25 July 2008

Plopped In Your Lap

Only in Japan could one create the "Lap Pillow" which apparently only comes in red or black short-skirted female laps. However, this post has nothing to do with this odd sleep aide. I merely found it...wait for it...a knee slapper! Oy.

No, today I'd like to focus on how blessings seem to always "plop in your lap." Have you noticed this? There's no such thing as microwaveable blessings. They seem to come out of no where and require only our faithful prayer, obedience, and patience.

For example, my new job at AOL. For over two years, I searched for a new job using email search agents and submitting my resume online. At best, a few nibbles and an occasional phone or in-person interview came about...but none led to anything serious.

Next came emails and calls from technical recruiters from all across the DC Metro area. I highly recommend recruiters but you MUST know: they get paid by the companies with the jobs you seek. So, they're working for companies, they are not working for you. Bringing to the company the best possible candidate is their objective. Going in knowing that will make life easier.

I chatted with several recruiters on the phone who wanted to categorize me and see with which positions my skills could best align. I spoke with three different recruiters on the phone and visited their offices. These were six interviews...but not with a company doing the hiring...with recruiters. Which would mean I'd still have to interview with a company they were recommending. Nothing panned out of these experiences. I was increasingly becoming discouraged.

Discouragement is usually the product of trying to do too much on your own. While I was praying and awaiting Christ's signal...I was still powering my own efforts. The Holy Spirit told me "no more" and I declined any further visits to recruiter offices that required spending my time and gas unless there was a genuine peace about doing it.

Within a couple weeks of this decision, a different recruiter emailed me out of the blue about a position at AOL. We communicated only over email (convenient since she is in Florida but different since no other recruiter operated this efficiently) and spoke on the phone only a couple times (another great difference). Other recruiters required a phone call and usually a visit to their office before my resume would be forwarded to the hiring company.

I mentioned to Christine, the recruiter, that working for AOL would be awesome but the commute would be rather painful. After a flexible commute schedule was agreed upon by AOL and the phone interview with the hiring manager went absolutely splendid, I was pretty certain this would be my next job.

However, the AOL job was not captured by any of my screens or methods. If Christine hadn't contacted me, this blessing wouldn't have come my way. I've also learned how things behind the scenes at AOL aligned to fulfill the blessing. Even better was learning my arrival was an answer to prayer.

Which is another characteristic of great blessings: they tend to be answers to prayers for both sides.

So, if anyone needs to help job hunting, lettme know and I'll send you Christine's way. If you're looking for a blessing, don't. Instead, pray and wait on the Lord. He'll always deliver in His timing.

Already One Month?!

Yup, hard to believe that in about 5 days, I'll have been at AOL for a month! Each week I've had someone ask in one form or another if I'm still enjoying it.

Ummm, YAH! :)

I had my concerns since this was my first departure from radio or television in 20 years. However, I knew this was a door the Lord had opened...so it was where I was meant to go...and it was an answer to prayer.

It's always great when your boss doesn't know how she remained sane before your arrival and says it feels like you've around for months. I seem to be fitting in and acclimating well to the position and tasks!

AOL is in Dulles, Virginia. Keep in mind, I live in Columbia, Maryland. Oddly enough, the drive is actually shorter than my former trip to W*USA9 in DC. AOL takes me 70 minutes (or 1.5 hours one way...to round off) and WU*SA9 was almost always 90 minutes. AOL is 35 miles one way which is 10 more than W*USA9.

But distance and time aren't a concern since I'm allowed to work from home and more importantly because my family life is much more rewarding.

I had been wanting to depart from 9 for a couple years but the people there and at Gannett made the difference in my staying. Not until several months into a management change did the future seem bleak.

For a year, I endured unrealistic expectations which continually produced mental and emotional exhaustion. I prayed daily for strength and endurance and for another opportunity...possibly a return to Mississippi. Although I went on several interviews and dealt with multiple recruiters, no opportunity presented itself. Thus, I knew the Lord had more for me to do at W*USA9.

After leaving 9 and starting at AOL, virtually on my second day there Kim says to me, "You're a new man." Last week, my mother-in-law says, "Do you realize you smile more lately?" I had no idea the weight of constantly being plugged in, constantly trying to please the unpleaseable, and doing the work of at least 3 people was taking on me.

James 2-3 says: "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance."

Our faith is tested daily. I know the last four years at W*USA9 produced endurance for me. However, I allowed others to steal my joy or at least distract me from considering it all joy. Instead, I was disengaged at home and nearly always mentally and emotionally drained. Work isn't supposed to be that way. And if you're feeling like that - GET OUT NOW!

Your job should be fun and rewarding...where you contribute to a team and the team supports and encourages itself. Anything less is unacceptable. We work to live...not live to work.

I'm blessed to have a perspective change and an answer to prayer.


13 July 2008

Father-Daughter Day

It's not everyday that Kim gets a chance to go to NYC for $20 and also see her sister. That chance came yesterday and thus allowed for Kim to have a break from parenting and the daily routines and a chance to get some girl time, while Georgia and I had the pleasure of spending the day together.

It was rather simplistic in its gloriousness. The morning was spent with waffles (which G will quickly tell you that I can make waffles but not pancakes...the last experiment with those was a bit uneatable) and cartoons...a nap for G...and then a jaunt to feed the ducks at a lake in Laurel.
We went to the Granville Guide Park & Lakehouse.

The G did very well with her aquatic friends, as you'll see below. She rather looks as if she's holding court. Gimmie the bread, lady, wwwahhhhhhk! Most entertaining is the "beat" from the music at the end of the clip. It's coming from the Don Pablo's mexican restaurant a few feet away.

video

However, suddenly the ducks mount their assault and send the little princess of the hill scurrying!

video

Afterwards she played on the nearby playground loaded with kids, went to Chick-fil-a for supper and played on their indoor playground with a few kids, and we returned home for a Strawberry Shortcake movie, a bath, and to bed.

In the words of the G, "It was a good day, daddy!"


01 July 2008

New Job For Burfday!

Started at AOL yesterday and it was a phenomenal first day. The day began with a 2 1/2 commute. Yeah, 150 minutes of hiney-numbing fun which was courteous of an accident on the Beltway and me not hitting the backroads sooner. The drive home - 90 minutes. Much better but that may be the best it's gonna get since I'm commuting from Columbia, MD to Sterling, VA. We'll see what happens today!



Meanwhile, I'll be auctioning my birthday suit to the highest bidder today. Here's a picture of it being worn by someone looking like Lyle Lovett. Well, actually, he might look better than Lyle but I digress. Hilarious!