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Archive for June, 2011

I am typing this post tonight while lying in a hotel room in Farmington, Missouri. Why am I hanging out in the not so big city of Farmington you ask? The company I work for has a very large delivery program in this area and I am going to speak with the woman who basically runs it and observe how they are doing things.

This trip stemmed from the conference call this morning. We were discussing how we wanted to handle certain facets of the delivery program we are starting in Tulsa. Our main concern was deciding on how to handle credit card transactions. We still haven’t totally decided that but we have a fair idea of how we are going to do it. I am not totally pleased with what we decided and I did voice my concerns but our options are limited due to loss prevention concerns. Anyway our stores in Farmington kept coming up in conversation and it was eventually decided that it would be good for me to drive over here and check out their operation.

The drive from Tulsa to Farmington is a bit over six hours which is quite a long drive but for whatever reason it did not seem so bad. That could be because I have spent the last year traveling basically every week. Also it was kind of cool because basically the last hour of my drive was through where people float the river here in Missouri. I drove through a town, i forget the name, that advertised itself as the floating capital of Missouri. It was very scenic and enjoyable and it made me want to float the river very badly.

I am meeting the woman in charge tomorrow morning and I am hoping to be able to see everything and have my questions answered by 1:00 PM. Normally I would not be in a hurry but there is a party tomorrow night for the end of the pharmacy system roll-out that I was a part of and I would really love to be able to be there to hang out with people that I have spent so much time working with over the past year.

Our stores in Farmington are not set up in the same way that our stores in Tulsa are. What it comes down is they have more freedom and have they have a different POS (point of sale) system then we use in Tulsa. The system they use is not better or worse overall  but it does work much better for deliveries than the system in Tulsa. I am hoping to see what they do right and what adaptations I need to make for this to work in Tulsa. I also want to ask the woman in charge what problems they ran into that they were totally unforeseen. I mean when you think about it there are a lot of potential problems with making deliveries. You have somebody driving around with medications and cash( a very small amount). The system is also fraught with loss prevention concerns. You can track a great deal but ultimately you have to rely on this person to be trustworthy.

So I realize this post is totally work related and boring to probably everyone but me but not every post can be all “big and meaningful” and right now this delivery program is my main focus. I have so many thoughts/ideas/questions running through my head and I love it.

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Approximately three hours ago I became part of a community that I swore I would never join. I am now a member of the online dating club(as if you couldn’t tell that from the title of this post). Now don’t get me wrong I don’t have a problem in the world with other people doing online dating I just never thought it was for me. My reasoning was/is that I am an acquired taste. Meaning that you really have to get to know me to fully appreciate my awesomeness… and modesty. 🙂

What finally convinced me to take this drastic step? It wasn’t one specific thing. I have been feeling down lately and part of that has been due to being lonely. I have said many times that I am usually OK with being single and that is true, but I am great when I am in a relationship. I really need to strive to make myself as happy as I can possibly be rather than settling for just OK.

I could try to go out to clubs and meet women or hang out in Starbucks which has also been suggested to me. Neither of those ideas or many others appeal to me so it has really reached the point for me to meet new women I really have to try something different.

Those of you who read my last post know that I made a list of three things that I wanted to do. One of those things was join an online dating site and I really intend to follow through on my goals so this afternoon I went to the E-Harmony website and started filling out the information. A couple of hours later I finished. I filled out everything on the site because I really want to do this the right way. I then debated whether I actually wanted to pay for the membership because it is crazy expensive. After some flip flopping I finally pulled the trigger and signed up for 3 months. That should be more than enough time for me to figure out if this is for me.

According to E-Harmony I have 7 matches. Only 2 of them live in Tulsa and I am not overly impressed with either of them. The other 5 live in places like Oklahoma City and Enid and that would be a tough relationship to pull off. So not a real impressive start all in all but it is only my first day on the site and I am going to remain positive that something will come of this… and if it doesn’t then at least I know I am trying.

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As mentioned before I had a meeting this morning with the VP of western operations to discuss my future. I was formally offered the job of… well I am not actually sure what my job title will be. Basically the pharmacy chain that I work for is starting a delivery program basically from the ground up and the VP wants me to run it. He told me today he has had this program on hold because he has wanted to wait for me to be able available to run it. He stated that this is going to be his first priority for the time being but as soon as we get this thing going I will be running it. We have what seems like(and may actually be) a thousand issues to work out. Everything from how to charge customers credit cards that we deliver to to how we can coordinate customers prescriptions so we are not delivering multiple times per week to the same person. I have a conference call in the morning with the VP, the head of IT and a few other corporate people I am not that familiar with to see if we can all get on the same page. This is going to be my baby and I want it to run as efficiently as possible because failure is not an option.

I don’t want to bore everyone with the details of what has to be done but I must say I am excited about the prospect of building this from 2 or 3 stores delivering to all of our Tulsa area stores. The first few weeks at least of starting this program I am going to be making deliveries myself. I don’t love the idea of doing it but I really want to work out the possible bugs at every level and it doesn’t make sense for me to run a delivery program and never actually deliver anything myself. Plus this allows me to see what works and what doesn’t before we try to expand this. What I love is that we are not trying to make a big push and rush this out. We can do this right and really succeed with it. The VP and I talked about once we get this rolling and have more delivery drivers trying to go into nursing homes and get contracts with them(my idea) and also even trying to go into big business’ and offering them some deal for deliveries. That would lead me to making presentations which I am not entirely comfortable with but I am sure I can do it because this is something I believe in and I know that comes across when speaking to people.

The one bad thing about today was that I did not discuss salary with the VP. I thought about it a few times but it never seemed appropriate. I will see him again tomorrow so I am hoping to discuss it with him then. I don’t have high hopes but if I am going to be running this program I really should get a raise. The VP has always done right by me but the company is notoriously stingy with money so who knows how this is going to go down. I did ask about a company car though since I am going to be doing the deliveries for a while. That I should get so I should save me some money in the short term.

I am glad to be starting this new era of my career and will keep everyone posted on what is happening. If anyone has any good job titles for me let me know. I am thinking Director of Awesomeness, while correct, may not be the most appropriate thing ever.

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I wonder often if I will ever live up to the expectations I have for myself in my head. I am forgiving of other peoples faults because I realize nobody is perfect but when it comes to my own life I have a hard time cutting myself slack. I have talked about this a little in previous posts but my mood of the last few days has inspired me to elaborate.

I am book smart. I graduated high in my class from high school with very little effort and went on to Tulsa Community College to start taking pre-pharmacy classes. I took classes for a few years and did fine. I could have done much better had I put forth more than the most basic effort but I coasted by. That has been a recurring trend in my life. Doing just what I have to do to get by and being content with that. At least until I’m not. Anyway long story short I messed up my college through a combination of depression and apathy and put myself in a situation where my GPA was/is shot to hell and I owed money before I could even consider going back to school. I have paid off over half of what I owe…after procrastinating for a couple of years.

I have written previously how my life has improved greatly over the last couple of years and that is very true. My life is better in almost all areas than it was in 2008. I am healthy, still not so wealthy, and hopefully a little more wise than I was then. So why have I been so down for the last few days. I shouldn’t be. I found out last week that I will get to remain in Tulsa for my job and I am meeting with the VP of this region in the morning to discuss my new job. I will talk about that tomorrow more than likely once everything becomes official. The job should be a great position for me and I SHOULD get a raise. I ran some numbers earlier today. Even if I get a 33% percent pay raise, which I think is the most I can expect and I will be shocked if I get that, my gross salary will still not be the greatest thing ever. Obviously it will be much better than it is now and it won’t be anything to sneeze at, especially for someone without a degree but I find myself still bothered by it all. I keep thinking about having a wife and children and how I want to provide for them and I think about how I live now and I think about the challenges financially we will face especially if my future wife’s career does not bring in much financially. I should mention a couple of things at this point. First of all I am not even dating anyone at this point and don’t have any prospects and for myself I am not hung up on money. If it is just me and I can support myself I am happy but if you introduce a family into that equation suddenly money jumps to the front of that equation.

My concerns with money come from being raised in a household where money was always a concern. We were never financially secure. My parents made a lot of mistakes with money and after my mother went on disability things became very tough. I remember thinking as a teenager that I never wanted my future family to go through the same. Yet here I am. It is not all bad. I have very little debt, but by that same token I really don’t own anything either other than a car with an outrageous number of miles on it.

So here are my options for the future:

1. Continue to work for my company where I am well respected and continue to make decent but not great money and be content with that.

2. Pay off OSU and start taking a class or two at a time. I would have to pay for the classes myself because I am certain I can’t get any financial aid at this point.

This scenario leads to the problem of what do I pursue a degree in. I don’t know if my GPA can recover enough for me to get into pharmacy school which is my first love. My other passions are cinema and history. Neither of which I can really make a career out of easily.

I fully realize how stupid a lot of this must sound. I mean I am letting myself get down over a hypothetical future. I should really be focusing more on actually meeting women. I wish it was as simple as snapping my fingers and just putting my insecurities behind me. I can write in this blog post that I have a lot going for me and know that it is true but when push comes to shove I sometimes think I don’t deserve to be loved. Harsh I know. I am not bad looking but I will never turn women’s heads as I pass by. I am friendly but overly shy so I find it damn near impossible to strike up a conversation with women. I enjoy hanging out at bars with my friends but I don’t like the club scene. Too many people in a small place for me. I also tend to overlook qualities I don’t like in women because I want so desperately to be loved. I really ought to make a list of what I am looking for in a woman. I haven’t ever seriously wrote down all the things that attract me to a woman.  Perhaps the most important thing I could do for myself would be to stop getting hung up on things that will never be. By not letting go of or addressing certain things in my life I give myself an excuse to not really try. I just can’t do that anymore.

I have talked in previous posts about how I don’t want to be that person who bitches about things and never does anything about them. So here are a few things I am going to do:

1. I want to make a budget. I am inspired to do this by my friend and his fiance who have their budget figured out down to the penny. My own doesn’t need to be that exact but it would be good to sit down and say here is how much I make. Here are all my bills. Perhaps then I can start saving money and it wouldn’t seem like my money is disappearing into thin air.

2. I am giving myself 1 month to contact OSU and set up some type of payment plan. Even if I don’t go back to school this is something I need to do. It has been hanging over my head for too long.I am giving myself the cushion because there is a good possibility I could become salary with my new job which should make planning a budget easier. Also money is pretty darn tight at the moment so I can’t make a big payment.

3. I am going to set up a profile and become a member of an online dating site. I am giving myself 4 weeks for this endeavor for mainly the same reasons mentioned above. I have always been very very skeptical about online dating and still am not sold on the concept but a friend of mine had some success with it and frankly I have to do something. I am not meeting new women and my favorite hobbies, cinema and reading, are not great ways to meet women either. I have not decided which site to use and I am open to suggestions on it.

I don’t know what will come of doing these things but at least I will be trying.

I typed this whole thing out and then I almost deleted it. I was rereading this post and it still freaks me out to put so much of myself out there. I fear that people will think less of me because of my insecurities and doubts. I must remember that I am doing this blog primarily for me to help me lay out my thoughts and hopefully make sense of certain things and hope that is enough.

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It is funny how so many memories in my life are tied to songs. I am person with a fairly wide interest in music. I am not great music expert but I know what I like and what I like is usually dictated by what kind of mood I am in. It is kind of sad that if you want to know what kind of mood I am in you can normally tell by checking my playlist.

I grew up listening to country music. This was because that is what my parents liked. I was not given much say in the matter but I didn’t complain to much because I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was and still am a big Garth Brooks fan along with liking Randy Travis, Reba McEntire and countless other country artists. My father listened to a lot of classic country. Things like Roger Miller. I didn’t like that much growing up but now that I am an adult it has grown on me and I like quite a bit of it.

As I got a older and had more choice over my musical choices I went in the direction of rap. In high school I was very big into Eminem. I think back on a lot of the CD’s I bought in high school and shake my head because while I bought a lot of good stuff like Jay-Z and Usher I also bought a lot of crap like Lil Kim. Cringe. I also did discover my love for Elvis Presley in high school. This is something that has persisted after high school There is something about Elvis that tells you that even if he sang the phone book it would be great. Alison Krauss is someone that has that same quality to their voice.

Now having grown into an adult I find my musical tastes constantly evolving. I listen to everything from The Beatles to Fall Out Boy to Taylor Swift. I still listen to country music quite a bit but I am a lot more selective with it then when I was growing up. I am a big fan of Sugarland, Taylor Swift, Chris Cagle and the Zac Brown Band to name a few. I also like what is sometimes referred to punk pop. Groups like Fall Out Boy and All Time Low are some of my favorites in that area. The play list I posted under a previous post, OKC half-marathon edition,  has a pretty good range of what I like if you want to see more music that I like.

Getting back to my original premise about music being tied to memories in my life. Most of my musical memories relate to my love life. Songs like U Remind Me and U Got it Bad by Usher are tied to the girl I “dated” for a week in high school. Miss Independent by Kelly Clarkson reminds me of a girl that I had a crush on and spent my entire senior year of high school trying to get with. She Will be Loved by Maroon 5 reminds me of a girl I worked with for a few years and went out with a few times but she always left me hanging. Of course there are the musical memories with Amanda. When we began dating we were still young enough to believe we had to have a song. We selected God Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts which was a stupid song choice because our road to each other had not been broken. Neither of us had dated much and really a couples song should really mean something, not just be a choice that sounds good in that moment. Speaking of Rascal Flatts I to this day can’t hear one of there songs without thinking of Amanda. It may be because I associated almost every song off of the album Feels Like Today with her. When things ended with her I had a hard time listening to any country music for a while. Too many sad songs about breaking hearts. I have overcome that issue of course. There is a more recent song, Break-even by The Script, that has lyrics that really described how I felt at times after things ended. The pain associated with the song fades with times to the point where I can easily enjoy songs associated with bad memories.

While I have songs that remind of the bad times I also have songs that remind of the good times. I listened to the album Take this to Your Grave by Fall Out Boy when I ran my first 5k. Power by Kanye West is the song I started the OKC half-marathon to. I have a lot of other songs that I associate with running and give me a little rush whenever I hear them.

I didn’t mean for this post to come across as a depressing look at music and I hope it didn’t. I just have often wondered why we associate songs with certain people. Sometimes it is obvious but other times it is not so easy to pick out the reasoning. I would love to hear songs from other people that have memories, good or bad, tied to them. I am also always looking for new music to listen to so please feel free to offer suggestions.

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