Whistle While You Work, or Why I Rock

So I walk in to the office today, and there is like no one there. Only the managers and supervisors and me…so not sure what is going on, I join the meeting, and my boss just keeps going with his supervisor training that he is doing today. Mind you I am not a supervisor yet. At the end of the meeting, I can see my boss pointing me out as he is finishing the training, and talking to me like I already am a supervisor. I know that if things continue to go smoothly this week, that promotion could come as early as next week, which would be fantastic, but to have my boss looking at me and talking to me like I am already one of the leaders on his team feels really juicy.

To top it all off, as we’re getting ready to leave the office, the results from a two week sales contest come in. Out of three offices, four of us were going to be selected, based on our sales and performance, to be guests of DirecTV, in their luxury box suite, to a catered event at Coors field for one of the Colorado Rockies games next week. Aside from the fanfare of July 4th fireworks that night, we will be given the royal treatment, with a catered affair and prime AIR CONDITIONED viewing of the game as stars of the company from three different offices. O the four winners, three were from our office, and I WAS ONE OF THE WINNERS!!!!!!!!!

It is so nice to be recognized for achievement, but even more gratifying to see that my boss and fellow coworkers were actually happy for me that I had won. Hrs work is one thing, but hard work accompanied by the genuine support of the people you se every day makes work simply a joy and a payday every time I go in.

It’s been a real long time since I’ve allowed myself to feel this good about myself. And yes at a couple points today the threat of tears did come through. I am overwhelmed by the good fortune I have had over the past month. I am overjoyed that I have been able to grab it and make absolutely the most that I know how with it. I am astounded that for the first time I my life I can envision and see so many of my most incredible dreams coming true, and that I can see true and total happiness within my grasp and within my control. This also comes with a fear and knowledge that I have a distinct talent for self sabotage. This time thou, I have a stronger resolve than I have ever felt to not let myself get scared. No more what ifs or woulda shoulda couldas. This time, I have the opportunity and the ability and the authority to make it happen. I will make my dreams come true. Not because I have to or I am afraid not to, but because if these small victories feel this good, I can’t wait to see what it feels like when the dreams I have really do come true!

By George, I Think He’s Got It!

And so the streak begins…

I had the threat of training wheels being out back on at work this week. I knew I was not only struggling, but that I was letting t get to me, Nd the comment from my boss pissed me off just enough to make sure I was going to do something about it.

And today, I accomplished that goal. It wasn’t the two piece that I wanted, but I finally got two days in a row with a sale, and while I still haven’t made it for that two piece, getting a string started where I feel like I finally know what I am doing on a day to day basis to make this work was all the more gratifying…especially since I didn’t completely believe it was going to happen for me so soon. All the positive thoughts were there, but I honestly felt like since I had at least increased my frequency of days with sales this week, it might still be not too painful if I got a zero today…making it two days in a row that I closed one out though made it feel like I was really on track for what I want to improve on so that I can get promoted as quickly. Apparently that sense of direction and urgency is playing out, since the guy that trained me started talking about me promoting possibly as soon as July first, which would be a full month ahead of the original projection we had talked about only a week ago.

How nice it feels when you can believe in yourself, and other people believe in you, and it all starts to feel like not only is it coming together, but it’s picking up more steam than you thought it would, and you begin to catapult into the reality of the dream you set yourself up for…

Smells Like Teen Spirit, or Why I Want a Car YESTERDAY

Ok so i am exaggerating a little bit…

But how stupid does it feel when your supervisor invites you to dinner, you think you have it all planned out, and then AFTER dinner, you realize you read the bus schedule wrong…?

This I now know…because I am a dork, and I did read the bus / light rail schedule wrong…thankfully I have a supervisor who is good natured and friendly, and who has allowed me to sleep on his couch. So here I am, almost 37, kind of feeling stupid that I am taking to the charity of a 25 year old…

At least he didn’t just tell me to find a way home, and at least my pride wasn’t so fragile that’s was afraid to admit I was a dork and pretend all was good…so I may be a little rough around the edges for work tomorrow…I’ve dealt with worse circumstances…and at least now I know that I am of course a valued member of the team since we had breakfast this morning for the second time, AND I had been invited to dinner tonight, and after being a total dork, he still (at least at this point) seems to look at me like I am generally a good guy…

Things could be a lot worse…

Moving Right Along

Attitude is everything. Today flew by. Perhaps part of it was having an extended meeting at the office before going out into the field. I think more of it was hearing about some of the successes people are having, and really seeing how much opportunity there really is for me at this place.

I like to consider myself somewhat malleable: I have managed to adapt to a number of different work environments in the past several years. I have been in counter food service, residential treatment, juvenile corrections, retail management, founding and nonprofit executive management, and now this. With little exception, I have managed in most cases to gain the trust and confidence of my coworkers, respect and accolades from my managers and overseers, and had the benefits of relative success and incredible knowledge acquisition. As I look at all of these, I keep being reminded of how all these experiences keep making me better, and while there have been times in all of these endeavors that I questioned the magic, or if this was REALLY what I wanted to be doing, I know that every one of them has either gotten me closer to “the dream”, or been a strong complement to that process.

I am still not entirely convinced that this opportunity will be the perfect fit for me. As I continue to presently have two full time jobs: this one, and Aspire, Inc., there is a big part of me that wonder if I will ever find a single perfect match, and I am reminded how I was told in the 7th grade this would be one of my most difficult struggles. I can honestly say I am beginning to really enjoy the work I am doing with this new job, and I can tell you the potential is tremendous. I let my supervisor in on my goal to be in management by the first of the year, and to hear such a positive reaction from someone who has been with the company for a year and a half and not gotten there yet was both flattering and encouraging. The fact that after a week he had no doubts that I cold be in that role on my timeline made me feel great. There was even some confusion when I started talking about it, and when he thought I was talking about being a supervisor by the end of the year, he seemed poised to tell me that I wasn’t being ambitious enough, as if he believed that expectation was selling myself short. I haven’t made a sale yet, but there were two things that really hit me today: the first was that just by a law of averages, once I have the store to myself on Saturday, ALL the sales that get made will be mine, and that once I break through that barrier, I know the success will simply start to flow naturally. Especially now knowing that my goals are more than realistic, and that there are going to be people encouraging me to achieve them, I feel like I may really be able to have the kind of success that I want to have at any, but particularly this job.

So much of my life has been motivated by fear and the need to find a way to survive. I got a brief but distant glimpse of what that could look like when I was working at the last job I left. For the first time, I feel like I really do have control over my destiny, and that life is not a waiting game for me to keep looking around for the perfect fit. I can do incredibly well at this job, AND still maintain the nonprofit I founded to fulfill my desire to become a philanthropeneur. I can become a business leader in this industry AND work to empower people and communities through my charitable and philanthropic efforts. I can enjoy doing something that I know I am really good at, AND continue to build on doing something that I already have a passion for.

I’ve never believed before so strongly: life really is what you make of it.

Better Busy Than Bored

So it’s always nice when the guy training you offers to take you out to breakfast. It will officially be a week at work today, and I get the impression they are pretty pleased with me. The people at work seem to all be very friendly, if not sometimes bordering on the cheesy side, but at the same time, it makes the day go by pretty quickly when we spend our first hour of the day I. Some sort of training mode, with all the excitement, and then go out into the field to do our sales work.

It’s not my ideal job, to be perfectly honest, but there is some pretty good opportunity to move up rather quickly, and while I feel like I am doing well here, I know there is somewhere else I would rather be, doing something that I am happier doing. I can honestly say I LIKE this Jon, but I am also pretty sure it is something that I do not think I will ever LOVE doing, if that makes sense.

For now, I have stopped sending out new resumes, and am taking a little more of a passive approach to things, but that stems more from just the sheer time constraint involved in an hour to hour and a half commute each ay to work on public transit. I don’t mind taking the bus / light rail, but I know that I will have a lot more time once I get back on my feet and get a car again. I did hate having a car payment, but there was also an incredible amount of pride that I felt in knowing that I was back to a pace in my life where I could afford to take on.

I’ll be getting back to that soon, and soon will be able to do it without needing so much help from friends. Somehow I can just feel it.

On Display

I am not a fan of initial interviews: the ones where you go in, they take one look at you, smile, and then say “so we’ll call you soon”. Five minutes of their time is at least a coup,e hours of mine, and I honestly find it kind of insulting and a little bit transparent as well. While we all know that it is illegal to make hiring decisions based on general attractiveness, it is clear that this “initial interview” process is used for just that. This is, after all, a marketing and management company, and it’s impossible to deny that in that type of environment, aesthetics come into play.

And it has nothing to do with my self confidence. I would consider myself of generally above average in the looks department, and I’ve gotten my fair share of favorable comments when I put a minimum of effort into my appearance. That being said, and even though a company might currently have an upper hand in this interaction, I find it kind of insulting to ask me to out in considerable time to prepare to meet, and then only be given five minutes of their time. I know my time is worth more of an investment than that. Fortunately, given what I know about management / marketing, and what I discovered in researching this company, I have plenty of reason to believe that I will be selected for the next round of interviews. I am supposed to hear from them later this afternoon, and while I do want to get back to a paying job as soon as I can, and I will certainly continue to pursue this opportunity, I’m also not holding my breath in anticipation of any type of result after feeling like, at least to this point, my time was not valued as it should have been.

Working Weekend…

Can’t believe it will be Monday tomorrow, and it will all start again. There was no resting this weekend: helping a friend move int my little place and getting him settled on the futon / me settled with so much less space to move in…I worry if this will work should there be any need for a timeframe longer than a couple months, if that. I spent most of today feeling trapped in my room, trying not to wake him as I crept out to the hall to get some laundry done, and then when he did wake up, it was barely enough time for me to cook dinner and he was back to sleep. Watching tv or movies on my computer or iPad is just not the same when my 46″ flatscreen is on the other side if the wall in front of me. Even if it is mostly background noise while I am doing computer things or whatever, it seems so much less comforting when it’s coming from my laptop.

But it was a productive weekend, all things aside. My apartment is a lot cleaner, my laundry much closer to being clean and organized instead of piled at the foot of my bed. I have a full refrigerator, with things both prepared already and things that I can choose to prepare as the week goes on. I seem to feel like I have a purpose to my activities as I get ready to start the week, even if I have no sense of direction or where I should be trying to go…

There’s a part of me though that feels like just having the desire to do something is an improvement…

Why Karma Never Needs Help

This summer has not been an easy one, but nonetheless it is one that I am ever thankful for, and the results of it are anything but extraordinary:  despite all of the bad, much has now come full circle again.  I feel almost complete, but a hell of a lot more so than I did before it all began.  I got rid of a lot of the bad things in my life this summer:  people that were dragging me down and holding me back, vices that were making it impossible for me to feel like anything but a hypocrite and a joke to myself, and attitudes that were making it impossible for me to envision, let alone achieve the things that I wanted for myself.  I have stared to put back into my life the things that really matter to me:  I researched apartments for myself last week; I visited a skating rink and am looking for a place to get my blades sharpened; I went to Church for the first time in a LONG ass time.

There have been some really hard days, but there have been some incredible people who have helped me through them, and I will never be able to fully repay the efforts of these individuals to come close to all of the good that has come to me in literally just the last 24 hours.  Aspire, my dream and my labor of love, will launch it’s first major philanthropic campaign in November with a huge event.  We have a venue, we have supporters, we have a vision, and we have an incredible concept for not only the launch party of the Fairygodmother Project, but for the launch party as well.  Today, after over three years of being unemployed, I was made an offer for a job working with the State, and working back in one of my most comfortable elements.  This job will not only allow me to support myself, but I know it will keep me energized, and will allow and ignite a fire to continue my work with Aspire.  Tonight, I was recognized as one of the 25 most influential young business professionals in Colorado:  an honor which I am overwhelmed and astonished to have such esteemed company.  At the event, I also received a cabled package worth over $2000 that will allow me, along with the new job, to get a new place that I truly WANT, rather than one that I can just afford.  I also got a text that one such place, originally out of my price range (but not anymore), has just come available and I could move in as early as October 1.

I have said it before, I will say it again, and I hope that those who hear it will keep believing:  KARMA NEVER NEEDS HELP.  I know a lot of people who have had their own difficulties over this past spring and summer, and I have continued to say to them that we are good people; as long as we stick together, good things will happen for us, because we are good people and we deserve them.  It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so right about something, and just as long since I have felt so good about so many things.

For those who are starting to turn the corner, keep going.  We all need to stick together to maintain this momentum.  To those who are still struggling, I am sending my energy your way.  I want to stick with all of you because 1)  KARMA NEVER NEEDS HELP, and 2) WE ARE ALL GOOD PEOPLE, AND WE ALL NEED TO STICK TOGETHER:  STICKING TOGETHER, GOOD THINGS WILL HAPEN FOR US BECAUSE WE ARE GOOD PEOPLE AND WE DESERVE IT.

Enough of me on my soapbox for tonight.