God’s Country…

The better part of a week in central Nebraska without access to a PC meant no new posts prior to the Christmas weekend.  In some ways that was good; it spared you from more holiday e-mail and it let me walk through the Nebraska countryside.  The locals call it God’s Country.  That it is.

It was relaxing to traipse the gravel roads west of Grand Island for four to six miles at a time.  GI is smack in the middle of the Platte River fly-way, a major north-south thoroughfare for waterfowl even though the river flows west to east.  Wild geese made long snaking Vees in the sky as they looked for some farmer’s field at which to dine.  My quiet daily treks (when I wasn’t visiting mom) allowed me to sneak up on unsuspecting mega-flocks of turkeys (100 or more less than 20 yards from me in one field of cut corn) and deer.

It is a good place and a good place to reflect on what happened the week before, and the chance to see mom was worth every ounce of effort to get there.  The kids will read all about it in today’s letter.


December 20, 2010

Ellen/Reid: Last week capped off what has been an up-and-down year.  Slowly, the word of the re-hire has seeped out to people I know and I’ve heard from a few.

I’m still a little bit numb.  Rather than jump and down, I just sort of sat in a daze for a little while to think about what has gone by the boards this past year.  Friday night I was very tired, exhausted, and that might be the residue of just holding things back, or holding them in.  For whatever reason I just melted into the couch and zoned out with the TV on.  It was that way most of the weekend, just exhaling a stadium-sized sigh of relief.

But I got up all perky this morning and rarin’ to go.  I’ve taken the work laptop home (Working From Home they call it) although I’m not one to work from home per se.  It just doesn’t seem like real work to me.  Gotta have a real desk for that to happen.

As of yet I don’t know all the details about what it is I will do.  I know who I report to and the general parameters of the job and that’s about it.  The details will have to suffice.  Most of this came down after I sent a personal note to the guy I reported to at the moment, along with another note to the woman in HR, the gist of which was I would like to stay at the bank and the idea of correspondence to customers was sort of in my wheelhouse.  They took things from there and the vibe wasn’t too bad on their end although was with most things you never really feel 100% sure.  This all comes at a time when others aren’t as fortunate as me in that the bank is letting go quite a few people, so I’m fortunate in that regard.  As a practical matter this new gig will fit me a fair amount better than what I’d been doing before.

I suppose this is something of a testament to attitude.  Mine was good and what went on in the past stayed in the past.  I just focused on the moment and the task at hand.  That’s the only way to move ahead with things.  As you both heard some time back there is no earthly use to being sour about the hand you’ve been dealt.  Maybe as you get older you learn to even things out over time.  Perhaps that is what occurred.  But once things were behind me that is where they stayed.  Even if it had not panned out as it had it was the only way to get on with it.

What I have thought about is what I would, or will, do differently in this new situation.  I was already a team player to the nth degree.  I think what I need to do is have the expectations nailed down to the floorboards.  That’s the only way you can know for certain what you will do and how you are supposed to do it.  I do know for sure that the idea of talking to the boss once a quarter on a formal basis isn’t nearly enough.  I’ve got to shelve some of my own issues for the betterment of the cause but you can’t be milquetoast about things, either.  In some ways you have to be appropriately vocal or you’ll get steamrolled.  Reid, that probably applies in a lot of ways to your thoughts about media, etc., that you tell us.  You have to figure out a way to make sure the higher-ups and influencers at the agency get to see your thought patterns.  If I knew how to make that happen I wouldn’t have been in the situation I was but there has to be a way to create a strong voice within the organization.  You have cards to play, that’s for sure.

I’m still hopeful of heading west to see your grandmother.  She’s battling every day and sounds 750% better than she did just a few weeks ago.  You guys have a great Christmas in all aspects; eat, sleep, and be Merry.

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