Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Where are you gonna live?

Working for a governmental organization or a large corporation can be very frustrating. They tell you things that seem to have no basis in fact, they make decisions that contradict what they have told you is the gospel truth and they do things that make you realize that they don't care about you at all.

In the public safety sector, their lack of planning or concern or outright misrepresentations can be explained away by terms like "Operational Necessity" or "Agency Needs". It is considered perfectly acceptable to lie to people below you in the pile if you ensure that you throw these words around.

I have seen this sort of thing make some of the most eager and motivated workers turn into cynical and angry people that will avoid work, become bitter and angry and infect others with their unpleasant attitudes. 

 But you don't have to end up this way!

Last week, I attended a class that is helping me get some perspective on how to work for a bureaucracy and still maintain your sanity and integrity.

Here are some perspectives from that class:

- Sometimes the decisions really are made because of Operation necessity. You aren't privy to all the information that those decision makers are making.

-Even if this isn't the case, where you choose to live makes a difference

Allow me to explain.

The place you work for controls maybe 25% of your time, if your regular work week is a 40 hour workweek. Of that time, they only control a portion of what you do with that time and the decisions that you make. Usually, they provide the guidelines like hours, area and how you deal with problems and you take it from their.

The place you work does not decide how hard you work, how well you do your job, how much pride you have in your job, etc.

The place you work does not decide your attitude.

You can choose to live in the arena of always thinking about the things they are doing wrong and being angry about things out of your control
You can choose to live in the areas of life that you can control and that you can make a difference in.

Where you choose to live will make a huge difference in every area of your life.

I know that "they" should stop lying to you, treating you the way they do and making dumb decisions, but until that happens, you (and I) are going to have to learn how to deal with it. I think not living in that arena is a good start.

Thanks to Jack Harris for the class and the inspiration for this post.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Infestation problems

This is the time of year when the pests start to roll their way out. I have already begun to see ants, bees and snakes peering at me, and a trip to the home show led me to an ambush by a hustling pest control salesman.

Another type of pest seems to be a concern for others, as they began to group together in public and swarm around us as we try to carry on our daily activities. Fortunately, a Welsh company has come up with a solution.

As we age, we lose some of our ability to hear things in the higher frequency range. So, Moving Sound Technology's Mosquito device emits a high frequency sound that is annoying to teens, but generally not heard by those over the age of 25.

Here is what the site says about it:
The Mosquito was invented in Wales several years ago. Since then, Moving Sound Technologies has been marketing and selling the Mosquito throughout North America. Many cities, municipalities, school districts, and parks boards use the Mosquito to combat vandalism

The patented Mosquito is a small speaker that produces a high frequency sound much like the buzzing of the insect it’s named after. This high frequency can be heard by young people 13 to 25 years old.
Store owners, park watchers, schoolteachers, parents, mall management, here is your chance to make life a little easier.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Ramsey No No

For those of you that are fellow fans of Dave Ramsey and becoming debt free, I have a confession to make.

In order to keep from going further into debt (We currently owe tens of hundreds of thousands on our happy home) and to avoid making payments we simply could not afford, we decided to save up for our next automobile.

Unfortunately, our previous automobile refused to cooperate with this plan and we were forced to look around for something different last year.

They say that if you have to get some sort of financing, you should get pre-approved from your financial institution. So, we dutifully took care of that.

But, when we found the vehicle we wanted at a lot run by the Serbian mafia, we ran into a snag. Our credit union wouldn't give us the funds until they had the title in hand. The car dealer wouldn't give up the title until they had the money in hand. They went back and forth and were at an impasse. We had to find another solution.

So, we used one of those check offers from a credit card company that they keep sending in the mail. Apparently you can just write the amount of the car you want on a check, they cash it for you at the bank and you have interest free money for a year. As long as you actually pay it off in a year. Otherwise, you will have to pay interest, not only for the money you still owe, but for all the money you borrowed too.

We paid that thing off this month. Now that is worth celebrating. Now, if we could only find a little money in our monthly budget to start putting some away for the next vehicle. These things seem to wear out on a regular basis.


Do not actually try doing what we did. If you do, you are probably an idiot and will end up paying tons of extra money in interest that you never would have had to if you just waited and saved your money.

And you will offend every Ramsey acolyte in the world, which is why I didn't make this confession until we paid for our knowing blunder.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Few more recent reads

Here are a few books that have been rattling around in my brain in the last couple of weeks.