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Following Up on Fallacies about Getting Free Stuff ?Free stuff? ? the mere whisper of the words is often enough to make many people throw common sense out the window and head for the free goods like a missile to a target. And then there are those people whose eyes glaze over when they hear those words, because they can?t believe anything worth having can actually be free. The truth about free stuff is really somewhere in the middle. Yes, you can really and truly cash in on many freebie deals for things that you want to have, but a healthy sense of cynicism about free gear is also useful. Here are some of the important things to keep in mind about free stuff. The first myth you should throw out the window is that nothing good comes for free. The fact of the matter is that the price tag on a good doesn?t always match up to the quality, and there are many great free things out there. Case in point: music. Sure, everyone has heard the scare stories about file sharing online, and maybe some big record labels will come after you if you focus on their artists. Dig a little below the surface, however, and you can find a whole new world of really great bands that are more than happy for you to listen to their music over and over again. The same goes for free software. People on the cutting edge of technology who have a passion for creating new and efficient applications often develop open source code software. They?re doing it for the love of it, and they often have more talent than any ten suit-and-tie tech guys trying to hock their latest product for a mega profit margin. Here is where the reality part comes in, however. Yes, you can find wonderful things that are completely free ? but yes, you can also find a lot of free things that aren?t worth your time at all and in some cases can cause you a lot of trouble. The net is a great place to fall victim to a ?free stuff? scam, but you can also sometimes come across these scams in the mail as well. If something is free, but requires you to give your credit card number or bank details, run the other way. Another myth people have about free stuff, especially free stuff on the internet, is that when you try to cash in, the only free stuff you will be getting is an inbox full of more spam than you can handle. The truth about this is, well, that is can certainly be true. Many companies give away free things in exchange for your email address, so they can try to hit you up to purchase things in the future. What makes this a myth, however, is that it can be avoided. If you don?t want to choke on an inbox of spam, and who could blame you, set up a special (free) email account that you will use exclusively for freebie hunting. You?ll have the best of both worlds. The last myth about free stuff involves the ?catch? people are always looking for. Often, for free stuff, the catch is a bit of junk mail or email or the fact that you have to submit to a time consuming survey. Sometimes, the catch is that if you get free stuff through a trial offer, if you don?t cancel it, it keeps coming, and this time you have to pay. The truth about these catches is, however, that the catch is in the eye of the beholder. These things don?t make products any less free; so don?t write off every free offer offhand. You might just find a catch you can live with to get a great free product you really want.

Got an Offer? How to Evaluate the Company to Ensure It?s the Right Move Being offered a new job is always a great feeling. No matter what type of job it is, the fact that the employer wants you is very satisfying. The inclination to put in your two-week notice and start packing up your desk can be exhilarating. However, be sure that you know what you are getting into before you plunge into a new job. The terms of a job offer should be written out in black and white, literally. Whenever a company offers a job to someone, there should be literature about the position to read. When the offer is made, be sure to spend some time reading over the literature and finding out exactly what the terms and conditions of the job are. Salary, benefits and the terms of employment should all be very clear before you accept the offer. Be sure that you read the fine print. This is especially true from sales jobs. That advertised rate of pay might be what you make with commission. Without the commission you may not have a salary at all. This could be a major issue if your sales do not go well. Salary is one of the most important things to find out about before you take a job. Make sure that what they are offering as base pay is enough for you to live comfortably on. Bonuses can sound really great when employers discuss them with you. However, what you have to do to earn the bonuses may be very difficult. Thus making the bonuses obsolete the majority of the time. Restaurant management is a career path where many times your bonuses are based on the success of your particular restaurant. Not you yourself. That means that when the restaurant is not doing well, there will be no bonuses. The hours you will be working is another issue you will want to tackle before you take the job. Find out exactly what you are expected to work. This could be tricky with salaried positions. Find out what the average amount of hours is that employees spend on the job. Will there be travel? Many jobs post this in their advertisements but others are not so forthcoming with this information. Living out of a suitcase can be ideal for some but if you are not looking forward to having a relationship with your spouse strictly through cell phones and e-mails, you better inquire. If you are not open to travel be sure to find out if travel could be included in your position. The environment at the office could be hard to gauge. However, if you go to an interview and are not greeted in the lobby or see a few scowling employees, chances are, the office environment is a bit hostile. This is a major thing to consider when taking a job. Is the management hiring new personnel in order to replace the existing personnel? If they are, why does the existing personnel need to be replaced? Try to feel out the environment of the office when you are waiting for your interviews to take place. What will your job entail? Will there be times that you are expected to do things that go against your better judgment? Will you be surrounded by a corporate mentality that is concerned only with numbers? Are you going to be able to put your reservations aside and carry out the job that needs to be done? If a job offer is made immediately, you may want to be leery of this position. Try to find out about the turnover rate of this position. There may be a reason why the employer is so ready to offer you the job.

Highlights for Free Stuff for Educators Everybody knows that teachers work hard for little monetary compensation. Fortunately, there are many fine resources available that allow educators access to free stuff. Who deserves free stuff more than our teachers? If you are a teacher searching for the best of what the web's freebies, here are some places that offer freebies just for educators. Teaching Education Aid Available for Free There are many websites on the World Wide Web that offer totally free educational and teaching aids. If you teach younger students, you can find great coloring pages. You can also find several teaching aids, including alphabetical pages. Why spend money on expensive preprinted alphabets? You can gain easy access to your own free alphabet pages. Print them out, color them and seal them to make them last. This is an easy way to put together very elemental packets and gain access to fun activity pages. There are many fine teacher resources available for free on the World Wide Web. Here are even more resources for finding great and free resources for educators of all stripes. Getting Access to Free DVDS for Educators Did you know that you could get access to free educational DVDs? Izzit.org offers you a free DVD on your birthday (or another day of your choosing). This offer is limited to teachers of grades 6-12. This website also offers educators discounts on educational DVDs as well as coupons for free ice cream. Gaining Free Nutrition Educational Materials If you are an educator seeking out free nutritional materials, you are in luck. The Dole Corporation is currently offering free educational materials to teachers. Their 5 a Day program offers free downloadable teaching materials. You can also request professional teaching materials by using mail and fax. Simply request your free nutritional materials on your school's official letterhead. Free Computer Tools for Educators If you need access to free teacher tools, Microsoft Office has got you covered. Microsoft is currently offering free learning essentials that can help you create handouts, compose tests, and make presentations and other educational content. You will need a registered copy of Microsoft Office 2002 or 2003 that runs on Windows XP and Windows 2000. Need Teaching Aids for Your Classroom? If you are looking for free teaching visual aids, there are many nonprofits that can provide you with such aids. The Human Genome Project offers educators free posters. Although this promotion is directed specifically to educators, anyone can take advantage of this great offer. The National Institute of Drug Abuse also offers free visual teaching aids. These are great to hang in the classroom. You can order multiple copies directly form the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The USEPA is another organization that offers educators a variety of free posters, as well as other teaching materials, including activity books, CD-ROMs, lesson plans and more. Keep Your Classroom Safe With Free Cleaning Aids Keeping the classroom clean is one of the biggest challenges of any educator. The Clorox Company is trying to make it easier on teachers by offering them a free "Clean Up the Classroom" multimedia kit aimed specifically at classroom educators. The free kit comes loaded with a poster, a cleaning guide and DVD. You will also get a free canister of handy Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. Get Free Magazine Subscription Offers Educators have access to many free magazine subscription offers. Yes Magazine is offering educators a free one-year subscription. This is a magazine published by the Positive Futures Network. This is non-profit organization that helps promote social change to a more compassionate and sustainable world. Take advantage by contacting the magazine for your free educator subscription.