Crunch Time


I have decided that I need to postpone my celebratory Happy Hour, just way too much stuff happening in the next couple of weeks:

1. Leaving for Miami on Friday, coming home Sunday (Feb. 19-21)
2. Leaving for New Orleans on Wednesday and coming home on Monday (Feb. 24 to March 1)
3. Leaving for Phoenix on Tuesday, March 9 and coming home on Friday (March 9-12)

It is non-stop and I’m going to try to use all my spare time with my family since I’ll be on the road a lot in the next couple weeks. In addition, my employment should finally allow us to buy our own home, so we’ll be looking at homes (mortgage lenders won’t lend to an independent consultant with less than 2 years experience, but will lend to an official w-9 employee) when we have free time as well.

We went sledding this weekend, the hill’s snow had turned into a solid sheet of ice, it was slippery, almost impossible to get to the top. Upon reaching the summit, we found a frozen pool of blood, a sledder must have smashed into a tree the day before. The hill was steep with ramps in several spots. The pool of blood hampered our ambition, we started at the halfway point so we couldn’t gain too much speed. We did the halfway run a couple times and I felt confident we could tackle the hill from the top. We climbed back to the top, careful to avoid the frozen blood, and found an angle where we wouldn’t hit a ramp. Winston and I hopped on the sled and went flying down the hill, the rock hard ice made sure you felt every bump, Winston was immediately terrified and turned away and burrowed his head into my stomach, I turned him back so he was looking straight ahead at the scenery rushing by. My god we flew down that hill! What a rush, Winston wanted to do it again, but we later found out his preference was for the bunny hill.

It reminded me of a time where my dad and I were at an amusement park. He asked if I wanted to go on a roller coaster with loops and I said, “No way!” Eventually, he compromised and told me he was taking me on the really small and slow roller coaster without any loops. We waited in line for about 5 minutes and were very close to the start of the ride when I realized I was hoodwinked, Dad had me waiting in line for the crazy roller coaster with the loops. It was terrifying and I avoided roller coasters for a long time afterwards.

Winston still loves sledding though, he will be a pretty adventurous kid.


The Offer

Sometimes the world is unfair.  In my previous two positions at advertising agencies, I worked incredibly hard, worked long hours, sacrificed things I wanted to do to make my clients happy, and both jobs ended with me being laid off when the agency lost the account.  If you look back at my blog postings, you’ll see that the last time I was laid off was last April.  I posted about my plan of starting over, maybe working at Point Pleasant River Country or on the farm at None Such.  I was so fed up with working hard and having nothing to show for it, I told Jaclyn that I wouldn’t even bother applying for jobs, I just needed a break, I just wanted to drive up north, sleep under the stars in Canada and shut down for awhile.  I concluded that things were unfair, hard work didn’t equal anything, I needed to reevaluate. 

Before I had a chance to drive through Arcadia National Park in Maine and into the Bay of Fundy in Canada, my client asked if I wanted to be a full time consultant for them, they wanted someone they knew who would work hard.  With a wife and kids in mind, I took the offer and gave them everything I had.  I am happy to report that nearly a year later, my commitment, hard work, and dedication has yielded a very positive result.  I walked into HR today with a spring in my step, a smile on my face, and a strong desire to hear the words they had for me.  This time was different, this time my effort yielded something great, I was offered an excellent job with an excellent company. 

There’s no advice that I really want to dole out, I just want to say that this world can be very difficult.  I think it is inevitable that you’ll catch some tough breaks along the way.  I think there’s times when you can classify it as being unfair.  But I always remember what Winston Churchill said when England was getting pushed to their limit in World War 2 (and a major reason my son has his name):
“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” 

I am happy for my wife who’s support never wavered and happy for my children who love me the same.  We all do our best and I that will always keep us afloat.  I usually don’t allow myself to boast or show too much emotion, but I feel a strong sense of vindication.  I know, it’s just a job, but to be dealt a couple of setbacks and come back stronger, I can’t help but be damn happy right now. 

This opens a new chapter for RKDeem, a chapter that I am very excited to write.  

As for the happy hour.

Update

Howdy Folks,

I had the interview with the HR guy, he was the only person I needed to meet with because I already know the whole marketing/sales team.  I was hoping that I would walk in and he’d offer me the job and a big raise (I hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, so I had three copies of my resume, I wore a suit, and was ready to address and questions or concerns he might have).  The interview went well, but they weren’t at the stage of the process to make a formal offer.  With the snow storms, it might be delayed another couple of days, I will keep you all posted. 

If and when I do get a job offer, I would like to have a happy hour and hope anyone that reads this blog can make it.  I’ll let you know the details as they pop up (knocking on wood so I don’t jinx anything). 

I haven’t been writing as often because this is an extremely intense time at work.  We have a huge national meeting, we’re launching new campaigns and one of our largest conventions is hitting all at the same time.  Once work cools down, I think it should happen next month, I should be writing more.  

My adventures start happening next week too, I have Miami on Feb. 19-21, New Orleans from 2/24-3/1 and Phoenix from 3/2 to 3/5, this should make for some interesting posts, even though all trips are business related, I always do my best to find something new or interesting in my free time when I’m away.

Thank you for reading, my stats show a lot more people are reading lately! 

Holy Cow!


I woke up early on Saturday morning in an attempt to beat the video game, Assassin’s Creed. I was just about finished when Winston came down the steps and sat down next to me. I said, “Winston, look outside buddy!” He paused, adjusted his eyes, stared, smiled, opened his mouth for a second, and said, “Holy Cow”. He thought the snow was amazing, he just couldn’t believe it, he perched himself on the window sill and watched it while I finished my video game.

I don’t recall hearing Winston say, “Holy Cow” before, I love that he picked up that expression, probably from me.

I hear another foot of snow is on the way, I hope work is canceled on Wednesday, if so, I will build a snow fort.

For those of you following my life story, the final interview was delayed last week. Nothing bad, just a busy week with a lot of scheduling conflicts. The interview is scheduled to take place tomorrow, please keep your fingers and toes crossed for me. If this interview goes through and I get the job, a ton of good things will start to happen.

Kids were crazy last week, Dalia has turned into a very aggressive antagonist. She steals, fights, and hollers constantly, but the funny thing is, she finds it all so amusing. She’ll walk up to her brother, grab his juice and make a run for it. He runs after her, she squeals with delight, he tackles her, pries the juice away and she just laughs while he scolds.

Saw my first Robin (the orange bellied bird) and it made me think Spring was nearby.

Falling Asleep


Last night we were very excited about the season premiere of LOST. The show started at 9PM so we were really doing our best to encourage the kids to fall asleep earlier. We brought down their favorite blankets and pillows, we took a trip to Target to get some snacks and a little movie that they would enjoy, we dimmed the lights and waited for their little eyes to close. Dalia was spent and we handed her a big bottle, put her in her pajamas and she fell asleep immediately in her crib. One down, one to go!

9PM was just minutes away…the season premiere is about to begin and Winston is wide awake! We set up his TV room with all his favorite things, laid him down, and snuck off into the living room and began watching LOST. Winston came in and checked on us a bunch of times, I think he was startled to see something that had his parents so engrossed. We kept asking Winston, “Are you tired? Aren’t you ready for bed?” Winston always responded, “Nooooooo….I don’t want to go to bed!”. Finally, at 10PM, way past his bed time, we corraled him upstairs plopped him in his bed and he continued to protest, “I don’t want to go to bed, I don’t want to go to bed, zzzzzzzzz”

Thank goodness for DVR, we resumed LOST and watched the second half uninterrupted. After the show ended, Jac and I went upstairs to go to bed. She had fallen asleep and I was still thinking about LOST. A thought entered my mind about the show near midnight and I shouted it outloud, “Oh My GOD, Jacob knew all this was going to happen, he gave the note to Hurley months ago and he knew he was going to need to it to prove that he was dead!” Jaclyn rolled over and said, “Go to bed sweetie”. “I don’t want to go to bed! I am thinking about LOST, I’m thinking about Jacob, I think this means that the good guys are going to win, Jacob is one step ahead of the smoke monster, YAY! zzzzzzzzzz”



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Big Week

Things are finally coming back to a manageable pace for RKDeem. In fact, this has the makings of a very good week. Yesterday, I met with an HR manager at the company I wish to work for and if all things go to plan, I could be a full-time employee very soon!


At this point, they are doing background checks to make sure I’m not an escaped convict or don’t owe significant amounts of money to the government. Let’s all keep our fingers and toes crossed for me, not that I have any issues to be worried about.

Last weekend Jac and I went to Philly…very cold. Every year I ask myself, why do I subject myself to this weather, there’s nothing enjoyable about cold weather, move somewhere where it is warm all the time.

I am waiting for one form from the ad agency I worked for in the beginning of 2009, once I have that, I can begin work on my taxes. Taxes will be very complex this year with my work as an independent contractor. I tried to overpay, I hope I find out that I get a lot of money back.

With the prospect of new employment and a favorable tax return, RKDeem could be on the verge of very, very positive things. Well, I’m always doing positive things…I’m on the verge of translating them into great end results!