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19 Things Little Sisters Forget To Thank Their Big Brothers For

19 Things Little Sisters Forget To Thank Their Big Brothers For

When I was five years old, my brother held up an ordinary desk stapler and told me it was what the doctors used to close my chest during my heart surgery, that’s why I had the little half-inch scars under the “big” scar. He said they ran out of stitches so they grabbed the next best thing — a stapler. That damn stapler haunted me for what seemed like an eternity.

A few years later, he thought it would be funny to throw me off the top of the slide into the pool. Into the deep end, thankfully.

He put a snake in my Easter basket (I swear it’s true. It was the one year when snakes were more abundant than Easter eggs).

He once made me get out of the car and walk home… for five miles (he got in trouble for that one — big time).

He blamed me for things I didn’t do. Quite a bit.

The list is endless. But that was his job as my big brother. It’s what he was supposed to do when we were growing up. All that jazz helped create the bond we share today.

With all the silly typical sibling stuff behind us, I’d like to take a moment to remember all the amazing things my big brother did and still does do for me. He’s the best — and I really mean that — big brother ever. There’s no way to list everything, but I’ll put a few actions into words and, hopefully, he’ll take time from his day to read this and understand how much he means to me.

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So, this is for all you big brothers out there. Here are a few of the things your little sisters want to say to you.

1. Thank you for being my first “dude” friend.

You taught me how to be friends with dudes. Whether it helped me understand things like sports or cars or a host of other talents, you gave me a good foundation to interact with the opposite sex. This came in handy later in life.

“Because I have a brother, I’ll always have a friend.”

2. Thank you for teaching me things I couldn’t learn from Mom or Sis.

Things like how to play Atari games, or how to ride the Big Wheel off the roof into the pool, or how to have a party without mom and dad knowing. Or, when I was a freshman and you were a senior and you showed me around campus, helped me figure out my schedule, and introduced me to my teachers.

3. Thank you for driving me to and from school your whole senior year when I was a lowly freshman.

Especially when you were totally cool and lovin’ high school and I was … alternative… and hating high school. Yeah. That must have sucked, but you did it anyways and you were never embarrassed to cruise into the lot in your cool Volkswagon Scirocco with me in tow. Man, I loved that car. How come I got stuck with the station wagon?

4. Thank you for giving me confidence and courage I didn’t know I had.

Remember when I asked that senior to Sadie Hawkins (when I was still a freshman)? Okay, so we both knew he’d say no, but the point is you totally encouraged me to go for it. Not in a bad way either. You weren’t standing in the shadows, waiting to laugh at me. You were cheering me on. You were proud of my courage. He turned me down (politely) and, thanks to you, I totally survived the rejection. The end result is that Mr. Senior-Who-Said-No and I talked and laughed and joked the rest of the year in art class so, all in all, it was an awesome move on my part.

5. Thank you for covering for me.

So, I wasn’t an angel. You covered for me a few times. There are two times we still laugh at: the time I drove up the neighbor’s driveway and when I came home after hanging out with the college boys in Berkeley. You laughed your ass off, but you made sure I didn’t get caught. I’m glad I was able to return the favor… over and over again.

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6. Thank you for having cute friends.

No brainer. Older brother = older cute friends. Damn, they were fun to look at, hang out with and, er, kiss. That’s all I’m going to say on that subject.

7. Thank you for always being my spare date on New Year’s.

It was always a blast to spend New Year’s with you. You’re an awesome date and there was never that pressure at midnight to kiss (ew). And if either one of us got hammered, it was cool. It didn’t matter if we ended up spending the night at each other’s places. No one had to do the walk of shame in the morning.

8. Thank you for being the strongest one at Dad’s funeral.

You hugged me and consoled me. You told us funny stories. With effortless beauty and grace, you recited O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman, which moved people to tears. You let my husband hug me first, but you hugged me second when Dad was being buried. To this day, twenty years later, you still call me on the anniversary of Dad’s death to make sure I’m okay. Because I’m your baby sister.

9. Thank you for being my first superhero.

You always had a baseball bat or golf club by your bed, ready to kick some ass to protect me. Of course, having your black belt helped. And I was always impressed when you went all Bruce Lee on us with your nunchucks.

“Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero!” ― Marc Brown

10. Thank you for really caring, even though you sometimes acted like you didn’t.

I know… having a little sister was sometimes a pain in the ass. You acted like you didn’t care, but deep down I always knew you did care about me. You worried about me and you made sure I was safe and happy. You never wanted me to be hurt or sad.

“As we grew up, my brothers acted like they didn’t care, but I always knew they looked out for me and were there!” — Catherine Pulsifer

11. Thank you for all the talks.

You know the ones. When you talked about girls and came to me for advice or when I asked you about boys. You were there to pick up the pieces when some douchebag broke my heart. You never once rolled your eyes or complained. And you definitely supported me when I found “the one.” Even when it meant telling Dad I wasn’t going to that college he wanted me to go to.

“Here’s to real heroes, not the ones who carry us off into the sunset but the ones who help us choose our princes.” — E.M. Tippetts

12. Thank you for all the Saturday mornings together.

You and spent a ton of Saturday mornings in pajamas on the family room floor watching Saturday morning cartoons. Hey, that time wasn’t wasted. That was serious bonding time. Those Saturdays helped develop our friendship. Scooby Doo and French toast — nothing better.

13. Thank you for being the consistent guy in my life.

Before getting married, of course, you were the main guy in my life. You didn’t care how weird I acted or dressed. You didn’t care if I was blond one day or purple-haired the next. You thought my punk scene was intriguing, even though it was polar opposite to your popular world. You never failed me. I love you for that.

Even now, you’re second only to my husband. There’s no other guy I’d rather hang out with. You still “get” me.

14. Thank you for making awkward situations easier.

Anytime life gets awkward, whether it be with ex’s or people I’m not particularly fond of, you make it easy. You make the ex’s feel lame (in a nice way), you make me look good, and you make light of the situation. Whatever you do, I always come out looking fairly cool.

15. Thank you for being my family sounding board.

Oh my lord, thank God we come from the same family because no one understands the issues like you do. I’m perfect, of course. You recognize this, which is why I love you.

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16. Thank you for dropping everything to be by my side.

In person or in spirit. Because we’re blessed to live close, for the most part, you’re able to be with me in person. You’ve been there for my wedding, when I needed your help during all my crises, and for the births of both my children. You’ve been there for both my children’s major heart surgeries (ALL of them) and for most of my surgeries. You’re the most supportive brother I know.

17. Thank you for being an amazing uncle.

Not only am I lucky to have you for a brother, but I’m even luckier to have you as my children’s uncle. You’re adored and loved beyond belief by my children. Not a day goes by that they don’t mention your name. Thank you for being a prominent figure in their lives. I couldn’t be happier to share you with them or to share them with you.

18. Thank you for being a great guy.

For real. You make being a guy look so easy. There are a lot of jerks out there. Thankfully, there is you. You cook, you clean, and you hold the door open for people in general. You also fix things, can live with or without sports, and look pretty darn cute in a tux. Most of all, you care about people. You care about the environment. You care about… kittens (OK, I added that one in because you do like itty bitty kitties and I think it’s freaking adorable). All of these things aside, it’s refreshing to know there are great guys out there and you are one of them.

19. Thank you for making me a sister.

I love being your sister. Enough said.

“To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.” — Clara Ortega

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Missy Mitchell

Author, Artist, Advocate

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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