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.