Many years ago, I met a man named John, on a Saturday as I forgo a healthy commission, I stop, listen, listen, listened a little more, added my half-a-cent (.005). I was young then, I didn’t have a 2-cent opinion to offer. Among the many lessons he taught me – my favorite was how he was crazy for buying a house (with a 2nd build-able) lot on Martha’s Vineyard before Clinton was number 42 – He taught me to just take in the moment. This moment. Stop thinking about the next moment. John has that knack for making me feel relaxed, as I’m thinking about how I’m going to make my quotas, my commission, my bills, the boat home! John taught me how to trust the Universe, how to be what Brene Brown would call vulnerable.
I wonder if he’s going to let the wife’s family stay in the new home on that build-able lot free of charge, His son watched me and asked enough questions, they probable don’t need our services anymore to catch a mouse, but maybe, just maybe to hear the in-laws, honest opinion.
The Saint Michael in my stories are of this John and another John both remind me to slow it down (you need to slow it down) He talks my ear off, My OCD – compensating for the companies inadequacies – scheduling doesn’t have a chance in hell to get done today. John and I talk, I finally get to get my 1-cent in, and tell a story (it’s 5-years later) which reminds him of a 6-cent story, Again, I’m making no money here, but gaining a wealth of knowledge, just like 5-years ago. Feeling Blessed, I offer another story, then the wife pulls in yapping on the phone. Which after she communicates the problems of the house, our talk now extends to man cave talk about the definition of work… then he reminds me of time and grabbing a couple vodka’s with the wife on a Friday night.
Of the 3-stops I couldn’t complete, I couldn’t complete on that Friday, because I spent it talking (listening) to John – once again – I completed 2, during my on-call Saturday, since nobody called, except a single soccer mom who was kid free at 11! The other stop I couldn’t complete works into my Thursday schedule after a quick google maps search. (update: I actually did it today on my way home)
With these mentors/angels at my side, not to mention all the 2nd marriage couples on Martha’s Vineyard that helped me through my divorce, (Yes I went on another date to comp her to)
Driving home, it’s as if I left heaven.
In one of my previous blogs, I wrote about how a pastor from a local church gave my tenant a check for the amount that she was short for the month, after her baby daddy(my handyman) was arrested and put in jail. Like clockwork, it was the 1st of the month and he went out on his monthly drug-binge. It happens. If I look back at my books, I think she is $676 behind on the rent. (A tank of heating oil that is included in the rent.)
It’s gotten to the point where I have to go out of my way to collect the rent, not to mention that her boyfriend isn’t keeping up with his end of the deal for that extra bedroom that was included. Never-mind his portion of the rent, she doesn’t her portion of the rent either. Of course as I confront her, she is high as all hell. She gives me a story about how her boyfriend took her part of the rent money from her, if you didn’t have the rent you would be too.
I personally believe that she and her boyfriend are trying to pull the wool over my eyes. I. AM. A. DICK.
He gets arrested. The church steps in, writes $200-blank check and gives it to this single mom. I feel, they are enabling her. We have a friendly bet. She, knowing she is in arrears for back-rent, puts my name on that blank check.
I pass that money along for repairs to a recovering addict. Honestly, the church is winning this bet.
Not a bad bet to lose. It’s a low priority to do list for me on my end. Either you relapse or you don’t.
The church is hitting is out of the park! She goes out her way to deliver the rent, buys the batteries, finds the missing smoke detectors, and then installs them. Then still has the extra $10 for cigarettes, normally they, she is asking me to borrow money for cigarettes.
Having $10-cash for cigarettes on the 16th the month is a fucking miracle. I offer a reprieve (from being a cynical dick), I buy the cigarettes, gather my laundry, include my laundry detergent , then place the basket at her door with the her original $10 and a pack of cigarettes.
That’s a day’s pay and 2-hours of work for her boyfriend, that’s a weeks worth of pay and 2-hours of work for her.
He’s a drug addict. He will scrounge up anything that he can sell, steal, beat out of you, if need be, just to score a drug hit, sometimes it’s just over the last cigarette. Most times it’s over the pills.
He – his drug addiction – is a leach on society. Worst of all, he’s a leach on his daughter’s future, Why buy her a $300 iPad, when he would just sell it for a $25-drug hit.
Which without the fear of being hit and the support of the church, She was able to pay her full portion of the rent, budget her money, then ask if you could buy her cigarettes with this $10, instead of asking to borrow $10 for cigarettes.
Pretty sure, I lost this bet. Can we put a Pastor into low-income communities and remove the violence?
Is this Scalable?
Have you ever been brushed off? You went out of your way to meet someone and they brushed you off, they didn’t live up to your expectation on how the meeting should go! You prepared, did you research, had your a, b, c, d and e questions all prepared. You got the inside scoop on this CEO, Celebrity, Rock Star, Top Architect to IBM Watson, maybe even a savant, or it might just be a date-night with your wife. Trying to get your foot in the door (rekindle that spark, if it’s the wife), you ask if you can just tag along.
They- having nothing to hide – allow you access. As you give up your family day and your wife is pissed off, you finally meet this man or woman, spending a sSaturdaywith his kid. He explains the repetitive nature of the motorcycle game that his son is playing (almost like he designed it) then brushes you off and mentions someone you should talk to…
Do you contact that person, or focus on the fact that he brushed you off?
Me, I had a great conversation about bugs, apple products, and life with a friend 600 or 6000, or is it just 6-miles away, that was facilitated from this brush off friend, who found time to meet me, while spending a day with his son, me with my daughter.
We understood each others brush off, (I’m trying to be a dad, him too)
While our parenting skills over-lap, our one-on-one tech skills not so much, our networking befriending skills seem to assimilate. This is fun for us.
How sensitive are you to the brush off? Are you interesting in the repetitive nature of an arcade game? then ask questions. If not, just be yourself and listen, they’re explaining something that they enjoy. I can’t hack, but I know enough about hacking to know if you’re bullshitting me. That’s why I don’t worry about being hacked on snapchat.
Every blow up a meeting because it didn’t go the way you planned?
As much as I’m enjoying my life – learning about the Orthodox Jewish culture – I am still with no question a Universe man. I believe in Karma, the greatest good and all that stuff. I write fables too, it takes one to know one. After all the bullshit I’ve been through, I have a quiet escape, well it’s more of a rendezvous, than an escape.
A time set aside to quiet our minds, As the Orthodox Jews meander outside the home, the uncanny moment when you realize that you have an awful lot more in common that just sex. (we got that over in the first 10-seconds) Around the 3rd Netflix episode, (we keep talking here and there) we got hungry, go out for a meal and a beer, as we talked some more and more. Repeat.
I drive home, turn on my fog lights so the Orthodox Jews can see the cross walk. I am truly happy.
I visit the home of a client who is like me an Universalist/Buddhist, we normally talk for hours on end. She’s been trying to set me up with her divorce niece. If nothing else, just so I can tell her my story about my divorce and how it all worked out for me, my ex-wife, my beautiful daughter, and our village. (Baby Bella yelling in the background)
So I walk in, the is niece downstairs. My client had a stroke! Lucky for her, she was teaching a yoga class and wasn’t alone, she’s six-months away having her full speech back, if she gets pissed, she speaks perfectly (it’s a different part of the brain).
She being no-nonsense, asked me what I think? I tell her, “if you were alone you’d be dead.” You’re really doing great 6-months after a stroke …she has all her motor-skills, (it takes time for the brain to recoup).
This is my Universe Buddy…(I really don’t need a date right now)
Being on point, she insist that I meet her divorcing niece, the niece comes upstairs and her aunt explains to us, “that we don’t have to become boyfriend and girlfriend, but we need to become friends.” (pitch perfect)
I trust her and the universe. This will happen.
Thinking back on my life, I remember a grandfather (not mine) that taught me how to ride a 4-wheeler and grabbed my crotch, I was outspoken then and said, “no!”, what a horrible smokers death he died, his daughters some with boys, passionately by his side.That was water under the bridge, he never molested me, just tried. Man, his final years were horrendous. (ask me, I tell you the story in person, not in a blog, no worries.)
Back to my story, she was immediately cared for, instead of being dead, or being Dick Clark, she has a good chance of being back to normal within a year. While I wasn’t able to be her niece’s knight in shining armor, it made perfect sense for her niece and her daughters to move into her aunt’s big house and help care for her.
Plus. I’m still around at their beck-and-call to help navigate through the divorce and her aunt’s stroke, which doesn’t always happen after a single date.
I’m, you’re, not alone. [the photo may, or may not represent me, the video; a couple's story, not mine]
If you read any of my blogs, or tweets, it’s no secret that I’ve been dating again. Being a single dad, whose friends are home with their families on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night. I usually spend my weekends with my daughter, or texting and messaging my friends, other times I stop by for a couple of beers after work. We don’t go to bars that much.
Hence, my dive into the online dating world. I’m fluent in twitter and tweet-ups and meet-ups, so this was easy for me. There’s a lot of tech savvy people on twitter, so I didn’t have to worry about being cat-fished by a murder. So here I go…
One was too big, one was too small, one was too fake, and one…was just right.
Here’s the thing, as I’m hedging my bet, trying to out-jinx the jinx.
I’m reading another online profile, a girl struggling with her “ideal” weight who needs to go the gym to maintain her weight. I read people for a living. She’s post college, has a decent job, but never had a post college, meaningful relationship. How do I know? She wants her new partner to accompany her to the gym for 2-3 hours. Anyone whose been in a meaningful relationship knows, we need that 2-3 hours to ourselves to make the relationship work! (she was around 30 with no kids)
I’m still wondering, why, if you’re at a gym for 2-3 hours a day, are you bothering with online dating, you have your sea of fish.
Me, I’m a single parent, somewhat of a homebody, maybe in your eyes, I’m not your idealistic trophy husband, that really doesn’t matter to me.
Life Rule #1 Don’t Judge a Book by its cover.
Life Rule #2 Read the first ten pages. Then judge.
Back to out-jointing the jinx, fuck it, I’ll just let this run its course.
Speaking of running, don’t give completely give up on on-line dating, but you’re at the gym for 2-hours, practice making small talk, your both at the gym an awful lot, What’s your favorite strength exercise? You least favorite cardio?
I sent out a memo, passed out a laminated index card of what I expect, still the team doesn’t respond.
I work for a large bureaucratic, lethargic, dinosaur of a company. At the end of the day, We make a profit. We have money to throw at a problem…even hide a problem. Relax, that’s a good position to be in.
Here’s the problem. Technology, has made top-down idea management chains obsolete. Granted, I’m still dealing with that awful scheduling software. (we are no UPS, miss those guys that would grab a free ride on the WH shuttle and small talk), It has taken 6-years to finally figure out how to get the algorithm to work for the techs, still a distant second to what the team was doing 10-years ago, the clients still hate it! For me, I finally figure out how to make my off-season schedule back to 3-weeks, which gives me an extra week during the month to reschedule due to bad weather, or sick days that will happen in those first 3-weeks.
This scheduling program was for the small percentage of techs who couldn’t schedule. A blanket solution for 100% of the company for 3% of the techs and 1% of the clients.
It’s one thing, if it’s a local manager trying to address his branch problems, another, if it’s a VP, COO, CEO, or board member enforcing a blanket solution for 10,000 employees.
Never reprimand a local manager for his creativity, consider it a pilot project. If it works for their branch, if the NPS improves, consider it an option for failing branches. Reward him. My clients like uniformity, it’s a good bet that I will show up around the same time. If it’s a parent, I never show up before 9am, if they need inside service, I will only show up between 2-4 while you get your kids off the bus, feed them, then rush off get them to MMA class! This is a constant that my scheduling software doesn’t compute, any predictive analysis program can tell you the ideal service time for each and every service for a faithful client and how long it will take, heck 95% of your tech can tell you this, 2-hours once a year, and I can do my own scheduling with a 75-NPS score. That was 10-years ago, and the number was around 85.
It’s the future, there is no sneaky blanket corporate wide solution for C-Suite, yes, there is a silver bullet, it’s to remove the scapegoat CEO, even that’s getting old and transparent. Investors, how long does it take to Google the names of the board members?
I can memorize 600-700 clients. My peers can do the same. It becomes apparent which companies to avoid when they have a particular board member. I put my money where Icarus is.
If your blanket solution is a reason to talk to clients, Godspeed, if it’ s a reason for your corporate existence, nigger please.
You’re nothing more than a slave. I love what I do, my local manager loves what he does, my supervisors enjoy the interaction, hopefully the pay too. I love the interaction with the office and clients, but hate the scheduling. Why would anyone schedule an office meeting and a day full of clients 45-minutes away from the office? I do have a day full of clients 15-20 minutes from the office. Predictive. Analysis. Software. Office meeting are always on Thursday!
That’s a day full of stress for me, a couple of unhappy clients, not to mention a metric my manager missed because I was stuck in traffic at exit 5, then stuck again, trying to get over the bridge and missed the meeting.
two quick stories…
It’s all I can do to drop my daughter off at the bus stop and make it to the window times of our scheduling software. I actually circumvent it by telling it (an actually person monitoring the program, that I’m not available during the last week of the month), it makes the algorithm work! I plan a vacation week, then cancel it, for you HR folks.
First Story: As I put my daughter on the bus, my schedule gets finalized. Then I mentally rearrange my clients to make it do-able since we aren’t in the George Jetson world just yet. I start my day with a mom who always leaves for daycare 9:10 (I learn this from a callback/extra service request) Strapping her kids in the car, I spray the basement and one room, as I finish she has about 4-minutes to leave, she, having stomach issues, asked, If I can watch her kids as she goes pee (she has ADD and knows me better than me – Professional Internet Stalker, Helicopter Mom) Off she goes to a playground play-date with the skies clearing. No Daycare needed today!
Second story: The algorithm says, I can be there until 4-6pm. I actually have time take care of an outside only account, it 2pm. It’s a follow-up on a basketball-sized bald-faced-hornet nest.
Unbeknownst to me, this client is a sheriff. (the note, which’s actually from a previous visit, says no one will be home) As I’m spraying and scrapping at this bald-face-hornet nest, I get a gun drawn on me from a sheriff. If I had access to this client’s information, I could have messaged them before I showed up. A simple iPhone text. Lucky for me, she didn’t have an itchy trigger finger.
After I do my budget and my bills, I pick up some Guinness. It’s the reward for being on budget. It’s usually late at the night and I want to have beer in the fridge when I get home to celebrate, tomorrow evening.
The same kid with his girlfriend and usually another friend are counting down the minutes to close-up the shop. When I do my budget, I am alone, completely alone, I have to… not only pay the bills for this month and week, but project, envision the next six-months, year, 10-years, because everyone in my life has let me down. (((not including the people in the vault)))
I miss the days of just hanging out with friends, waiting for my shift to end. After a few months, this kid gets jealous of me being able to afford pints of Guinness at will. Seriously, I’m a single dad paying child support, who just worked 10-hours, then spent 2-hours paying bills and creating a budget, and now buying an 8-pack, so tomorrow when I get out of work, I can just sit, relax, write, vent, get this all out of my head. Reset, if you will.
To afford this 8-pack of Guinness and hobby of writing, I forgo a Weekday visit to D’angolo’s with my imaginary girlfriend, I would kill for just a taste of a Number 9. This kid gets to do this 3, somethings 4-times a week, mid-day, I fucking saw him and his girlfriend chowing down at D’angolo’s, while I was finishing my laundry on a rainy day, before I had to pick-up my daughter.
It’s get a little confusing here, this guy doesn’t even like the taste of Guinness, I love the taste of a D’angolo’s Number #9. If forgo my Guinness and writing, I can afford D’angolo’s with my imaginary girlfriend. (I save about 5-bucks). Here’s the thing, if I do this; his pre-work visit to D’angolo’s goes away, and he loses out on that time with his girlfriend, their happy place. Then they lose out on having me to talk about, seeing that: Sometimes, I get tired and depressed too, that I am human.
So now, instead of having a couple eating at D’angolo’s a few times a week, D’angolo’s has me, eating a medium number 9 (they order a larger) every couple of weeks as I do laundry. That’s not good for the economy, that’s not good for my favorite cook at D’angolo’s.
Want a 4-pack of Guinness and 2-hours to write, or a couple of subs from D’angolo’s before work?
Different Folks, Different Strokes…