Dad Life: Work

It's Not What You Say, But How You Say It.

bitmoji-20160506055550I work in a department at work that at times can be very stressful, logistics.  Logistics is full of some people with tempers that want things done yesterday, and if their plans don’t go how they expect them to, they get frustrated.  I know how they feel, because when my plans get shifted and changed, it can be quite annoying.
One thing I know is that no matter what happens, it usually isn’t the fault of the  person I am talking to.  This individual just happens to be caught in the middle of it, and even if it was their fault, I know that if it was me, I would still want to be treated with respect.
All of this intro leads me to what happened a couple of days ago.
I was at home and received a call back from one of the supervisors at our other plants and I asked if he knew why it was taking hours longer than it should have to load a truck. As we talked more and more about this issue I was getting more and more heated and my tone was one of frustration, which obviously was putting my teammate on the defensive.  Right in the middle of all of our conversation he says that I need to watch my tone.  That response hit my like a ton of bricks and made me realize that still have some things to learn.  It ended up that almost all of  the reasons why they were behind in loading the truck were not their fault and couldn’t have been prevented.
Now, before we even finished our conversation I stopped in the middle Of it all and appologized.  I said that my tone was inappropriate and there was no reason for me to respond like that.  I said I had been in the wrong because there was never a reason I should have treated a fellow teammate, or anyone else, like that.
From this instance I learned two things: One is that no matter how I am feeling, I always need to treat people with respect, not just with my words, but with my tone.  The other is no matter how the other person chooses to respond during and after the situation, I need to own up to my own actions and make sure that I treat them how I want to be treated.
These two lessons are also old as time themselves, but I know that I obviously need the constant reminder.

Dad Life: Family

How to Fail as a Husband / Father

Yep… just decided I needed one more “You’re The Worst” trophy on my mantel.  I’m up to four now which averages out to one a month for the year, which I think is just swell.
Now, I wouldn’t say I am cheap or stingy but I do love a good deal when I see one.  The deal that I came across was in the form of a mailer that was sent to our new home.  I know, a random piece of mail saying free definitely seems legitimate. Below is a picture of the totally non sketchy and legitimate mailers.
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Well I had my worries at first, but I asked around, and people said they had received something similar and it was hassle free.  With that teeny tiny bit of encouragement I decided to go for the gusto and call the number on the back of the card and get my awesome free gift.
 
The calling process wasn’t too sketchy, but the people on the other end of the line seemed just as surprised and excited that someone had actually called the number.  Well I set the appointments to receive my fantastical free gifts which were a $25 free gift card to restaurant.com, and I was going to get a free large bottle of Tide from the other mailer, all for the cost of getting my water tested.
I told my wife about the appointments and what we would get and I swear to you, I could hear here rolling her eyes through the phone, but she graciously said I was crazy and went along with me.  Oh how I wish she would have just put me in my place right then.
So the next day comes and Sam has a little cough and Lindsay and I start talking about the appointments and she seems a little frustrated at my cheapness so we end up canceling the second appointment which would have been at 8:00PM.  The first appointment roles around as we are happily playing outside as a family and this lady roles up in an unmarked car, but she has a Home Depot apron on so I feel that there is some sort of legitimacy to this whole process.  Well I invite her in so she can test our water and Lindsay stays outside with Sam to play.
Said lady “from” Home Depot breaks out her giant chemistry set and starts setting up beakers and vials on our counter and asks that both my wife and I are present cause it is better to see and not just hear about this presentation. So I go outside and ask Lindsay and Sam to come inside, and as I write this I realize that I am earning two”You’re The Worst” trophies because I had to pick my son up kicking and screaming and end up bribing him with our phones, TV, and food.
One and a half hours later, the lady gets to the end of her sales pitch and awkwardly sits there as she waits for us to say yes to buying a $7,000 water filtration system.  Lindsay is seething at the table and my heart is in my stomach because I know I screwed up big time.  We politely say no and the lady gives me the gift card, packs up her chemistry lab, and goes on her way.  Needless to say, I spent the rest of the night apologizing for my stupidity and hating that I wasted quality family time for what turned out to be a whole lot of nothing, because when I went to redeem the gift card, it turned out to be for a cheapo website.   It turns out the gift card could only work for a handful of restaurants, most of which had horrible ratings, and it wasn’t for a total of $25 off either. I would have to redeem this gift card for gift certificates at random amounts that would only work if I spent a specific amount of money, alcohol not included, which after this night, it was pretty much needed.
So, if you need to borrow any of my “You’re The Worst” trophies just give me a ring, or you can just learn from my mistake and realize that there isn’t anything that is truly free, because quality time with family and others is worth infinitely more than any monetary gift some random mailer promises you.

Dad Life: Work

Not More, But Better

I am not sure about you, but I love my morning commute to work.  The steady pace through traffic before the sun can even be seen on the horizon.  Now its not the crazy drivers or early morning construction that I love, but the fact that I can just chill on my way to work, listening to podcasts and processing the information I am hearing.
There is one podcast that I listen to by Dale Partridge called “Startup Camp.”  His podcast is about helping entrepreneurs, which I am not…yet, with growing their business and having a life, not just a job.  At the end of every podcast he asks his guest what one of their favorite quotes are.  One week his guest was Jeff Goins, who is a champion writer, and he shared one from his friend Sean D’Souza.  The quote was, “Not more, but better.”
The context of this quote  came from when Jeff and Sean were having dinner and Jeff asking why Sean would only accept so much business a year and why wouldn’t he want to grow and do more.
In hearing this quote, it was a great gut check because I found myself, as I am sure a lot of you do, thinking that the only way to grow was to do more.  I thought that by adding more to my plate and sacrificing some of the things I love I would grow, but as Sean said, its not about doing more, it is about refining yourself and what you do so that you are doing it to the absolute best of your ability.
I don’t need to constantly be adding things to my life.  In fact, I should be actively looking about taking more and more things off of my plate so that I can focus on what really matters and gives me life.  By saying no and taking away things that just don’t matter, it gives me time to do what I enjoy doing and to be in the moment with those I love.  Now I know this is a lot harder to do then it sounds, but this giant elephant of a task can be done one bite at a time.
 

Dad Life: Family

Donut Thief

Recently I have been racking up the “You’re the worst” trophies from my son.  I have one trophy for telling my son TWO WEEKS EARLY, like a big dumb dumb, about going to Pops’ cabin.  I also racked up another trophy on Monday of the the week before by accidentally packing all the sandwich meat in the house and taking it to work instead of putting it back in the fridge.  With this one, my wife called asking if I took the meat and in the background all I heard was my helpless little buddy in the background screaming “Samich! Sam SAMICH!!!!!!!!” Yes, that is how I feel you would spell my son saying the word sandwich.
My most recent fail though was actually caught on some security footage, here is the picture.
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I know, not exactly a win in the ol’ dad arena, but at least this picture captures my muscular physique.
So, the background to this story is that my in-laws went down to Florida, partly for work and also for a bit of fun in the sun.  On the way back they stopped at this place called the Donut Hole. The Donut Hole is a pretty big deal with a lot of great varieties of donuts.  My wife and I really enjoyed it the last time we were able to go, so her parents decided to get all of us some treats.
Well the next morning after receiving this little box of heaven I decided I was going to eat a couple of donuts.  My wife never mentioned anything about her parents picking out specific ones and I thought my wife wanted a particular red velvet donut she talked about it the night before and sadly, I never even thought of my son wanting a specific donut…horrible, I know.  So I took two donuts, heated them up in the microwave for a little, ate them and head on my merry way to work.
I get a call a couple hours later when Sam and Lindsay are downstairs about to get their breakfast and my wife opens with this line, “Did you eat Sam’s donut?”  Instantly, my heart sank and I dusted off another place on my desk to put one more of the “You’re the worst” trophies.  She told me that the one with chocolate icing and sprinkles was bought specifically for him, and she then follows up and asks if I ate hers. I mean punch me right in the throat.  How well do I even know my wife?  Silly me thought to leave the fancy creative donuts, but I am the one who likes those, not the plain ones that my wife actually enjoys.  I mean who knew that after almost six years of living with a person you could still be learning things about the them.
Well, here is to getting two more “You’rethe worst” trophies from my son in one week and to also learning more about my wife.  Guys, the struggle is real.
 
 

Dad Life: Family

Life Insurance by Another Name

My wife and I were unbelievably fortunate to have just sold our first home and purchase another one.  The process of selling and buying went pretty smooth overall, but as in everything else in life, there were so bumps along the way.
I mention all of this because with our new home, we, like most of the world, took out a loan to purchase our home. I know, nothing out of the ordinary, but soon after that we started getting letters in the mail from the company who had our loan.  The letter was talking about getting mortgage protection insurance and they wanted to make sure that no matter what happened to my wife and I, that whoever lived on wouldn’t have to worry about the debt of the home, but would be able to pay it off.  This story of protection almost got me until I realized something from my days when I worked in insurance, and that was that this mortgage company wasn’t really selling me mortgage protection insurance but LIFE INSURANCE.
Now, there is nothing wrong with life insurance, but when most people here those two words in unison, they get weird, nervous, and shut down.  I personally believe that almost everyone should have some life insurance, but if you are going to sell life insurance, don’t  call it by another name.  The company that I used to purchase my loan is great and I would use them again, but I still feel icky getting a letter about mortgage protection insurance because it just feels like they were trying to be sneaky.
Even though I feel icky, I can’t blame them for doing what they did because they definitely get more of a response by selling it that way.  My only suggestion would be to call it life insurance, but fashion a story with the letter making it known that they wanted me protected with life insurance because they wanted my wife to live worry free because the debt of our home was covered, or that maybe they wanted my kids to grow up and be able to go to the college of their dreams, or that my little girl may not have her dad to walk her down the isle, but with life insurance, I could still give her a wedding to remember.
Inviting me to imagine a different story with life insurance is what they needed to do, and it wouldn’t have felt as weird or wrong.  I just like it when people are upfront and honest with what they are doing, how about you?