Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Not the mama

I would love to post about Christopher's teacher. Those of you that are on Facebook may have seen my comment. However, if I do that I'll get really spun up. So I'll talk about work instead. My boss was in town this week so last night we went out to dinner for an "off site" meeting where we could speak freely.

And speak freely we did. Besides talking about kids and other normal things, we talked about work. And specifically my future. Not that anything he said was a surprise, but I was very appreciative of his candor. The status of my team has been in question. Over time we've gotten very good so now call volume is way down. I have 6 people reporting to me and realistically we need only 4. Also, he's supposed to have a meeting with the VP of Operations (outside of the IT department) that is most likely to discuss if our function should be moved to that department. And if that happens, my job is in question.

While my boss expressed full confidence in my abilities, if my current position is eliminated there's no guartentee he has a place for me. Also, he was very clear (by coming out and saying it) that I need to get away from his boss, our director. My boss' boss is the kind of person that once you're in their doghouse, you don't get out. And I got in her doghouse a long time ago. So there's no future in that organization. Further, there's no open positions in the IT department that I either care to do or am qualifed to do. We do a very poor job of grooming managers. Other organizations will put a manager in a new role to learn and develop. Not us. So even though I think I could be successful in any job I'm given, they won't give me the chance.

I've also looked at a couple of roles outside the IT department. One of the roles would have been awesome, but I don't have a marketing background so HR won't forward my resume to the hiring manager. Again, why not let me talk to the hiring manager and let that person make the decision? There was another position that I new I was qualified for, but it was a pay grade lower than mine. I spoke to one of my HR contacts about it since my current pay still fell in the pay range of this other job. But I found out that company policy is that if you take a job at a lower pay grade, you gotta take a pay cut no matter what. So that made that decision very easy.

So what does this all mean? It means I'm in my current job come hell or high water. It means the Lord is telling me to relax and trust Him. He's leading me down a road. In a reflection I heard Monday evening at a service the band played for, a Sister of Mercy said following God is sometimes like caving. You have a light on your head and all you can see is right what's in front of you. You have to trust God to get you to where you're going safely. And that's where I'm at. I trust God will get me to where I need to go safely.

I did happen to see a position online with another company that I would love. It's running the operations of a Catholic non-profit organization. I don't have all of the qualifications they stated, but I'm confident I can learn anything I need to know. I submitted my resume but I'm not getting my hopes up. But, as I just said, I go where God leads me. If that's where I'm to be, then it'll happen. If not, then the right thing will come along. But I'm beginning to suspect my future lies with another company. Which is too bad because I really do want to make the company I'm in better. But it's beginning to feel like they don't want or don't value my talents. Which would be their loss.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


This being Lent, I'm trying to do something extra instead of giving something up, so I've been trying to read a chapter of Scripture a night. It's been a rather introspective time. My PIMA course has only one good thing going for it, it introduced me to the concept of servant leadership. My final paper for the course will be about it and I plan on reading more on my own time over the summer. But that kind of ties into other things praying on my mind (or perhaps making my mind pray).

Tonight we went to a pennance service. And you're supposed to name a root sin to a priest for absolution. Now, I won't say what that was, but what I was really thinkging that's been getting in my way and preventing spiritual and perhaps personal growth is fear. Fear of uncertainty. Fear of losing my job. Fear of losing the things that are important to me. Fear for my kids' future. Sometimes it seems like I fill as many minutes of my day as I can with "stuff" so as not to think about it. My boss has indicated the future is uncertain and that he wouldn't be surprised if my team and/or my job got phased out. And if that happens he has no idea what that would mean for me.

However, everything I've been reading in Scripture and hearing a Mass is telling me the same thing: don't worry and have faith in the Lord. He cares for the birds and the plants and He'll take care of you. He knows what you need before you even ask, so don't worry. Combined with my thoughts on how to serve in order to lead it's been on my mind a lot in the times I find quiet moments. I've always tried to trust and let the Lord take care of things for me. So far I haven't been disappointed. But there's days it's hard. It would be so much easier just to stay in bed and hide under the covers. But I get up anyway and just keep going. That seems like all I can do right now, just keep going.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Monkey off my back

I finally got a big monkey off my back. One of the courses I've been taking required me to sumamarize and react to each of the 34 chapters in the textbook. It was tedious, mostly dull, and not very enlightening. I say "was" because today I finished the assignment. Four weeks ahead of time. Thank God. I have to say that was the WORST assignment I've ever done. As an amusing side note, my instructor gave me the results of my 3rd submission (there will be six total) and advised me to shorten it all up. I got that feedback when I had six more chapters to go. Too little, too late.

This now leaves me free to focus on the three papers I'm trying to write by April 15. The most important one, the first part of my capstone project for my degree, is about 1/3 complete. I've just started the second and need to do the research for and write the third. I'm pretty sure I can have them all done by the end of the month leaving me 2 weeks to proofread. I'm most concerned about the capstone project one. I really want that to be good. The second one I began I'm not so concerned about. It's an odd kind of assignment. A list of 25 "resources" and a description of them. One of the instructions stated the assignment should reflect I've been in the class. However, I'm only jumping into the class the last 4 weeks so I wasn't really in the class. However, as long as I pass, I'm good. The last paper is for my FAVE class above that I've just completed doing summaries. I'm actually kicking ass in the class, much as I hate the course and the instructor. Truthfully, I think I'll do OK on the paper but I'm also not really concerned about that grade either. I'm positive I can get at least a B. The only reason to get an A is to maximize my reimbursement from the company.

Truthfully, except for the one course I care about, I'm in the mode of just getting these courses done. The short course I'm taking is required and the other is an elective. So I just want to get them done and get the credit. I'm also looking forward to getting my weekends back. After this semester, the work I have left is a lot less. One course over the summer. Basically one course in the fall. Can't wait to finish up.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Finger in the dike

That's how I feel lately. Like the kid who has his finger in the dike and if I take it out, the flood will come. There's just too many things going on between work, home, school, scouts, you name it. I just a few minutes ago put down the school work (that's 10:40 pm). I finally began writing one of the 3 papers due this semester. Research is mostly done on 2 but one I just have a rough outline. And I'm trying to get it all done by April 15. On an amusing note my one instructor (for the course I'm hating) is telling me that my "summaries" are too long and detailed and I should consider paring them down. I'm thinking that my summaries are about as minimal as I can make them without being completely shitty. I think they're only fair as it is. What does it say when the graduate work I think is B material is A+ material according to the instructor?

I could spend a lot of time giving details of all the crazy stuff that's going on right now. But I'm just too damn tired. There are times I just want to curl up in a ball and not get up. But I get up. Got to keep going. Where I'm going I don't know but I'll tell you when I get there.