Thursday, May 23, 2013

Career Day, or as I like to call it "What the hell did I get myself into?"

My daughter brought home a sign up form a month ago for career day.  I vaguely remember ours in school, where you had to sign up to go to a class and a parent would talk about their careers.  I thought it sounded like a good idea.  Of course my memory was on career day for high schoolers, in this case, I would be dealing with elementary school kids, how hard could it be.

My concerns started brewing when after signing up, they sent home a flyer advising parents to ensure they bring their materials.  Materials?????  What the hell kind of materials am I going to bring.  I sit on a recliner, with my laptop and my phone, that's the extent of my materials. 

I shook it off and decided to carry on with my plans of showing up sans materials.  I managed to even laugh along with the jokes from my daughter and wife in the weeks leading up to it.  They claim they don't understand what I do (although my opinion is they don't particularly care).  My daughter thinks I play video games all day and then go to Las Vegas occasionally, which would truly be a great job if that was the case, I suspect my wife believe the same, but has no interest other then that the bills are paid.

I will admit, that while the specifics of what I do are fairly mundane, there are some interesting things about my job.  I work for a Fortune 50 company at a fairly high level (given the number of years I've been there).  I work with people all around the world on high dollar contracts for cutting edge technology.

There is something cool about that, isn't there?

If that question was posed to elementary school students, the answer would be a resounding "no".  The career fair I arrived at, had us at our own tables in a horseshoe shaped seating arrangement and the students would come in and walk around the tables as the teachers brought their classes in. 

I was lucky enough to be seated by the chef/owner of a local restaurant and the fire chief.  Lucky me!!  Thankfully my table had little traffic allowing the chef to queue up the eager students awaiting to get at his display of gummy bears, dried cherries, and other assorted foods.  Any stragglers that couldn't fit in front of the fire chiefs table were also able to wait by mine, as there was a line forming to view the infrared camera he was showing off (way cooler then I would have expected and the resolution on the new models, wow). 

The poor children that did inquire about what I did, quickly had a glazed look come over their eyes, until they caught sight of the bright, shiny fruits and vegetables at the next table, which snapped them out of their trance.  Towards the later part of the event, I'd start my conversation by telling the kids they really should check out the infrared camera with the fireman.

I shouldn't have been surprised, over the years, I've taken to just saying I'm a project manager when people ask me what I do, it's quick and easy and a professional title that people understand, although I don't necessarily think they understand what a project manager does. 

My brother who has also shared this problem, advised me I should have taken the Barney Stinson approach.  "How I met your Mother" is a show which I've only casually watched, so I wasn't familiar with this running joke, but here's a collection of them.

Going forward there will be no Career days, I'll stick to coaching the daughter's softball team, I will be utilizing the Barney Stinson job reply though for the foreseeable future.

Friday, January 11, 2013

New Year and New Things

Happy New Year everyone!

It's been awhile since I posted anything, and it's always hard to start something back up after neglecting it for awhile (just ask my workout routine).

Anyway, I wanted to take a couple minutes to write about some things from the past couple months.  In late summer of this year, my wife got a job at a school system back up in Northeast Ohio, which meant moving back from Columbus.  We decided to stay with my parents until we figured out where/how we wanted to move, since the turnaround with her starting the job was so short.  This wound up being a great experience and a trying one all rolled into one.

My parents were great hosts, and as I've told you before, I believe they are first in line if there ever was a "Parents Hall of Fame".  However, moving a family of 3 into a place already occupied by 2, and then having a total of 3 dogs, meant accommodations were a bit cramped.  We all survived the couple months we spent together though, and I'm thankful for that time to get a peak back into the day to day lives of my parents and a chance to spend some time with them, that most people don't get when they hit my age.  I'm truly in debt to them for so many things, and you can add this to the list.

Before I get to the big news, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the crisis of the past couple months, and that was the gigantic staph infection I developed in my knee, that put me in the hospital for a week.  What a mess.  What started out as an infection on the back of my head (with no idea how it got there), moved to my knee and over the course of 4 days went from my ankle to halfway up my thigh.  I'm happy to report, that I've almost fully recovered.  There maybe a day in the future that I decide to write about the ordeal more and share some of the thoughts I had during that time. 

The big news though is we bought a house, a bright orange house actually, right in Kent, where I graduated college.  As happy as I was that the wife got a job and happy to move back by family, part of me really wouldn't have minded moving farther south.  I told my wife that if we moved back to NE Ohio and if we bought a house, I wasn't going somewhere for awhile.  We were hoping to find something to fix up and use some savings and 401k hardship loan for the purchase, since you can't get a conventional mortgage for at least 2 years after a short sale, but given we were wearing on everyone's  nerves staying at my parents, we decided to look for something a little better then a fixer upper and found a nice place in Kent.  We've spent the past 2 weeks painting, carpeting, and getting it ready to move into and moved everything over last Saturday (let me tell you, January moving in frigid temperatures, what a fun process). 

The house still looks like it's being filmed for an episode of Hoarders, but it's slowly coming together.  It's exciting to be back in our own place, and see all the things I'm going to have to fix, rather then call maintenance, and all of the rooms that are going to require new furniture as our old stuff doesn't fit right.  In all seriousness, it is nice having our own place and not having townhouse neighbors sharing common walls and no yard to speak of, there are moments when I'm in the house and just want to shout at the top of  my lungs, just because I can.  I also enjoy putting holes in the wall to hang stuff, again because I can and it's mine.  

So that's the recap for now.  One of the things I want to do over time is talk about some of the reasons we picked Kent, and some of the great development going on in the city (for those that read the blog and went to Kent State, you would not believe the business development that has gone on downtown).  I want to capture that over the summer in some images and I'm going to have plenty of opportunities to talk about how it feels being in a college city that I knew so well during my 20's as I return to it as I hit my 40's. 

Until later, enjoy life and health, and take advantage of it when you have it!