Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Happy Wife, Happy Life

I've had this conversation with several young married men in the past and I always give them the same advice. If Momma ain't happy you are not going to be happy either. Ergo: Happy Wife, Happy Life. This of course assumes you wish to remain married, enjoy the conjugal benefits and not find your jock strap tied in knots the next time you get ready for softball practice. (OK, maybe not this bad, but maybe worse ) So........

I am overjoyed to report my wife had an interview today with a local municipality and from what she told me she has all the skills and experience for the position they are filling. Please keep your fingers crossed with me on this, will ya? In addition, she received an e-mail today for a phone interview with another employer doing the same thing she does now. Very sweet!

Tonight I'll prepare some barbecue pork with cornbread and vegetables and we will celebrate her getting interviews. That's a start at least.

I on the other hand have had no offers yet. I spent half a day Monday at the local community college getting help on my resume and looking at what they had to offer. My new resume has been sent to several employers already this week. Maybe there is some hope for me as well.

Right now I'm really happy that things are looking up for Vicki. She needs some good news. It's bad enough she has to live with me, but when she is not happy at work and we're struggling financially it is extra tough on her. She feels obligated to put up with the BS and I am powerless to help her till I get a decent job.

Anywho.... The point of this post is that when a husband loves and cares about his wife; his happiness comes a lot easier when she is happy. It took this selfish 59 year old only-child a long time to learn this lesson. If you happen to be a young husband, why not take the opportunity to learn from my mistakes and not make the same ones yourself.

Sure, I know that men always seem to have their own priorities. So what; don't women have theirs as well. You have to focus on the small stuff first. Get the little things down and you'll find that the big stuff becomes easier or doesn't seem as important.

Priority one in a good marriage: love the hell out of your mate. Look after them as best you can and realize that your well being and sense of worth is connected to how they're doing and how you treat them. The halls of the divorce courts are full of well meaning couples that forgot this simple fact.

May your life and love blossom and prosper.

The Daily Husband

Friday, July 18, 2008

Screwed over again

Working for the religious right turned out to be a bust. 72 degrees of Hickory scammed me in their hiring practices and then got me again when they fired me.

I know some of you warned me about paying for my own schooling, but because these guys touted being a faith based company I thought I would be OK. As it turns out, I was wrong.

To lessen the burden and because I couldn't afford it, I made a deal with them that I would pay my expenses and then pay them back for the school out of my commissions. I told the owners wife I would pay 25% of my paychecks towards the cost of the school. The amount was $1809. I spent a week in St Louis that cost me around $500 for transportation and meals. Oh, I forgot to mention, I bought a new car for the job, a Honda Civic.

So I started the last two weeks in May. I hung around the office and learned pretty soon that Comfort Advisers are not really a part of the company. They're more like contractors. The pay is straight commission. They guarantee two calls a day (which this company couldn't do) and you take what you get. In some cases the calls were bogus and in others you actually had a shot at making a sale. So.... during the first two weeks I went on a couple of calls with my 30 something sales manager and read up on the program and selling system. After that I went to school in St Louis for a week and came back ready to rock.

Only thing was the market had cooled considerably. What had been a summer long active replacement season last year turned in to a couple of weeks this year. By the time I came back from school and got into the field it was already slowing down. The existing salesman was having trouble closing sales and they let him go a week ago. Then this Monday, after my only being there for less than two full months they gave me the axe.

Now here's the kicker: the thirty something sales manager told me that I would be payed for all sales made. In this case I had one commission coming of about $600 or so. When I called today to pick up my check he told me he'd misunderstood the owner and that they wouldn't be paying me for any sales. The owner told him they'd call it even on the school. Well Duh............. If you fire me and don't give me the opportunity to earn enough to pay you back WTF!

So...the claims they made about income potential, how I'd get two good leads a day, how they'd take care of me if I was working the calls and doing the best I could all turned out to be Bullshit. I should have known when the manager and the owner's son listened to Rush Limbaugh that I was in the wrong place. The frigging republicans just let the down market sneak up on them and then fired all their salesman. Not to worry, they'll get some new suckers and go through the same scenario with them.

I'm old enough to know better, but we were desperate for me to get back to work. Whenever a company has such a high turnover rate of salespeople there's something missing at the company. All the salespeople weren't bad were they? In this case it's pretty evident that management is an issue. I told the thirty something guy that if I were the owner I'd have him running every sales call; he's experienced and good. In addition he knows how far they can discount to get the sale. What I didn't tell him was that as a Sales Manager he didn't cut it, though some conversations we had may have led him to understand my feelings.

One of the big disadvantages of having had good employers and decent jobs is knowing how crummy your present one is. I will have to be more careful and stay away from small businesses.

So...on the downside I got screwed again by a republican small business owner. (go figure) On the upside I have economic transportation, I got to see St Louis, and I still believe in me. Oh, and I learned a bunch of stuff about heating and air conditioning too.

So enough of working for so-called faith based righties. Definitely not a good fit for this boy.

The Daily Husband

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Take me out to the Ballgame

I should start this post by saying I am fortunate to have a wife who enjoys a baseball game at the park. We don't usually go more than once or twice a year to our local team's games, but when we do, I know my wife will get right into it. She is an enthusiastic fan and likes all the stuff that comes with a baseball game.

She can be so into the game that seat selection has become an issue for me. See last year she chose the seats for the 4th of July game and we sat directly behind home plate and the umpire. She decided the guy was blind and spent 9 innings coming up with new and creative ways to let him know that. It was funny, but man at some point I actually felt sorry for the guy. The folks around us got a big kick out of Vicki's comments and of course it made me laugh, but truth be told I would have preferred a little less razzing of the ump.

So this year I chose the tickets and we sat many rows up and slightly off center from home plate. It worked out much better, though she assured me that the ump could still hear her and after a couple of comments I had to agree. The lucky thing for me was that we actually won this game; a record setting event for us. We have attended the last three fourth of July games and this was the first time we'd seen the Crawdads win. Oh, did I forget to mention that our team's name is the Hickory Crawdads? Our opponents this year for the Independence day game were the Columbus Catfish. Are you sensing a nautical theme here?

Yes, our crawdads defeated their catfish by a score of 8 to 4. I stand before you a proud (well at least happy) Crawdad fan who has at long last seen his team win a game. Hey, I look for sunshine in every corner, if you know what I mean.

Going out to the ballpark is such an American thing and such a great family event that Vic's people watching attributes are fully utilized. She enjoys nothing as much as seeing what some people will come out into public looking like and then letting me know her opinion. We enjoy seeing all the small kids and their parents as well. One guy paraded back and forth with his beautiful young son on his shoulders so much that I finally asked her if he was just showing off.

During the breaks between innings they have contests with kids as participants. One such contest was where hundreds of kids chase the team Mascot (Conrad the Crawdad) across the outfield. We later met the mother of one of the cutest and smallest kids chasing Conrad. The little boy was just slightly bigger than his ballcap and quite a character in the outfield. His dutiful mother (a sturdy woman) trailed behind to make sure he made it from side to side. As we talked with her while exiting the park she commented that despite their obvious size difference it was always the little boy who got the attention. Seems like that's the way it should be, doesn't it. We revere the cute and take for granted the parents that raise them.

The fireworks were really great this year. In fact, my ears are still feeling the effects of the concussion shots. I have never felt them as we did last night. It shook the stadium. The new displays and colors were fantastic and the OOHs and AHHs were many.

We even managed to get out of the parking lot with only a 20 minute wait or so. This was accomplished by 4-wheeling out of the lot to go in the opposite direction as the majority of traffic. By taking this way we saved over an hour of waiting and we didn't sit in the parking lot with our engine idling like thousands of others. I wanted to poke my head out my window and tell them all how stupid that was, but it wouldn't have done any good, would it?

So it was a great fourth and for us a very American one; grilling, a baseball game and fireworks, it really doesn't get too much more American than that does it?

The Daily Husband

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

That's Life!

Some famous golfer or scientist or somebody said that golf is a game played on a 5 inch course, the five inches between your ears. It occurs to me that life is the same way.

Recently things have gone from tough to tougher for my bride and I. Things seemed so desperate in the last few weeks that we contemplated selling our home here and moving to an area where there were better jobs and more opportunity. Just where that place might be right now I'm not sure.

So instead of chucking it all in and moving we'll just have to bear down and do whatever it takes to get by. The problem is that at times it does not seem possible to do that. The economy here in the foothills of North Carolina has been severely impacted by the loss of several thousand furniture jobs. These jobs have gone as far away as China, leaving a gigantic hole in the labor market and making jobs (any jobs) and especially decent jobs very scarce indeed.

As a last resort Vicki and I took what employment we could and have found ourselves amazed, bewildered, and surprised at what employers and bosses have become. Both of us know what a good job, a good boss and a good company are, and it is beyond disappointing to work with and for folks who take you for granted and use their position to take advantage.

Of course these things would be easier to take if at least we were making a buck or two, but even that isn't happening. So....... Here's to thinking positive, being innovative, creative and working through life's trials and tribulations. I know some of my good friends here in the blogosphere are in the same boat and I hope they can hang in as well.

Maybe, just maybe we can hang on till things pick up.

In the meantime I'm going to concentrate my efforts on the 5 inches between my ears, work as hard as possible and follow up each day's efforts with a prayer.

The Daily Husband