Leadership and the Crap That Comes With It

Hello fellow writers and bloggers alike. Recently I have been promoted to a higher position with my current employer of almost fourteen years. The role and responsibility of leadership is not foreign to me. I fact, I am returning to my current position after a rather lengthy hiatus. I remember the fast pace of business and the role of pleasing the customer. I understand all of this and have no problem “falling in”. My thoughts are not of myself but of my team. They are, shall we say, of the elevated age bracket and feel they are pressured to do what I have already done. It seems leadership in the department is not something they are accustomed to and to ask them to do something or give any direction at all is almost like an affront to them. What????

Maybe there are some CEO’s or leadership authors out there that have some experience with this. I understand change and the pressures that come with it. I understand they may not be accustomed to being held accountable. I also understand the personal feelings associated with receiving a new boss and new direction. The degree that this is getting to is simply out of the realm of normalcy, in  my opinion.

I spoke to my counterpart yesterday. Her opinion is different from mine. She leans more to cow towing, adjusting to physical limitations and ultimately doing it myself. I disagree. Yes, there has been curtailing of responsibilities to physical limitations to this point. However, when a list is made for the “department”, and no one takes the lead on it, changes had to be made. Now the responsibilities are the same across the board no matter physical limitations or not. Look, this is a store. It has stuff, and ultimately, our job is to move the stuff to the customer. If physical limitations don’t permit you to “move the stuff”, maybe a job change should be a consideration. Am I being to callous in my views or is my this is the way it is position a wrong position to take? Ultimately, there is nothing I can do to change it anyway. The stuff comes off the truck and we have to move the stuff to the customer. I don’t know, thoughts?

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By michaelpjordan Posted in writing

“Make A Living Writing” A synopsis of a blog post by Akhil Khatri

http://makealivingwriting.blogspot.in/2013/03/101-best-websites-to-make-money-writing.html

I thought tis important enough to add this to my blog. To make money while doing something you are passionate about is a thrill. This site provided compliments of Akhil at http://www.blogger.com/profile/09535171955203524602 is so very important to many people’s’ happiness. I am a relatively new writer and have been published. Bit, that said, I have read many published authors make on average of $100 of what they publish. So, the mere fact I have grosses $0 doing what I love to do is not good. So, with that in mind, I have begun the journey to make at least a couple hundred this year doing with I love to do. I found Akhil’s posting and was immediately pumped with possibilities. I am sharing this with the same mindset Akhil had when he posted. All I ask is that you give credit where due. So if you make a mint, pump my and Akhil’s name for the reference. K? Cool. Have fun, don’t hurt yourselves and write on, man!!

By michaelpjordan Posted in writing

Slight Hiatus

Hello my lovelies,
I do apologize for the gap in postings. I have taken a slight hiatus from blogging and posting and concentrated on my family. I have recently lost some of my family and my children have been sick. It’s nothing serious, but with the wife out-of-town, I am Mom and Dad and with little time to blog as it is, it was plainly impossible and sleep too. So…I will get back to it asap, but for now, for those of you that are writers and like to make some money doing it, I have discovered a great website that profiles 101 of the best places to go for work. Get writing!! Maybe I should follow my own advice. HA! See you all on the flip side!

Michael

Let There Be More Than Just Reruns

For those of you that read me, you know, family is first and foremost in my priority listing here on earth. God, family, work,..well a couple of things before work, but that’s another entry.

I attended a birthday party for my Mother and Father last weekend. These get-togethers usually include both Mom and dad, my sister, her family and extended in-laws and my family. My brother is out of town and usually can not attend. I was nice. From the start, my sister Shannon is the master hostess. Her house is beautiful, in a nice gated community on the west coast of Florida. It’s big enough to contain our brood and entertain at the same time. An invitation was sent to some of Dad’s sisters and brothers and his favorite niece popped in for the occasion. I say “popped in”, but we are Florida and she lives in New Jersey. My Dad was tickled. Everyone enjoyed themselves, the party was a success.

Part of the reason my cousin came, was to see my Mom and Dad. The other reason was to come and say goodby to her own Dad. Pat’s health had been failing these past months, but I , nor any of the family really understood how far he has fallen. Until I saw him , I really didn’t understand. He could only raise his arms to about shoulder level. His movements were small and deliberate. He had no strength whatsoever. He had sores on his wrists and arms and I am told he was incontinent. He was a shell of the man I knew as a child and his reputation in our family was not a good one these last few years. Out of respect for my mother, I had not seen him since he came to Florida. It was nice seeing him. Jen warned me before we entered the house of his condition. It must have been much more startling for her, because it wasn’t to me. I have seen that scene countless times in my younger days when I nursed old folks to health. His cognitive ability must have been effected by the fact he can’t get much oxygen in. His lungs are filled with fluid. The look of absence lingered on his face. His eyes were glassy and the man I knew, the Patrick who was smart, witty, and sharp at times was gone. He was just an old man, waiting to die.

In conversations with Jennifer, I told her, “No one knows what is in his mind. No one knows if he will last a week, or a month, or another year. How long he remains on earth is between him and his maker.”

The question came to mind after our meeting. What matters when it is your last day? What separates us, we the people of the world. Class, political power, social standing, none of this matters when each one of us comes to meet the reaper. When our organs fail and our body stops working for our soul, what then? Now, whether you look at it from a scientific view or a religious one, each one of us will return to the earth and fertilize the flowers. There is only one thing that matters..PEOPLE. Te richness gauge in one’s own life is the amount of people who will weep for you when you die. How many people’s lives have you touched? How many people’s lives are better because they have had you or have you in it? I apologize to the people who may read this and think it is void of feeling or religion. That is by design. I can sit here and hypothesize about the religious aspects of the hereafter. I can say that God, whom ever that is you, will take you in his arms at the time of your death and deliver you to the pearly gates of heaven. But I only have faith that some form of that idea will happen. It’s been what I have been taught and what I believe. But have yet to meet someone who has gone and come back and told me what to expect.

The people in your life makes the memories. They make the events the things to think about later in life. Children help. They are with you all the time. Most people have thier “person”. That one person in your life you can tell anything to without fear of judgement. Whether it’s a spouse, a friend, a brother of sister, that person is the one you will think about and yearn for when the chips are down and you are looking at the end of the road. So before that time, if you already have not, find that one person whom that connection means more than all others. Enrich your life with people. Family, friends, coworkers, these are the dollar signs, the substance to the lifelong picture album in your mind. unless you fill it with pictures, all you will be left with at te end are a lot of books read and reruns watched. So please, let there be more than just reruns!

Why don’t all relationships work?

I have been married to my wife and life partner for almost fifteen years. We have been together for sixteen. We share six wonderful children, one grandchild,  and while our relationship works because we both work at it, I can not understand why so many people around me have failed relationships. Marriages aside from “simple” relationships have a little more invested. There are mortgages, homes, children and property in some cases, involved in the lives of some of my friends. But most of them are either in relationships with people they don’t want to be with or have split up with their partners and looking for someone new.

I ask myself this simple question. What makes it work with some people and not with others? I can use my marriage as an example of this. My wife and I obviously don’t have it all. We both work, we both rise the kids, we both have had some college and she has earned her master’s degree in education. Is it our education level? Is it the fact we have so much invested that makes us cringe every time we hear about another friend who’s getting divorced to someone we thought was great for them?

Maybe it’s the kids. Maybe it’s they ,who we run from dawn to dusk for, that keeps us young, keeps us together like the glue in our marriages.  Or could it be we both have our own interests. Not everything I do is tied up with my wife. I have friends and interests outside of the house, while I have been neglecting them, I do occasionally get out and do things apart from my wife. But most of the time, if we do go out, we go together. Our favorite book store and a cup of coffee, dinner at our favorite restaurant or simply a walk on the beach is our idea of an ideal time to spend together.

So we work and pay the bills together, the bath time and bedtime, together. I get the garbage and she gets the dishes, my point is we make it work. To us, there is no other alternative.

One of the first questions I asked my then perspective wife was, “Do you want anymore children?” While the question perplexed this mother of three, and sparked her interest in why I would ask definitely made an early impact in her decision making about me. We were a good match. We listened to those around us who were saying we were perfect together.

Her mother loved me and her father respected me for “taking on” such a “challenge”. I thought he was either full of it or an asshole at the time. Now, I respect him. He was a father to little kids himself and he understood the pressures of a family.

Why not the Smiths or the Bakers? What was it that happened in those households or didn’t happen that ultimately made the last straw, the last straw. What series of events occurred to make two grown adults, some of which had years together already under their belts, make the decision to divorce. Divorce, even the word is nasty. Could there ever be a “Nice ” divorce? 

 “The trend is to reject the scorched-earth model in favor of civility and self-determination. Is this part of a look-it-up-on-the Internet, DIY ethos? Or are today’s divorcing couples members of a generation whose worlds were so rocked by the acrimonious divorces of their parents during the divorce explosion of the 70s and 80s that they swear they will not do the same to their children?

Margret Klaw, Family Law Attorney thinks so. She wrote an article in The Huffington Post that says just that. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margaret-klaw/the-good-divorce_1_b_2192503.html) I find it very fascinating how well we have separated ourselves from that generation. So we divorce, we move on, we remarry and start the cycle all over again. Could it be we are trying to involve others in our lives before we have ourselves figured out. I have a friend who is an awesome example of this. She has recently broken off  a few month-long involvement with a man I thought was going to be an improvement after her first failed marriage. My wife and I have spoke on the subject and there is really only one thing we can deduce as the cause. She [my friend] is trying to fill a hole, a void in her life, with a man. She feels inadequate and has low self esteem. A man’s attention makes her feel complete and a relationship is a status symbol in her social circle. I can see how this can be, however, what kind of collateral is there in a relationship with a man that has mental illness and drinks all day long?

I do not profess to have it all figured out and my marriage is by no means perfect. But it works with she and I. Whatever it is, it works and continues to work day in and day out for the last fifteen years. Why doesn’t it work for everyone? I guess our differences are what makes the world go ’round. It’s these same differences and idiosyncrasies that sometimes don’t work with others. My wife and I were not high school sweethearts. Her high school sweetheart is divorced from her and mine, I have no idea where she is.

By michaelpjordan Posted in writing

New Book Idea

I started a work not long before Halloween. It had a preliminary title, one that I thought I might change. Now, the title has grown on me. This book is taking on a life of it’s own and going in so many directions, I have to make maps to stay organized. In other words, my thoughts are going wild and without the interruptions, I believe, this would actually get somewhere. Life.

Writing to me is very therapeutic. It calms and soothes.

Anyway, the direction…yes well, my main character is retracing the offender’s foot steps and trying to conceptualize who or what it is that snatched these kids. He goes” back to the scene of the crime”. I hope that isn’t too cliché, however, it works. So, he thinks, eats and walks where the killer was in order to get a grasp on where, if he were the killer, he would have taken the children.

I keep mentally going back to a movie I once saw that I did not like at the time. It was called “The Lovely Bones”. It was a Dream works film set in 1973. I was about a 14 yr old girl named Suzy Salmon. She died, but did not go to heaven. She remained in the “in between”. Because she knew her killer was still out there, still a threat, she remained and did not go to the afterlife. Because of the age of the girl, I had a daughter the same age. She bigger now and because of that, I did not like the film. Funny, because the actors in the film did a great job. Mark Wahlberg, Susan Serandon and Rachel Weisz. After seeing it again, I saw the bad feeling I first had, that was so eloquently transferred from our villain, was natural. I was supposed to feel that way. And in the end, our villain gets his just desserts. That always feels good.

So anyway, the movie translates to a similar book idea. My book has two girls instead of one Suzy Salmon. And the killer is maybe not so real, not so transparent. I am still working on it, I will keep you updated on my progress.

 

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Zombieland Rules

In light of the season and in light of the fact that I am a huge Zombieland and Woody Harrelson fan. If you are a fan, what is your fave part of the movie or what is your favorite rule. Are there any rules you follow in your own life? It’s all fun. Thanks!

#1 – Cardio #2 – The Double Tap #3 – Beware of Bathrooms #4 – Seatbelts #5 – ??? #6 – The Skillet* #7 – Travel Light #8 – Get A Kickass Partner* #9 – ??? #10 – ??? #11 – ??? #12 – Bounty Paper Towels* #13 – ??? #14 – ??? #15 – Bowling Ball* #16 – ??? #17 – Don’t Be A Hero #18 – Limber Up #19 – ??? #20 – ??? #21 – Avoid Strip Clubs* #22 – When In Doubt, Know Your Way Out #23 – ??? #24 – ??? #25 – ??? #26 – ??? #27 – ??? #28 – ??? #29 – The Buddy System* #30 – ??? #31 – Check The Back Seat #32 – Enjoy The Little Things #33 – Swiss Army Knife*

*Rules marked with an asterisk are from promotional material and should not yet be considered canon.

Zombieland Rules from interviews with cast and crew

4 new rules have been mentioned by the writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese but they don’t have numbers associated with them. #??? – Always carry a change of underwear #??? – Double-knot your shoe[lace]s #??? – It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Unless it is a sprint, then sprint #??? – Pack your stain stick

Zombieland Rules from the cellphone game

#2 – Zipplock #3 – Double Tap #5 – Shoot First #7 – Incoming! #8 – Break it up #9 – With your bare hands #10 – Don’t swing low #11 – Use your feet #13 – Shake it off #22 – Opportunity knocks #24 – Use your thumbs

This material is published by http://www.zombielandrules.com

Twinkie picture found on http://www.freakingnews.com/TWINKIE-Pictures-4934.asp

Are you a Twinkie nut like Tallahassee or as agrophobic as Columbus? I for one have a slight tendency toward “avoiding public restrooms” which by the way this “official” website did not mention. HMMM!!!

thanks, have fun!

children

ImageWhile most of you know, I am foremost, a family man. I have “many” children. Seven children total including my grandson, did I just write grandson? Yes, I am a young grandfather. I have three daughters and three sons. My oldest two are daughters.

My oldest, Angela, my practical child, like me,  is 21 and on her own. She is working and, of coarse, has Aidan, my four year old grandson. She is with a man and I presume is happy with him. Aidan is a bruiser. He is strong bodied and his will is just as strong..Smart! Wow, he will do great things when he grows up.

Victoria is my idealist. She is eighteen years old and wants to become a nurse. I told her she could take care of me in my old age. She has a boyfriend, who is by her side constantly. I say that in a positive way, because he loves her dearly. They reminded me of my wife and I when we were young and first married. I expect her to graduate this December.

Tyler, my oldest son and my most challenging, at the moment. He loves computers. However, to get him to do anything is like pulling teeth. This is expected behavior from a sixteen year old boy ,however. He wants and needs and I keep saying clean the room, get a job, cut the grass and you will have the cash you need. There he sits on the couch perfectly happy doing absolutely nothing. This too shall pass. He is so smart! He is in advanced classes in school and expects to go to college for computers. He will do it! I know it.

Sean, my twelve year old pacifist.He is my gentle one. I love that about him though. Much like I was when I was a lad, he couldn’t think of hurting anyone and I love him so. Even at this age, he still likes to cuddle. He struggles in school. He will do it, just like I did. He won’t be a stellar student, but he will find his niche. He is persuing a military-style activity in school and he seems to like it.

Faith..Oh Faith. I could write a book about this complex four year old’s character. She is so much like her mother it is comical. She looks like her, walks and talks like her. She even thinks like her. She is consumed about thoughts of her appearace. At her age, she will not leave the house unless everything is just so. Her dress has to be pressed, her teeth and hair brished, ect. You get the idea. Her personalaity is caring, explosive at times, but at the same time, she cares about others and what they feel. Again, complex is a great word for this child. I can wait to see how she grows. I want all of my children to grow and develop into who they are going to become. All I can do is help them along the way.

Ethan, my youngest child has had a hard life right from the beginning. He has had health challenges from day one and development for him has always been on the shallow side. We have taken him to specialist after specialist and they can tell us nothing. My wife and I are of the opinion, with God’s help, he will develop how he develops and there is little anyone can do to influence that. We will take it as it comes. He is a genlte child as well. He has a streak in him though. Lately, it has been “How much of a mess can I make in a short time?” More development… More time… More Love..These are the things my son needs.

I love them all; each in thier own and individual ways. They are of the same family, but each child is so much different from the next. Thier interests, what they like and do not like..These are the little lives that God has entrusted to me to ensure they grow and learn. I love them all.

Hoblin Goblin

Special thank you to my readers. I just want you to know where I am in my literary journey. This is a big positive in that journey. I felt very good about “House On the Hill” and obviously so did the literary team on this project. This is my first published literary work and I am very excited!!
BIG thank you to all who purchased Hoblin Goblin yesterday! We sold 14 the first day and ALL proceeds of this go to The Lancashire hospice in the UK. Please share the link so that we can raise as much money as possible for them and on top o…

f that the book is amazing, filled with tales from some of todays best Indie authors to entertain you this Halloween. Find a copy here… http://www.amazon.com/Hoblin-Goblin-ebook/dp/B009QEJFRA/ref=sr_1_25?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350299618&sr=1-25&keywords=rue+volley AND be sure to come to the website!!!! We have tons of great giveaways going on. Enter to win bookmarks…a ton of ebook titles AND a copy of Hoblin Goblin IN PRINT! Just go and scroll through, enter the giveaways and then at the bottom just tell us your favorite Halloween movie to enter to win a print copy of the anthology! ~ Rue Volley