Monday, December 02, 2013

In my dream I own and operate a small cafe/bookstore that provides a unique service to people who are afflicted with "celebrity". They can come in and get coffee and baked goods and peruse books and whatnot and the staff and other customers will treat them like regular people. Which they are.

Maybe I'll call it "Regular Joe". Or something like that. The other customers will also be staff, because actual customers probably won't wear the special underwear that applies an electric shock if they start acting like fan boys.  Or fan girls. We don't discriminate at Regular Joe.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tiny Self Review

I was asked to answer a few questions at work. This is my reply.

My time in the industry has two answers. Working specifically with insurance billing is new to me. I did spend a year working in the mail room of an insurance company about six years ago. I learned to classify the myriad documents that insurance companies handle although I didn't actually apply them; I just made sure they got to the right place. That is the scope of my experience with billing.

I have been with this company for .15 years, or about 8 weeks. I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

Two of my favorite books are "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint Exupery and "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville. When the Little Prince had a question, "he never let go of it" until he found the answer. I have a similar tenacity that I apply to problems. Every question has an answer. It may not be an answer I like, but at least I'll know it and be better prepared when I encounter similar problems in the future.

In "Moby Dick", Ishmael pays attention to everything. As he observes the details of new places, people, and situations, he comes to larger conclusions about the world and his place in it. I share the same obsession with attention to detail; a kind of a "take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves" approach that lends itself very well to a line of work where being off by a single digit or letter can mean the difference between a paid claim and a denial.

With these traits together, I am in danger of losing sight of the most urgent tasks. For that I rely on a highly organized workspace and regular "snapshots" of groups of tasks. I've come to accept that I'll probably never be completely caught up, (which is good because where's the excitement in that?) but I can make sure I'm bailing enough water out of each boat so that none of them sink. So to speak.

As for what I bring to the team, I have to pull out a less literary example: The cartoon show "Eek The Cat". His catchphrase is "It never hurts to help." And then, of course, while doing his good deed, Eek would inevitably get run over or blown up or something. Therein lies the comedy. I'm like that too. I am here to help to the best of my abilities. I am also here to do no harm, which means recognizing when something is beyond my capabilities. In the event I cannot help directly, I will still help by finding someone who can.

And, like Eek the Cat, I am hilarious. Not so much at this time because my all my brain power is devoted to processing and applying all the new things I'm learning every day. But trust me, we'll get there.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

There is an age, perhaps, that one reaches and finds not the inspiration in stories of great men, but despair. Every new tale of champion born and hero rising becomes a new bar in the cage that envelops me as I grow further and further from the living spark which, when nourished, becomes a blazing forge in which to cast one's soul and hammer out each crease of weakness, every impurity left by despair, and burnish away hesitance, doubt, and the tarnish of self-loathing.

I doubted, briefly, that anyone could ever be smithy to their own nature; Hephaestus too wrought such wonders but never were they his to keep. Yet every disparate liar told the same lie, and told it so well that it a Truth erected. If a thousand people with a thousand hammers might all blindly strike at a mountain until finally revealing a flawless sculpture, beholders of this miracle must ask if these rabble were Michelangelos all or, more likely, if The David was entombed in that mountain all along, in the stone but not of the stone, waiting to be discovered by those who sought no form at all but in their rough masonry were simply unable to strike the smallest chip from such a substance.

And I, in my own mountain, almost chipped all away and yet I have found nothing. And the result, this cage, this fear to go on seeking lest I excavate myself into nothing. Or perhaps (in the possibility I find most amusing) I persevere, the bars give way, and I find myself in an oubliette.

Such are my current concerns, though these are relatively new and may pass. This possibility I allot to all things, however, and like anything ubiquitous it is more akin to draping oneself in passing breezes when a warm quilt is required.

So, then, the excavator turns inward and seeks out that spark, now an ochre ember. Life needs life, so I purse my lips and blow gently upon it. But breath is not enough, not in dire dark and iron cold. I thread in a memory and the breath becomes a whisper and and the whisper becomes a telling and I am huddled over that tiny stubborn coal telling, telling, and revealing everything.