Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Positives Tue Mar 13-Tue Mar 27, 2012

*Happy Pi Day.

*Played RISK Legacy and Tanto Cuore games for the first time.

*Ate Honey Bunches Of Oats Just Bunches cereal and drank Fanta Ginger Ale for the first time.

*Daylight savings check. Checked batteries in flashlights and smoke detectors. I also checked the first aid kit for expired medications.

*Finished watching Thermae Romae.

*Visited Bernal Heights including shopping at the Alemany Farmer’s Market for the first time.

*Purchased two Vocaloid CDs: Mikunopolis and Vocalo Smile.

*1,000 tweets.

Always Innovating and Changing Innovating Common Knowledge

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Positives Mon Feb 13-Mon Mar 12, 2012

*Cooked with Garlic Herb & Seasoning and Yoshida’s for the first time.

*Happy Valentine’s Day.

*Ate at Black Bear Diner for the first time.

*Finished my new Access expense database using SQL.

*Purchased a new belt clip for my phone.

*Created a new cribbage cheat sheet.

*Ate Planter’s Trail Mix, Nongshim Udon, Belvita, and pink lady apples for the first time.

*Watched Princess & The Frog movie.

*Toyota recall. My crankshaft pulley was repaired.

*Uploaded files to Google Docs for the first time.

*Played Cosmic Encounter and Forbidden Island board games for the first time.

*Watched Cheap Life and James Becker: Not Dead Yet movies at Cinequest. It was the first time I went to Cinequest.

*Attended the Nor Cal Cosplay Spring Gathering in Kelly Park.

Always Innovating and Changing Innovating Common Knowledge

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Quiz: The Joy Of Work

I think back of the companies I work at. I’m eager to take the joy from my past work experiences for my future career.

1. How many Blockbuster Video WOW awards did I win?
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3

2. How many free rentals did employees earn a week?
a. 1
b. 5
c. 10

3. What was a rare experience my Blockbuster Video store had very few retail stores in general experienced?
a. Fewer customer complaints like three a week.
b. Pro-employee; in other words, management cared for their workers and solved problems fast.
c. Lower turnover rate.

4. The first few weeks at Grubb & Ellis, my first job after graduating college, I experienced quite a few company changes. What were they?
a. Grubb & Ellis acquired a competitor.
b. The manager in charge of my office was ousted weeks before I started.
c. My office began planning to move to a bigger location.
d. Four brokers and staff went to another competitor.
e. I felt alone because I didn’t have a mentor to guide me.
f. All of the above.

5. True or false? Did I work for that same competitor that took the four brokers and staff?
a. True
b. False

6. At Colliers International, what was my first joy on my first day?
a. Shorter commute.
b. I purchased a new car for the new job.
c. Better working hours.

7. How many staff person of the year awards did I win?
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3

8. Similar to question 4, which of the following did I experience at Colliers during my first few weeks? (Choose two.)
a. Colliers acquired a competitor.
b. There were administrative staff and office management shake-up weeks before I started.
c. My office began planning to move to a bigger location.
d. I felt alone because I didn’t have a mentor to guide me.

9. I self-taught two skills that helped me work at Colliers. What were they? (Choose two.)
a. Access
b. Excel
c. Powerpoint

10. What skill did I learn working at Colliers?
a. Photoshop
b. Illustrator
c. SQL
d. Crystal Reports

11. What was a positive I failed to grasp at Colliers?
a. Almost all of the staff and brokers supported me.
b. Management was concerned with my career being stalled and actually wanted to talk to me.
c. I should have taken more pizza on pizza Friday’s to take home.

12. What was the lesson I learned in 2002?
a. Learn how to play poker because you co-workers play it.
b. If you don’t ask, you’re not going to get it.
c. Have nothing, do nothing, get nothing, be nothing, and people treat you like nothing.

13. The first few weeks at Cisco, I experienced quite a few new experiences immediately. What were they?
a. The second week I attended the annual worldwide meeting in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
b. I never received formal training. Management wanted me to work blindly and not knowing what I’m doing.
c. I received a new laptop and the networking software was not installed. I needed IT to install them. That took two days.
d. I worked inside my own personal cubicle.
e. All of the above.

14. I was introduced to a new form of communication for the first time. What was it?
a. Texting
b. Instant messaging.
c. Conference calls from my phone.

15. What was one perk at Cisco I failed to take advantage?
a. Reasonable priced food in the cafeteria. I don’t have to bring lunch from home everyday.
b. Telecommuting or working from home.
c. Drive on the carpool lane with a co-worker.

16 The final months at Cisco were shaky. The great recession started when the real estate bubble burst. Which of the following did I experience for the first time, and they’re not going to be the last time?
a. Contractors terminated and layoffs.
b. Politics as departments fight for funding to keep their staff working.
c. Drastic cutbacks including travel.
d. All of the above.

17. What was my number one impression I showed to everyone at Grubb & Ellis, Colliers, and Cisco?
a. I smiled and I was liked immediately among my co-workers.
b. I found the problems and solved them quickly.
c. I was a fast learner.
d. I brought donuts for my first ever meetings.

18. What were the top lessons I learned working at Colliers and Cisco? (Choose two)
a. Never take anything for granted.
b. Talk to your manager for gripes and complains. Get them off your chest.
c. Be social. Talk and get to know others.
d. Show up on time.

19. What skills did I learn after working at Cisco?
a. Accounting
b. C++
c. Cooking

20. What skills am I learning now to help find my next job?
a. Crystal Reports
b. SQL
c. Digital photography

Always Innovating and Changing Innovating Common Knowledge

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Misses, Undeserving, Overvalue, Undervalue, Overrated, Upsets Part 1

I want to think about my opportunities and moments I missed, didn’t deserve, awarded for the wrong reasons, or never given the opportunity. I wonder my life could have and should have been different if some of these events happened to me in my past. My timeline could have gone a different direction. There is a high probability I’m a better person. I become stronger, smarter, and realized I must grow up at an earlier age.

Part 1 starts with high school. If I started with junior high and earlier, then I could have written a book on my parent’s missed opportunities and lack of being proactive.

Spring Vacation in San Diego*. I took the United States Marines’ ROTC (Reserve Officer’s Training Corps) class in my freshmen year. Every spring vacation, selected cadets were flown to an actual Marine base in San Diego to experience basic training. There was physical training, lectures from officers, actual firing of a real M-16 rifle, and eating in the mess hall. The Senior Marine Instructor, a retired colonel, selected cadets from each of the two platoons. One by one, each cadet’s name was called. After the last name was called in my platoon, there was a five second pause, and one additional cadet was called. That additional cadet was not me.

I was told the additional cadet cased trouble. He missed curfew. He behaved badly and acted like a jerk. He spent time inside the military jail. If I recall correctly, he dropped out of ROTC class. I wonder if the Senior Marine Instructor kicked him out.

Two cadet officers came up to me and said I should have been the additional cadet. That could have been an unforgettable experience as a 14 year old. I fired an actual M-16 rifle. I exercised on an obstacle training course. I could have joined the armed forces when I graduated high school. Um, not really.

*I’m not 100% sure it was in San Diego. Another possibility was Hawaii. The spring vacation field trip was a big deal. The USMC paid for the entire field trip including transportation.

Blackford vs. Prospect. 1991 was a bad economy year. We were experiencing a recession. I remember Japan taking advantage of the weak dollar investing millions of money in the US. My school district was financially hurt. There was no money to keep all six high schools open. The school board held meetings and public hearings for ideas and suggestions. The final decision was close two high schools.

I attended Blackford. Blackford was selected to remain open according to the student body officers, active teachers, and school administrators. Prospect was one of the two schools expected to close because Prospect had higher operating expenses. Blackford was the bigger campus to accommodate a bigger student body population.

The school board made the announcement on a night the local news covered live. Blackford was one of the two selected to close. Prospect was saved. I had to graduate high school in a different school that I attended for one year.

My senior year at Prospect was the toughest year academically. The teachers were tougher. They assigned lots of homework and their exams were hard; for example, I never had essay questions at Blackford. The Prospect students were smarter and more sophisticated with teenage life. Blackford and Prospect seniors didn’t get along. We kept our distances. The sophomore and junior students, however, got along because they had a more recent connection from their junior high years.

I wonder what happened if I attended Prospect for all my high school years instead of Blackford. I could have been a smarter, hard-working, and more responsible student. Prospect offered more foreign language classes and AP classes. I had to work harder to maintain my GPA was in the top percentile to be accepted at a California State University. Blackford was a kick-back, relax school. Blackford teachers put less pressure on students to earn high grades; they actually curved bigger than Prospect teachers. I could have learned to take life more seriously at a younger age.

Always Innovating and Changing Innovating Common Knowledge