Thursday, November 25, 2010

So what am I Thankful for this year?

wDSC_0193I am thankful that I have a wonderful and loving wife.

I am thankful for an amazing son.

I am thankful for great parents who are now grandparents for theDSC05275 first time.

I am thankful for my brother who I get to see today.

I am thankful for a nice house we purchased a few months ago.

I am thankful for great friends both local and afar.

I am thankful for a new job I got this year.

I am thankful for a mother-in-law that cares so much for her daughter, son-in-law and of course grandson (no specific order, ha).

053I am thankful for a flexible company that worked with me so well during one of the most trying times in my life.

I am thankful for two cars that run well.

I am thankful for a staff at work that is willing to work holidays and is willing to work incredibly hard.

I am thankful for a Father in Heaven that loves me so much that no matter what I do or so, He welcomes me with open arms,

I am thankful for the troops that are around the world fighting to keep our great nation free.

I am thankful for the ability to provide for my family.

I am thankful to be alive.

I am thankful for amazing doctors.

I am thankful for God sending his angels down to watch overScan2_0002 me, my wife, my son, my family and friends when I was going through brain surgery this year.

Most importantly, I am thankful. It has been one crazy year and thankful I am here to celebrate my son’s first Thanksgiving, my wife’s first home cooked Thanksgiving for Cameron’s grandparents and uncle. What an amazing year to be thankful.


(First picture taken by Jeff Koziatek in June 2010, contact him @ Tallhippo. Remaining pictures taken by or with Stephanie Young’s camera.)

Next Job: So, two days gets me two weeks.

So here I am, living in a town called Surprise on the outskirts of Phoenix, AZ. I am 1500 miles away from where I grew up my whole life, trying to find a job. So there was a position open with a company that looked like a good opportunity to get in to a large company. I will not be mentioning the name of the company, just that is in insurance sales.

I went in for the interview and I should have known that something was up then. They interviewed me and everything went fine. Then they asked me to type a letter for them to see how fast I could type. Apparently, it was fast enough and they were satisfied. I started in January of 2006. I was excited to get started with a company that had a great chance of advancement. I worked the first day and was told we were being tested the following week to be certified to sell insurance. It was a state requirement and was going to be a lot of studying. I was fine with that but then near the end of the day I was a tad confused when they told me that once we passed the test, we would be sitting at a call center for at least 18 months. What?

In the interview the told me that after only a few months, we would be sent to a local office to get more experience out in the field of sales. So I was a tad confused about spending that amount of times in a call center processing claims. Not that there is anything wrong with that; however, if you know me, I cannot sit still for 30 minutes, let alone 8 hours. I thought to give it another shot the next day and not give up on this quite yet. However, day two was not much better. They then tell me that, “Well, we day 18 months but about 98% of you will be in the call center for a few years.” That was the infamous straw that broke the camel’s back. I talked to the group leader and he told me to sleep on it. I told him I would but I knew what the decision was going to be. I called him the next day and told him I would return the materials for the class. Because I signed a contract, they were required to pay me for the two days of work and ten days of vacation. I told them to keep the money too but a week later, a check came in the mail.

As I look back on this job, I see God teaching me to trust Him more than I trust myself. I wanted the job simply to get a job and that was that. However, God had a whole other plan for me. I found that out the very next week.

Next job: Same job, whole new field.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Jobs I Have Worked - There is a Town Called Surprise????

An opportunity presented itself in November 2004. My current boss had accepted a position at a start up baseball team in Arizona. The whole league was a brand new league. I had never been to Arizona and was just told it was hot during the summer, or what people down in Arizona call it, a dry heat.

I went back and forth on the decision. I remember my mother telling me that there were plenty of snakes out there to scare me back here. (I have a HUGE fear of snakes, I will leave it at that.) So after going back and forth, I went for it. So the packing began!

I did not visit Arizona before I moved out there (highly do not recommend that), but I was trusting God was leading me out there for a reason. It was an interesting trip out there. I left on a cold January morning from my parents house and began the drive. I stayed at a lovely Days Inn right off the highway in Oklahoma City. The next stop was Albuquerque, NM where I stayed with a college roommate whom had just moved there a week prior to me. Then, made the final leg of the journey to a town called Surprise, just outside of Phoenix.

We were temporarily based at the stadium where we would play the games. This stadium could seat about double what we could at River City. Games were going to be starting in under 6 months so we were working a LOT of hours to get this team going. We knew going into it that we were not going to be able to sell out every game and our goals were going to have to be different that what our goals were in St. Louis.

The first set of games were great. Decent crowds and a lot of excitement around the team. The team was not great and did not have a lot of chemistry; however, we had some things to build on from a promotional standpoint. Then, the beginning of the end started to happen.

First, they let go our Director of Public Relations because we were not gaining in attendance in 110 degree heat. Our name was out there; however, people wanted to stay inside and understandably so. That happened on a Thursday night, right before our biggest series of the year with Rickey Henderson coming to town. Then, it all collapsed. They fired my bosses the day the series was supposed to start and several other people quit following this. So here I am facing a major life dilemma: Do I quit as well and support my bosses who were also good friends, or do I have stand on my own for the first time in my after school experience? I never felt like I stood alone when it came to my jobs after college. The Rascals job came from my internship I had with them the year before and a job was created for me after college. We all had been good friends and it did not feel like a “normal” job. So after going back and forth, I told the league I would be staying on board.

We finished out the season not well at all. If we had more than on average 75 people watch our games, I would be shocked. We would sell tickets and do group outings; however, it was so hot, people would not pick their tickets up. The most entertaining parts of games was when we would announce the attendance. We had to announce sold tickets and not actual bodies in the ballpark. After the season, the league waited a few months with our team in Surprise, but they ended up folding the team. It was not shocking at all. The league was starting to already make drastic decisions to the years of research in some towns. They wanted me to join a new team in Reno, NV and an existing team in Fullerton, CA, but I wanted out of baseball. That year had wore me down. So I got out of baseball and was going to try and figure out what to do with my life 1500 miles from where I grew up.

I still wonder at times if I regret making the decision I did by staying on with the team. I am thankful I spent the rest of the summer with the team. Not because I was enjoying what I was doing; however, I proved to myself and others that I could do this whole working thing on my own. It was a challenge placed in front of me and it was the beginning of me growing up.

Next job: So, two days gets me two weeks.