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I have hope

I have hope. Even as I sit here with tears running down my face I still have hope. I have to, there isn’t an alternative. Giving up hope means giving up, I am not quite ready to do that.

I will cry and feel sorry for myself for a little while, I will wallow in the pain that comes from being rejected. I will beat myself up and probably whine a lot. I will sit and stare off into space and just be for a while. I might eat some ice cream, although right now I feel more like throwing up.

I will question everyone “What is wrong with me? Why don’t they want me?” Usually people answer “Nothing, nothing is wrong with you.” Right now I don’t solve the problem they think they have.

Later I will start to put it past me. I will wipe my tears, I will quit wallowing in my misery, I will have the ice cream, then I will get on with the search. I will continue to work and hope, there isn’t any other option.

Definition of hope

#hope  #merriamwebster

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Happy May, so many fun things happen in May. There is May Day (May 1)

Hooray, Hooray it’s the First of May,

. . .outside begins today!

I guess I won’t say the whole saying, you never know who is reading.  😉

 

Mother’s Day is May 14, always a bittersweet day for me. My Mom has been gone for such a long time so that is the bitter, but my darling girls are doing such a great job as Mom’s and that is the sweet. Being a grandparent is by far the best thing ever.

 

It makes me really sad, the amount things my Mom has missed. A bunch of grandkids, now two handfuls of great-grandkids, weddings, graduations, life, so much life.  None of us know how many days we have in this life. Please try to enjoy something everyday. I know somedays it is very hard to do but please try.

 

The best thing about May is I will get to see everyone of my girls this month. The military is cooperating so far, so we have a bit of ability to plan visits! Let us all hope that things settle down so that we can keep them all.

 

In the mean time I am ever so grateful for modern technology. I can get text messages, phone calls and even video calls from my girls frequently. Things my Mom would have used frequently, I am sure. I talked to my Mom everyday. It has been almost 19 years and I still miss picking up the phone to talk to her.

 

Hug your kids and enjoy this very month.

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I have been having some really wicked hot flashes. They are noticeable during the day but at night! Holy man it is awful. I have timed them and they come about every 50 minutes. These are not a quick flash and ta-da good to go. No these are full on soaking wet, last a couple minutes hot flashes.

I have done some research and there really isn’t much that can be done. According to the research I can look forward to enjoying this lovely change to my sleeping habits for 4-5 years. Doesn’t that just sound like a fun time to you? Yeah I am just jumping for joy over this turn of events.

I have read that there are drugs you can take but the side effects sound way worse than the hot flashes. I have looked at can trigger them. Coffee, smoking, alcohol, being black, and being overweight make you more susceptible to hot flashes. I don’t drink coffee ever, I rarely drink alcohol anymore, I have never smoked nor been black, that leaves being overweight. I am that but I know thin people who have hot flashes, so I think that is just another way to hammer at a woman’s weight.

Hot flashes are a great way to lose water weight! I know that I can lose more than 2 pounds a night just in sweat. I can’t imagine poor hubby having to sleep next to the pool that is my side of the bed. Poor guy.

Hot flashes are not for the faint of heart. Besides one minute needing to rip all of your clothes off and then freezing as the sweat dries, there is the dilemma of pajamas or no pajamas. If you wear them then you have to take them off frequently or they are soaking wet. If you don’t wear them then when you have visitors . . .

So I got sidelined by a hot flash, I have to go change my clothes.

#hotflashes

 

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Have you ever worked for a company that was so frightened by one mishap that they went overboard in their security? I worked for a company where an idiot was caught with child porn. Now he was not caught on the premises with it but there was a possibility that he checked his personal email on one of the company computers.

Because of this one person’s stupidity the company reacted by restricting the internet for everyone.  I understand the fear this engendered, the authorities could have seized the servers of the company and that would have been a major hardship because of the loss of data.

Here is the problem with restricting the internet and adding terms that people can’t use. There was a potential customer whose name is Dick. We could not email him because that is was a restricted word. I had to beg the IT people to let email to and from him through. Seriously, I wish I was kidding about it.

The company was so fearful about what was being looked at that it restricted blogs. There is a lot of good marketing and sales information to be gleaned from blogs, but if I wanted to see any of it I had to request permission from the IT person.

The company was so fearful that if I went to a website that was unrated I had to ask permission to see it. So looking at small companies who were often the bread and butter of my company was a slow and cumbersome process.

I understand the fear that one person can cause, because of one person’s stupidity it made not just my job hard to do it made the whole company shrink. Instead of making the company a safer place it made peoples jobs more cumbersome, less nimble, and very frustrating. It fed an already unhappy workforce into even more malaise.

There are better ways to protect your company. There are better ways to tell your employees that hey there was one stupid person but we still trust you. Instead the company did the exact opposite.

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Sometimes life comes along and knocks you off your feet. You are moving along not really paying attention and WHAMMO! Life hits you like a linebacker stopping the play at the line of scrimmage. These completely unexpected events are, even if you fumble the ball, recoverable.

All great strides in human history have come with major disruptions. An asteroid or some other cataclysmic event caused the extinction of dinosaurs and lead to mammals becoming dominant.  The rise of Homo-sapiens lead to the downfall of Neanderthals and the invention of the printing press changed all of our lives for the better. **

You are moving along with your life and out of the blue a major disruption occurs. This disruption can be the loss of a job, the diagnosis of a disease, the death of a loved one, the birth of a loved one; it could even be the getting of a new job or promotion. It doesn’t really matter what the disruption is what matters is how you react to the disruption.

You can fumble the ball but if you scramble to get it back or on the next play break away for a touchdown or even just a run of a few feet you have not let the fumble ruin your game. Life is that way too. When the initial disruption happens you can drop and cry “Why!?! Why me?!!” For about 15 minutes, then you need to get up and see how you can use this disruption to your advantage.

The same thing goes for business. Everyday someone is trying to disrupt your business. They bring out a new game changing product. They take your product and make it better or obsolete. What you need to do is figure out how this disrupting force can make your products, your service, you better.  How are you going to react to the disruptive force?

Violent change is everywhere.  Very rarely does something good like the Grand Canyon come from slow gradual change. Most of the time the slow gradual change leads to the erosion of your brand and no one wants that! So embrace the disruption, see where it leads.

** Strictly my opinion.

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I am trying to become more knowledgeable about the field I work in. Every time I change jobs I seem to change industries. I have knowledge about a lot of areas. If you look at it in terms of digging a hole I have a very large area of topsoil knowledge, about half of that knowledge goes down a couple of inches and half of that again goes down a foot or so. I would like to take my knowledge of the industry I currently work in down below the frost line.

Now in some places the frost line isn’t very deep, in fact I may have lost a bunch of you reading this because you don’t know what a frost line is. The frost line is how deep into the earth the dirt freezes. It can be mere inches into the many, many feet. Where I am from the frost line is very deep, usually more than 6 feet deep.

What I am saying is I would like to get a much deeper knowledge of the industry. Luckily I get a considerable number of periodicals (magazines, newspapers, even newsletters) sent to me because my predecessor signed up for everything. I have been remiss in actually taking the time to read them.

So one of my goals is to take fifteen minutes every work day and read one of the periodicals. It is a small goal, one that I am pretty sure I can carve out of my day. It is a huge goal because I think gaining this knowledge will help me help my customers immensely.  My plan is in small increments to increase the size of the hole and the depth.

There is so much to learn and so little time to do it. I will let you know how the learning is going. Let me know in the comments below what you are doing to increase your knowledge base.

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It has been one of those days. I am making my calls, trying to improve your business life and Wham-mo! someone is really rude to me on the phone. It can really throw your whole game off.

Everyone has a bad day. I know having a sales person call you can be a hassle and a time waster. I know that often you have an incumbent vendor and moving your business can be a hassle. But you do not have to be rude to me to get me to go away.

Here is my list of 10 things to remember when you are rude to salespeople on the phone!

  1. We are a people with feelings. And sometimes they get hurt. Not often but sometimes.
  2. We talk for a living so if you are rude to us we will tell people
  3. We are consumers – I have a list of products/companies I will not buy from because the purchasing person was so rude to me.
  4. We are just trying to help you do your business better. No really we are not trying to sell you snake oil. We truly believe we have a better product or service than what you currently have.
  5. It isn’t easy picking up the phone and making a cold call. Please do not make it harder.
  6. It’s ok to say no you just don’t have to be rude about it.
  7. We are not psychic, yelling at us and insulting a person because they called you and interrupted you is not nice. Remember #2.
  8. I am doing my job when I call you. One of the ways I get my message out is calling, I leave messages too. If you don’t want me calling answer the phone and tell me no.
  9. Just because your title says purchasing or anything other than sales, you are in sales. Everyone who works at your company is in sales, EVERYONE. See #2.
  10. I will call you back just to piss you off . . . and because I have a great product you might have been having a bad day.

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This is a story about showing up, taking the initiative and working hard and then being noticed for it.

Army Girl was very young when she started with the military, only 17; a lot of people had to sign papers for her to join. It has proven to be a very good decision on her part. That could be the story but it isn’t.

Army girl was sent to Iraq, this was during the middle stages of the war and things were somewhat calmed down but still not overly safe. She was an E4 so pretty low on the totem pole. Army girl drives a fuel truck. They go out on missions frequently to other bases called FOB’s.

Before each mission there is a briefing on what to expect and any enemy action in the area. They are open to the troops but generally only those who had to be there, usually sergeants and above, went to them -with the exception of Army Girl. She went to every briefing before a mission.

She didn’t have to. She didn’t really need to. She could have just waited for the second hand information, if there was something important the information would have eventually gotten to her. But Army girl didn’t like getting second hand information, often times the details were a little sketchy and Army girl wanted to make sure she knew what she was walking- driving – into.

Pretty soon it was noticed that the lowest ranked person in the room was there voluntarily.  That she took notes and that she paid attention to details. Because she showed up, she took the initiative, her job responsibilities changed and she was able to get more experience and meet more people up the chain of command. By the time she left Iraq she had met majors and colonels and even a couple generals she would not have been exposed to if she left it up to someone else to attend those meetings.

Army girl was promoted to sergeant before she was 20 years old. By showing up, taking the initiative and working hard, she advanced her career.  This can happen to you too, you do not have to be in the military to advance your career by showing up, taking the initiative and working hard.

Don’t be afraid to be the lowest ranking person in the room. Don’t be afraid to get the information first hand. Don’t be afraid to take the initiative and be noticed.

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I heard the best and worst quote today . . . and it was the same sentence. It was the best quote because it was true and hit the nail right on the head. It was the worst because it hit way too close to home.

“We only worry about things when they are failing.” Ouch! That hurt. It hurt because it was true.

This quote can apply to business situations and personal ones. How many of us have been in a failing relationship? At one time or another everyone has, we can feel a shift in the way we or the other person thinks of us and we start to panic. There are two reactions to this shift, clinginess or indifference, two relationship killers. Clinginess is off-putting at best and leaves people feeling resentful and in need of getting away. Indifference is one of the cruelest things you can do to another human being.

In business it is easy to ignore things until failure occurs. We shouldn’t, but we do. The machine is running well and we need it now so preventative maintenance is skipped. People are working hard and getting things done so who needs to praise them? No need to worry about that machine or those people and then BAM! The machine breaks because it hadn’t had proper maintenance. Sales numbers go down, production goes down, and people leave because no one paid attention.

I am not a proponent of needless, endless worry. But a little attentive care can prevent a lot of failure. Ensuring timely preventative maintenance, a pat on the back, a few words that show you are paying attention, these all can prevent a lot of failing. A company I worked for fell on hard times. Everyone was anxious, morale fell, people left, production had many issues and the management went into hiding. If the owner had taken a few minutes every day to talk and connect with his workers that company would still be in business. But he didn’t take the time or pay attention until it was too late.

Don’t wait to worry about things until they are failing. Do your preventative maintenance, pay attention to your people small things that can prevent big messes.

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Have you ever thought about the labels that are put on your food? This year the FDA has recalled more than 67 food products. Half of the recalls are from things like salmonella and listeria but the other half are because of improper labeling. The food product label is missing ingredients that are known allergens usually. This can be catastrophic to some people.

I am allergic to coffee and Coca-Cola. Ok get it out of your system I can hear the universal gasp. Ohmygawd! I couldn’t live without my morning coffee. Are you sure? How do you survive!?!

Yes I really am allergic to coffee. No I do not miss drinking it. Yes I am allergic Coca-Cola and some other cola’s as well. No it isn’t the caffeine. I can drink Pepsi or Mellow Yellow without adverse effects. I am pretty sure it is the brown stuff in the coffee or cola. I pretty much avoid all cola type pop so I don’t have to worry about a reaction.

I have a food allergy. I am lucky because it is something I can almost easily avoid. It isn’t something integral in most people’s lives like eggs or milk or even peanuts. This is good for me because almost everything I like has some form of those ingredients in them. I do have to be careful because a lot of chocolate things have coffee in them. I generally avoid anything that says mocha that usually signals coffee. If that labeling ever changes I am in trouble, chocolate, ah chocolate so hard to resist.

My food allergy manifests itself in head splitting gut wrenching migraines. Just a few grains of coffee have triggered them. I am lucky while a migraine makes you wish you could be put out of your misery they generally will not kill you.

If you have never had a migraine you are a lucky, lucky, lucky person.  Imagine your head is being squeezed in a hat that is 4 or 5 times too small, and then someone takes a drill and starts shoving it through your eyeball and out the back of your head. Your vision gets these sickening wavy lines with flashes of color in your peripheral vision and your fingers become tingly and lose feeling.  Then you start feeling nausea, and if you move you can feel your brain sloshing around and it will for sure fall out of your head if you bend it even the slightest which you have to do to throw up.

The good news is when you get to the throw up stage you are on the home stretch for some reason throwing up releases the pressure in your head.  Instead of the hat being 4-5 sizes too small it is now only 1-2 sizes. It will take a few days for the brains falling on the floor if I bend over feeling to go away but it will.

I am very careful about eating things like chocolate cake. It is amazing what is hiding in an innocent looking piece of cake. I read the ingredients on all chocolate that I buy. I ask at restaurants for servers to check if there is coffee in the deserts or even some of the food. Even though I am vigilant sometimes it gets past me and I pay the price. Can you imagine what it is like to be allergic to something more common?

The FDA has recalled almost 70 products half of which are for improper labeling. You see what a few grains of coffee does to me, can you imagine what one peanut or egg or some milk can do to others?

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