HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

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Work Relationships

My work consists of a very select few individuals. We have our property owner, our two managers, our three receptionists, our six housekeepers, and our handyman. Because we have such a small staff, we are a close-knit and very understanding group.

When it comes to religion our staff includes Hinduism, Catholicism, and Jewish. In this we are allowed time off each opportunity we need to practice our religions and beliefs. When we wear our uniforms, for example, on ash wednesday we are able to wear our ash on our forehead.

Our staff is so close and friendly that we each try to accommodate and help each other each chance we get. For example, my housekeeper Ruiz has a six year old son, so when she works and he has no school she used to bring him to work with her. This changed when another one of our housekeepers offered to watch him on her days off so Ruiz didn’t have to push him around on her cleaning cart.

We don’t have many traditions or celebrations but we do have a very supportive environment and each and every member of the staff has a connection.


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Friendship seems to be the less stable and more likely to change than romantic or family relationships because friendship has a unique relationship based on person to person, and how others connect with one another. This is different than a romantic relationship because we are not met with intimacy. Friendship is not as stable as family because family has more of a united structure and the family relationship is admired and dominant in our society. Friendship, on the other hand, is sometimes seen as derogatory or negative in our society.

I agree, that it appears that we are more prone to cutting off our friends than our family or romantic partners. I think this is because we do not feel as though we need friends to be successful or to encourage us along our journey. Family and friends can provide the support and love that we can get from friendships.

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Life as a Salesman(Prompt #2)

As a teenager and young adult I have had the pleasure to work for a multitude of companies in mostly retail. Although each company had its own products whether that be a movie theater of a clothing store, I found the job I was most good at was working as a salesman as a supplement shop called GNC. At this store each salesman had to become familiar with most of the products so that we could inform the customers efficiently on their purchases and become better at pitching our sales. This being the case, the  emphasis very much dominated the atmosphere of the store as we were celebrated each time we convinced a customer to expand their purchase or try out a new product. This was very fun although there were times where added stress was present if we failed to meet the quota for the day. There was a competitive atmosphere in the store as a whole and as a new employee it was as tradition that I had to earn my keep by displaying my competency. My first sale on protein powder was celebrated by my fellow employees and marked my first real contribution to the company. From there I learned more skills that I needed for the job and with time became proficient at a variety of tasks. These are some of the aspects that display tradition in my respective workplace.


workplace climate

The climate at subway was usually supportive. When we worked we all tried to help each other out with as much as possible. Everyone understood that we all get out faster if everyone gets their own work done. When someone new came we all helped them become better workers, we learned how to critique each other without hurting anyone’s feelings. We often had to politely tell new employees to go faster if they work to slow. with most of the cleaning work that we need to get done you do not realize that there is an easier way to clean until someone tells you. So we had to learn to be open to different ways to clean. When it came to describing problems instead of blaming we were more likely to point fingers at each other. The morning crew would blame the night crew and night crew blamed the morning. This was probably the only negative thing that happened. Collaboration was very useful, we often needed each other for certain task like cleaning the front area or re stocking the fridge. Many of my coworkers i got to know very well because we always worked together. Everyone i met was very supportive they would help me and each other. If someone couldn’t come in then there was always a coworker who could take your hours. Even out of work they would help me with school and are still willing to. Majority of my coworkers went to school at csumb and are the same major as me. The coworkers who were above me never talked down to me, they would just suggest that i do certain things to help out the team. The only time anyone ever really got mad was if they were already irritated earlier in the day. My time at subway was pretty nice and a good atmosphere in my opinion.

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Henry David Thoreau’s quote, “Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” I think Henry was implying with this quote that if you’re focusing solely on trying to be happy and not paying attention to anything else, it will be unobtainable because you’re focusing on the ‘wrong’ thing. Once you begin focusing your attention on things within your life that make you happy and you enjoy doing, happiness will come naturally. The old adage that prompts us to pursue the ‘American Dream’ is essentially putting forth a mindset that there is a perfect ideal lifestyle out there that will bring happiness. Putting too much emphasis on an unobtainable life-goal will only lead to disappointment in the long run, and enjoying and making the best out of what is currently going on in your life is the only way to truly be happy. This is also part of my theory of why America might not be ranked as the #1 happiest country on the earth. America has it engraved into the mentality of its citizens that there is an American Dream out there, with a perfect happy family, and that is what everyone should be striving for. While other countries are more focused on just improving every aspect they can of the daily lives of all their citizens. Although the idea of the American Dream is most certainly fading nowadays, and the newer generations care less or just don’t believe in what used to be one of the ultimate American ideologies. Also if we’re comparing America to Denmark specifically, I believe that Denmark’s better access to free higher education and universal healthcare contributes to the overall happiness within the country.

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For me, family has always been such a mixed bag. Family is so chock full of trauma, deceit, and bad memories that it’s hard for me to take solace in such a word. I’ve had people always come at me with, “Well, blood is thicker than water, so you gotta stand by your family no matter what.” I can’t get with that, my response has always been, “You’d think a bit differently if you went through all the shit my family put me through.”

Being the youngest child, I was always the one who got picked on. I was the punching bag of the family. I was the one who could be blamed for any wrongdoing. I was every so often a bad kid who would lie from time to time, so because of that anytime somebody else did something, I was blamed and I was guilty until proven innocent. Recently, because of some life circumstances and things going on around me, I’m being made to relive some of the trauma I went through and process things I didn’t even realize until now were trauma and abuse. I just always assumed that all people went through these sorts of things and so there was no point in ever talking about it, it was just so quotidian.

Because of all this, I am much closer to friends than I am family. I find it hard to truly honestly get close to people, but when I do it’s something that’s very strong and meaningful. I cannot do that with my family. They’ve never fostered an environment where that was a safe thing to do. Even now I’m stuck with some of the aftereffects of the things they did. Things are beginning to change, I’ve started opening up to my mother more and she’s been really good about it, but all in all, blood is not always thicker than water, and that’s okay.



I’m not completely sure i agree with the statement of friendships being less stable than family and romantic relationships. Yeah i know friends will come and go but doesn’t this happen with family members also? Like what if a family comes to a certain conflict with each other and you relationship with them becomes unstable. I think that a relationship, no matter which kind it is, will have an equal amount of stability as the other. I know family is supposed to be there for you in difficult situations, giving support, and happiness for the decisions made. That’s not always the case. My family has faced all types of difficulties and what sucks is that the majority are within the family. My family has grown apart and there are groups who don’t speak to the others. They have their reasons which i will never completely understand, but i thought family could be more stable. I thought a family could work everything out and be that happy group they once were. My friends and the friends of the family seem to be more united than my actual family. After High School i kept in touch with some of my friends and with others the communication just suddenly stopped. Maybe the friendship was not stable enough for it to last,or maybe there was just no actual friendship there. maybe i just kept my actual friends in the end and the others were nothing else than my High School peers. Friendship can be as equally stable as the bond of family is, I just think it needs to be something wanted and needed.