Wednesday, December 30, 2009

'Tis the Season ...

When your family calls you out during Christmas and asks you "Whatever happened to you saying you write more blog posts?" you definitely feel like a jackass.

So you wanted it, so you're going to get it.

Like most of us, the holiday season has been an exceptionally busy time of year for me and like most of us it sneaked up me quick. My EMT class was drawing to a close and my mind was focused on passing the written final exam and preparing for the national registry practical exam. Although confident in my skills in basic life support and relative ease with the written final, I was still nervous as hell when I was in that room performing under the eagle eye of my examiner. You be glad to know that received verification that I passed my practical exam a couple days later.

Even though I've been at my job at GroupCast for about three months now and have developed some great relationships within the office, you still just can't get to know one's true self in a work environment. The weekend before Christmas, my company hosted it's annual "Holiday" party at Kemoll's on the 40th floor of The Metropolitan building downtown. When someone else pays for the booze, people have a tendency to consume more than normal. The company party was no different. I got to see people's true colors and it was a good thing. I got to know some of my coworkers as people, not just coworkers. As the party began to wind down, those of us who are on the younger side of the spectrum, went out on Washington Ave. To make a long story short, I ended up asking the company's president's daughter to the George Strait concert in February. I learned she is a big fan of "The King" and decided I'd rather take someone who will appreciate what she's seeing/experiencing rather than some random broad off the street. My new strategy for climbing the corporate ladder I suppose.

However, I still have one Holiday season story that is pretty sweet.

As I drove to work last week, I saw a car up ahead with it's hazard lights flashing. Being the good Samaritan that I am, I stopped and asked if everything was okay and if the person needed a jump start for their car. It was still fairly dark outside, but I could hear a woman's voice say: "My car just died on me." I pulled my truck around, popped my hood and dug out some jumper cables. The woman got out of the car and my jaw dropped. This girl was drop dead gorgeous. I couldn't believe it. I made every attempt to get her car started with no success. However no good deed goes unnoticed. She gave me her phone number and asked me to call her sometime.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Heading to Chicago for New Years again this year. Like last year, I'm sure I'll have something good to report back on.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Volunteering and Public Image

In my efforts to blog more and keep my writing/media skills sharp I will now tell you all what I did over the weekend.

Back in late July when I had absolutely no job prospects on the horizon I signed up for the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-B) class at St. Louis Community College- Wildwood campus. I was way beyond burned out from the the rigors of job hunting in a shit economy and job market, I was depressed beyond belief from the lack of income and the pathletic lifestyle that follows. I simply needed something to do and stimulate my brain. I was enjoying being a volunteer firefighter, so getting my EMT license was the next logical step.

Fastforward 20 weeks or so and I have my final tonight. St. Louis had so much going this weekend. A young professionals happy hour Friday in Soulard, a tacky Christmas sweater bar crawl on Morganford Saturday afternoon. It could have been a very social weekend, but I needed to study. The EMT class is based on a national curriculum developed by the Department of Transportation. You must score above a 75% on every exam. You can retake up to 3 exams, but the final is one and done. I've done well in the class thus far, but there's a ton of content to go over.

Saturday morning I pittled around the house before I decided the only way I was going to get any quality studying done was if I went somewhere else. So I called in and reported to a Eureka Firehouse to put in some volunteer hours. I have a streak of doing well on exams where I spent most of my study time at a firehouse. I guess I just have a better mindset there or something. Plus I figured I devoted this much time and effort to the class I better finish what I started and get my license.

I report to Eureka Firehouse 2 with "C" Shift. I get about 2 hours of solid study time before the captain says it's time to go. We were scheduled to make an appearance to the "Toys for Tots" Toy drive at the Eureka Wal-Mart as part of our public image efforts. Eureka Fire District is big on public image. Any thing they can think of to make us look better in the public's eye, they'll do. Which isn't a bad thing. Afterall, it's the public who pay the taxes which support public services like Fire/EMS.

So we staged the trucks in the parking lot and when all personnel were ready, we rolled up to the front of Wal-Mart with lights and sirens where Santa Claus jumped off our ladder truck to dump a bunch of toys into the box being attended by two U.S. Marines in dress uniforms. Yes, it's cheesy but kids and the parents eat that stuff up. It's the kind of stuff smaller districts have to do to get the money they need for equipment and supplies. The movies only highlight big city departments.

So if you were one of those folks who thought the fire service was all run n' gun, think again.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's time to get my act together

I've noticed that for the past few months I've averaged maybe one or two blog posts per month. Any credible blogger knows that any credible blog is updated with at least three posts per week. I still haven't given up a dream I had of working in the marketing/business communications arena. At first, I though the only organizations worth working for were professional sports franchises or other national brand names, but I'm learning every day that plenty of other, smaller companies are out there that provide quality products and services.

Take my new company for example. Maybe 25 people work here total. You'll probably never see a GroupCast spot during the Super Bowl. Not many people even know about us in St. Louis where our office is. But we offer a great product, with incredible customer service, our employees are happy and just trying to make an honest living.

I received an early birthday present from my late grandfather Herb "Papa" Fischer. He left each of the grandkids a piece of the pie for lack of better words. My parents originally decided that 25 would be a good age to give this gift. Since I was closer to 25 than 24 at the time and since I really needed the cash money, my parent gave it to me a little early. With that, I paid off my credit card instantly. So now that I'm credit card debt-free and working only ONE full-time job instead of a few bull shit part-time jobs, I hope to live a more exciting lifestyle.

Even though I'm (mostly) happily employed, I'm still networking my butt off. I still have long-term goals. I still think I know what I want to do with my career.

Monday, October 19, 2009

HIRED and College for the Weekend

I know that most people in my life already know this but I accepted an full-time job offer from a company called GroupCast here in the St. Louis, MO area. I started the second week of my training and so far everything is gravy. I can't even begin to describe this past year which has been by far one of my most challenging. Right when I thought I was turning the corner and creating new opportunities for myself I had them taken away. The day-in and day-out grind of filling out applications, submiting resumes and scheduling follow-up calls are finally behind me (at least for now). At one point I was working 3 part-time, non career-minded jobs and all I could was: "What has my life come to?" It wasn't just the lack of a job. It was all the things that result from lack of a steady paycheck: no social life, an uninterested girlfriend, bills that can't be paid, etc. It adds up and I hit a threshold and now hopefully I am begining a bit of a Re-Birth of you will.

And what better way to start a fresh start?

Go to Indiana University's Homecoming with a bunch of you old college fraternity brothers!

I've never been to Heaven. Maybe I'll make it there someday, but as I crossed over Indiana State Road 37 on the Indiana State Road 46 bridge connecting Elletsville, IN to Bloomington- I was without question the happiest I had been in quite some time. I immediately when to a Sigma Nu live-out party where I was handed a cup of flat, keg beer. We started our bar tour at Upstairs Pub and ended up at the Sigma Nu house stopping at Kilroys Sports along the way. We were up until 6am. We were in the tailgate fields by 10am. I re-lived college for only 48 hours and couldn't help but wonder how I lived like this for 4 years. But it was good times all around. Every time I get together with the IU-SNU boys I just know everything is going to work itself out.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

When it rains, it pours

All throughout this struggle, my mom has said: "John, when it finally happens- it's gonna happen all at once."

Maybe my mom should pick-up reading tarot cards or start predicting the future, because she was dead on.

My life started to come back when I received a phone call to come in for an interview for a 30 day temp. job making ten bucks an hour. I was desperate. I needed the money badly. My credit card had been maxed out and I knew that a car insurance payment was not too far away. I was offered the temp. job and during my very first week I started getting calls for interviews for real, full-time career-minded jobs.

In the past two weeks, I've had three first interviews, two second interviews, another second interview scheduled for next week and one official job offer. A few months ago I couldn't pay someone to give me an interview.

I will admit I changed my tactics a little bit. I started going after non-profits and smaller companies- organizations that NEEDED people. The Scottrade's and the Anheuser-Busch's of the world are doing more firing than hiring these days. I also started taking advantage of Twitter and LinkedIn to get my name out there. I started reaching out to complete strangers who are marketing and communications professionals asking them for advice and if I could add them to my professional network. On LinkedIn, you are ranked higher in keyword searches if you have more connections.

My profile actually started showing up in keyword searches because of how well I had my profile setup. That is exactly how Ungerboeck Systems International discovered me.

So as I mentioned before, I received an official job offer from a company called GroupCast, but I have a second interview with Ungerboeck on Tuesday. Cintas really wants me to work in their Fire Suppression Equipment division. I also have an application with the city of Jeffersonville, IN to be a full-time, professional firefighter. A family friend told me last week, his marketing manager wants to schedule a phone interview for next week. This is all crazy.

So I have some tough decisions to make of a different kind.

When it rains, it pours.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

When all seems lost, there's hope

Right when you think all hope is lost.

Right when you think things couldn't get any worse.

Life has a way of giving you hope.

Yesterday I had a mental breakdown. I broke down and cried like the day I found out my grandfather died unexpectedly. I had been pushed to my emotional limits. The constant flow of job rejection emails was getting too much. I was tired of making follow up phone calls and never getting answers. I've looked into every industy I felt qualified for. Marketing, PR, non-profits, school districts, and any type of communications-related job- you name it, I've looked into it. I've attended just about every St. Louis networking event in the past two months. But the question remains: Why can't I get a job?

But later on that afternoon I received a message from a man on LinkedIn who owns a sports and event management software company here in the St. Louis area. He is looking for a sports-minded marketing coordinator. He reached out to ME. Not the other way around. I, of course, called him immediately and told him of my interest and why. He asked for my resume and said he'd in touch for an interview.

Earlier today, I was helping the Eureka Fire District, where I am a volunteer firefighter, set up for the Firefighter Combat Challenge when I received a phone call from a gentleman from ABC News. I recognized the NYC area code so I knew this wasn't a scam. He was writing a story on unemployment and wanted to hear my story because of a message I sent to Good Morning America telling them of everything I have done the past several months to find a job. The ABC reporter wanted to hear MY story, so I told him.

That being said, he said he hopes his story helps me out and will run tomorrow morning hopefully.

Thanks Scott, I appreciate your help.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Dog Daze of Summer

I apologize for the lack of posts lately, but I will admit that I have become addicted to the micro-blogging sensation that is Twitter. Back in early July, I attended a workshop on how to beef up your LinkedIn profile and how to use Twitter to better market yourself, your brand, product or service. I was amazed at how quickly I saw results after applying some simple strategies. I won't give up those secrets because I want Lewis Howes and Ria Sharon to get the credit.

I've been networking my butt off. For a while I was attending three networking events a week. Unfortunately, I haven't made the kinds of connections I need in order to break into marketing and PR. When one door closes, another opens. I enrolled in a three-day intensive Dale Carnegie Training immersion seminar where one of the instructors works with a lot of fire districts. She put in touch with a few chiefs and officers up in St. Charles county. Perhaps the Fire/EMS service is where I'm supposed to be.

A few weeks ago I was up in Chicago for a college fraternity reunion. It was great. 15 of your best friends rolling deep in the heart of Wrigleyville just as if it was Kirkwood Ave at Indiana University. At the same time, it brought back some tough memories too.

I'm still actively job hunting and career searching. I recently applied to be on a St. Louis based emergency response team through AmeriCorps. Based on the job description my background and skill sets match up perfectly. I also though the same thing about the Chaifetz Arena marketing position and that didn't work out at all. A firefighter buddy is trying to help me get my foot in the door at St. John's Mercy Hospital because they're going to hire someone for their public relations department. I'm very interested in that as well. So I've got options and lines casted out there, it's just a matter of which one bites.

So tuned for an update.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Signs of Life

I had an interview for a marketing job at the fairly new Chaifetz Arena in Midtown St. Louis. Chaifetz Arena is the property of St. Louis University and primarily the home to their basketball and volleyball teams. However, the university has outsourced the facility management and booking duties to company Global Spectrum- a leading firm in private facility management.

Global Spectrum is a part of Comcast Spectacor which owns a variety of sports and entertainment companies including the Philadelphia Phillies hockey club and Philadelphia 76'ers of the NBA. All in all, it's a mini version of Anschutz Entertainment Group which owned the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer.

My main responsibilities would be marketing the arena's concerts and special events, leaving the SLU Billikens branding to the school's athletics department. I interviewed with the assistant general manager and I was surprised to see how young he was. He was probably in his upper 20's. I thought we hit it off well and I was relaxed throughout most of the interview. I felt like we were talking more than interviewing. We talked about music, sports and other things. I have a good vibe about this one, but I had a good vibe with the Rams public relations internship and we all know how that turned out.

I interviewed well, showed humility and eagerness to learn, wrote a hand-written "thank you" card, so I've done about everything that I can do. The rest is up to fate.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Reason to Hire John #22: Attitude

I'll admit for the past few weeks I feel like I've been living a country music song.

I still don't have a job, my girlfriend dumped me, I had to put my dog down and I still live in my parents basement.

Holy crap.

Yeah, I get down on myself. Yeah, I get frustrated. Who wouldn't though. This isn't quite what I had in mind for 24 years old. Our country is going through some really weird stuff right now. However I'm smart enough to realize that attitude is everything. Despite my current situation I keep fighting the good fight.

I keep searching for jobs. I keep applying for any appealing opportunity. I keep an open mind. I keep networking. I make follow-up calls. I send e-mails. I've even walked right up to the front door and delivered my resume in person.

No one owes me a job because I want one. I have to fight for one.

So in the meantime, I try to keep myself busy and my spirits up any way possible. A new soccer session started at Vetta. I've got a new softball league starting up. I've got some fresh job leads and networking opportunities.

Attitude is everything.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reason to Hire John #187: Sacrifice

I volunteer to save lives.

Everyone loves firefighters ... especially ones that are volunteers. Running into a burning building is crazy enough as it is when getting paid a salary. However, when doing the same thing without any monetary compensation or something tangible in return is entirely different.

Which is why I do it.

One of the biggest problems in our world today is that people are not willing to help their fellow man without expecting something in return. In our "what have you done for me lately" society, not many people help others just to help others.
Some people work in a food bank. Some people build houses with Habitat for Humanity. Some are mentors at Big Brothers-Big Sisters.

I spend my free time as Reserve (volunteer) Firefighter with the Eureka Fire Protection District. I just completed my 14 week basic recruit class, but everyone should know that a firefighter's training is never done. Firefighters know quite well the importance of education and the attitude of never stop learning, after all, it could mean the difference between life and death- not just for us, but for a complete stranger we're trying to save.

I volunteer to save lives.

What do you do with your free time?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Dear Potential Employers,

I'm sorry but I must take a break from my regularly scheduled blogging to write a tribute to my grandmother Wilma Bush Fischer who passed away late last week.

Saying good-bye to someone you love no matter what the circumstances is never easy. She had been battling with Alzheimer's and dementia for years, so needless to say I was much more at please with this death than my grandfather's this past summer. Her suffering is now over and she is in Heaven with my grandfather. However, I still felt my eyes welling up with tears and my voice cracking as the pastor spoke his words. I think it was because the pastor forced us to remember all the good times instead of the bad.

Yes, my "Gama" probably smoked a little too much, drank a little too much, cussed a little too much and was stubborn to the core, but she loved her family and encouraged them to reach their full potential which is now seen in her four children and ten grandchildren. Her memory and spirit lives on with us. I remember how proud she was when I told her I would attend her alma mater Indiana University. She could have died happy right then and there knowing her oldest grandson would graduate from Old IU.

Next week, I hope to have another post on why your company should hire me. And if you don't, Wilma's rage will rain down upon thee from the heavens above!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Reason to hire John #234: Perseverance

"Don't give up ... don't ever give up!"
~ Jimmy Valvano

These words eloquently spoken by the legendary college basketball coach have been echoed and quoted a million times, but very few us actually take them to heart.

When I was in the seventh grade, I was cut from the middle school soccer team. When I was in the eighth grade, again, I was cut from the middle school soccer team. At this point, most people would have thrown in the towel and joined the track & field squad, but I didn't like running around in circles. I loved to play soccer- that was my sport.

So what did I do? I did something about it. I played more games. I practiced more on own in the backyard. I went to a week-long soccer camp at Indiana University. I played indoor soccer during the winter. I made that soccer ball my best friend. I watched every game that was on TV. I ate, drank, breathed, slept and dreamt soccer.

I barely made the team my freshman year of high school, but just being on the JV squad wasn't good enough, I wanted to be a starter for the varsity.

So what did I do? I did something about it. I played more games. I practiced more on own in the backyard. I went to a week-long soccer camp at Indiana University. I played indoor soccer during the winter. I made that soccer ball my best friend. I watched every game that was on TV. I ate, drank, breathed, slept and dreamt soccer.

When most of my teammates hit their peak in terms of developing as soccer players, I kept improving my game year after year, and the coaches noticed it. In the face of adversity, I didn't give up. I stayed the course and kept pushing toward my goal even others said it couldn't be done.

Perseverance: per⋅se⋅ver⋅ance   [pur-suh-veer-uhns]
1. steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Reason to Hire John #526: Leadership

I grew up in the Boy Scouts and earned the rank of Eagle Scout by the age of 16. While in the scouts, I learned the importance of effective leadership. My troop was a "scout-run troop." The boys planned everything- the adults supervised, and when I say planned everything, I mean everything. We planned the camping trips, put together the food menus, duty rosters, etc.

As I got older I took on positions with the troop that required more and more leadership responsibility on my end. The highest role within the troop is the Senior Patrol Leader. The SPL looks over the Patrol Leaders and the PL's have their assistants. These duties showed how difficult managing your peers can be. Influencing different persons to work together for a common goal takes a great amount of effort. How one person is motivated is different than another. Scare-tactics might work for one team-member, positive reenforcement only works for another. As Senior Patrol Leader, I had to work with each of my Patrol Leaders differently to get the troop's overall goals achieved.

These basic leadership skills carried over into other venues. Strong leadership traits allowed me to be a successful soccer and rugby team captain, and be elected to my college fraternity's executive board. During summers 2005 and 2006, I worked as a backpacking instructor at the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, NM. Leadership in the backcountry wilderness is crucial, because mistakes in the backcountry can be life-threatening and help is hours away. However, I effectively led groups of teenagers on 10-day backpacking trips through adverse conditions and rugged terrain with no major incidents.

In 2007, I earned my fraternity's highest chapter award- the "Herman B Wells" Leadership Award, which goes to the member who best exemplifies the ideals of Sigma Nu as an undergraduate.

To this day, I continue to develop as a leader as I train to be a reserve firefighter with the Eureka Fire Protection District.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why you should hire John B. Fischer

Readers both New and Old,

It's a dog eat dog world out there, especially right now given the current economic situation. As those close to me know, I've been out of full-time work since September 2008. It's been tough no question about it, but everyday I try to keep a positive attitude and do whatever I can to better my current predicament.

One thing my dad instilled upon from an early age was the importance of reading to gain more knowledge. Okay, like most college students I crammed for tests and skimmed through text books, but even with my undergraduate years behind me, I find myself reading a variety of material. Lately, it's been mostly "career advancement" and "how to find a job" type stuff.

The majority of this content is about how traditional job-hunting tactics don't produce results these days. Job seekers must think outside the box and be creative. In the April 13, 2009 issue of Fortune magazine, I read how young professional Jamie Varon, 23, had her heart set on working for Twitter. To get get noticed, she created the website

I really liked this and thought I could use my blog in a similar way. For the time being, each of my blog posts will feature a reason why Company X should hire John B. Fischer. These reasons will vary from character traits to experiences from my life that set me apart from the crowd.

As someone who studied journalism and mass communications, I believe in the power of the media. Media is a powerful tool and hopefully I can harness that power and use it to my advantage.

Nulli Secundus!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

March '09 Update

As one month ends, another begins.

Most of my time during March was consumed by my job at Ozzie Smith's Sports Academy running their Spring Break Sports Adventure Camps. In all reality, we ran a glorified baby-sitting service. Moms and dads all across the West St. Louis County area realized that they might actually have to spend the entire day with their bratty kids, so they dumped them off on us. Most of them had little or no interest in sports. I threw my arm out playing dodgeball with six year olds.

When I wasn't doing that, I was logging up the miles driving to and from Collinsville, IL doing my part-time gig with Saint Louis Athletica of the new WPS league. The home-opener is this Saturday April 4. Everyone is in a frenzy, but I'm confident everything will run smoothly.

I'm still training to be a reserve firefighter with the Eureka Fire Protection District. Training has greatly intensified. We are doing more practical drills than class room lectures. Last Saturday we drilled and trained in the pouring down rain which made our turnout gear and hoses much heavier and bulkier than normal. However, fires don't always happen when its warm and sunny so its good experience.

I was supposed to coach a U13 girls soccer team but their training schedule conflicted with my night classes at St. Louis Community College so that didn't happen. However, I'm working with the coaches at Whitefield HS and they asked me to be a volunteer assistant with them this fall.

I've started playing soccer again. A guy in my accounting class has a team and he recruited me one night after class. I'm also playing in an outdoor Sunday league as well.

If you all must know, I'm still with "Train Girl."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

February '09 Update

A few months ago, I found myself sitting around the house with not much to do. These days the situation is much different.

I'm working about 20-30 hours week at Ozzie Smith's Sports Academy. I mostly help manage the facility and office even though I thought I was hired to be a soccer instructor. I haven't coached soccer once. The job isn't the greatest but I'm thankful to bring home a consistent paycheck once again.

As college basketball season comes to a close, I end a tour of duty keeping official stats for St. Louis University men's and women's basketball game. Sports PR and Information is still a career goal, so any experience is a plus.

Another possible career route is soccer coaching. I recently received my U.S. Soccer Federation National "D" License, which means I am eligible to attend the National Coaching school in a year. I will assistant coach a pool of 36 U-13 girls for the St. Louis Scott-Gallagher Soccer Club. The girls all train together but compete as two different 18-man rosters. The rosters change from week-to-week depending on the competition or tournament. I will coach alongside former IU player Ken Godat who won a national championship with the Hoosiers in 1988.

Godat is also the Director of Marketing Programs for Saint Louis Athletica of the new Women's Professional Soccer league. He has hired me as a part-time consultant and gameday coordinator given my experience with the Houston Dynamo.

On Tuesday night's I am taking an accounting class at St. Louis Community College. I'm considering going back to school to get an MBA. My wise father thought it would be a good idea to take a few business classes as a warm-up.

I have also begun training to become a volunteer firefighter with the Eureka (MO) Fire Department where my parents currently reside. I've always wanted to be a volunteer firefighter, but this is the first time it's worked out plus its another possible career route given the economy these days.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cashing in my man-card

After this past weekend, I have a pretty good idea of what it was like to be Big ... you know, Carrie's boyfriend from the tv show Sex and the City. Oh ... you really don't know who I'm talking about, huh?

Yes, I'll admit that I have watched Sex and the City late at night when Sports Center is over and I can't fall asleep. And yes, I'll hand in my "man card" right away.

Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda were some of Mahattan's finest socialites who never found a party or vodka martini they didn't like. Often times, Big was just along for the ride hoping he would survive the night.

When I went to visit my newly ordained "girl friend" this past weekend at Mizzou, I felt the exact same way. Being around your significant other within the friendly confines of each other is one thing, but when you add her posse to the equation, you can never be too sure what will happen.

To make a long story short, I did in fact survive and my girlfriend's friends liked me alot- or so I was told. So after a wild and sometimes rough weekend at Mizzou, it's back to normalcy as I ask myself how I ever survived college.

So after I make this blog post, I plan to watch all the Rambo movies, lift weights without a shirt on, eat a rare-cooked steak and possibly grow a beard to somehow hopelessly redeem my man-hood after using a Sex and the City analogy in a blog that is suppose to document my manly and testerone-driven adventures.

To all of man-hood, I apologize.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A new era begins

I had a follow-up meeting with my contact with the St. Louis Soccer United and it went very as they offered me a "job."

My parents of course were excited as well the girl I'm dating, but when they asked: "So what will you be doing?" All I could honestly say was: "Well I really don't know yet." So I will do my best to describe the situation as clearly as possible.

Over in Collinsville, IL lives an ex-lawyer turned ba-jillionaire. He settled some big corporate case and become a millionaire over night, so I've been told. He has since reinvested his money into a variety of companies and enterprises. One of his projects is St. Louis Soccer United.

In short, St. Louis Soccer United is a professional soccer investment and development group dedicated to bringing a Major League Soccer team and state-of-the-art stadium facility to the St. Louis area.

St. Louis Soccer United is proposing the development of a multi-pronged project that includes:

1. Securing an expansion franchise in Major League Soccer
2. A state-of-the-art soccer complex with an 18,500-seat stadium
3. Eight fully lit FIFA-approved synthetic turf fields and a professional grass training pitch
4. Approximately 400 acres of new urbanism development including retail, office, and residential uses.

Affiliated with St. Louis Soccer United in St. Louis' long-time youth and amatuer Scott-Gallagher Soccer Club. Scott-Gallagher SC currently has 275 boy's and girl's teams training out of eight soccer complexes on both the Missouri and Illinois sides of the St. Louis metro area.

Mr. Cooper is also writing the checks for the Women's Professional Soccer team Atletica that kicks off this spring. Atletica will be affiliated with St. Louis Soccer United, but Cooper is the sole-investor for that franchise. The men's MLS team will be funded and a group of investors.

All in all, this whole thing is a massive operations and they need support staff memembers to make it all work. At the moment and under the current financial situation, St. Louis Soccer United cannot justify hiring more full-time staff. However, they offered me a part-time job that's more like free-lance work.

My contacts will call me with a project they need done and a deadline. When the project is done, I'll be reimbursed. Website development, e-marketing, game-ops and youth club communication, administration and coaching are some of the areas they can see me fitting into.

So if you want to know about my second job, that's the best I can do for now!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fisch's Fury, Part Deuce

I had a big morning yesterday.

I ran in former IU soccer coaches Jerry and Todd Yeagley at the NSCAA National Convention, met with another IU grad who's on staff with the group trying to bring MLS to St. Louis, and prospected for a coaching gig.

By the time I had to head to the O.S. Sports Academy for my shift, I was starving. As I drove through the Chesterfield Valley, my eyes locked onto a Hardee's looming on the horizon.

The drive through window had a line a mile-long, so I parked the truck and walked in. The very first thing I see when I walk in is a 350+ lbs man ordering a turbo-sized double thick-burger combo.

All I could think was: Seriously!

Eating fast food is probably half of this guy's problem. Just like Glenn Beck believes people should be required to have a license to engage in reproduction, I feel that people should need a license to eat junkfood.

It's simple, if you don't meet specific height-weight ratio requirments- No Micky D's for you.

President-elect Barrack Obama could even create a Bureau of "Food Police" as part of his job-creation plans!

Speaking of Obama, the City of St. Louis decided to change the name of one of its more well-know streets, Delmar, which goes through The Loop to "Obama St."

Once again all I could think was: Seriously!

This man hasn't had one day in office yet and everyone is making him out to be the second coming of Christ. I want all our presidents to be successful and keep America the greatest country in the world regardless of party affiliation, but who knows- Obama could suck worse than G-Dub.

We just don't know yet. So why should anyone name a street after an un-tested president. It's ludicrous!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A girl on a train

When life throws you a curve ball, sometimes it's just best to pick it up and run with it.

I'm not sure when I first said this. Nor am I 100% sure it's an original proverb. But when I say it, the words couldn't be any more true.

Nearly two weeks ago I met a girl on my train ride up to Chicago. We exchanged numbers and met up once we got back to St. Louis.

We met up one night and somehow things just clicked. There was no real explanation as to why we hit it off so well- we just did.

Her mom calls it a "winter fling." At this point, I'm not sure what to call it- I'm just along for the ride.

She's a senior at Mizzou. I'm starting a new a job as a soccer instructor at the Ozzie Smith Sports Academy.

So who knows- we'll see where this goes.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Years in the Windy City

One ticket on Amtrak: $23.00
New Years Eve ticket at Hotel Sax: $140.00
Limo ride split 15 ways: $20.00

Spending New Years with your college fraternity brothers: Priceless.

Back in the fall, my college fraternity brother Bobby McDonald learned I was back in St. Louis and suggested I come up to Chicago for New Years. Bobby always was a real player and womanizer, and what was even worse was that he knew it. I always felt a little socially awkward around him- knowing I had zero chance with any girls that might have been around us at the time. I also wasn't sure if a classy New Years Eve party at an upscale downtown Chicago hotel was really my scene either. But Bobby has a way with pursuasion and convinced me to buy a ticket to the Hotel Sax party.

Bobby lives with two more of my SNU brothers Shane Wilson and Doug Davis in Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood just blocks away from the famed home of the Chicago Cubs- Wrigley Field. Right away I thought driving my truck up there wasn't the greatest idea. My sister took the Amtrak train to visit her college friend in Chicago a few years ago and highly recommend I do the same. Being on a tight budget, I bought the cheapest ticket possible, which had me leaving St. Louis at 6:35am on Dec. 30, 2008.

The nice thing about taking the train is that you can kick back and relax. As soon as the train left the station, I was sound asleep. I woke up a few hours later. The sun had come up and the early morning grogginess had faded away from most of the passengers. A group of super annoying girls sat directly behind me and would not shut up for anything. However, two very cute girls did sit just ahead of me in the next aisle over. The blonde one was very cute. I knew I had to somehow drum up conversation. They were already talking to a couple from Arkansas and apparent their son was sitting next to me. I acted like I was half interested in the conversation. I still don't know exactly we started talking but we did. These two young ladies and myself both were heading to Wrigleyville. We decided to split a cab once we arrived in Chicago.

We got to their friend's apartment and since I wanted to conserve money I asked the cab driver how far it was to my friends' apartment. He said it was only a few blocks so I decided to walk it. Luckily the temperature was fairly warm for Chicago in December. I walked the five blocks to where Shane was waiting for me. Once Bobby and Doug got home and SNU buddy Pat Goodwin showed up, we headed out for a few beers in Wrigleyville. We met up with some Alpha Chi's who would attend the party with us tomorrow night. We turned in early. Everyone wanted to be rested for New Years Eve.

Anticipation can be a deadly thing. And when all you do all day is sit around waiting in for something- it can consume you and drive you crazy. With TV remote in hand, I tried to kill the hours away until it was time to leave for the big party. Thankfully Bobby and Doung got off work early. Once they got back, the time flew by.
Our party tickets were all-inclusive, so we debated having a few cocktails before the limo would pick us up. We decided having one or two would be alright.

Soon enough it was 7pm and our limo was waiting outside. What better way to show up to a killer New Years Eve party at a downtown Chicago hotel than by a limo? We picked up the girls and had a few sips of champagne on the ride. We arrived to the party a little early, which I think is better than waiting in long lines, etc. A lot of people from IU were at this party. I ran into several familar faces and talked with many old acquaintances. I bumped into a girl from my freshman dorm floor and another from the IU women's soccer team when I covered them for the newspaper. Very strange. The live band started playing and it was time to dance- by now we had some liquid confidence. My buddies are good at bumpin' & grindin', pullin' hoes, etc. but they can't dance with sophistication the way I can. So when the band played the song from the movie Dirty Dancing, I grabbed the first girl I could and took her on a ride. We stepped, twirled and dipped. I could feel the eyes of the party-goers watching. I heard one girl say to Bobby: "Where did this guy come from?" And he said: "He's in our pledge class." After the song, Bobby said to me: "Fisch, that's why we bring you along." I replied: "Yeah, thanks for letting me tag along tonight." We both laughed.

By now, the party was in full swing. We would dance a few songs, get a drink, make a lap, and come back. A sushi bar was in the back. Bobby and Shane had a few samples, I loaded up three full plates. I paid for it- I wanted my money's worth. We were dancing and having fun when suddenly they killed the music and said: "10...9...8...7..." It was about to be Midnight. There had been no build up or warnings or anything. Most of us didn't even have drinks or champagne, so we had no choice but to give a Happy New Year high-five.

People often say they love the New Year because it's a fresh start. I had never really thought of it that way until this year. For the first time ever in my life, I truly needed a chance to start all over again. Getting fired was devastating to me. Never had I worked so hard and failed at something ever. Even though I didn't entirely enjoy my job, at least I felt I was going in the right direction. These days I feel lost.

The party went on for about another hour and a half. Drunkeness had taken its full course to most party-goers. The hotel lobby was total anarchy. Young women showed their dark side at the coat check while fights broke out over cab rides. Not to mention the temperature was in the teens. My buddy Pat said: "Fischer, I have to piss but I don't want to go back in there!" We found a bus hut to pee behind. We took turns looking out for cops. Traffic was a nightmare which killed our after-party plans as one by one the members of our entourage passed out. Surprisingly, no one brought anyone home with them.

Bobby and I were the first ones up on New Years day. We watched the first period of the Winter Classic hockey game which was played at Wrigley Field. We realized we were missing out on one hell of a party, so we got cleaned up and headed to the Wrigleyville bar scene. Blackhawks and Red Wings fans were every where. It just like a game-day atmosphere for a Cubs game. Bobby had a friend bartending at the Rebel Bar & Grill so we went there. Bobby and I could help but notice two very good-looking blondes who didn't seem to be with anyone. So we started talking to them. Doug and Shane hadn't shown up yet, so I made sure Bobby and I got our picture taken with these girls in case we needed photographic evidence of their existence. After a while the girls from the train ride met up with us, so I now had proof of their existence as well because my friends didn't quite believe my story. After a long, gradual beer-session, we headed home and called it a night around 11pm New Years day.

Friday, I had a Chicago-style deep dish pizza lunch with a friend to kill a couple hours before hitching a cab to Union Station to catch the train home. On the train, I drank a Budwesier and slept the whole way home.

Happy New Year everyone! Here's to a great 2009.