Sorry it’s been quiet

June 8, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Admin, Job Search, Life, Work 

Hey, folks.

It’s been quiet here because there are decisions being made about my life and work-life direction that unfortunately aren’t really bloggable.  I’m looking at a fork in the road and trying to decide which way to go, or even if I can make some kind of hybrid path down the middle.  Blogging about it could make folks from either fork concerned that I’m not 100% committed to that fork (though if I chose it I would be), and therefore I’m not writing here.  Rest assured that I will be committed to my path once I choose it.

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Thank you for your patience.

It’s Friday afternoon, it must be time for a roundup

August 10, 2007 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Life, Religion, Sports, Work 

You may be wondering why I do these on Friday afternoons.  You see – my employer does something called Summer Hours between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  Employees who choose to take advantage of the program work an extra hour Monday through Thursday and go home at noon on Friday.

I do not choose to take advantage of Summer Hours, so the place is quiet on Friday afternoons.  I have time to write a little on break.

I had a good conversation about career paths and discovery and discernment with my boss this week.  This is probably setting off alarm bells in most of your minds, but we have a really good rapport (we’ve worked together since about 1996) and I fully trust her to be discrete.  There are benefits to both sides in being open and honest with your boss, and we plan to make good use of them.  I can’t say more here.  I’m glad that it went well.

I had a medium-sized project go live today.  It was a bumpy installation – caused mainly by a consultant who doesn’t know our setup and change management package.  It’s not his fault – everybody has a hard time the first time.  Once we got the issues worked out all is running correctly.  I have another one going live soon, and a third larger project going live at the end of the month (with pieces continuing to be worked on into September).

I am getting a brand-new laptop at some point in the next few weeks.  They’re here, but I’m a low priority replacement (others have broken systems or are new employees working on “loaner” PCs).

Work has been generally busy.  In the last 2 weeks I’ve had an overwhelming number of problems, issues, and small requests.  It’s like everybody decided to hold them until the last week of July and then dump them all on me at once.  I think I’m through most of them, but the workload did increase for no apparent reason temporarily.

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This weekend is a bit active.  My parents are coming over on Saturday evening and we are headed out to see a Trenton Thunder baseball game.  The Thunder are the AA affiliates of the NY Yankees and have been playing in Trenton since 1994.  Our seats are behind the 1st base side dugout and I think they’re the 2nd row behind the dugout (or maybe the first row).

Then on Sunday I head up to Camp Johnsonburg for check-in for the last week of regular camp.  I’m going to be in charge of medical form paperwork this week due to my friend Jill’s vacation – she is usually the person doing the job.  It’s looking to be a bit warm.  I think there are lots of kids from my church going this week, but I’m so far away from the actual check-in tables that I probably won’t see them.  This isn’t my last visit for a long time – I’m also planning to attend the Youth Worker Training on September 7, and I’ll be chaperone when my church’s Sr. Highs attend the camp Sr. High Retreat in November.

We’ve finally got the Welcome and Outreach Task Force started.  We have 8 members with 2 outstanding invitations.  For the month of August, we’re doing optional reading assignments on our topic.  I’m reading The Present Future:  Six Tough Questions for the Church by Reggie McNeal.  In September we’ll get everybody together face to face and really get started.

The Youth Director came all the way to Bristol for lunch earlier this week.  We talked about my career search and the upcoming Confirmation Class.  He had lots of good input on the career discussion.  For the Confirmation Class, he’s asking how he can get me involved without overbooking my time.  At this point it looks like I will end up being the Cat-Herder for the group of mentors assigned to the confirmands.  That’s an easy assignment – a bit of work up front but after that just keeping people on schedule and watching for problems.  I’m also probably going to teach a few lessons – probably polity and beyond that we’ll see.  I really want to be involved in this process because the youth that I know who are the right age are really great!

All other areas of my life are fine at the moment.

Have a good weekend!

What’s going on, Mark?

July 3, 2007 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Life, Religion, Work 

Just an update to say “I’m still here” and let you all know what’s going on.

I had a great time at camp last weekend.  The weather was perfect (low to mid 70’s, dry, blue sky with fluffy clouds) as Carolyn and I helped check in 12 units full of kids.  That’s a light week for Camp Johnsonburg, undoubtedly due to the holiday.  I was trained to do the medical form coordinator’s job.  This is a relatively new job for check-in.  Jill, a friend and fellow former camp alumni, made it her purpose in life last summer to organize the medical form process.  This has resulted in a significant reduction in chaos and an increase in making sure that medical information (particularly received prescriptions) is right and that the campers are safe.  She is going to be away one Sunday in August so I’ve been trained to cover that week.  I’m also going to write up the procedure for the camp because right now it’s all in Jill’s head.  I might go up to camp immediately after church this Sunday – they’re bringing in 20 units next week and they’ll really need the help.

I’m working every day this week except Wednesday – no long weekends when Independence Day falls on a Wednesday.  I might get out a few hours early today if management is willing.

I’m undergoing a career questioning process.  My job is frankly not challenging right now and there are other reasons that it is getting increasingly uncomfortable (very few having to do with me or politics – it’s more of a “do I want to be here?” issue).  I’m wondering whether or not it’s time for a career change rather than a job change.
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At one point about a month ago I thought that the ministry might be a career for me, but I’ve since decided against it.  I think it was a fit of overenthusiasm for church-related things in general due to lots of things at happening with me and church.  In talking with others about this idea, the reaction has ranged from shock/surprise to “Are you sure?”  That’s not really a rousing sign that I should be considering such a career.  I really don’t think I have the right personality as an introverted technical thinker who happens to care deeply about people.  I’m really a behind-the-scenes kind of person.

So now I’m trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  This might be a mid-life crisis (if you take my life expectancy at birth and divide by 2, you get something less than my age), or it might just be the start of a 2nd career.  Or maybe I’ll determine that I’m really supposed to be doing what I’m doing now.  I might even be at the right company.  Who knows.  What I do know is that when I work really hard at camp or at church it doesn’t feel like work.  That might be “a change is as good as a rest” or it might be my real vocation peeking out.  We’ll have to see.

And that’s the roundup for today.

Random Bullets from my head

June 15, 2007 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Life, Religion, Work 

My life has been … not so much turbulent as full of changes at my periphery and disquiet in my mind.  Here are some random thoughts:

  • Today is the last day at my company of the woman who sits across the aisle from me.  She started with the company about 3 months before I did back in 1993.  For the last almost-year we’ve sat across from each other and been very happy (we both like quiet, we enjoy each other’s company).  I’m really gonna miss seeing a beautiful, intelligent, and friendly face every day.
  • Also at work:  the CIO has realized that morale within the IT group is not particularly good.  We’ve had four voluntary departures in the last month (out of a group that was about 45 people).  He’s holding lunch meetings with a smattering of people in each (everybody goes to one of them) to talk about issues.  I took the initiative to meet with him this past Monday.  I scheduled the meeting for an hour and his questions drew my list of issues out to an hour and 45 minutes.  It was a good session and minor happenings since show that he listened to what I said.  The problem is that many of my issues are outside of his direct control – they are company-wide.
  • Between what is happening with my church work (on an upswing) and what is going on at work (on a downswing), I’m wondering if I’m in the right career.  That’s right – not just right job but right career.  Any assistance for someone undergoing a mid-life career discernment questioning period would be appreciated – leave a comment or use the e-mail link at left.
  • This weekend I should be going flying for the first time since the end of March.  My blood pressure broke free of control back then – my doctor changed my dosage and I’m now stable again.  Actually I’ve been stable since early May, but I’ve been too busy to fly.
  • Also this weekend I’m a bachelor.  Carolyn is headed up north to go to a garden show with her parents.  She’ll stay overnight Saturday and come home on Sunday.  My bachelor amusements will include lawn-cutting, bill-paying, and laundry.
  • Sunday at church we have the Annual Congregational Meeting.  This includes the usual reports and election of officers.  I’m not on the program (either giving a report or being elected), so I will probably attend.  If it’s too hot (and it’s looking that way) I might just grab a copy of the annual report and check out if they have a quorum.  You see, our church isn’t air conditioned ….
  • I’m waiting for Verizon to finish installing FIOS in the neighborhood.  They ran the underground conduits 2 weeks ago.  So far the box in the ground had nothing in it but mud (or high water when it rains – I don’t know if they’ll actually be able to use the box).  I’m looking forward to getting FIOS Internet service and dumping Cablevision completely.  I might get FIOS TV as well (it’s available in my town) but I’ll have to see how it stacks up against DirecTV.  I’d like to keep my HD Tivo, but DirecTV is switching technology for HD programming and a Tivo will not be an option soon.  I can do a Tivo Series 3 with FIOS, but I lose video on demand and pay per view.  Decisions, decisions.
  • The cats are fine, but increasingly geriatric at age 11.  Sometimes they still run around like maniacs but those episodes are few and far between.

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Have a good weekend!