Paradise Business Solutions
Free NFL word search puzzle games
Download our FREE NFL Word Search Puzzles

With Super Bowl LVII right around the corner, we thought we’d celebrate the AFC and NFC championship games and the winning teams in a different way.  This year we’ve created NFL word search puzzles!

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Click the button to be taken to the download page!

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If you’re looking for a way to challenge your mind while waiting for the big game, why not enjoy our free word games featuring searches, scrambles, and ciphers?  Test your knowledge of player names, fun facts, even the name of the AFC trophy. 

In case you didn’t know, we’re huge football fans at Paradise, so creating printable NFL word search games was a no-brainer.  And don’t worry – our word search puzzles come with answer sheets!  

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There’s games focused on the AFC championship game and the NFC championship game.  We also added some word search games focused on the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. 

We hope you enjoy our downloadable NFL work search games this week as you prepare for Super Bowl LVII.  We think it’s going to be a great game to close out a great season.  Although we’re always sad to see the end of an NFL football season, at least we have the XFL for another year.  Maybe this time it will actually stick around for a while! 

If you’re interested in more information about Super Bowl LVII click here.  The NFL did a great job of putting together information on the event as well as happenings around the game.

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Click the button to be taken to the download page!

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United Furniture Situation Gets Worse
United Furniture Situation Going Downhill

As we posted late last year, United Furniture abruptly laid off 2,700 employees, notifying them via email in the middle of the night.  Now the company’s CEO David Belford is at the center of controversy over the company’s layoffs and the decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Belford and United Furniture have been accused of attempting a “cash grab” in the wake of the layoffs and bankruptcy filing, as creditors and lenders have come forward to reveal the chaos surrounding the situation.

It Began With An Email

The United Furniture saga began on Monday, November 21st at 11:49 pm when employees received an email instructing them to not report to work the following day.  It was later rescinded and followed up with another email informing them that they were permanently laid off and they would not be receiving COBRA benefits.  It was also confirmed by the North Carolina Commerce Department and the mayor of Winston-Salem where about 600 residents were employed by United Furniture that the company did not file a WARN notice of the closings.

Lenders Reveal Chaos

Lenders to United Furniture, including Wells Fargo Bank, state they were shocked by the abrupt layoffs, as the company had hours before allegedly demanded “substantial capital immediately” because it could not continue operations without the cash.

Wells Fargo, along with 2 other creditors are asking a US bankruptcy judge to force the company into Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy.  Wells Fargo has not provided a detailed amount they are owed by United Furniture, but in court documents they state they are owed more than $99 million.   The bank had approved $130 million for the company the summer before, securing the loan by company assets.

Layoffs Included Abandonment

According to the court filings, when the company laid offs its workers, it also abandoned all its properties, leaving 15 facilities without security and without insurance coverage after November 30.  The filings also state that some of the landlords of United Furniture properties locked up their facilities and denied access to anyone, in some cases not allowing employees to collect personal items.  Weeks later a former employee spoke with Business of Home on condition on anonymity stated, “Most of us understand that losing our jobs and health insurance can’t be undone, but keeping everyone from their personal belongings is pretty unacceptable,” says the former employee. “Some of us kept priceless things in our offices, like college diplomas and pictures of family that we could never get back if we’re not allowed to retrieve them. One of my co-workers had a chalkboard in her office that was written on by her children right before they tragically passed in an accident. That chalkboard is probably worth $5 to anyone else, but it’s priceless to her.”

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Owner Surfaced Weeks Later With Questionable Claims

Weeks after the mass layoffs on December 12th, United Furniture CEO gave an interview to Columbus Business First where he stated he was “devastated by the turn of events” and called the situation “agonizing.”  He also claimed that he was only recently informed of how dire the situation had become because his “insight into the company’s finances was limited” since he was a “passive investor.”

However, United Furniture’s former president and board member, Larry George, disputed Belford’s claims.  He stated that Belford “was always pretty aware of what was going on.  We had board meetings every quarter and we’d meet once a month to discuss the financials.  David either attended the monthly board meetings in person or via conference calls.”

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Delayed Bankruptcy Filings

While many legal experts expected United Furniture to file for bankruptcy protection shortly after closing, it took more than 50 days for it to happen.  Belford asked for permission to file Chapter 11 reorganization and to move the case from US Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Mississippi to the Southern District of Ohio.  United Furniture’s headquarters were in Mississippi, while Mr. Belford’s lives in Ohio and runs an investment firm called State Capital.

UFI Creditors Call Foul

Many of United Furniture’s lenders and creditors have accused Belford and the company of attempting to take advantage of the situation. They allege that Belford and the company used the layoffs and bankruptcy filing to try to avoid paying out the money they owe to creditors, while also attempting to free up cash that could be used to pay executive bonuses.

Wells Fargo accused Belford of attempting to liquidate UFI’s assets for the benefit of his “family trust” and that their Chapter 11 filing contains “gaping factual holes and revisionist history.”

They raised questions about the intentions of Mr. Belford, noting that he did not hire outside professionals to assist with restructuring until weeks after the company’s shutdown, and that they had taken no material action to preserve and protect the company’s assets.  In addition, Wells Fargo claims that it has spent over $1.5 million dollars since the November shutdown to pay for insurance, utilities and 24 hour security to protect the company’s 15 buildings and assets and accused Belford of “abandonment.”

They also claim that Mr. Belford has “security interests” in some of the company’s real estate and is attempting to “run a process intended for the sole benefit of himself” because with Chapter 11, United Furniture will be able to focus efforts on making its equity holders whole while leaving its lenders out in the cold.

The accusations against Belford and United Furniture have also been backed up by documents that were released in the wake of the layoffs and bankruptcy filing. These documents show that the company had been planning to close several of its stores for months before the announcement of the layoffs. This suggests that the company was aware of the financial trouble it was in and had been planning for a potential bankruptcy filing for some time.

The documents also reveal that Belford had been working on a restructuring plan for the company for months but had failed to inform the lenders and creditors of the plan. This has raised further questions about Belford’s intentions, as it appears that he was trying to keep the plan under wraps until after the layoffs and bankruptcy filing were announced.

Other Companies Affected

Keith Sechrest, co-owner of North Carolina based Seagrove Lumber LLC, was affected by the United Furniture layoffs, and also questions Mr. Belford’s claim that he was out of the loop regarding the company’s finances.  “I can’t imagine having a company as large as UFI and not know what’s going on,” he stated.  UFI owes Seagrove $1.2 million in unpaid invoices, forcing the company to lay off its 45 employees when the vast majority of its business went away due to United Furniture’s closing.  He also stated that his brother owns a lumber company that was forced to shut down and lay off 30 employees as UFI owes his brother’s firm $500,000, and that a small blade-sharpening business that worked with both companies is on the verge of closing, which would result in another 4 jobs in the state lost.

Misleading Statements

Much of the ire towards Mr. Belford and United Furniture stems from the fact that they were mislead about the situation at the company.  They stated they had been told recently that business was improving, and one North Carolina senior executive visited the plants in October and was told that “things were moving in the right direction.”

A former employee of United Furniture refuted Mr. Belford’s claims that he was unaware of the financial situation of the company, stating, “David came down within the last 6 months.  So he could of gave us more warning.  Instead [the] CEO kept telling us business was improving.”

The situation with United Furniture is bad no matter how you look at it.  Thousands of people and communities have been affected, and the ripple shows no signs of letting up.  

Capitalism and Whiney Rich People
Billionaires, Capitalism Isn’t the Problem.

Bernie Marcus, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot, is the latest billionaire to lament the current workforce, stating, “nobody works. Nobody gives a damn. ‘Just give it to me. Send me money. I don’t want to work—I’m too lazy, I’m too fat, I’m too stupid.’’  

Mr. Marcus joins a list of uber rich people who have complained about the state of the current workforce, their lack of understanding of capitalism, and the hardships many companies are having in filling positions.

Capitalism Isn’t The Same These Days

As a 30 plus year Human Resources professional with experience across a wide range of industries, I’m tired of hearing it.  With that many working years in my rear view mirror, it’s clear that I’m not a millennial or Gen Z.  I’m a Gen Xer.  I grew up in the 70’s, and saw American industry at it’s boom.  I saw workers get good, well paying jobs that offered full benefits, retirement accounts, overtime pay for extra work hours, and opportunities for education and advancement.  To me, this was capitalism, where the rich still got richer, but there was appreciation for their workforce and the fact that they were the reason they were rich.  I also watched all those things slowly dry up through the 80’s and beyond.  I watched good paying jobs leave America for cheaper labor overseas, salaries get outpaced by inflation, and working conditions deteriorate to the point where many workers were not safe in their jobs.  I watched capitalism morph into a new me-generation, where it became mostly about the gain of a few at the expense of the masses.

Good Practices Trump Bad Workers

Now let’s be fair.  There are a lot of bad workers out there.  There are people who don’t want to work hard and are looking for any way to get something for nothing.  But in my experience, those people are the exception, not the rule.  In addition, if your company has good hiring practices, good training, and good policies to handle them when they do slip through the cracks, they don’t create big problems.

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The Main Problem, Dear Billionaires

But they’re not the main problem in this country.  And, capitalism in and of itself isn’t the problem.  Capitalism overall has proven itself to be a superior system to socialism or communism.  The main problem is greed.  Pure and simple, the main problem is greed, and what rich people have done to capitalism.  So many of the uber wealthy people who founded and ran/run companies could themselves be put into the category of bad workers.  The wealth and power they have come from the hard work of their ancestors, creating individuals who have massive means and influence to create and run the companies that they do.  As a result, they themselves don’t truly understand the expectations they put on their staff in comparison with what they are providing in return.  They’ve never had to put in the work, instead growing up in the lap of luxury with enough money to pay others to do for them.

Taking More and Giving Less Is Not Capitalism

Many companies have not maintained salary levels and benefits on par with what they expect in return from their staff.  Companies have chipped away at work-life balance, expecting workers to value their jobs over their families, friends, even mental or physical health.  For many years, workers silently obliged them, in many cases literally working themselves into an early grave.  My father was one of these people.  I watched him dedicate so much of his time and energy to his job for decades, to be rewarded with a terrible disease, most likely from exposure at his workplace, that forced retirement and took his life before he got a chance to truly enjoy being retired.

A New Mindset in the New Generations

The younger generations have also seen this, and they’re not accepting it.  They’re speaking up and demanding better working conditions, better salaries, and a work-life balance.  In order words, they’re making the rich owners, executives and stockholders cut into their staggering profit margins and take better care of their workers.  They’re rewarded with name calling and stereotyping.

I for one am proud of the younger generation for standing up for themselves and demanding better.  I’ve stated dozens of times through the years that my job entailed changing the mindset of executives much more than it did changing the behaviors of line workers.  And every time I hear yet another rich person complain about the current workforce and their lack of understanding of capitalism I realize that my workload is getting bigger.

I believe the younger generations have a great understanding of capitalism, possibly even better than the rich people complaining.  They are just not willing to stand by and watch the continual decline of communities, the environment, and a great country because of the rampant greed of a few.

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“I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.”

~ Eugene Debs

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United Furniture Plant Closings, no WARN Act Notice
United Furniture Shocking Plant Closure by EMAIL

United Furniture Industries, Inc., a Mississippi-based furniture manufacturer, abruptly stopped production at its facilities, including 5 in the North Carolina Triad, leaving almost 600 area residents and 2,700 people nationwide without jobs.

United Furniture Notified Employees Via EMAIL

Employees were notified about the facility closings via 2 emails.  The first email, received Monday, November 21st at 11:49 pm stated, “we ask that all employees report to their work locations tomorrow November 22, 2022.  That email was rescinded and replaced by a second email, received Tuesday, November 23rd at 12:42 am stated, “your layoff from the company is expected to be permanent and all benefits will be terminated immediately without provision of COBRA.”

The North Carolina Commerce Department and Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines both confirmed that neither of their offices had received a WARN notice of the closure.  However, when the company experienced “unforeseen business circumstances” in June, which resulted in the loss of over 250 local jobs and another 220 in Mississippi, the company filed WARN notices in both states.

What is the WARN Act?

The WARN Act, or the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, was passed in 1988 to give workers an adjustment period between losing their current jobs and getting a new one.  It required employers to provide at least 60 calendar days written notice of plant closing and mass layoffs.  It applies to employers with 100 or more employees and where 50 more employees at a single site are affected or at least 33 percent of the active employees.  The act can also provide other benefits to affected workers, including 60 days’ pay, benefits, and access to COBRA insurance.  (NOTE:  This is a very simplified definition.  As with most laws, there are exceptions, otherwises, heretofores, and more legalese.  If you’re interested in learning more about the WARN Act, please click here.)  By providing advance notice, states can deploy Rapid Response Dislocated Worker units to provide assistance to affected employees, including employment opportunities, retraining services, educational assistance, etc.  It basically gives a community time to help those in need and keep the community stable.

WARN Act Filed in June

Since the company filed a WARN notice in June for production that was ending in July, they were aware of the process and its importance to affected employees.  Instead, they chose to NOT file a WARN notice for the November shut down, placed padlocks on their Triad facilities, and sent emails to their employees informing them that they had lost their jobs.

We understand the challenges businesses have faced since the start of the pandemic.  We understand high gas prices, supply chain issues, and inflation.  None of those things appear to be at the root of United Furniture’s issues, and they definitely aren’t valid excuses for treating employees and whole communities like this.

There were clear signs the company was in trouble.  In addition to the layoffs in June, United Furniture fired its chief executive, chief financial officer, and the executive vice president of sales, while also restructuring its sales organization.  According to United general counsel Andrew Payne, the Triad plants were affected by United customers ordering substantial amounts of inventory based on forecasts.  The inventory was made by United, but its customers unexpectedly decided not to purchase from United, causing the June layoff notice.  It appears they weren’t able to right the ship with the June moves, as Robert Cottam, a former United consultant, believes the board is likely to file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy, depending on whether they plan on staying in business (Chapter 11) or not (Chapter 7).

WARN Act Exceptions – Does This Qualify?

The government does provide for exceptions to the 60-day notice requirement.   These include:

  • The company is faltering and a notice may interfere with good faith negotiations to obtain capital.
  • The company had unforeseeable business circumstances (sudden, dramatic and unexpected actions) that weren’t reasonably foreseeable when the notice would be required.
  • The company was affected by a natural disaster.

Considering the company filed a WARN notice in June and implemented major staffing changes at the top level in June, it’s hard to image that the resulting domino effect wasn’t foreseeable. 

American companies must find a balance between financial obligations to stockholders, boards, and executives and moral and ethical obligations to workers and communities.  Our citizens and communities deserve better than this.

Full Text of United Furniture Email

Here is the full text of the United Furniture employee memo, as posted by Furniture Today trade publication:

“At the instruction of the Board of Directors of United Furniture Industries, Inc., and all subsidiaries (the “Company”), we regret to inform you that due to unforeseen business circumstances the Company has been forced to make the difficult decision to terminate the employment of all of its employees, effectively immediately, on November 22, 2022, with the exception of over-the-road drivers that are out on delivery.  Your layoff from the Company is expected to be permanent and all benefits will be terminated immediately without provision of COBRA.

Over-the-road drivers that are out on delivery will be paid for the balance of the week.  Whether or not you have completed your delivery, please immediately return equipment, inventory and delivery documents for those deliveries that have been completed to one of the following locations:  Winston-Salem, N.C., Verona, Miss., or Victorville, Calif., location.  To be clear, do not complete any additional deliveries.

We regret that this difficult and unexpected situation has made this necessary.  Additional information will be provided shortly.

Thank you for your service and dedication.

UFI/Lan Corporate Communications”

Fallout Has Begun

According to Furniture Today, a former employee from Mississippi has filed a lawsuit alleging that the company violated the WARN Act.  The attorney representing the case, Jack Simpson with Langston & Lott in Booneville, MS, has asked the court to certify the case as a class action case. 

To date no one from United Furniture or its general counsel has responded to requests for more information.

If your company is faced with layoffs, buyouts (see our previous post on Twitter) or business closings, please consider your employees and the surrounding communities.  These things have a rippling effect, and there are resources and support available to lessen the impact.  Contact Paradise for assistance, or get in touch with your local Department of Labor for local resources.

5 Free Lessons From Twitter
5 Free Twitter Lessons From a $44 Billion Dollar Sale


The Elon Musk era at Twitter has become regular fodder for the media.  And whether the information coming out is correct, partially true, or complete fabrications is anyone’s guess.  However, with some of the quotes attributed to Mr. Musk, there are interesting things going on in Twitter workplaces.

While hindsight is always 20/20, there are some basic lessons anyone in business anywhere can learn from Twitter.

Lesson 1:  Communication is not an optional hassle.

Like operations at Tesla, the Twitter communications team is all but gone, and communications in general are “deprioritized.”  Without getting into a detailed description of the duties of a communications team and their importance, communication in general is the lifeline of an organization.  Without knowing what’s going on with your customers and staff, not to mention B2B coordination with vendors, the media, suppliers, etc., the company is basically on a blind solo flight.  Regardless of location, race, sex, or how much money you have, we are connected on this planet.  Like it or not, people and companies need each other, and that need is even greater during transitions like buyouts, takeovers, downsizes, etc.  And it’s even greater yet when the company is in the communication business.  Internal and external communications are a necessary part of every business and should not be ignored.

Lesson 2:  Bad news is best delivered in person.

It’s very hard to deliver bad news.  It’s not something most people want to do, but it’s a part of life.  Since the news is typically worse for the person receiving it than the person delivering it, most people factor that into the delivery.  This is why bad news is best delivered in person.  The human connection mentioned earlier comes into play here, and the ability to make a difficult situation better for the recipient.  This also demonstrated the importance of communication.  Focusing on how you present difficult information is as important as the information itself.

Lesson 3:  Being a good employee does not mean dedicating your life to your job.

5 Free Twitter LessonsThe lessons from the Great Resignation are still not resonating with some.  Expecting people to commit to long hours (with no clarification) and work at a high intensity (again, additional information would be nice) in order to keep their jobs….it’s hard to find the words to describe how out of touch that is.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with a high intensity work environment.  This is a technology-based company, and it’s well known to be an intense field.  But this isn’t about the work culture or the vision of where Mr. Musk wants to take Twitter 2.0.  If it were, he’d have included it in the email/text/tweet he sent employees.  This was about blind loyalty to him, which may help explain the lackluster response he received.  Demanding staff work long hours and prioritize their job over everything else does not create hardworking, loyal employees.

Lesson 4:  Separate the professional from the personal.

The common thread running though the entire Twitter nightmare is the concept of the ultra-wealthy man taking revenge.  Whether it’s the banning of people he didn’t believe should be banned, to an Engineer daring to correct him publicly, many of the decisions being made at Twitter appear to be reparations for personal vendettas.  The recent public shots with Apple also point to a man using the Twitter purchase as a means to air grievances he has.  Musk is a successful businessman who has amassed lots of money, which in America translates to power.  However, no amount of wealth exempts people from professionalism and maturity.  Business decisions should be based on what’s best for the company and the employees of that company.

Lesson 5:  Changing ownership overnight does not change the company culture overnight.

The vision Mr. Musk has for Twitter may be a ground-breaking success.  Regardless, it’s not going to happen overnight, and it’s definitely not going to happen in a few weeks.  You can’t simply purchase a company and fire everyone who’s not on-board with your new vision immediately.  Culture change in a company simply doesn’t work like that, regardless of the industry, company size, and amount of money you have.  Companies are made up of people, human beings.  Each and every one is different, which is what makes everything flow.  If I can’t see a way through, someone else with a different perspective comes along and sees it a different way that works.  We see things differently.  We process things in different ways and at different times.  Forcing people to make life-changing decisions on the fly because your new vision requires instant, unwavering loyalty is a great way to find yourself with hundreds (possibly thousands) of resignations.  Implementing change at a company is a process, not a demand.

Bonus Lesson:  Ultimatums rarely go the way you think they will.


The media is doing its usual thing and highlighting the chaos and the drama of the ever-changing situations at Twitter.  But this is not about getting eyes on your story for higher ranking and ratings.  The Twitter situation has real consequences.  This is a rich man buying a company that affects thousands of jobs and thousands of families, and pummeling them into chaos because he could.  This is yet another sad example of the hall pass being given to the wealthy, even when they demonstrate a lack of connection, caring, and character. 

Whether you love or dislike Human Resources, it’s times like this when company executives should be relying on their Human Resources teammates.  It’s so important to go over the plan for the company and utilize HR and other resources available to make it as easy on employees as possible.  Times of change are not the time to go it alone or wing it.  I hope Twitter HR and other personnel can provide the guidance and assistance their employees and other staff need at this time.

As always, if your company needs assistance with change management or staff communications, please contact us or another HR agency.

Elon Musk image:  By Steve Jurvetson –, CC BY 2.0,