A Story that I don’t have to make into a Fable: Winter Chappy Friends.

February 27, 2015 Leave a comment

Where’s the place you go to clear your head? Do you have one? I was fortunate enough to work on Martha’s Vineyard for Seven years. I go to Chappaquiddick Island.  ‘m told it’s similar to New Hampshire, Maine, maybe even Vermont. I don’t like cold weather, so I wouldn’t know.

Sometimes I forget to trust the universe, God – if you’re religious,  Friends – if you’re an atheist. Something other than your anxiety. After Seven years on the Vineyard, I’ve learn my anxiety is just a bunch up BS.

Here’s my 2015 story:

The night before I do ground beef (venison) nacho dip. I’m superstitious about the 6am wake-up.

Even with the 2-4 inches of light fluffy snow, I make it to the Island Home ferry on time. Then it’s onward to “On Time” Chappaquiddick Ferry. Then I’m home.

Underneath this snow is smooth as glass friction-less ice. This is home for me. A moment in time to think clearly without the noise. I know my way around, and how to test the limits with this 2WD pick-up without getting completely stuck. Man, I love the complete silence here. (no drug or drink needed)

Trying to make a U-Turn on Pocha Rd, I get stuck. Stuck like, you can’t rock the truck. I let the truck  without my foot on the gas  roll into the snow bank behind me, it lift the truck up just enough so I don’t have any traction on the ice. I’m stuck perpendicular to the road, at the entrance to harborview. An old-timer watches me as I’m digging out the wheels, then the rear bumper, then the spare tire. (the motherfucker isn’t even getting out of his truck).

He then grab his bar and says, lets see if this will work. It doesn’t, He jumps in his truck and make a call. I keep working at freeing up the truck, it drops a little at I dig out the rear end. I ask the old timer to jump in the drivers seat as I push this time, Still the truck won’t move. 

By this time, his friend shows up with his 4WD truck and tow cable. 

Here’s the thing, All he had to do was drive down Harborview and ignore us. I was blocking Harborview and beyond… another 3-ft and well, it might have required effort and torque. Long story short. Chevy Won, Ford Lost.

That kind off sums up Chappy and Martha’s Vineyard.

I complete three more stops, see Peter’s truck (damn it!) and then I’m forced to wait as the Chappy Ferry slowly makes it way to the slushy ice filled Edgartown harbor ….  being stuck behind grandma again, I miss the 2:30 ferry for a mandatory office meeting. Sitting in Vineyard Steamship Building, I notice the Freight Boat pulling in. I check the vehicle waiting area, there’s not hazmat, gas trucks.

They are going to let me on the freight boat!!

I’m going to make this mandatory office meeting and will be able to pick up my daughter by 6pm! (either way)

Following grandma and then making the freight boat, I remembered why I trust the universe. No God.

How the hell did I make this team meeting only 10-minutes late?

We. Are. Rebuilding. Rome.

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I got my 60K, keep the rest in peace.

February 25, 2015 Leave a comment

I have to get something off my chest, life isn’t about money, the people in my life, who have it, deserve it. God, how manyimages (8) people have I talked with about having a successful marriage, children, life. The last thing that came up was money.

Actually that’s not true, sometimes, I’m the litmus test to how much a son needs make for his trust fund money to kicks in.

Today, I talked with someone who has more money than god, who lost a pet due to incompetence, she’s going to sue the pants off these doctor’s and win, she could care less about the money, she just wants to make sure this never happens again. She’s one of those people – if you don’t tune out – who is always right.

With the reduction in oil prices, which my client just pays the same every month, the oil company owed her a couple of tanks of oil, she had them give it to someone who needs it, rather than deal with the hassle of getting a refund. (Just don’t bother me, or thank me, make sure it’s anonymous.)

Like a quiet trip to Chappy, Just talking to her usually gives me that spark of sight! Only today, she needed to talk to me. When she sues you, you lose. Period.

George-W.-Bush-Is-Painting-Pictures-of-My-DogGod this sucks, if you’re a pet owner, you know what it’s like when you’re close companion is no longer here, then add in a doctors or vet’s incompetence. She’s going to sue and win, now she wants to know, what pet organization should she give the settlement too?

She pays me to alleviate her fear of bugs, I have no clue about pets … NOT PETA! (Is my only intelligent thought)

As we move throughout the house, killing bugs, seeing spiders drop down, (see I’m not crazy, I knew there was spiders down here) we get back into our routine, we create small talk.

In the past is was about me and why I was single, today it was about her. (Confidential)

What I can tell you, she’s excited to buy a new home in Florida so they can drive the boat back and forth from OB. It’s amazing how she can just pick the ROI out of the air on a property. Wait, Who’s driving the car?

Anyway, I did Eharmony, being busy and all. We enjoy binged watching TV and afternoons at a Pub. (the rest is Private!)

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Just be yourself, listen and then engage.

February 20, 2015 Leave a comment

I’ve been making a real effort to make our weekly meeting. We had a Nationally VP, come to one of meeting and he explaineddownload his vision and C-Suite’s vision and their focus. I would like to say that’s why I decided to attend these meeting, it’s a part of it. The fact is before he even showed up, he put his money where his mouth is, it was already announced that we would be given “back” our overtime pay on top of our commission.

Of course mother nature swoops in and kills us. Well not all of us, I had one of those routes, it was all on you to pay all of the bills. It seemed, the wife and family spent the money almost as fast as you made it. That was the old me, before the universe ask me to trust it.

I learned to stop trying to keep up with the Jones’s and just keep up with me. It was during the process of divorce for me. I had a daughter, so it wasn’t so cut and dry. The court, my attorney, the original mediator, straight-out said, “you daughter is your number-ONE priority”.

Luckily, I had – No-Nonsense – John.  I started eliminating all of my bills, then some more, a little more, then he made me commit to a 18-month commitment to refinance and pay the ex- 15K or SELL!

Luckily, I had No-Nonsense John. stock-footage-happy-couple-with-bills-and-laptop

With the child support payments, the credit card payments, the car payments, John created a path of payoffs for me, so no Judge would rule against me as long as my ex-wife collected child support payments, live with her beau, and didn’t work.

Today, I work because I love what I do, and more importantly, Mother Nature can swoop in and take away everything away, for a month or two, and yet I still have money to pay the bills.

This, this… is the first winter I haven’t had believe in hope in 15-years, because I caught it, and saw it was still there as I opened up my two palms, releasing fireflies….. light-bulbs!

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Working from home on St. Valentine’s Day. #worklifebalance

February 18, 2015 Leave a comment

I work from home, I have my office area set up, separate from my kids play area for our weekday play-date, separate fromGhost_Emoji our bedtime ritual room, I’m a single dad, who enjoys sleeping on the couch.

This St. Valentine’s Day, I was supposed to drop my daughter back off to Mom by 4pm and then romance the current girlfriend, and then make my number’s for Monday. None of this happened.

This Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2015: It was spent shoveling, my daughter and niece sledding in the driveway, and watching a lot, a lot, a lot of Disney Shows, a couple of Nick at Nite shows, and then some @youtube videos.

Reading this, you get the picture…as a single dad, I wasn’t able to spend Valentine’s Day with my new love interest.

Show of hands, How many of you would have hell to pay for this? Not me, Not we. I jetted out of work early Monday with my cheesy, but thoughtful CVS gifts, and headed over as soon as I could, she brought the two-perfect gifts that meant the world to me. (one, once the Patriots won the Super Bowl).

She gets to see where I go when the stars go blue. 

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Dead Man Talk.

February 11, 2015 Leave a comment

56 Chevy-blueIf you ever met me in real life, you know I can be the nicest guy in the world, then again I can be a jerk, if you really piss me off without having ilk, you’ve met my Dead Man Personality.

So what’s dead man talk? I call a friend, “years ago, he called me, I solved his problem in less than 10-minutes as an extrovert, some, that guy’s bitch girlfriend might call me an arrogant bully,” I just fixed her complaints and made sure my client had no reason to reduce their payment. He reads people too, and trust my label of her being a wanna-be bitch. (I don’t have to say anymore)

Planning a visit to the island, I ask him if I could use his place, it’s normally empty during the time I prefer, I’m more of an introvert. 13carr1-blog427Shocking! I know. I spent my entire day dealing with people, which I enjoy, but I enjoy my free time alone, with my daughter, niece, maybe a close friend, sometimes, even a girlfriend.

As I save and plan for this trip, one of my comrades goes down. My management team can either lose money or ask me to cover this complicated island.

Everyone under the sun at this poker table knows chappy is my happy place!

You just saw my April tell. It’s February, Lights outs! Now, April is West Palm Beach… bitch.

My friend is somewhere discovering Peru. Oh, wait! He’s right here knocking on my door.

That’s Dead Man Talk.

Just don’t die feeling alone. David Carr died happy.

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How to Enthusiastically re-invent the wheel.

February 6, 2015 Leave a comment

Have you ever been in a situation where a new management team is trying to re-invent the wheel, they have all these innovative wheelideas, that’s actually a bad choice of words.

My industry is pretty cut-and-dry. We alleviate fears, problems, and chores. We make sure you’re weekend, week, two-weeks, month, summer, or just your day runs smoothly. Before the revolving door of management teams blew through our small little branch, we were tops in every metric, the highest commission earners where all in this branch.

I actually made too much money for my position with my client growth, so management made my tech route back into two-tech routes (the cape pogue correct answer was to buy my family a home on the island to increase client coverage with fewer people/labor hours.) As a whole, our NPS went from 97 to 65 to 40 to… who cares. I slid into the tech route that was 15-minutes from my home town, instead of the island route (two route tech + 4 employees cover) that route was a 45-minutes drive away and another 1-hour ferry ride. Soup-to-Nuts, it’s a 2-hour commute. We all make the same money, year-over-year. (those 2-scab techs and me{you don’t have bed bugs or rats do you.}) I work fewer hours than them. Do the Math. Being Cheaper than a real Jew helps. *queue in Gotfried saying, “That’s impossible!* (Love that guy.) wheel2

The past management destroyed, out sense of camaraderie, they tried to make our service a commodity. Fucking idiots.There is nothing more full filling than letting of go your bully sales metric COO for loosing hundreds of millions of dollars and his bullshit, knowing his view of technology is unemployable in the Social Media Age of Technology. Idiots, fucking idiots.

This is where our knowledge of customer growth comes in. We had consistently had 97-NPS score without even mentioning it to the customer. That was a true indicator of our clients’ satisfaction. Then all these corporate-wide program swooped in.

I lost pay, a house, and my family through divorce. My kid seems happy. I thank god each day that I’m still employable with skills…. I’m still here working for the same company, now we have another management team. They get it. After doing their field research, they go the extra mile and push down the plan face-to-face and write down any feedback.

This Executive understands and explains to the crew in front of him, “I know that it sounds like we are trying to re-invent the wheel, but we are willing to show and are willing to prove that we are dedicated to this C-Suite invention!”

As a team, we all laugh, We explain, “you’re not asking us to re-invent the wheel, you’re asking us to rebuild the wheel that we’ve already build.”

John walks in and talks about how he would screw the spokes in by hand back in 1996.

We’ve already done this, and can’t wait to start! Like I said I’m a growth stocks guy, and this cash cow has tremendous growth once we rebuild out the customer experience.

The question is once we rebuild the wheel, how can C-Suite help us to tweak it with IT and Social Media?

We’ve done this before, have you? ;)

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A single mom devoid of #DomesticViolence with Assistance.

January 28, 2015 Leave a comment

I guess it’s been almost four months since I made that bet with the church. He, the pastor, made a bet on a single mother, a pastor-ryan-in-homeSection-8 voucher recipient. Her boyfriend was put in jail for … charges related to drug use. I already started the eviction process. He, the pastor, button-hooks me. I pass the money along to a recovering drug addict /old friend, a tradesman, letting him know when it gets slow and you need inside work, just complete the job.

It’s four-months later, he hasn’t worked a day since then and hasn’t completed the work. It’s water under the bridge. I lost the bet.

pope francisI had to buy a Christmas Tree, Lights, and an extension cord for this single mom, then the Pastor and I called it even.

The rift-raft has slowly disappear over these four months, the rent is always on time with no excuse (better a roof over their heads, than a Christmas tree).

Being immerse in my bills, taxes, worry… I hear laughter, I look out the window, it’s my niece playing, sledding, up and down the snow bank created by my plow guy – the guy who plows the driveway and creates snow banks – Dealing with the memories of the past complaints of my drug-addicted brother and how he has no money, I get into the “I’ll do it myself mode”, Finishing my taxes – waiting on the concrete paper forms – I grab my thermos, my layers of clothing, and get dressed to work outdoors. images (6)

As I shovel my stairs, a path beyond my vehicles, I proceed and shovel the front steps, which is used for putting the child on the bus, my hands are cold, frozen. I have one more staircase to go. I trudge forward (bad choice of words, I have a plow guy, so I just walk until I get to their side staircase. There is a half-inch of snow on the stairs, which I quickly scrap away, and notice two shovel beside the front door (which I forget I brought, that haven’t been pawned off)

Today, during this Blizzard of 2015, it’s not so bad renting to a BHA single mom without her baby daddy.

He’s not complaining that he can’t shovel because the shovels were “stolen” and today during a blizzard, she’s shoveling with her daughter the 3-steps together, since the 2-shovel didn’t get stolen. Across all income barriers, she’s normal.

Did I mention he’s in jail. John says, “He’s afraid to see me.”

Angry_Boy_Shoveling_Snow_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_081215-230888-457048He afraid to face my disappointment. The question is, will jail fix him, his drug addiction, or will I have to wait until June for St. Luke’s to be finish?

Then again that’s just a stupid dream, you can’t be middle class and a visionary, repeat, you can’t be a middle class visionary, repeat, you can be a middle class visionary.

This single mom is doing OK, could you put your kid on the bus each day? Cook them dinner? Learn how to use a computer? While you contemplate suicide, this is where your tax dollars are going. Trying to find a way to keep the human race alive. She does alright, as long a she gets her crazy pills. Bad choice of words, again (Goddamnit) … as long as she gets her “they don’t make me crazy pills”

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