Nobody is dissing the #Carolina Panthers front office over their draft process, even if ‘Panthers organization and brains’ sometimes slipped into air quotes in recent past, especially with QBs. GM #Scott Fitterer’s reputation for ‘in on every deal’ is respected, which started long before pulling off the draft picks and DJ Moore price tag for #1 pick, #Bryce Young.
Maybe its the 4th time Fitterer’s brought best available leader into quarterback mix, but all the exploring and validating was about #best practices, not just a jumbled Rhule this time around.
Panther icon #Steve Smith seems solid on their #2 pick https://www.panthers.com/team/players-roster/jonathan-mingo/ as “a receiver who runs like a running back, around or through you” after the catch. Lots of experts said it was easier to get a top flight receiver than a franchise quarterback. Is immediately replacing Moore’s 1,000 yards production – and maybe scoring more touchdowns – a legitimate gauging of talent? If Steve believes the guy is legit, Mingo’s welcome when OTAs begin at Wofford.
Word from San Francisco, which thinks Darnold is the most talented thrower they’ve ever had – good luck with that. Talent wasn’t really the question…
They’ve signed 13 undrafted free agents, and still have $22.6MM of cap space for when negotiations with #Brian Burns extension starts. He’ll want to continue leading this defense, #2 on yardage/23rd in getting scored on, but getting paid still counts.
Nobody in the organization has mentioned trading Matt Corral, last years second #3 pick, after a broken ankle in pre-season. He’s a freebie pickup of talent, and with Reich and an excellent coaching staff, could become a significant asset. Andy Dalton is current #2.
Alabama QBs, The Ghosts of Weinke, Newton
Starting with Newton as an ultimate extension of physical superiority in speed-strength in the RPO (run-pass-option offense) while winning 2010 national championship and Heisman at Auburn, Bryce Young is now the third Heisman QB in Panther history – Chris Weinke of Florida State, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Weinke being the first with that designation.
Weinke, was Panthers #1 in 2000, and he was 28 years old at FSU because he’d played baseball in Toronto’s minor league system. He wound up activating a lot of performance (yardage, TDs, starts) standards on a 1-15 team, where he eventually became a $5MM backup – when that wasn’t the norm. They handed the keys to Rodney Peete, and Weinke was out in 2006.
Cam Newton still casts a shadow around Charlotte as a franchise star, his contributions noteworthy, but Young won’t be getting coaching from Newton even if both like the idea. We’ll see if Eagles star Jalen Hurts is an outlier of strength-quality production among ex-Tide QBs with his historic (for like two hours) financial extension off last years Super Bowl run.
Oh yeah, Mayfield was a Heisman guy in Charlotte last year. 1-5 record, some mop up duty in another. 6 TD, 6 INT. Oy!
Despite all the smoke, how #Panthers were considering trading DOWN from #1, maybe CJ Stroud, thinking everyone (except, really, Levis) might be their target, when all four decision makers were 100% in their praise – and Young canceled any remaining Top 30 visits – the announcement by the Commissioner was a 3 weeks unofficial Done Deal for me.
Pre-draft, he was -1250 or so on DraftKings. Just sayin’.
Panthers didn’t ‘just’ need a Good quarterback, more an Alpha, franchise-level leader. Can Panther fans expect the level of coaching in 2023 will make THAT much of a difference? The OC-DC and assistants assembled are well-documented, top of their game types, and Yes, that’s the Mission Statement clarity the top brass has operated under.
In #’Good to Great,’ a business management must-read, Jim C. Collins felt getting the right people on the bus AND in the right places was a primary difference maker. NOBODY doubts that steadiness of O-line and two-headed running attack will benefit Young. The Panthers organization is 100% agreed on directionality, every supporting factor (ie. Coaching staff) is planned around, and Bryce Young is considered a very wise head.
In Charlotte, adding G Chandler Zavala (NCState), a linemate of #Ikem Ekwonu at State, local hero (Providence Day) and the Panther’s much appreciated rookie OLT last season, adds some explosive power – his rep is a mauler on runs. Young won’t lack for opportunities to show off a little magic in the new, shinier version of the #Carolina Panthers.
Whats next? May 23-25, May 31-June 2, June 5-8: OTA (Organized Team Activities) Offseason Workouts.
Having a successful Haunted House was great for group morale throughout the run. Documenting the process (Chairman’s Planning Guides) proved early on how necessary the paperwork is in successful companies – the ability to repeat Success is in the details.
I recently took advantage of a community group’s Oyster Roast (Two tickets – $75, beverages free) return to annual lineup of events on Saturday, and a small sigh still escapes when I see particularly well-done Halloween decorated porches in my #gshorkonsharonroadseam neighborhood.
During Junior Chamber of Commerce days of long ago, our chapter (Albany, NY) produced six memorable Houses, all at different malls, with unique setups.
Improving the skills of our members, making them better workers for their companies, capable of handling different situations, was always my organizational goal as Community Development VP. Doing -thons of various kinds are common for many groups, Haunted House was our biggest fundraiser, an All Hands on Deck! collaboration for most of six weeks, involving engineering-hard core construction, planning, food supply, characters, and community-scholastic support.
Many people don’t know that the PGA tour stop long known as The Greater Greensboro Open, was originally a Jaycee project.
This was one of 23 documented projects our chapter worked on, earning three State-level awards, in my Community Development VP year. Having a successful Haunted House was great for group morale throughout the annual run, and documenting the process (Chairman’s Planning Guides) proved early on how necessary the paperwork is in successful companies – the ability to repeat Success is in the details.
Greatest Scare #1- Jason with Chainsaw
‘The kid hit every wall on the way out.‘ Even wiseguys are willing to pay a couple bucks to see how great a Haunted House is, and sometimes they try messing up a good time along the way. The walkie-talkie message “Get this kid” was unnecessary – one-on-one, I never missed a Diss-er.
Looking through the blinds into a blood-splattered shower Psycho scene, the disser was right in guessing there was someone, me, in the area behind the shower, but I knew he wouldn’t DARE open the door to find out. We had a strobe light linked to that door opening, and after waiting an extra couple seconds, kicking it open and charging out with that chainsaw going, it really didn’t matter what I said behind the hockey mask (“Not so cool NOW, are you punk?!”). He was crabbing backward until I backed up a step, then he hit every wall in second half of the House running out.
It was the topic of much discussion at pizza break, who had gotten that kid, and its always been a point of pride, keeping my Never Missed rep.
Okay, Year Two, when a saucy young girl got similar treatment, she’d just had something to say to three witches, the end of House was in sight, then I boosted myself on a railing, and was about nine feet tall, waving that chainsaw. The girl did a full 3-second movie scream and was GONE.
Group Scare, Nine Pancaked People
7 Girls, 2 high school guys were on floor, 5 characters kept them screaming. Again, Jason with Chainsaw was big factor, plenty of fog machine, mirrored back wall, and strobe were great – I was actually running in place and yelling. While that was usually enough, a bunch of Key Club-ers were also there, and every one (person in grave, Dracula, Frankenstein lurching from a wall, a zombie popping up next to the group) were joyful about having a piece of getting their friends flat on the floor. The two guys who climbed over the girls to escape, LOL.
Best practices learned, #1, 2
While a terrific success financially and creatively, Year One, everybody coming down with wicked sore throats (and still showing up) was an obvious challenge. Wiping down-disinfecting each sweaty mask at every break was the solution forever after. That we’d had *loose leaves and electrical cord* throughout our first House was stunning in retrospect. The setup-walking space was tight, if there had been an emergency, it probably would have been a disaster.
Early in Year 2, the Town of Colonie showed us zoning laws-fire ordinances still needed to be obeyed, when they tore down a nights work of covering the windows in an old Burger King location with dark paper. We wound up having to paint a lot of glass black, weekend days were still a lot lighter, though props held up well.
Amazing how younger kids wanted to come in, but were definitely scared of the monsters. We gave the little ones lollipops or small plastic spider rings to show to monsters “and they’ll be nice.” Parents loved the creativity and energy.
FLYING WITCHES!! Having a couple engineers-architect types in the group is helpful in making things work. For the Witches, it was filling three-50 gal. drums with water (counter-balance) and having a supply of smaller HS girls willing to be hooked up and go about 30x a shift. The cable they were hitched to didn’t need to be a steep incline, just keep them moving, and a light flashed on them going past, with the accompanying cackle and witchlike behavior in a 10′ view.
One drawback: A couple times the required ‘catchers’ didn’t do their job, and the witches came through the black cloth at end and crashed into a barrier only 6 feet later. Trying to protect themselves, the girls often came through with knees up, a little something extra to watch out for in the relative dark.
Safety is always paramount, touching isn’t allowed. While residents of Insane Asylum could reach from behind rebar to within inches of passing viewers, nobody grabbed even a school buddy, and no-touch works both ways. Workers ‘inside’ featured rooms have to know escape routes for any emergencies.
Considering the amount of time and personnel necessary for construction, free food is an economic necessity. Because most Jaycees were coming from work, being able to grab some chow on breaks was necessary. McDonalds was willing to have someone pick up a bunch of burgers at specific times, pizza-donuts-cookies-soda were always around. Thankfully, mall food court merchants were always generous, Haunted House was always a traffic builder – kids bring parents with $$$.
Having people on the phones willing to ask strangers for food was a big job, like a constant three person job determining the when and how much we were able to get ahold of for a month of thirty-plus people daily.
COLLABORATION TO THE MAX
Stating that the collaboration of efforts and leadership skills – sharpened in the reality of projects and available for years thereafter – is always going to be my #1 “You should try” advice about Junior Chamber activity, thats REAL effective networking. Having that link, being part of a specific cadre of talents that brought events together for a greater good, that counted in all my professional accounts going forwards.
Often quoted in complaint, ‘Getting volunteers to move the right way is like herding cats,’ isn’t wrong.
The Haunted House construction was always a terrific challenge, with a whole trailer-load of props to utilize, and the screaming and scaring was the payoff. Knowing how great the gig was (again) versus thinking it would be economically beneficial to our chapter was #1 Attitude.
The chapter had lots of bankers (Key Bank), and was a ‘rebuild’ of what had been a 300 member (Metro size) Albany Chapter that divided into three smaller groups. Albany had some history, so being in that initial dozen or so, previous Jaycees now ‘Roosters’ (past age 39) provided direction, and we carried forward. Continuing good handoffs help the community and the helpers.
Yay! for seasonal Halloween scaring, for the houses that decorate, and may there be a Haunted House for the kids and you to enjoy in 2022.
Having sent congrats! to several military people I know (especially you Malitzia) about the Kabul airlift, RESPECT should be the byword for all Americans. By all reasonable standards, a massive – over 120,000 person success versus any ‘debacle’ or stain on our military’s record – should be lauded. Hats off for all who served, in the air, on the ground, or logistically.
As Marine Corp General Kenneth McKenzie said at the time of an ISIS suicide bombing, when you’re in such a defensive posture, you KNOW you are going to be attacked – it’s only a question of when, and how well prepared for it you are. Noting that searching for body bombs like what killed some 60 Afghans and 13 U.S. service people is “a breath on breath,” intimate operation that was a threat every moment of the 17 days it lasted, one ‘successful’ attack was exceptional.
General McKenzie was also willing to credit the Taliban, which constituted the initial defensive perimeter, as being helpful and abiding by what had been agreed regarding the US departure.
That ISIS took advantage of the situation – very possibly using a female bomber that Sharia law prevented Taliban people from touching in the way necessary to detect a personal bomb – was probably a factor. It was detonated when faced with US personnel not restricted in that way is a simple fact, not the overwhelming fault that some Congressional (GOP) naysayers want to paint President Biden with.
The last American out was Major General Chris Donahue, 82nd Airborne, XVIII Corp. (hope that’s correctly delineated). It was NOT the frantic desperation of the last helicopter out of Vietnam when I was a HS senior, more the always messy end of a 20 year mission.
Mask-vax negatives are not a gov’t flaw
Nine months into the deployment of several 95-97% effective vaccines AFTER trump left office – most know the why of that – the United States has yet to reach group immunity (generally pegged at 70%), and the delta variation is overwhelming our health care system.
CHILDREN have not proven in any way immune to COVID-19, especially the delta variant, and mandates from GOP governors that school districts cannot protect them by masking is criminal. Many school districts will fight such mandate restrictions with civil disobedience, but at the individual level, there seems to a YUGE lack of respect for extra caution (see Martin Luther, above).
When I walked into a Novant clinic on March 18th, while still a Category 5 person in North Carolina, I felt I’d been given as close a guarantee to *living* as was possible. After hunkering down for a year, two weeks after a 2nd shot (Pfizer) I was allowed into Carmel Hills Senior Center, where I got to hug my 87 year old mother.
As a bottom line philosophy, I’d considered “thinning out the gene pool” a matter of choice – until it was very probable that ‘those people’ who wanted to deny or spit in the eye of the death-dealing ferocity of COVID could easily take me with them.
That my landlord decided THIS WEEK – his house, apparently he felt no need to consult three bill-paying tenants – to allow two homeless people to ‘temporarily’ camp in the living room, is a direct affront to the idea of respecting others. I wear a cloth mask when I leave my room now – it makes no sense to let my previous caution allow delta a gotcha! moment.
Having shown the two NYC-Jersey refugees my vax card, I have NO REASON to believe “Oh, I threw that piece of paper away,” is anything but a lie. The female denied the clog of hair left in shower was her’s (kee-RIST!), why believe something considerably more important to my health is okay, just because the guy would ditch such a document during a pandemic? Moron, right?
RESPECT has always been earned
RESPECT has always been earned, and both landlord – for many reasons – and these people have given me plenty of reason to doubt they’re working with societal norms. Millions of others have their own reasons for lying, but in situations this up close and personal, protecting myself is Job One.
For that, and many other reasons, I’m looking to get out of this living arrangement a.s.a.p. Landlord has a heart condition, another resident isn’t vaxxed either, not a problem to be a pisser about this IMHO.
Telling me to put my car on the street instead of in driveway so newbies can park there, that’s a minor disrespect, more an inconvenience. I talked to ‘the kids’ (22 y/olds) straight up about it, because good communication should always be top of the list. They seemed to understand, but like many aspects of life right now, about half the people in the house aren’t hearing it. Even if he’s “being a good Christian” re: homeless, I’ve been there. (Update 9/20/21 – He’s not that good, charging pair of 22 year olds $550 a month) https://cdtalententerprises.com/2021/06/22/america-truly-on-move-sheltered-homeless-challenge-millions/
Three sturdy HS football players who helped with a recent furniture drive said they wouldn’t get vaccinated, and I guess we’ll see how badly this continues to go on, based on lack of RESPECT for COVID.
“We know the difference with good umpires”
Brother David gave me this nugget, and yes, the scheduler for the organization I work for has it as a mantra – “You have to be consistent, especially high-low.” Last week I umped five games of 9 year olds on Saturday, then three games of 15 year olds Sunday.
After a first game that took 2:30 hours (scheduled for 1:45), I was told to loosen up my strike zone, from probably two ball widths off the plate to three. Realistically, this was the first time the 9 yr. olds weren’t getting ‘coach pitch,’ and you can’t hit anything that far off the plate, but with a heat index of 105 degrees, getting done sooner was a matter of survival.
I thanked the spectators that offered water and Gatorade, especially the frozen bottle I drizzled on my neck between innings. That several every game understood how physically brutal that heat was kind of counted, 15 minutes between games in the air-conditioned clubhouse counted even more.
The games with 15 year olds was quite different
Even 10 year olds have curve balls now, despite evidence that its not good for them to be throwing curves, and I’m aware of that ‘hook’ at the end when calling the games. At the beginning of 15s I made it clear, 3 balls wide yesterday wouldn’t be the deal – the 17″ of plate is all anyone was going to get.
I should add the fact that 10-11 year old catchers learn to frame pitches early, and 15s are willing to pull a pitch from *anywhere* into a spot that’s close to strike zone.
After one particular pitcher kept signaling he didn’t know why he wasn’t getting calls, I went to the manager between innings and told him the catcher was set up on outer third of the plate, and if pitcher missed at all, it was going to be a ball. Turned out that catcher had that habit previously, and manager couldn’t see difference from dugout I could at plate. He had catcher reposition himself directly behind the plate and offered thanks for the input.
As someone interested in athletics beyond the win-loss aspect, I feel its my professional duty to offer a comment when I see an obvious situation deserving of one.
I’ve done it multiple times, and when a center-fielder crashed into the chain link fence Sunday (GREAT catch!), I went to both dugouts and reminded them such things happened in sports. That kid had a helluva egg on his forehead, and didn’t look all there at the end of game, even after they’d taken him for x-rays to check for a concussion.
Coach said “Thanks for the input, Blue” even though I was sure he’d probably told his players the same thing. RESPECT comes in a lot of different packages, and there’s noooo doubt we could use a lot more of it in the current climate of ‘Us-them’ on something as basic as health safety during a pandemic.
RESPECT a virus? You betcha. If you want to hug your Mom, living in a community that’s tougher on who gets in than you want, do something smart about it – get the shot. If you don’t want your kids to come back from school loaded with a virus they can unknowingly pass to you, and you to unsuspecting others – get the shot.
If you’d like to offer a positive response about how you’re handling safety or issues of RESPECT, comments are open. I label this in ‘Leadership Thought’ category, one of my favorite word-smithing abilities, available for hire.
My community group has historically done large eating-oriented events that brought out 600-800 paying customers, often (over) filling the school cafeteria. Our fish fries have been legendary forever, Oyster Roasts an October tour de force our members and others loved.
The original pierogi event came from one member (Stephen Fogg), who suggested it as a substitute for a not well-attended spaghetti night in late January. Noting that, “Every Catholic church in Cleveland has pierogi dinners every Friday in Lent,” was math many former Yankees in our club could imagine. He served about 50 of us those buttery, cheese and potato filled Polish delicacies, what most describe as like ravioles. For many, it was comfort food from childhood.
It’s truly a Collaborative Process
We decided to do a test run the week before the dinner, and besides cooking the kielbasa and slivered onions that would make workers familiar with production tasks and timing, we made 1200 kolacky cookies. It took about 2 1/2 hrs. dedicated effort, turning balls of dough into, smaller, thin squares, dab a blob of jelly in the middle and fold cookies.
Those cookies were THE inspired hit. Only two at a time rationing, unforgettable. We were short of *everything,* bought out the nearby Harris Teeter on supplies, including turkey kielbasa, more onions, and sour cream.
When our marketing, essentially just church bulletins as far as Rock Hill, produced wild response, people coming down the stairs at 5:01, we started ringing the register at all levels. Customer satisfaction? Highest rating every time.
Like the Oyster Roast (October) and what had been a 34-year tradition of selling Christmas trees starting after Thanksgiving, we’re not doing pierogies this year, and didn’t last year, because really good crowds are not how we break COVID-19’s grip on being together.
Job Two Counts Big
That means, at the most basic level of collaboration, masking up as an act together for a common goal. Call it best practices overall, IMHO, Pandemic is Job One.
Job Two is putting some economic levers back into full play, and WFH (work from home), the ability of not-in-the-same-place talents to be immediately and easily incorporated into a creative flow, has proven that connectivity and productivity can maintain high standards.
Naysayers might point to ‘job encroachment syndrome’ or something similar, because widely diffused sources don’t always slot easily with time on task vs. ‘dark hours.’ For every ‘The Intern,’ where a go-go executive learns the human cost of constantly being ON regarding business, you’ll find dozens who have found a rhythm they can live with.
Perhaps not including those who swapped drive time with at home schooling concerns, or might have to consider paycheck alterations – If we’re ALL tele-commuting, sending contributions to a central point, able to SEE the results in real time, should there be a location differential?
There isn’t a room full of Mad Men-style creatives down the hall any more. Whole operations are dedicated to the proposition of lots of people doing pieces, with a use ’em and lose ’em financial philosophy.
As part of that Boomer Generation that turns sixty-four this year (Really? Friday? Huh…), where most haven’t got their retirement funds at millionaire level and ready for that sunsets-and-RV travel-the-country deal, its kind of ‘put up or shut up’ time. For once I concur with Snoop Dogg, “Down the rabbit hole we ALLLL go!” and almost nobody is guaranteed anything.
A Small History for Boomers
The Generation that survived Vietnam, and how that conflict split families across America, death totals every night on the news, that was us. There were REAL protests of 500,000 people at a time, hippies, dads, black/white, well before the miracle of instant communication arose. Civil rights got some air time, and the environment improved because we paid attention to it.
Robert Kennedy, speaking to an almost all Black gathering in Indianapolis as news was finally arriving about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. is the ballsiest human-political speech I believe I’ll ever see. It was the only time he invoked his own brothers death, and from his heart and guts, he spoke of Truth AND peace, no filters or spin.
Indianapolis was the only major city in America that didn’t explode in violence that night. No sports analogy for that. We Boomers will always own the Moon landing, and EVERYBODY cared about Apollo 13 – saw it again last night – and in Sr. Mary Anthony’s class, we prayed for those guys.
That so many people of every stripe stepped up during the BLM protests, which jives with our collective Boomer regardfor doing ‘right,’ wasn’t this all straightened out back then?
I’m sure there was at least one environmental SuperFund site (thank you GE) in Schenectady, NY. Our journalism program at Linton HS actually followed socio-political news, and Highlights-“you journalism guys,” with our magic yellow hall passes – has been an identity at reunions. Ahhh, Karen Korniak and the majorettes… A bunch of us became the huge wave of journalism majors in post-Watergate times.
SOUTH Vietnam was overrun the spring of my senior year, 1975.
I never regret missing any part of the meat-grinder Vietnam was for my generation. 2020 was supposed to be our 45th reunion, because waiting for a 50th – who knows what could happen to even the Forever Young Generation by then?
Cripes, we thought Tricky Dicky was a menace to democracy! Turns out America has over 150 people in Congress – and a mob of angry white people with truth and rule of law wiped from their collective minds – who did worse than Nixon ever considered doing to the U.S. of A. as a country. Kow-towing to a RUSSIAN like trump? The idea of a Black President actually worked…
America, still a place to try whatever
I started a real estate class the week after 40th reunion, 79 hours of class time, LOTS of studying and taking chapter tests on line that were a very real part of qualifying for State exam, which I passed first time, a good ending to 2015. https://wordpress.com/post/cdtalententerprises.com/968
Coming out of The Great Recession, I went from reunion to first sale in 100 days, but it wasn’t quite the economic turnaround I needed. While I’ve come inside with a couple operations, since 2019, CDTalent Enterprises has provided skills working in collaboration situations.
I’m taking a philosophical mulligan on last year being Year Three of my transition to ‘long-term copywriting resource.’
For everything that’s going on in American politics and healthcare in a pandemic, Vietnam becoming a non-factor made college just part of a regular life – I was part of a two year blind spot that never registered. Whether ‘white privilege’ or just Boomer Lifestyle, a four-year double major (journalism and marketing) away from home, then first job as a road man regional rep ($14,000) for TIME, Inc., with company station wagon, twenty cold calls a day, improving retail displays.
“You’re a pretty good talker, you should be in sales,” was the thinking, and I learned plenty, then quit to move to Tampa and become a poorly-paid freelancer.
Yes, that was road-muscle building time, sports and city-magazine writing was a great entree in early ’80s. Comparatively speaking, there are an incredible array of ways to monetize writing skills and content now, when everyone has a website and blogs, and corporate voice material. “Long-form informational content” is the essential journalism of storytelling.
My mantra about best practices is giving the reader “content worth knowing about, considering and using.” Getting an acknowledgment of information being conveyed is okay – always the point with copywriting – even if it doesn’t entirely convince. I did it for a fire-fighter niche while a realtor – their professional aid response had given me another Christmas with Dad – so giving my best effort counted.
The Miracle on Ice, Al Michaels “Do you believe…!” 1980 Lake Placid Olympics, second month on the job, every Sports Illustrated, TIME, LIFE, and People magazine in my territory sold 95%-plus. That constituted a HUGE, real, shared, cultural event.
I’ve been a WFH (work from home) content writing-long form blogger for over two years, and I don’t fit easily in economic or pandemic vaccination criteria . Except for shooting hoops and greenway bike riding, I’m masked. Yes, pandemic is Job One, and as a Cat 5 person, I will get a shot aaaaany time they tell me its a possibility.
I come to vaccines from the anti-polio sugar cube kids experience, and for smallpox (I think I had chicken pox). My Dad survived polio as a child, his left leg was always thinner, but he (Navy) and three brothers, Donnie (USAF), Howard (USMC), and Harold (Navy) all served their country. My favorite nephew – parents have to love everyone the same, uncles and grandparents are allowed favs – Curtiss, is an Army Captain, wife Stephanie just delivered a baby girl. The Mom is ex-military (USAF), yes, we love our military people. (Smile – you too Malitzia.)
OF COURSE Grandma Donna was there, because especially in these very trying times, FAMILY COUNTS.
Life goes on isn’t political, its lifestyle
Another nephew and wife delivered Trace (Stephen Paul, III) last June, but first appearance in Charlotte (from Boston) was Thanksgiving. Surprisingly, even the hour of socially distanced family, with a little Tin Cup and a take-it-with-you cigar when leaving with a deep-fried bird, was ‘Enough’ to feel right on family. Mom has flowers and her senior community was vaccinated the end of December, good by me.
Life goes on, right? We Boomers learned that from experiences, not all of them good. I’ve had two bicycle crashes during lockdown, the August one with some substantial injuries, from toes to shoulder on right side. In North Carolina-speak, “I was tore up.” I did a couple blogs about it, but at no time was putting bike away part of any solution. I mentioned that in connection with voting at the time, like in keep doing it, not losing it.
In both cases, I recognized that always wearing a helmet saved me from tremendous negatives, same as seat belts and face masks, because I *heard* the thunk of helmet on concrete both times. Having a front wheel torque off and being DOWN in a heartbeat, and then being literally, physically saved from infection by a chance encounter with a PA while doing furniture pickups for a church operation – that sounds like karma coming around in a good way.
As a Boomer, I credit 35 years of regular bike riding as the core of being an active sixty-four. In real estate, we learned you never talked about age or retirement with Boomers. As I mention in a thought leadership piece about nonpandemic healthcare, all I needed during my last visit was blood pressure meds – physically I’m right, extra thanks for the new knee from ACA in late 2017 – Gimp no more!
Boomers were also early adopters of CBD, because good hemp *does* make a difference. While doing several months of content writing and loads of research for a CBD manufacturer, I learned those cannabinoids worked, I even helped convince a Type-A brother to use several after sampling. Yes, from me on focus (JMHO), yes for ‘anxiety’ by many, yes for topical cream doing an amazing job on Mom’s legs, a bit of service we Boomers probably won’t get down the line.
Crisis of Confidence, trying to keep good ‘tude
I self-published a romance novel with bonus money working in retail during the Great Recession. https://www.wattpad.com/story/216172684-cards-consequences-return-of-marlena-the Its true how having actual books in your hands makes an author-writer feel, but compared to my Dad as a kid… The distributor made a Coca Cola wagon for him, he brought iced Cokes around the Watervliet Arsenal, across the street from his home, returning with the amazing amount of $5 a DAY during the Depression, that is truly humbling.
Right now, with full knowledge of what happened in our democracy on January 6th, dammit, I still have to replant my personal flag.
I affirm as an American, Boomer, and content writing professional – whose been there and done that, maybe more than once – that I continue to get better with age, because us Gigger-Boomers are about that, picking up Zoom skills, reviewing keywords with clients, getting that corporate voice deal righteous.
Yes, plenty of opportunity to click on in 2021, even if being 64 on Friday leaves me wondering about what old is, because I still cycle and shoot hoops regularly and don’t groan getting out of bed. One serious thought for Mr. Azar, telling us in U.S. that there reeeallllly isn’t any vaccine sitting around in reserve – how long before that important shot in the arm makes my day as a Category 5 person?
Memorial Day will be 26 years in Charlotte – there might be some parties to get social at by then. Perhaps someplace where few contrary opinions about trump’s departure are the norm again. Wearing masks? We’ll see. That ’70s phrase “Always question authority” isn’t in vogue with COVID-19.
‘Normal’ isn’t what Boomers are about
‘Normal’ isn’t really what Boomers are about though. We jogged, played tennis, drank green stuff from blenders, probably burned a quantity of green stuff not from a blender, cheered for bratty McEnroe, remember the 444 days of the Iranian Hostage Crisis, the kerfuffle of Reagan-Ollie North and guns for contras. My now a Democrat brother railed about “How else could they get guns?” (Answer – not THAT way if Congress didn’t fund it). Lakers-Celtics in the Finals every year, Clinton as President – THAT’S how to move an economy (and yes, Hillary got schtupped) – the millineum and then agony of 9/11 and where the World has devolved to since.
Thirty-five years since Challenger exploded.
I’m good about online collaboration, but also looking forward to seeing a friendly smile from across the room this year. Its not the same to nod at someone as you’re rolling past on the greenway.
Clients still need what I have an endless supply of, words arranged rightly. Gotta add ‘truthfully’ in there too, we can’t overstate that facts are still an essence in the process, not optional extras.
I obviously and truly admire the extreme dedication of news bringers who kept a bright, hot light on trump admistration thuggery, constantly connecting us with facts that counted on this long, long road back to within sight of Real again, The Washington Post people… To think I have similar writing DNA, yeah, that’s ego – like saying Tom Cruise and I both have blue eyes, two arms and legs, and same height. True, but…
Michael Beschloss paused on 11th Hour last night to give Brian Williams a sincere thanks for how he’s handled last four years, steering information consistently, productively, an unimpeachable and comforting resource, an accolade Williams certainly wears well. He knows and owns his singular fumble with Truth, but hey, the Pope wanted him to do the interview. His good humor and humanity works for me – Mom says she raised four gentlemen, and I’ll claim any quality in common like that. Your service and Truth is noted, an honor to stay up late with you, sir.
In the overall success of the internet, the ability of not-in-the-same-place talents to be immediately and easily incorporated into the creative flow ranks high, especially for those who are participating in the booming sector called ‘Remote work.’
Cell phones, laptops, Skype, time-task tracking software, of course, texting, are the norm and eminently useful. Communication should never be lacking with real world clients.
Time zones? Pssshhh! California is always going to be three hours difference. You signed up for that when you responded to the online Looking For.
Bringing resources together
With content creation, there’s always “The SEO People” who drill managers in must-have markers in getting material created. There’s always a director, a corporate or personal ‘voice’ is determined, ideation becomes a product through a process of submissions from sources tasked to websites, blogging, and media-click counts.
There isn’t a room full of Mad Men-style creatives down the hall any more. Whole operations are dedicated to the proposition of lots of people doing pieces, with a use ’em and lose ’em financial philosophy.
Pierogi Dinner Study
Anyway, the Pierogi Dinner Study. A community group I work with does several primarily eating events a year that maximizes our manpower. We also have an annual Christmas Tree Sale that starts the day after Thanksgiving. There are about 85-90 active members, across wide age range, with most having a significant amount ofprofessional expertise of one kind or another.
Last year, a member originally from Cleveland (Stephen Fogg), suggested a pierogi dinner as a late-January replacement for a less-well attended spaghetti dinner. His pitch was, “Every church in Cleveland does pierogi dinners in Lent, same with Pennsylvania, even New York. It’s relatively cheap, great family event, week before Super Bowl. There are plenty of non-Southerners around who know the deal with pierogis.”
Without any track history in Charlotte, NC on this particular Polish culinary item – a shredded cheese and potato-filled ravioli is the common description – the original goal was 450 paying customers. On the bottom line, it was an exceptional success; people started coming down the steps and into the cafeteria at 5:01, and it was 2 1/2 hours slamming time for our workers.
We served about 800, and not an unhappy camper in the lot. The planned dancing area wound up taking ten more tables instead. We have established a terrific foothold in a dynamic niche market. Our biggest problem might be handling any Year Two increase, a subject for another day perhaps.
The time logistic
The time logistic, from original idea presentation to a client (the club officers) to killer event as a scheduled, documented success was four months. The analogy of how its similar, and possibly even easier, to gain consensus with remote workers on any creative projects is where I’m going. It’s the software, baby!
The ideation was transmitted to the necessary work group months in advance of the post-Christmas event by an obvious product evaluation: He made the dinner, including slivered sauteed onions, kielbasa, and sauerkraut. BIG success, everyone buys into the project, its recognized as comfort food from many of their early years.
Sound like where you’d want a project to be on the enthusiasm meter? Right, and the KPI people will be tracking enthusiasm.
The simplest idea became a central force in the success. The project director’s knowledge and previous expertise (“every church in Cleveland”) was an A-1 asset, the group history in scaling up became an ‘all you can eat’ invitation in area church bulletins, and as noted, huge success on that communication front.
The product itself was exceptional, including 1200 kolacky (jelly filled-folded) cookies. The notion of “too many chefs” in a creative kitchen as a negative still translates, you can only follow one strategy. It’s still a fact, however many workers it takes, the product has to be there when scheduled-necessary.
The empirical A/B, more-most effective way
There was a test-firing of the process a week prior to the event dinner attended by about 15, factors from time necessary for outside cookers to grilling and adding trimmings were nailed down. Making the cookie dough took four countertop mixers. Our expertise used the empirical A/B more-most effective way to get desired outcomes, pragmatic without techie-ness.
The steering committee understood how kitchen and service roles needed to be handled, including the facility prep, launch (5:01) and overall capabilities of volunteers, and the addition of secondary support people (middle/high school students doing service hours) ensured downstream reaction and course correction were highly linked.
Our community projects are considered “good duty” service hours by students, fun and fulfilling, a good rep to have.
Its easy to see challenges like garbage removal from tables in any production directly in front of you. The point is that elements of a project are all within a couple clicks and keystrokes of any content coordinating person.
Today’s online collaboration possibilities simplify a project director’s ability to see any and all associated materials, to know what they want changed, and connect with specific vendors about content.
Ask ten managers or recruiters what’s most important on a resume, and beyond contact information, you will undoubtedly get ten different answers. Having commented (even raved) about this under-employment situation with numerous people, I’m committing to a discussion about the pitfalls of “You must show ACHIEVEMENT, not *just* did things” mind set.
That the standard eight seconds of recruiter viewing time for resumes doesn’t seem to have improved is certainly a gripe many will have, and scanners are definitely still a problem.
I’ll use three examples regarding resumes and delineating production versus achievement relative to executive-administrative associate roles. Those who think millions lack necessary skills probably haven’t explored beyond singular tests adequately with clients.
Having seen articles about the desirability of ‘soft skills’ recently, communications ability doesn’t equate to verifiable ACHIEVEMENT. In my own freelance writing, community involvement projects, and significant sales background, I’ve relied on the Q&A style of determining what needs to be known with rapport building, and handling of whatever blips or situations come up.
Having the necessary computer skills, even if not the most current version, is an expectation, yet being the oil that keeps gears moving smoothly is an understood factor in admin associates job. When the phone rings, the keyboarding skills take a break.
Many counselors agree a functional vs. chronological resume is legitimate. Many others feel dates, including when NOT working, are still required.
As a contract employee pre-recession, I became the primary coordinator for a quarterly meeting of a 185-person Master Servicing group, after replacing an executive associate that handled three vice-presidents.
Determining the site, menu and costs for lunch, the AV equipment setups, which logo-ed gift participants would receive, and team building exercises were all wrapped in the project.
Singular achievement or significant collaboration
While there was a sub-set of nine or ten others who helped with coordination (especially the participant gift, a sweet, extra-large umbrella with padded grip from the corporate catalog I still have), it was my job to get the major ABCs together.
The ballroom location and equipment needs became essentially free once the luncheon cost ($17 x 185 v. approx. $34,000 budget) was negotiated, which proved a no-brainer to green-light when presented to the veep with oversight responsibility.
The lunch banquet worked smoothly, and a scavenger hunt for the team building exercise proved brilliant. The participant who didn’t put a printout in her team’s box by ‘3-2-1-zero!’ as everyone counted down the end of exercise certainly won’t forget it.
It’s not fair to you, lumping that under an ordinary job description. It was clearly an achievement, and while banks were fat then and it was almost a blank check on budget, quantifying the magnitude of a similar Great Job! shouldn’t be missed.
Take space on your resume to draw attention to any similar ability to handle complex or out-of-the-ordinary situations.
Customer Service Administrator
In a multi-functional job tagged as Customer Service Administrator, I interfaced with three mutually exclusive data bases, had over-sight and justification of eight technicians hourly and travel expenses, and researched customer billing questions (the techs weren’t always great on documentation). Putting together $30,000-60,000 consignment orders of parts for new locations and call backs were secondary administrative tasks.
Varied as these factors were, there’s still nothing that smacks of that all important ‘Achievement’ at an administrative level.
Recognizing the Parts Department was often asked by customers to diagnose which part of a machine had failed, I utilized my writing skills to create a ‘Parts Ordering and Return Policies’ piece, which became that out of the ordinary achievement.
Diagnosing was a Service function, so codifying how the company wanted callers – generally the guys in the pits with machines, not office personnel – to present needs in 1st, 2nd, 3rd best ways to determine the required part improved process efficiency for the Parts Department.
Ordering-return procedures as ‘value added achievement’
It took considerable grunt work, but distilling a comprehensive 1,325 user mailing list from an 18,000 machine database and disseminating those ordering-return procedures became a quantifiable ‘value added achievement.’ Such projects aren’t about knowing the most current software, its about initiative.
That’s a quality potential employers will only recognize if it’s presented on a resume early, and somehow as a scannable line of copy. That isn’t always easy, its just what’s needed though, so work it.
Departmental re-org, Five Team Leaders
During a reorganization of a 105-person Purchasing Department, I was tasked to the change coordinator and became a point of contact for five Team Leaders. Multiple executives or managers is usually included in position descriptions for administrative associates. Beyond creating and disseminating all new policies through the e-mail (non-WYSIWYG) system, where does quantifying come in?
Take some space on a resume to make sure you draw attention to an ability to handle complex or out-of-the-ordinary situations.
Rewriting an environmental assessment questionnaire was a difference maker. There wasn’t a data file with all the information to tap and go for desktop publishing, so while the vast majority of preparing 150 hefty binders of information for a chemical safety conference was keeping two copying machines operating, it was a two-day rush order that would’ve taken two weeks notice for a corporate print shop.
As the Team Rubicon crew says, GSD – Get shit done.
Scanning snafus and eight seconds of attention
It’s still a discouraging factor with recruiters, who we *know* are trying to fill a specific need for their clients. Many still won’t sit with someone to determine the ‘extras’ their experience or under-utilized skills might amount to if known about.
Many counselors agree a functional resume is legitimate, many others recruiters say dates, including when NOT working, are still required. While a uniquely formatted resume is often acceptable – LinkedIn does a decent one – many operations still throw things into a scanner that will not be your friend when parsing.
When you’re looking for a better job, making the time to create the best possible, and hopefully unique, picture of what you offer is a factor every expert agrees about.
As a small, reasonable fix, this is stated absolutely:
FOLLOW UP with anything you send.
Describe ‘Career Experiences’
Although I came across a NASCAR application with a 2,000 word limit to describe ‘Career Experiences,’ few applications have the flexibility to include ‘other stuff.’ In 2020, recruiters might again have massive numbers of resumes, with some 40 million sidelined indefinitely. There was supposed to be a shortage for many positions, but helping to keep recruiters focused on you as the payoff requires more than a voice mail every ten days.
Being eliminated because your recruiter didn’t see you as an EXACT match for their job order, that you under-state your own achievements will happen far too often if you don’t put it in the mix in a substantial way.
What’s more legitimate – hoping today! a recruiter discovers YOU are a unique, shining example of paper portrait which includes a factor they hadn’t considered, or calling them and offering an explanation of some additional experience that drew your attention to a new possibility. (Yes, you might have included that in a cover letter.)
Even if you think writing that extra couple lines will never get seen, doing less is seldom (if ever) going to win the day.