April 7, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Life, Religion, Work 

I’m sorry I haven’t written lately.  I’ve been busy at work, busy outside work.

I’m also having one of those weeks (heading towards months) where everything is going just a little wrong.  Nothing is seriously wrong.  Nothing is seriously right.  Everything is just a bit off kilter.

Work – as I’ve noted previously, the company is up for sale.  Just today I heard two different rumors listing different companies that want to buy us – one possible and one unlikely.  The senior management committee that approves IT projects just deferred a decision on a major technology change that we want to make.  If they turn that down completely, I probably need to either find a new job or resign myself to being caught in a technical cul-de-sac (like COBOL programmers were 10 years ago).

Home – Home is generally OK.  I wish that Carolyn and I shared more common interests – so that we’d end up spending more time together.  I don’t want to grow in the wrong direction.  Finances are being pinched just like everybody else between tiny raises and huge cost increases in everything else.  As I said – pretty much completely OK but with a few signs of wear.

Church – I’m serving as a “Visit Steward” for the capital campaign.  I’m getting the feeling from conversations with people that folks are really unhappy with the way that the campaign is being run.  Most people agree with the need for funds and support most of the projects involved in the campaign, but there’s a lot of disaffection with how it’s being run.  Also, the consultant sent to us by the PC(USA) Church Financial Campaign Service is really turning people off.  There has to be some way to let the people in Louisville who sent her to us know what a terrible job she’s doing.  We had our campaign visit training this past week.  The handout was clearly cludged up from other campaigns and included references to things that we aren’t doing in our campaign (like 2nd and 3rd visits, household information cards, etc).  One of the biblical references for stewardship actually came out against giving to the church if you read the next verse.  Oh, well.  I did make my pledge as required (all visit stewards were told to turn in their pledges as part of the commissioning ceremony yesterday, with less than a week’s notice) and even included a check for the entire amount.  As soon as I do my 3 visits with members I’ll be done with the campaign.  Here’s the hard part – one of my visits is to a family where one breadwinner is jobless.

“In Deuteronomy we are told to give 10%.  Jesus tells the rich man that he should give everything.  So the amount that we should pledge is somewhere between 10% and everything.” – no, this wasn’t a joke.
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Youth group is another area that is fine, but still not quite right.  We had one youth make a life decision that will greatly negatively impact her choices in the future and it’s hitting me harder than I expected.  Our attendance is rather spotty – we see a decent number of youth at each meeting but the list of attendees is different most weeks and we don’t really get to connect with them regularly.  As I said – things are mostly OK.  Youth Sunday is next week and we really have our act together in advance for a change.  I am looking forward to going to Montreat for Week VI this summer.

Then there is the team that I co-chair.  At our last meeting I got called a racist – under the theory that any white person is automatically a racist.  This was said by a white person to a room full of white people – all of whom are well-intentioned in mind and as far as I can tell in practice when it comes to racial issues.  I’m not looking forward to our next meeting two weeks from today.

When it comes to church I’m at a crossroads.  I want to either become more involved or less involved.  I don’t think continuing my current level of involvement is feasible – it’s gonna have to go up or down in the fall.  I’d really like to be more involved, but in a meaningful way in a position where I can help the church change for the future rather than in a “pair of willing hands” way.  I don’t mind doing the necessary, but it seems so much of church work is maintaining the old ways rather than working for the new.

Hockey – the Trenton Devils finished 6th out of 7, with the lowest number of wins in the entire history of the franchise.  Enough said.

So malaise is the word of the day.  Judging from the economy it might be the word of the entire country.

Job Security (or lack thereof)

January 15, 2008 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Work 

Days Since Job Security

Yesterday, my company announced (wait, I have to get the language right legally) that they have decided “to conduct an orderly and comprehensive review and evaluation of strategic, operational and financial alternatives available to us including, but not limited to, a potential sale or merger of the Company, a potential sale of part of the Company, or raising additional equity capital to enhance the growth prospects of the business.”  My reading:  the Board of Directors is putting us up for sale AGAIN.

A little background.  My insecurity calendar starts October 15, 2001 when a jerk of a boss took over my department over the head of a good boss that I had.  Six months later he practically fired me and put me under a hellish boss for a year.  Six months after that (and after I challenged an incorrectly harsh review) he backed off, and we had years of simmering dislike.  Then in August of 2004 our former owners made an announcement that they were sending one of their up and coming executives to evaluate the company.  6 months after that they made an announcement like the one above.  A year later we were sold to a smaller company and the CEO ran us into the ground.  She was fired last January and a restructuring company was brought in.  Now this.
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I really need to figure out how much job insecurity I can take.  There has not been a day since October 2001 when I felt that my job was safe.  Safe today – yes.  Safe in the short term – maybe.  Safe in the long term – no.

I invite prayers that God will assist me in rapidly discerning the right career path.