In the words of the very dated Poltergeist movie, I’m bacccck. I’ve been away for several months. In that time, I’ve left Bloomington, IN with my wife, Dani and two kids (Diallo and Haven) and moved to Ithaca New York for a promotion and what I hope to amount to a better life for us as a family.
So, it’s been almost 3 months since moving to NY and I have learned a great deal about myself, my family and those I consider and call my friends. However, there are 3 critical things that I’ve learned that have stuck with me and will continue to stick with me throughout my career and life in general.
As a new employee, I get the opportunity to take a four week course on Supervisor’s Development at Cornell. I say opportunity, because the first thing I have learned is that is all about attitude and choosing a positive attitude. I have a direct report who is just a delight. She is so positive about life, work, everything and everyone associated with. I thought I was happy to go to work everyday, but she puts me to shame. And it’s not a front, she not only puts on a smile, but she shows it by always lending a helping hand to others. She actually delivered one of her colleagues’ child (seriously). She just happen to be there with them in the residence hall when she was ready to deliver and she actually assisted in bringing a new life into the world- unbelievable! Choose Your Attitude- and choose a positive one.
I came into the position of Assistant Director thinking that I would be accomplished, get a chance to sit at the table, supervisor a few people, help to guide the department in a positive direction, along with the Director. I would be 2nd in command. This thought was somewhat strange to me as anyone who knows me, knows that I’m not power hungry. This was just an opportunity to do some things I hadn’t done, but had always thought I would do at the next level. While I get to do all the things that I stated, I’m not in control, it’s just the opposite. I’m working for my direct reports. Everyday I get about 50 emails from them alone asking that I assist them but getting them something, meeting with them, helping them out of a jam, etc. This was something I was told at the Supervisor’s Training- You work for them, don’t forget that-Lesson #2.
We are a one car family, but that’s okay, my son, Diallo and I are able to take the bus to daycare and work most mornings. Riding the bus has been a grand experience. I consider myself a pretty open-minded person. However, if you were to ask me 3 months ago how I thought riding the bus everyday would be I would not have spoken so highly of it. My previous bus experience (although many years ago) weren’t the best times of my life; in fact some might argue that they were some of the worse. This has not been the case! The reward/glory hasn’t come with the bus riding, however, it has been the company. I ride the bus with Lo Lo and he is such a delight. I take great pleasure in getting him ready for daycare and allowing him to grab his lunch box before heading out the door to hop in the massive vehicle. It is unbelievable how much he knows as a three year old and the intelligent questions he asks each day. What I have really enjoyed is his attitude, though. He is so positive that he is constantly teaching me about patience when I think I’m teaching him. About a month and a half ago, I told my partner in all things life, that I wanted to get a car because the bus would sometimes run late, or be too crowded, but after spending time with Diallo, I know that these are moments in time and I need to enjoy our 1 on 1 time, because I will never get this time again. My 3rd lesson is take advantage of the opportunities. You never know when you will have them again, if ever.