Monday, April 16, 2012

Because It's Funny

Since my earlier post is pretty.....ummmm....pointless, and because I just flat out love this, I'm sending you over to LeeAnn to enjoy THIS post.

Be careful.  You might just have a good laugh.

On a Monday. Huh. Whoda thunk?!

Lazy? Well.........

I accomplished nothing this weekend. Literally. Not. One.Thing.

I didn't finish packing....did I mention I'll be leaving on a mini vacation on Thursday? Yeah......had to dip into the suitcase and really should have gotten that repacked. Didn't. Didn't even attempt it.

Didn't unload the dishwasher. Nope.

Didn't dust. Vacuum. No. Just didn't.

Didn't even cook. Ate left over lasagna and whatever else was in the pantry. Not exactly diet friendly, but didn't really care.

Should have gone shopping for a few things I need for the weekend. Decided I can just as easily stop on my way home this week.

I should feel guilty, shouldn't I? I'm a good Midwestern bred woman, taught to just get it done, no reason for procrastination.

But I don't. Not one ounce of guilt this morning. Not only that, but if I thought for 2 seconds I could get away with it, I'd continue this pattern thru today.

I did, or didn't do any of this with the full realization that I'm going out of the country for 4 days this week. I'm leaving. On a jet plane even. And still that wasn't enough to get me jump started on my chores.

So I was a slug this weekend. A bump on a log. Lackadaisical, as it were.

Which leads me to a question for the 13 of you that visit.  What is YOUR favorite word for LAZY? Mine? I'm really fond of that last one, Lackadaisical.  I just like the way it sounds........

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Heavy Burden but Beautiful Gift

I've been mentioning that we have some serious issues going on. And I've been really stressed trying to keep my head above water, stay positive for my team and well, just stay focused.

This week I had to have a very difficult meeting with my team. They are pissed. And they have every right to be. They have questions that, frankly, I don't have answers for. I know that the solutions are being looked into. I know they are close to being at a final decision and I know that I'll know more next week.

Not really a strong foundation for a difficult meeting. And the team was making sure I knew they were comin' at me. That's ok. It's my job. What I do isn't all about the celebration, it's taking the hard shots and finding answers and getting us where we need to be. I drive the bus, according the the GPS I get from the company. So I sorta look like I'm in control but we all know I'm not.

Anyway......being me, I decide we're just gonna deal with all this head on. I redid my entire meeting to center around the issues. Minimal me telling them, maximum me answering their questions. And that meant if I didn't know, I told them.

We have a pretty good relationship for the most part. The over riding understanding is I care about them. I care about their families. I care about the quality of their lives. They know that. They do. Sometimes they piss me off so bad I just about can't stand it. And I know it's mutual. But.....when it's all said and done, for the most part, they trust ME.  And I know I can depend on them to give me their best efforts.

So, I just put it all out there. I addressed the questions I knew they had right up front. I didn't flinch, I didn't dodge. I stood there and took it. I took it all. And when it was all said and done, even though I didn't have all the answers, I addressed their concerns and when they walked away I got "Thank You"s from the majority of them. Oh, they still aren't happy. I didn't fix a damn thing. I simply told them what I could.

As I was walking back into my office after the emotional 2 hours, one of the guys stopped me. And then proceeded to give me the greatest compliment I've ever received. "Miss Tammi. I know you'll take care of me. I know you have my back. I'm not worried. You'll make it right."

When I close my eyes at night I still see him standing there and hear him saying those words. I am overwhelmed by that.  And he's right, at least he's right that that's what I WANT to do. Here's my fear.....what if I can't? I don't know the plan. I don't know how and what the company is going to do. What if it isn't enough? What if it is just a bad plan?

I'm praying every minute that whoever is making these decisions they make the right ones. That what ever they come up with is the best thing for everyone. Because when it's all said and done, I don't want to let these folks down. That kind of trust is a gift I'm not willing to give up.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Like Cherry, thankyouverymuch

I guess it's time to finally admit it. Out loud even. No sense denying it, it's as plain as the nose on my face. I, Tammi, am a Koolaid drinker. A Company easy mark in some folk's mind.  Oh, if you want my buy in you better be clear, have details, show me the money as it were. But yeah, if you know your stuff and can make a great presentation, show me how it works for ME? Yeah, I'm in.

And man does it piss people off.

Seems in this day and age there is no such thing anymore. It's all about the proverbial ME. And while I do take care of ME, I still believe that a success is only TRULY a success if it benefits everyone.

This all leads me to a bit of a teaser.  See, I went a training class that really opened my eyes. It's changing the entire way I look at not just my job but my life. And I think everyone should have the chance to learn these tricks and tips. And by everyone I mean most certainly my employees.

So, out of my pocket - because at the time it wasn't sanctioned - I bought the reference books and set up a mini class to share what I've learned with those that report to me. See, while it's a great system, if everyone around you isn't using it, it's not as effective. Oh, it still works, but if everyone is on the same page it makes things run a lot smoother.

Because I believe the old adage "it's better to ask for forgiveness than beg for permission", after I bought the stuff and scheduled the training I told my boss. At first she wasn't too keen on the idea. Then in yesterday's call she announced what I am doing, told me to order the books for EVERYONE in her area and get ready to go out and train anyone that wasn't in the class.

Well, darn. That kinda changes what I was going to do. Now, it's got to be a complete, very polished presentation. Oh, I wasn't going to go half assed on this, but this wrenches it up a notch or twelve.

Did I mention that my class is set for day after tomorrow? Yeah.....and the end of next week I'm going on vacation for a long weekend. So, that means today is all about this presentation. I need to bring my A+ game.

And I'm planning on sharing some of this on the blog. Because it's using tools that anyone and everyone can benefit from. But, maybe that's just me.......drinking the Koolaid again.  Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Attempt at a Blurb

I was going to write a little political blurb this morning. Started typing and, wow, got completely out of control.  Turns out I'm not capable of a "blurb".  Huh....whoda thunk.

So I'll just say I'm very disappointed in our choices this election year. It terrifies me for the sake of America and Americans.  I can't believe this is the best we can do.

And even more, I can't believe O has as much support as he saddens me to think how selfish and ignorant people really are.

Yeah...that sums it up. I'm sure I'll have more to add later, but this is pretty much how I feel right now.  How 'bout you?  What are your thoughts on this disaster in the making?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My Thoughts on Easter

I don't attend a church out here. Doesn't mean I'm not faithful, or that I love the Lord any less than anyone else. I simply choose to not go to church. But this morning, Easter morning, I was listening to a lesson on the TV and heard something that really resonates with me. "God never ends on a negative."

I like that. Alot.

And it really fits with all that I believe. No matter what happens, I try to stay focused, positive. I know that there is a lesson in all that I experience. There is a blessing buried in the pain. We just have to find it.

We make mistakes. We all do. We're not perfect, but rather than focusing on all of those it's important to learn from them and move forward. Take the lessons learned and turn them into a gift to others. By doing that we not only take the focus off of the bad, but we put the focus on others. When we do that, we are blessed. It's true. Not always immediately, but we are. We have to trust in that.

Right now, at work, it's ugly. We just can't get our hands on enough product. Not enough for the consumers who want to buy it, the stores that need to stock it and most certainly not enough for my guys who pay their bills with the proceeds of what they sell. It's just a nightmare. Now, I could be like so many others in my peer group and focus on what's not happening. We AREN'T getting more product. We CAN'T keep up with demand. We have NO WAY of making our customers happy.  But I'm not. I won't. Oh, I'm tempted. There are moments after angry phone calls that I just lay my head on my desk and want to cry. There are times when my guys come in begging for any help on how they can pay their bills that I have to close the door and weep. But I cannot, will not dwell on that.

No, I'm looking at what we can do. We have some things to sell. Not the top sellers, but something. And we have a new product coming out next week, and I've put a lot of effort into making that a success. Because it will help. It will put money in their pockets. Product on the shelf.  I have gotten notice of some very serious issues with our competition. I'm printing all those out and posting them. ANYTHING I can do to put the focus on the positive. On all the possibilities.

And it's working. Oh, we had a horrible week last week. Horrible. The worst I've ever been thru. But we still had decent numbers. At least those that are listening to me did. And the negative nannies are starting to notice that. And it's spreading.

I had a couple of my peers tell me that they were confused as to why I wasn't freaking out more. Then, I guess, they figured it out. According to them it's obvious I don't care about my team as much as they do theirs. Really?, I think it's that I'm the only one that has actually been there, done that. Those hurricanes in 2004? Yeah, I didn't receive a dime for 6 weeks. There was no revenue. Period. No guarantee pay. Nothing. And it was horrible. HORRIBLE. But, I survived. My boss didn't help me, in any way. No, I just hunkered down and figured it out. And those lessons? That is what I'm sharing with my team. If they want to listen, great. If not, there really isn't much I can do about that. But the core of this story is I learned a lesson and am passing it on. And by focusing on what is possible I'm not as stressed as so many around me.

Now, this isn't a smooth path. No....seems like every time I find something that will work, we hit a speed bump. But we simply stop and find a way around it. I stay focused on the positive.

So what does all this mean on this Easter morning. Moving from work to "life" matters it means I'm content. I'm peaceful with who and where I am. I know He has a plan for me, and by focusing on the good, the positive, I will gain that plan. Might not be tomorrow, or next year. But my Lord wants good things for me. And I want to graciously receive them. So I keep my mind and heart open to his possibilities. Even when others think I've lost my mind, or am not living in reality. I stay the course.

My wish for you this Easter is that you are able to see the good. Find the lesson. See the light. That is the story of Easter. No matter what happens, there is hope. There is life. Remember.....God doesn't end on a negative.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Welcome to Florida!!!

What seems like a lifetime ago, but when I first moved to Florida back in 1996 I almost immediately came face to face with one of my greatest fears. It was very traumatic.

It was a Wednesday, cool for Florida, but not cold. Just breezy, too breezy to really go to the beach but sunny. A day that just called for spending time in the backyard. So I called in "sick" to work and got ready for a perfectly relaxing day.

I pulled out the beach blanket and a big ole glass of ice with Diet Coke. An extra pack of cigarettes and I was all set.

I got everything out on the ground - didn't have a beach chair yet. Believe me, that was purchased that very afternoon. Anyway, I got everything settled, back door open with my favorite radio station on, and stretched out to catch some rays.

I heard a rustle in the grass. My nephew was mowing my lawn for me and we were just a few days late on the trim so it was rather long. I heard the rustle over by the fence and smiled picturing a couple of lizards enjoying the sunshine with me.

It wasn't very long, just a few minutes and I got restless. It felt like someone was watching me. Realizing I was just being silly, but still restless I glanced over to my right and there it was. A snake. A black snake, but a snake none the less.

And it wasn't just there. Oh no, it was there LOOKING at me. Just sitting there, contemplating what the hell I was. A log that he could curl up under? Something to slither over? What?

I couldn't breathe. I remember hopping up and by hopping I mean I went from stretched out to standing completely up, with glass in hand a good foot away from the blanket. Still there he was, watching me. Enjoying my panic. I swear I saw him smile.

As my mind rushed thru the options of what in the hell I could do, I realized there was only one answer. I needed to call my best friend, at work, in Indiana. She would know what to do. Or at the very least talk me out of my hysteria.

So, again I don't remember how I got there, but next thing I knew I was standing inside the back door, phone in one hand, drink in the other looking thru the now locked screen door. (I had to lock it, you see. Snakes are sneaky, he could have easily gotten in if I hadn't.)

As I explained my situation I already felt a sense of calm.....Sharon would fix it. She would understand. Well, once she finally stopped laughing. Laughing? She was laughing at this horrific situation? WTF?!?!

Her first suggestion was we needed to kill it. I agreed. Any suggestions? A stick? Yeah, not a lot of "sticks" on palm trees strong enough to kill a snake.  Smash it! Smash it with a rock!!  Again, Florida!?!  No rocks really handy.

Final decision was the most obvious. Leave it alone. Just leave it alone and it will eventually leave.  Made perfect sense, but the problem there was then I wouldn't know where it was. What it was doing. I didn't take a lot of comfort in that. But I didn't have a lot of choice.

But the choice that was in my power was easy. I would just never go back out in the backyard again. Ever. I left the blanket and even the cigarettes right where they were. In fact, 2 weeks later I found an apartment, on the 2nd floor, where I really wouldn't have to worry about them invading my space again.

Yeah.....that was my welcome to Florida. I learned a couple of lessons from that day. Stop playing hooky. Oh, and buy a damned beach chair. No more laying on the grass.