Friday, October 31, 2008

Recent Feedback.......

You know, I have always said that a "swift kick in the ass" is an effective form of feedback. But let's talk for a second about feedback, good, bad, & otherwise.

During my trip back to Northeast Texas, I felt compelled to tell a limited number of folks, that my job at the large "fortune 100 company" had ended. The standard reactions went something like this....
  1. Oh My God, what will you and Nancy do?
  2. How will you cut down your expenses to make this work?
  3. I'm so sorry, I wish you'd have lung cancer instead of this......

Those of you that really know me said something completely different and I appreciate that. It also plays into the title of this essay...."Recent Feedback." So let's go ahead and analyze "Feedback" and try and understand what it means and how it can be most effective.

As far as I can tell, the afore mentioned three feedback's, could only introduce fear, uncertainty, and dread to the individual who has just been "let go". In my particular case, I asked myself, "am I overly confident, that just because I have made a living wage since the age of 12, that this will continue? Will I be living on the streets, pushing a grocery cart with all my belongings? Will I find myself muttering some incomprehensible words about Activity Based Management, Harvard University, and Non-Value Added Activity?"

To all of these thoughts, my answer came back loud and strong....."What a bunch of Bullshit!!!!! Nancy and I will be fine....and as for me....I will strut like a cock until I am 99. I will walk like a man.

Believe me, "let go" means I am free, free to do whatever it takes to make myself and Nancy happy. And that I will do, and no human can stop me. Now for a second, in terms of feedback, I would ask the reader what the 3 preceding sympathetic feedbacks mean. To make it simple, I'd rather not hear any of them. While they may show concern, they also offer up a "whipped pup attitude". Ain't no whipped pup here.

In college I tried boxing, and was even inspired by the movie "Rocky". I used to think that my true friends that saw me take a mean punch; saw me hit the canvas; and saw me taking the standing 8 count; would race to the betting window, to try and throw some more money down on me, at better odds. My true friends, would knew that I would get back up, and do whatever it took to win the fight.

By the way, as far as I am concerned this ain't even a's a joy ride. The cards are stacked in my favor and I am enjoying one chance in my life to decide what I want to do next....biggest cakewalk I have ever had.

Now let's talk some more about feedback. What kind of feedback to you want to give to your friends and loved ones? Will it be:

"The OMG I'm sorry you got a tough break", or the

"Get up and show'em what you can do"

I prefer my friends in the second group. And by the for sparks!!!!! My recommendation....try to give your friends winning feedback...not loser feedback.

Be sure to vote!!!!

All the best, Mike

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Letting Go - The First Week of Exploring Options

Prior to being "let go", my wife, Nancy, and I had planned a trip down to Northeast Texas to see our family and participate in the Omaha, Texas Fall Festival. Going back to my hometown is also a very good form of "letting go", this part of the world provides a nice and easy pace of life. Also I thought it might provide me an opportunity to check out our options for moving back to Northeast Texas. I have always loved this part of the world and there are a number of reasons for that.....

  1. My Mom and Sister still live there.

  2. I grew up there and still have a few friends there.

  3. The country-side is pretty.

  4. And I could go on and on....

However there are a few drawbacks to this area of the world;

  1. There are few jobs that pay above minimum wage.

  2. There is high unemployment.

  3. There are only 1.5 grocery stores.

  4. Although the population is only around 2000, there are more than 20 churches and only 1 bar. As most of you know, I would prefer a community that provides 20 bars, with a single church for the sinners (whoever they may be) to repent.

  5. The county is "dry", which means a 50 mile round trip to buy a can of beer.

  6. Most of my old friends have moved away to find decent jobs and something to do on Saturdays besides clean the chicken coops.

It's early in this adventure yet - so I won't rule out living in Northeast Texas, but I must admit there are a few drawbacks.

The Omaha Fall Festival was a raging success this year; Specifically;

  1. Eight people entered the Chili Cook-off

  2. 5 or 6 folks competed in the scarecrow contest

  3. The "Eastern Star Sorority" sold all of their chicken stew

  4. The demolition derby (in the next town over) drew over 200 spectators

  5. The Bar-None Ministry and Church held a revival, which drew about 100 folks, and saved 2 souls.

  6. About 50 of us got to see the greatest blues band in this part of the world, Diddley Squat. You can see them too here; enjoy!!

So much for week one. All the best! mike

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Let Go Journal......Day 1

I decided to create this blog to record and discuss the upsides, downsides and choices to consider when you find yourself out of a job at the ripe young age of 55. Yep, that's right; the corporate ship commander advised me that due to the economy, the competitive nature or our business, and the alignment of the planets that "my position had been eliminated". Here's how this story starts....
As most of you have already guessed, this important announcement was given to me on a Friday (as usual), October 17th. I sensed it was coming, because I couldn't think of any other reason that I would need to fly out of Detroit at 6:00 AM for an 8:00 AM meeting in Memphis with my boss. When I got to the boss's corner office there was the boss, John, and a strange guy from Human Resources named "Jack".
John rushed through the preamble which ended in the statement "you're position has been eliminated", and then Jack started into the legal stuff. I sort of went into a great day dream while Jack was talking....and you can probably understand why. Here's the important stuff out of what Jack said that I remember:
  1. Your last day of employment will be March 2, 2009
  2. You will receive your full bonus for 2008; and a prorated bonus for 2009
  3. After that, you will receive 17 weeks of severance pay.
  4. You will also receive 3 weeks of vacation pay.
  5. Your health insurance will remain in force until September 2009.
  6. You get to keep your full pension.

Essentially, the company has given me paid leave for 8 months to try and discover what I want to do besides work for them. As far as I am concerned, this may be the luckiest break / brake, I ever had. I am going to try and take this at least semi-seriously and optimize this golden opportunity to try something new. That's what the "Let Go Journal" will be about. I got "Let Go" and now I get to "Let Go". I'll try and get you caught up with me....since its been roughly a week and half "black Friday".....all the best