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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Five for Friday and Fall

It’s Friday ~ Whoop!!  A crazy week filled with travel, airports, meetings, people and … whew … not much personal time or space.  Home again and looking at a busy weekend filled with fun outings ~ Yay!

Here’s my Friday Five:

1  Fall has arrived.  My. Favorite. Season.  The mornings are cool & the days are warm.  We have a saying around here:  winter on top, summer on the bottom.  Meaning you can wear shorts & a hoodie most of the time and be perfectly comfy. But you’d better have a tee-shirt under that hoodie for the hot afternoons. And keep it close for when the sun departs.  Fall!!  Colors.  Temps.  Clear Skies.  Apples. Pumpkins. All of it – I. Love. Fall!

Frankie loved Fall

Frankie loved Fall, too (an Emjayandthem (c) photo) ❤

2  I had to take another personality test for an upcoming (work) conference.  I swear they’re trying to decide if you’re a serf or a serial killer.  Underling or a Gladiator.  The questions are so extreme and some are just stupid.  Your choice of answers include: highly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree or highly agree. Here’s a sample question:  I strive to be accurate.   My answer: highly agree.  Isn’t being accurate the point?  You’re either accurate … or you’re not.  Being close, in most situations, doesn’t count. You can’t sort of explain policy.  You can’t kind of return a phone call.  You can’t sometimes make sure formulas work.  You either do … or you missed the mark entirely.  Geez Louise.   Yeah, they’ll probably deduce I’m a highly accurate Gladiator!

russell-crowe-in-gladiator-movie

Is. That. Wrong?

3   At our meetings this week we were asked to introduce ourselves, talk a little about our background and offer up a favorite song, movie and book ~ judging ensued and prizes were awarded.  It was a fun way to get to know the new people in the organization and I was proud that my book choice made it to the final round.  If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Canadian Author Margaret Atwood.  Chilling.

google.images.com

google.images.com

4  I had a layover in Chicago O’Hare where I enjoyed people watching, airport shopping and … buying new books. 🙂    It’s funny to me how the items for sale in an airport fall into 4 categories 1) luggage related, 2) I’m bored and ooh that’s so very sparkly, 3) books and 4) food.  That’s pretty much it.   I passed up the bedazzled briefcase on wheels, the designer cologne and scooped up 2 bestsellers.  Yes!

image from theexaminer.com

image from theexaminer.com

5  I always say this but as much as I love to go~ I love to come home even more. My flight was due to land at 10:30 and I still had to grab my car etc so I texted Hubbs to let him know it’d be 11:30 before I got home and not to wait up.  Sweetest response ever, “I’ll wait up. Be safe”   It’s the little things ❤

 

Happy Friday! Are you also excited for Fall’s arrival?   Do personality tests freak you out?  What’s the most interesting thing you’ve bought in an airport?   If you had to list them – what choices would make it to your top song, book and movie? 

 

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Categories: Attitude, Family, Fun, Home, Life, Men, Opinion, Personal, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

On first days

Today is a big day.  Big day!

I had a full schedule planned and was supposed to be at an important breakfast meeting along the Lake shore. Up with the birds, driving in the dark, greeting importants and making everyone feel welcome.

But in the middle of all that, I made an offer of employment to someone I’m very excited about “on-boarding” (corporate words for hiring/acclimating an employee).

And to complicate things, my team and I are off to a conference next week. She needs to come, too. So HR said “she needs to start sooner.” As in today. Friday.

Add another layer of complications, an important agency asked for a meeting mid-state.   She’s on the East side, I’m on the west, the agency office is in the middle.

Decision made.

A few other employees were scheduled to appear with me at the breakfast meeting so they’ve got it covered.

I will leave shortly, take the meeting and then boogie on over to where her office is. Coffee up!

Why?

I remember my first day: I had a cubicle, a pen and a note pad. No computer. No guidance. No agenda. No direction. No colleagues (in meetings).

I did what I do best: I made a list.

Eventually someone hauled in a computer, a few days later it was up and running. In the meantime I met my office mates, asked questions, learned about the company and started figuring things out.

My first day, week, month weren’t great but they were definitely memorable. And a learning experience x 10!

You only get one first day.

One.

And I want hers to be memorable … but for all the right reasons!

day-one

“In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.” ― Tina Fey, Bossypants

 

Do you remember your first day at work? What was it like? Did you feel like someone prepared for you or were you “tossed into the mix” like I was?

 

Categories: Attitude, Determination, fear, Gratitude, Growth, Life, Personal, Thoughts, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Freedom, baby

15 years ago today, we experienced an inconceivable tragedy when terrorists attacked our nation simply because of who we are and what we stand for. We will never forget.

4 years ago, we experienced this evil once again when 4 Americans were killed in a terrorist attack while serving in Benghazi, Libya. We will never forget.

We remember the heroic law enforcement officers, fireman and medical units who rushed TOWARDS danger when everyone ran from it. And our men and women in uniform who fiercely protected our freedom then and now.

So to the cowards whose jealousy and warped ideologies motivate attacks on us – I remember what happened here post 9/11: I remember people coming together NOT apart, strangers rescuing strangers and neighbors helping neighbors, people donating blood,money and food, an outpouring of love & pride for our country and renewed appreciation for our service men and women. We united this great nation as ONE. I never saw so many American Flags flying so bright and so often.

We were one nation indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all.

Sneaky terrorist creeps will never be able to take away what is intrinsic to our nature as citizens: our desire to live a full and FREE live. Honor. Faith. Hard work. Patriotism. And FREEDOM, BABY!

We remember the people we lost…and the heroes who rose.

Freedom LIVES.

Categories: Determination, Faith, fear, Grief, Life, News, Patriotic, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Random 5 for Labor Day – Ice Cream, escape artists, Apple Season and days off

Random 5 for Labor day ~ here we go!

1 ) Years ago my cousin had a summer job at an ice-cream parlor. I spent the night with her to help eat at the shoppe.  We made up every concoction possible, ate gobs of ice cream, butterscotch, hot fudge, nuts and whipped cream.  I recently realized that I don’t crave ice cream ~ pretty sure that gluttonous memory is why.

hard decisions of our childhood

Remember?

2 )  Labor Day.  The end of summer as we know it ~ and leaves here are already turning.   But wait – here’s the BEST news – Honey-Crisp apples are nearly ready!!  Oh the joy cannot be contained!  You can still buy some of last year’s apples for $5.00/lb — but soon the orchards near me will sell FRESH apples (bumper Michigan crop this year!) -I can get a dozen for ~$7.00 and youngest boy and I will gobble them down like iced cream!

cropped-apples.jpg

3 ) Speaking of youngest boy, he has a  girlfriend and the girlfriend has a dog named Morty.  I like her already. And isn’t that the greatest name?  Apparently Morty likes busting free from the confines of the kennel; the kid has since nicknamed him “The great Mordini.”  Ha ha ha.

puppy-basset-hound

who can resist? Not I.

4 )  I love Fall.  Apples. Leaves. Bright sunny days. Cool, crisp nights.   I. Love. Fall! ❤

pumpkins.jpg

 

5) Hubbs and I both took tomorrow off !  I’m planning on sleeping in followed by coffee & a lazy brunch then a massage and whatever else I feel like doing – or not !!  Whoo Hoo!

otter day off

No stress, no dress code!

 

What’s your Random 5 looking like today? Ever over-do it on a food you love?  What happened?  Are you seeing signs of Fall where you are?  What’s the last kind thing you did for yourself?   Happy Labor Day everyone!

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Holidays, Joy, Life, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

On catching the red dot

So I’ve been covering for a vacant position for a while now and recently was given permission to post the job (yay!) and the autonomy to make my own decisions (double yay!).

Let the games begin!

But before I start let me say that I’ve interviewed for many jobs in my life.  I’ve won my share and lost just as many. Looking back, there were roles I wasn’t ready for, others someone (Divinely) guided me away from, and still more where I just wasn’t the one.

In 1989, before an interview for my very first *big* corporate break, I spent the afternoon at the library researching the corporation and discovered they were breaking ground on a multi-billion dollar plant in Saudi Arabia.  During the interview, when asked what I knew about their company,  I spoke in general terms but also referenced that project.  I saw the HR Director’s eyebrow shoot up and a smile cross her face.  And in that moment I knew I had it; I started soon after and stayed (and grew) for 12 years.

  • Lesson: If you’re not selling it no one’s buying it. It’s up to you to help a hiring manager see you as their solution.

9 years ago when a Territory Manager announced her retirement, I asked to be considered.  No I’d never been a manager but I was doing similar work and knew the processes & department inside out.  I was able to articulate to the powers-that-be that they’d be wise to choose me – and they did.

  • Lesson: If you’re not selling it no one’s buying it. It’s up to you to help a hiring manager see you as their solution.

4 years ago I applied for and won the position I’m in today, leading the Department.   I endured 4 grueling interviews but I knew, just like that first *real* opportunity, that this job was mine.  I knew there was no one more qualified: it was on me to convince them of that.  I prepared my list of accomplishments, practiced questions and answers with Hubbs, read up on my list of awards, best practices and process improvements.  I was ready. I brought my A-game and trounced the competition.

  •  Lesson: If you’re not selling it no one’s buying it. It’s up to you to help the hiring manager see you as their solution.

So now, when I find myself on the other side of the interview table, I can’t help it, I look for candidates who prepare like I would.

I look for people with passion for the work, not just a way out of what they’re doing now.

I look for someone who can see themselves in the job and help me see them as part of my team.

So here’s what actually happened, in no particular order:

  • A woman wrote a compelling cover letter detailing the reasons why she’d be a great fit.   Except she cited the wrong job.  Oy.
  • Two (men) tried to cut to the front of the line by emailing or calling me directly for an interview, ignoring HR protocol.  Not cool, back in line you go, and, by the way, neither made it past “go.”
  • One person never bothered to read the job description ~ during a phone screening he admitted that the part of the state this job covers is the part “he hates.”   Yeah, we’re done.
  • Another (man) winked at me at the close of an in-person interview.  Lysol, please.
so awesome

Don’t be this guy

~ Sigh~

People are fascinating and the things they’ll tell you in an interview (or anywhere) are astounding.

Example:

  • Question: This position manages many deadlines and details ~ describe for me what tools or tips you use to stay on top of multiple projects.
  • Answer: “I’m not a detail guy and I’m not very good at managing deadlines either.”
  • My thoughts:  Dude!

Another example:

  • Question: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Answer: Well I plan to move south next summer so I’m hoping you guys have something down there I can transfer to!!
  • My thoughts: Holy hell my head hurts.

There was one exception however.

She arrived early, calm and well-spoken.

She had a pleasantness about her, confidence without bravado.

She listened.

She articulated relevant experiences.

She asked good questions; she’d done her homework.

She connected the dots.

I am not indecisive: When I meet someone with passion and potential, I know it.

It wasn’t long before an offer was extended and thankfully accepted.

caught the red dot

 

** How about you?  Have you been on the other side of the interview table?  How do you prepare? What do you look for?  Do you know a dot catcher when you meet one?**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Joy, Life, Politics, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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