How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

When I was informed by my staffing agency that my previous project no longer had use for me, I was upset. It was supposed to be a temp-to-perm position that decided they wanted to go another direction – through no fault of my own. The stress ate up my stomach (quite literally – I developed ulcers in the months following and had to take an emergency trip to the hospital) and caused a tremendous amount of grief. I spent time wondering what I had done to get myself in that position, blaming myself and taking quite a blow. Months of therapy later, I was finally able to see that I had no power over the situation. The only power I have is how I choose to react to it.

My staffing agency found me a position here and a position there, but nothing semi-permanent, just a string of day-assignments. I like day-assignments honestly, but my bank account doesn’t. Not knowing where the next assignment would be coming from was stressful too, and my body wasn’t recovered enough to deal with it. So I would go to assignments when they were available, and spend days without assignments filling out job applications and going to therapy.

Over the next few months I would work for this one company in Chicago – and the assignment was pretty sweet if I must admit. It was a Receptionist position – Greeting guests, answering calls, date-stamp the mail, look pretty, all things I was good at. And the people I worked with were wonderful – the office manager especially. We really clicked. Over the two months, I maybe worked there 10 or so times – they kept calling my agency and requesting me.

And then they made me an offer.

I felt like I had won the lottery. After months of worry, finally I had my big break! More responsibilities, a job title, benefits, the whole package – they respected me. And I am so very loyal because of how wonderful this company is to me. This is how you do business, people. Keep your employees happy and they will work hard for you. Today is my first month anniversary of working with these amazing people, and I couldn’t be happier. Here’s to many more!

The Earth and Other Minor Things

So my weeklong experiment turned into a 20 week experiment, but I think my hypothesis has been tested to it’s fullest extent and results were inconclusive. It is important to remember (both in science and in life) that experiments do not fail when your hypothesis turns out to be incorrect. The grand experiment is, well, life. You try this, you try that. Problem is there isn’t really a control group, so it’s hard to say what works and what doesn’t.

To be honest, these twenty weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster. March went out like a lion. April sighed and stepped aside. Along came pretty little May. June busted out all over. And here we are in July – older and wiser than we were yesterday, but still young and naïve. And you know what, it’s okay. What’s the big rush? Why am I hurrying? Who’s timeline am I following here? I want to make the most of the time I am given. I’m intimidated by my own mortality. So it’s hard for me to not worry – I’m full of anxieties and neurosis. And you know what? So is everyone else. Some just handle theirs better than others.

My own anxieties manifested in ways I didn’t expect. Anecdotal proof that mental health is linked to physical health. I enlisted some help to get well. (Thanks, Obama!) I realized that I couldn’t achieve my goals in that state. My current focus is to be kind to myself – stop my own self abuse. It’s going to be a long road to recovery but I have faith in my doctors and finally myself. Mistakes are a wonderful way to learn a lesson. The experiment only fails if you give up.

Can’t stop, won’t stop.

Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You Can

Well hello again, Minneapolis! It’s nice to see you again. Is that a new bed skirt?

I can’t believe I made it through two layovers and three flights without having to talk to a soul. It’s for the best. I wasn’t feeling too well.

I get nervous, and then when I start to think about being nervous – I get sick. It happens more than it probably should. The only way to fix it is to calm down, which is surprisingly difficult to do when it’s what you need to do. I’ve been like this all week, more so than usual. My parents took Max and I out to dinner the other night, and halfway through my chicken burger, I lost my appetite and then I started to worry about the inevitable loss of my dinner. In my childhood I would fast on show-days because of this phenomenon.

Cool story, right bro?

From the window of the plane I could see my bag.

Can’t get butterflies without the butter…? Sounds like that could be a good idiom for it. It’s not that I’m going to choke under the pressure, obviously. Simply choosing not to eat is not healthy and nigh-on impossible for the 10 weeks I’m on tour and single week leading up to it. Besides, I love food. It’s delicious. Om nom nom. I choose instead to eat light fare and take some tums. It works, but is it a permanent solution? I’m still nervous. A fair amount of stage-fright is good for the soul, but this feels different and it’s steadily becoming more overwhelming. Maybe it was just the flight, because I do feel better now. Truth be told, it’s not just touring that gets me in my head like this. I’m almost positive I’m doing damage to my stomach lining. Isn’t this how ulcers are born? Is that a myth? Am I over-reacting and causing more anxiety? How do people deal with anxiety? What are the alternatives? Anxiety medications? Counting to ten? Bulk-orders of tums?

In other news, I probably love Max more than I should – and I miss him. I miss you too, Tulsa. I miss your sunny, 70-degree January days. Try to fix up that construction on I-44 before March. To all of those I’ve left behind, know that I love and miss you too. But it’s almost crippling how much I miss Max when we’re apart.

As for you, Minneapolis, I have a man in a cosby sweater to meet at Liquor Lyle’s. It’s the 3-for-1s, they get me everytime. I ought to put on a sweater myself – Tulsa’s 70 degrees spoiled me and I wasn’t halfway prepared for the 20s that Minneapolis has to offer. Can’t get too crazy tonight though, rehearsal starts tomorrow! I’ll be damned if I spend the night in a bath tub again, amiright Michael and John?

Let the Winter 2012 Tour commence!