Thursday, April 07, 2005

Do You Feel Appreciated?

Have you ever felt underappreciated at work… not motivated because it wouldn’t matter whether you worked yourself to death or didn’t work hardly at all? Welcome to big business! The fast paced cutthroat life of climbing the corporate ladder. The world of cookie cutter careers, where the promises of joy and contentment are rarely found. If you don’t believe me just give it time.

This week I just found out that I have to take the next two weeks off work without pay. I think they call it “furlough”. I guess that is the nice way for a billion dollar corporation to say “We want to save some money so we thought we would take yours, have a great vacation, now that you have no money, oh yah, when you get back we need you to take an additional two weeks off without pay next quarter as well”.

I know I am complaining and I apologize, I guess I am just trying to give you a real life first hand example of why I am always saying there has to be more to life than a career. Your career will not love, care and nurture you. It will send you on a path for more and more and then once you have tons of bills many times it will dump you in a dangerous and helpless position. Don’t get me wrong, I am not telling you to be a bad employee. When you’re at work, work hard. Just make sure it is not your life, make sure the success of your life does not rise and fall on the success of your career. I think that is one of the secrets to life. How do you do it? I am not totally sure, but I can tell you that not being in any debt except for maybe a house payment would make it a lot easier. Anyway, wish me luck and leave a comment if you have any ideas on how to actually pull off this secret to life…

Monday, April 04, 2005

A Nation of Strangers

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. C.S. Lewis

I met a guy last night; it is probably someone I should have met ages ago. See, I go into Starbucks almost everyday. I know it sounds pathetic, but I have several friends that work there and it is close to my house. I know pretty much every employee with the exception of the ever-changing newbies and I will usually get to know them pretty quick. In fact, in the 4 years that I have lived in Idaho I have been invited to five Starbucks weddings. I hang out with people there, I have even taken several employees rock climbing. Basically, I'm trying to say I'm there a lot.

In all the time that I spend there, you start to recognize other customers. There is this one person that I see almost every time I have gone for the last six months. I even started to see him at the gym. At Starbucks He is always hard at work studying. You can tell he is in college but he is older for being in college maybe late 20’s to mid 30’s. I have probably seen him over 50 times, yet I don’t even know his name…

It seems somewhat sad; I have heard our country called a "nation of strangers". We continually cross paths yet never meet each other for fear of rejection, or pain, maybe they will ask you for help, God forbid require something of you, require you to listen for a while… maybe invest your life in another person.

There is a Starbucks across town that I go to maybe once a week. Last time I went the girl at the counter knew my drink before I even ordered it, it isn’t even a standard drink and she remembered it. I felt bad… she has taken the time to figure out what I like to drink and I haven’t even taken the time to find out her name. It’s funny talking to my friends that work there, they know tons of customers by their drink.

Have you ever had a little kid walk up to you at a park or restaurant? What is the first thing they usually ask you…? "What’s your name?" they say. Then there mother or father quickly comes over and grabs them and looks up at you and says sorry for bothering you, they have tried to get Johnny to behave but every once in a while he wonders off… Maybe the kid remembers something we forgot a long time ago, maybe he knows that a stranger is a potential friend, someone to play and laugh with, some one that will help you when you have to much to carry, someone who will encourage you and believe in you. Maybe I should have left the guy alone and let him study, not "bothered" him. Maybe I was just like that little kid with the big eyes that simply asks, "What’s your name?" Maybe that little kid is on to something…