Category Archives: Life Lessons

Things we learn from day to day – worth passing on to others

Radio personality recommendations are big business

If you’ve ever heard of ‘Trust Dale’ or Dave Ramsey, you’ve been listening to paid recommendations for companies that want your business. Being one of these radio personalities is big business.
I thought using one of the companies I hear so many recommendations about would be a smart move. I was wrong.
Don’t elect to do business with a company just because Dave says so.
That being said, I’ll never recommend Churchhill Mortgage to anyone.

Energy Inefficiency

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed how things are improperly installed to waste energy?

First example: the devices being sold that allow you to monitor your energy usage actually consume energy. Or the automatically flushing toilets that flush way too often.

Think about the days when we had huge air conditioners that ran on dedicated 220V circuit breakers. You didn’t dare leave the house with it running. You at least put it on ‘low’ if you were just running to the store.

What about the sinks in public restrooms with automatic soap dispensers? They pump out soap constantly while trying to rinse your hands.

The one thing I find annoying on a daily basis is the automatic valve on the sinks in the restroom at work. It will not stay on long enough to rinse off the soap being dispensed from the wasteful automatic soap dispenser. Once it shuts off, you have to figure out the correct hand gesture to get it to come on again.

Some things have just been over-automated in the name of efficiency, but they actually are more wasteful. At least no one can leave the water running.

I hope the lights don’t shut off on me while I sit here typing this…

Changing jobs…

Leaving a perfectly good job might be compared to jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. Why do it? For me, it was about being comfortable with myself.

I didn’t find that anything I was doing at my job was unsatisfactory. What I did find was that I had no peers with similar interests or experience. There were no teammates to bounce ideas off of. No one to learn from. I was expected to accomplish too many things in areas other than the one I felt I could succeed.

Don’t get me wrong, I was more than happy to do the job I was asked, and paid, to do. The issue comes up when I’m evaluated. My co-workers apparently weren’t comfortable working on projects with me. Why? I bet I know why. We didn’t learn and do things the same way. I’m a perfectionist. I take security seriously. I want things to be done in a systematic and repeatable way. We should follow a common format and scheme that makes sense. Version control, central management. Make my job easier to do next time once I’ve figured it out the first time.

My day to day issues shouldn’t involve having to solve the same problem several times. Once it’s been solved, we should re-use that solution from then on. Here’s the problem: if you aren’t working alongside your teammates, how can you know if they might have something to contribute?

If you divide your team up, split them into subgroups where they can’t work together, then you’ve got a team that can’t work together. If you then penalize them for not working together, how can you be surprised when they tilt their head and look at you funny? I liked everyone I worked with, but the company was just spreading us too thin. For a company our size, our team should have been twice as large. So, might as well resign and go somewhere that has a group of peers I can learn from, work with, and grow.

What has this meant to my family? It’s not easy. Going from being a salaried full-time employee to a contractor is a rough transition. No longer can I auto-schedule my bills and bank transactions. We’re literally back to paycheck-to-paycheck mentality. There are no guarantees when it comes to job stability no matter who you work for, but being a contractor is MUCH less stable. Instead of throwing all my money at my bills and credit cards, I’ve paid off one credit card ‘just in case I need it’ and am socking away cash in my bank account. The other credit card will be paid on as needed, the car payment that was several months ahead is going to have to wait until its due date, and my wife’s business is going to have to depend on its own income in order to grow, until I get more comfortable with my new job and know that I’ll be there for a longer period of time than ’90 days’.

For anyone who is thinking of leaving their job for something better, I say, “Go for it!” Just keep in mind everything that goes along with changing jobs. Have some money socked away and realize that the grass isn’t always greener….