, prior to making a qualifying job offer.
7. Avoid Unemployment Claims – Since the temporary employee is an employee of the staffing service, there are no unemployment issues if their services are no longer needed by the client. This helps reduces costs and the anxieties associated with “letting people go”.
8. Specialization – Staffing services often have specialty areas. By focusing on their core strengths and expertise, staffing services can find candidates that clients are often unable to find via their own resources.
9. Familiar faces – Many temporary employees are requested back for future assignments, providing value as a proven resource; someone who is familiar with the client’s environment and the duties of the assignment.
10. Flexibility – Temporary staffing provides flexibility by allowing clients to scale their workforce when adding staff due to vacancies, business peaks and large projects. Conversely, clients who rely on temporary staff can decrease staff during slow periods and periods of economic uncertainty.

Yoga Work 2


4 Staff, LLC is a full service staffing company that provides highly qualified personnel for Temporary, Temp-to-Hire and Direct Hire positions. Established in 2006 by two individuals with over 50 years of combined staffing industry experience in the Washington, DC metro area.

Give us a call: (202)347-1044
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Jake, The Ambassador of Doggy Love (2000 – May 27, 2014)

The following story was written by my loyal dog walker and friend to Jake, Annette Arrowsmith, and posted to her Facebook page.  Her tale is so poignant, that I wanted to share it.  The story is a tribute to Jake, but could easily apply to many warm and wonderful dogs who have touched our hearts and enriched our lives.

I found Jake through the Washington Animal Rescue League, and brought him home in March, 2000.  I may have “saved” a shelter pup, but I know who really saved who.

That’s it for my brief introduction.  This is Annette’s story to tell:

Jake, The Ambassador of Doggy Love (2000 – May 27, 2014)

Always happy in the sun and grass

Always happy in the sun and grass

May 27, 2014 at 11:05am, by Annette Arrowsmith

It was a Friday afternoon, around 3:30 PM, the time when the route supervisors and a few of the regular doggy walkers returned to the office just to yak and tell tales about the week’s adventures.

In the midst of one of our laughing bouts, when I was putting away some keys, a tall thin guy strolled through our open door. Beside the guy and off leash, carrying a brand new tennis ball in his mouth was young Jake, a carefree big black shepherd mix. From just inside the key closet, I could hear the conversation. Steve needed a doggy walker and he lived in my route area. In fact, he lived three blocks from me. I was thinking, “Oh Man, I have too many clients, already. They are going to ask me to take Jake.” As Steve plopped down in the only free chair, my boss strolled over to me and gave me an expression like, “Please, Annette.” I could see Jake drop the ball at Steve’s feet and while everyone “oohed and ahhed,” over the cute pup, Steve tossed the ball, Jake retrieved it, dropped the ball again and waited for the next toss. This volley continued and then Jake took turns dropping his ball in front of anyone who was willing to play. Jenn introduced me to Steve and Jake. When Jake put the ball at my feet for the umpteenth time, Steve chuckled and said, “He will bring it back until you say, that’s enough.”

On September 7th, 2001, I agreed to be Steve’s (Jake’s) new doggy walker. Our first day together would be Monday, September 10th, 2001. As I approached the house, I realized that I had been there before and I had met the man and the adorable little puppy, on Halloween 2000. My daughter, Rachel, and two of her friends had dressed up in a group themed costume and we strolled over to the nearby neighborhood to go trick or treating. As we approached one of the open doors, a jovial guy with a bowl full of Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie Roll Pops greeted us. At his feet was the cutest fluffy little black and tan puppy. I remember all four of us falling in love with that little guy. Steve always said Jake was a chick magnet.

So on that gorgeous autumnal day, in September, I unlocked the door for the first of nearly four thousand times and went up the stairs, to the top floors, to find my new friend. Jake was in his dad’s room. He was standing in the middle of the bed. Apparently a “no no” but it seemed the norm to me. He was excited to see me and his whole body wagged from head to toe and back again. I said,” hey buddy, ya wanna go outside?” In a flash, he was racing out the bedroom door and down the two flights of stairs to the foyer. He was ready to go! Steve said Jake was good to walk off leash yet it was policy to put the pups on a leash before going out. Lord have mercy! That boy dragged me down those four or five steps, straight into the street and out into the field. He had stopped only to get his ball. Once into the big open green space, he sat as I unleashed him and he waited for me to throw the ball. Over the next few years, I must have thought of a zillion ways that I might keep from getting Jake slobber on my hands. Finally, someone invented the “Chucker” and there was no stopping us. Actually, on really hot days, I had to keep him hydrated because he would literally exhaust himself. I even watered him down, beforehand, on those infamous hazy, hot and humid days.

Jake was super cool. He had some amazing skills. He could poop on command. All you had to say was, “Jake, go poop.” He would walk directly to his favorite landscaping and do his biz. He LOVED riding in the car and sat in the front seat. No other dog fit so well or was so well behaved up front. I drive a stick shift but Jake insisted on holding my hand in between stops, starts and shifting. One year, Steve and I were both going out of town at the same time. I was going to the beach and staying with my sister, Sharon. Jake went on vacation with “his Annette.” I could take him anywhere and almost everywhere. We went to doggy parks, outdoor events, big open spaces like Iwo Jima and we went to cafes. I would hook him to a railing or a table leg and he would wait as I went inside to order. Every few seconds, he would let out a short but loud bark as if to hurry me up. I’d always say, “I’ll be right back” but he still did it. And he always got lots of pets from strangers. Jake would go up to anyone he thought might give him some love, offer him a treat or throw his ball. Sometimes that made me just a tad jealous. But, at the same time, it made me smile because Jake was an ambassador of doggy love. He made everyone smile. In his neighborhood everyone knew Jake. Hell, most of my neighbors knew Jake. Anyone important to me knew Jake.

I could go on forever about the sweetest guy in the world. He taught many a puppy to play ball, he stayed with me a few nights a week when Rachel first left for college and he spent more than a few Valentine’s Days and New Year’s Eves with me. He distracted me from the deep sorrow of the loss of my father. After the funeral, I spent nearly an hour out in that field just throwing ball after ball and then just sitting with my buddy. Jake was with me on 9/11 when his Daddy struggled to get home and out of the city and through the DC Sniper days. Jake was there when I broke my arm. He and his buddy Loggie knew something bad had happened and they stayed close while I fumbled for ice and wrapped my arm. He was gentle with me through so many difficult days. Jake loved me and I loved him. We were the best of friends…

I just don’t want to think about driving alone but I can’t imagine anyone taking his place. I said “goodnight” to him yesterday because I could not bear to say “Goodbye.” I sat with him, looked deeply into his gorgeous caramel and dark chocolate eyes, played a frail version of our laughing game, massaged him, kissed him on that lovely head that had the most comforting smell, rubbed his ears and his chin and held his “hand.” God, I pray that he is there to greet me when my time comes…

A ball, a child and some tall grass.  Happy Days!!

A ball, a child and some tall grass. Happy Days!!