Long Time Coming

Wow. This posting schedule (sic) has been even more sporadic than I had feared when I started this in the first place. It’s bad enough that Blind John Ellsworth has fallen off the wagon, without me wandering off into the weeds, as well.

So, my list of excuses – which is actually just a bunch of rants that I really needed to get off my chest. If you don’t know me very well, you can skip this one. It won’t make much sense to you without the backstory – and I really don’t have time for all the backstory.

  • I’m still getting asked about whether I’m coming to terms with my Dad’s death, but the sad, unfortunate reality is that his death is the least of my worries right now. Work stress and family stress is no way to fix grieving – it just postpones it. I’m pretty sure this is not healthy, but so it goes.
  • Work stress, you say? I’ve had three new managers in my chain of command in the past six months. My first line, second line and general manager are all new. Plus, they all got appointed from lower to upper, so every time someone higher up got appointed, our priorities changed. It’s very difficult to have a good year when you find out what you’re supposed to be doing in August and it has nothing to do with what you were hired to do or what you’ve been doing all along or even what you were told to do in July. Plus, a bunch of people of my approximate age and experience level were laid off in the last resource action.
  • I hate the term “resource action.” You fired people. You ruined lives. You made families suffer. Why? Usually because you’re spending money on the wrong products, or because you keep replacing senior people with people who don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground. Starting from scratch to save money is a really dumb-ass idea, but apparently, it’s the core of every MBA program. You can raise income or cut costs. Why does no manager ever try to raise income?
  • We did have one bright spot at work – the Summer Innovation Camp with Analytics that we jointly produced with SMU’s Richard B Johnson Center for Economic Studies. We had happy students who learned a lot and we got a lot of really good press from the event. So, to anyone who wanted to know if it really took three months to write it – yes, it freakin’ did. I did it from scratch with a very small team and it was worth it. All my bosses said so. Thank you, Dr. Fomby and staff for all your support.
  • I spent this weekend doing a round-trip to Nashville – drove out Saturday, flew home Sunday. Let me just say that 14 hours in a U-Haul makes 90 minutes in a middle seat look tolerable. My son, his wife and my two grandsons moved to Ohio which meant that all the menfolk are all glad he has a real teaching job at last (and before his PhD is technically completed) and the women are all sad they are moving. Men and women will never see the same way on a move. I know this now. So, while spending Friday afternoon keeping the kids busy so Mom and Dad could pack, I realized a good Dad would volunteer to ride shotgun to Ohio in the U-Haul. Mom and kids got to fly to Ohio on Sunday, which meant my son got to drive alone and he had to beat them there, since he had the furniture. This on top of doing the drive alone two weeks ago to start his new job. Since a good Dad would go to Ohio and help unpack, I went to Nashville, bought him dinner, got him a hotel room for the night and then flew home. I never said I was a good Dad.
  • A good Grandfather would make it to the airport to see his grandkids head off to become Yankees (sob!) A Texas grandfather knows a Texan will always be a Texan, so I’m not really fearing the Yankee part. I did manage to get the last seat on the flight before mine – being AAdvantage Gold finally got me to the top of the standby list – so I managed to arrive at gate A11 fifteen minutes before they left from A13. So, I got to carry a car seat to the gate, tell the gate agents they had a pre-board that needed to cut in line and I got to say goodbye. Again.
  • If you have kids moving away, and your wife and Mom have both lost family members in the past eight months, it will be very traumatic for them. This will make no sense to any male, since they’re just a plane flight away – they’re not deceased – but to the womenfolk, it’s the same trauma. So it goes. Be prepared. Also, you might want to start stocking up AAdvantage miles because you’re going to need them.
  • This much trauma in a very short time will take most of the joy out of life. You will start skipping things because you just don’t have the energy – but it’s really that you just can’t get up the enthusiasm to get going. This is very, very difficult to explain to those who have not had the joy knocked out of their life, mainly because I just don’t feel the need to saddle someone with all of my whining. Someday, they will understand – especially if they read all this whining.
  • Last night, we made our semi-annual trip to the emergency room. The Spousal Unit is having strange pains. So, they did a CAT scan, found nothing (which makes sense, she’s a dog person) and sent her home. WTF? The insane amount you charge for a CAT scan wasn’t enough revenue? Surely, there were other tests you could have run at great cost to the insurance company to determine more specifically what “nothing” really means. So, follow-up visits to the doctor later in the week.
  • The emergency room trip was actually the shortest hospital stay this month – my sister-in-law is undergoing chemo and our Shih-Tzu (my late mom-in-law’s dog) was at the emergency vet’s for the weekend with a severe pancreatitis attack. So, six boring hours in the ER (much like 90 minutes in a middle seat after a fourteen-hour drive) wasn’t that bad.

So far, the lesson for 2013 is “There is nothing so bad that can happen that won’t be quickly followed by something worse.” I’m really hoping that is going to change, and soon.

In one bright spot, congratulations to Dan Schmidt and the rest of the Edinburg Roadrunners on their championship run.  Two in a row for Edinburg! So, 2013 hasn’t been all bad. just mostly.