I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 188 - Marooned

Daily Kup (My Life as a Gopher)
Other than a trim panel, the porch is now painted. Tomorrow, I plan on installing the new lights. The ones on the garage are motion activated so that I can simultaneously annoy raccoons and my neighbors. It's a two-fer.

It's ironic that installing lights and wiring are the most that I've gotten out of my electrical engineering training in years. Except for the understanding-the-underpinnings-of-science-and-technology, knowing-how-to-think-like-an-engineer, and the maturity-that-comes-from-completing-a-formidable-course-of-study parts. So it worked out pretty well after all. Thanks, U of M.

We went to the U of M Homecoming this evening. My college sponsored an alumni barbecue prior to the annual Homecoming parade. We had maroon M's painted on our faces and the kids gathered pockets' full of thrown candy and armloads of pennants, pom-poms, and trinkets emblazoned maroon and gold.

It was a hoot. My favorite marchers were two guys carrying a banner with the written message "Two guys carrying a banner."
Princess Potatohead wore herself out and fell asleep on the couch as soon as we got home.

How Many Years Can You Be A Junior?
I spent a long time in college. I kept running out of money. I got married and transferred to a different college. Requirements changed from year to year. Senior electives evolved to sophomore required courses since technology progressed faster than I did. Particle Dynamics and I had a particularly long relationship until we both decided to call it a draw. Technically, the length of time I stayed in college lasted longer than any of my marriages.

When I finally graduated in 1993 with 240 of the 190 required credits, both my mother and my four-year-old daughter were in attendance. Notice the hand position indicating that I'm far more interesting in grabbing the diploma than shaking Doctor Kaveh's hand. Sorry, doc.

Any comments involving the glasses will be deleted as spam. It was the style, OK?

Maybe the need to seek out affiliation is age-dependent. Genealogy hobbyists are overwhelmingly 50 and not 15. People often re-examine their relationship to God when the possibility of a personal meeting starts to loom. Humans are most often surrounded by groups on their way into the world and on their way out. And to varying degrees in the middle of those extremes.

A current article of faith in the job search world is the need for the sixty second self-commercial called the "elevator speech." The idea is to craft a concise marketing pitch about who you are and what magical abilities you possess; the pitch can be delivered to strangers encountered on an elevator with the goal of having them want to hire you before the doors open. When you have to codify yourself as a "progressive quality leader" or "ditch digger with 6,541 completed miles" or whatever, you start to think seriously about the nuances of membership. Combine that with the age influence and the mind starts to produce equations like:

Parent = Yes
Natural redhead = Not any more
"Positive change agent" = Maybe

This was the first Homecoming I attended since arriving at the University in 1981. And I'll probably go again next year, even without the promise of a free dinner. Standing along University Avenue with a thousand strangers wearing every variation of maroon and gold, I discovered belatedly that, somewhere along the journey, I became a Gopher.

Good To The Last Drop
Happy 21st birthday, Kollege Kid.


Corsair, The Mostly Harmless said...

My comment impulse was not about the glasses. Rather the tight, almost grim smile. I wondered: Forced smile? Repressing an urge to bolt? Containing a cutting sarcastic remark lest they not REALLY let you leave with the proverbial sheepskin?

Corsair, The Mostly Harmless said...

You know, I went to three different universities, and never ONCE got to go to a Homecoming, or even a football game. I always had to work. Irritating.

Congrats on coming to terms with your repressed Gopherness. And Happy Birthday to the future Pharmacist!

Burning Khrome said...

The pinched, lopsided smile is unfortunately genetic. I can see it in old pictures of my mother. She always looked like she was concealing a knife. Maybe it's the robe.

And Happy Birthday last week to your daughter as well. It's on T's list somewhere to send a card but we both still struggle with the timeliness aspect of our universe.

Corsair, The Mostly Harmless said...

Well, no timeliness worries. When sending birthday cards to family members, its all relative..

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