January 26, 2007
My Ordinary Days
The Road Home... The steep twisty road that leads up to our house, It reminds me of life everytime I climb up it to the house...Bella Vista Arkansas
The church is in Ordinary Time right now and I have slipped into Ordinary Days. No holidays until Memorial day means five days a week in unremitting toil at "thisplace", and a bit of monotony has set in...For a woman that unconciously preferes constant upset to a workable relationship, this calm creates a sense of unease. I pray against it every moment I feel it.
For this is a good thing, ruetine. It is going to be unsettled soon enough. My desk is going to change in the next two to four weeks. The account that I have been babysitting is moving on and my work will go with it. I will return to the dreaded "Talent Pool" which is run by my former bosslady, also a refugee for the downsizing of the major account that we worked on last summer.
"Pool People" end up stuck on accounts that need temporary help. To explain this more fully... Here at thisplace, the customer directly pays your salary. To be more specific, when a firm wants us to handle their transportation needs they negotiate a fee per unit ( and that can be anything from tonnage to volume, but is most often by truckload) and the salaries of the team that will be handling them. For example, my former account contracted for 22 people plus 2 operations managers and a general manager. I have worked with Contracted labor before so I understand the concept and in fact think its a smart way to handle labor. The account pays for me and I am paid by "thisplace". But this can be bad when, for example, it took 29 people, four operations mgrs. and a GM to run this account at full volume. Those costs must be absorbed by "thisplace" or the contracts must be renegotiated. I dont know how this was handled in this case, but as soon as the volumes started dropping the team was reduced in size. Some got positions on other teams by requesting them, some by involuntary transfer. I volunteered to relocate to a new team, and was given this one man account that is partially connected to my old team. I have enjoyed the heck out of it, and will be sad when it ends.
I have spent the last nearly three months doing mostly data entry, occasional troubleshooting, and handholding for a firm that took its business to another firm that does what we do. Thats why it will eventually go away. I am ok with this but I have never worked for a place where my job was just for a season, like temp work. My wages dont change from desk to desk so in a sense I dont care but deep down I want a job that I can commit to and that I can invest myself into. I have been told that wont happen and that the more nomadic you are willing to be the further you will go with the firm.
One of the things that I have had to do is to develope a list of goals for myself, that connect somehow to the corporate goals. I am stuck in the mire of how can I have goals when I dont know what I will be doing from one day to the next? Tis a puzzlement that when I tried to discuss it with management I was told to write down that I will do 10 percent more work and take a few training classes. Since I dont know what i will be doing and how much I will be able to take classes, I am not doing that. Why do I have to sign something commit to something that may not happen and I have no control over it. This is just the tip of the coporate iceberg, where there is a huge amount of double speak and wordy language to say "Hey, we did a lot of good stuff last year, but this year we need to cut the crap and get the financials under control. Are you "on the team" or not?"
Out of a thrity minute meeting I think I understood one talking point. I guess I was on the island to long....
Well, I have to say this, this few months I realized the power of my Ipod and its effect on my life. I have discovered podcasts. I have about 7 hours of listening time so I have a slew of Christian Podcasts that I download every week. They range from the catalog at EWTN, paticularly Father Benedict Grochell
, to Charles Stanley
, Chuck Swindoll
and Joyce Meyer
. For Expository teaching I have selected one Calvary Chapel pastor (many podcast and many of them bring to mind painful memories, so this required careful consideration. I selected Jon Courson and his "Searchlight"
through the Bible course. I think he is our generations answer to the venerable J Vernon MaGee
. If I know I am going to have a really quiet afternoon, and have the time to really chew on something, its the pastors and "worship/ missionary-intersessors at IHOP Kansas City
. I listen to an hour of that and its all I can do to not just chuck it all and go into full time ministry. Its seductive in its intensity, and as a worship leader "on the shelf" it can create discontent over my orders from God "to wait and pray"(which has been firmly re inforced by the other pastors teaching I have heard lately..)
First thing in the morning I listen to Pray-As-You-Go
, a lovely meditation produced by the Irish Jesuit Community, and in between all of these diverse teachers, I play a set of "Radiant Worship"
The daily improptu worship set for pianist Richey Clarke of Conroe, Texas. He sounds like Sting singing about Jesus...amazing! He hangs at a site called "Gods Ipod". I havent had a chance to check it all out but it looks very interesting. I have a lot of other devotional material loaded into the little machine which has become my little friend and a link to a world that I understand. I have recharged a part of my life that really had been lacking. From the estrangement from the church in California, our inability to settle into a church in Hawaii, and the...well... I love our pastor here in Arkansas and he hits the spot, when he digs in a preaches but many sundays are devoted to things other...other than teaching and frankly I find that frustrating sometimes.
And so it goes. It isnt going to last long, new accounts are comming on and I know that I am going to be tapped for one of them. There will be little time for this once the phones start to ring. On my lunch hours I have started to work on my business plan for the repair business. I attended a seminar last night sponsord by the Arkansas Small Business Development Network, the organization that was so infuluential in helping me with my business in Hawaii.The talk was on starting a business in Arkansas, all of the law and the draconian tax code (they have a whole slew of taxes on stuff I never heard of...)and other general topics. I was advised by a counselor that I was well on the way and really need to decide how I want to do this, and look at obsticals to sucess, on of which is the seeming security of my well paying day job.
I received the fabled annual bonus for 2006 today, sort of a profit sharing. I equaled nearly 10 percent of last years gross. People at " thisplace" live for this check. I looked at it and was glad, but wonder at the price. It will help me to my goal, but I need to keep the goal in mind, and not let the money distract me... Life is more than money. I need to be in a place that makes sense to me, where I dont feel like I am watching a play where all of those around me are on the stage and I am the only one in the audience, watching and not understanding. I need to come into my own and know I will in due season.