Words that affect the rest of your life

With November deadlines fast approaching, we are in the midst of frantically filling in college applications and editing what we hope are killer essays written by our oldest son.  It is stressful.  Stressful might not be a strong enough word.  It is on the verge of being traumatic.  Hopefully we, as parents, will learn from this first experience and be a little better prepared for our middle son to do this in 4 years.

The typical conversation in our house these days goes like this:

Me, “Good morning! Did you finish that (insert college name here) essay?”

Him, “No mom, I’ve only been awake for 10 minutes so far today!”

Me, “Hey kiddo!  Don’t forget to take out the trash!  Hey, have you finished that (insert college name here) essay?”

Him, “No mom, I’ve been at school all day!”

Me, “Good night my love.  Sleep good!  Did you finish that (insert college name here) essay?”

Him, “No mom, I had to study for AP Chem/AP Calc/AP Whatever….”

Me, “Good morning! Hey….”

Him, “No mom.”

Me, “Oh, sorry.”

Him, “No, it’s ok,  I know it’s important.  It just so much.” Then we both cry a little, hug and it starts over again.

Tonight, we finished a big one.  It is scary as hell to think that 1650 words on a screen can decide your fate.  Especially when you are a family of mathematicians.


The sting of regret so bad it may cause an allergic reaction

Have you ever spent the afternoon redesigning your resume then filling out a multi-question paragraph style on line job application only to click the submit button and watch in slow motion as the dumbest thing you have ever written seems to spiral away on the screen into the lap of the hiring manager. In your heightened state of anxiety, you imagine that the person screening resumes on the other end is just sitting at his or her desk waiting on baited breath as your application instantly pops up on their screen and that they immediately begin to read through your responses. Everything looks great and they are nearing the end and the sound of a halted vinyl record screeches through their head as they read the last entry where you mentioned something about thinking farts are funny.

Yes. I wrote that. Why? Was I having a momentary brain fart (I just cant get away from it)? I don’t know why!!! I was thinking I need to interject some of my non business personality into the application. Why I chose farts, who knows. Farts are funny though. Just sayin.


What I should have typed was this:
I am the perfect candidate for the position because I am a dedicated service employee. I was recognized by the EPA for outstanding contributions to Storm Water Treatment for planning, and managing a three day conference. Every year for the past three years, I have planed, and managed a one night banquet for three hundred families, and between the months of November and May, every other weekend, I plan, and manage the execution and delivery of meals to over 100 rugby players on a budget of $1.50 per plate. Over the last year, I have been able to streamline the IT hardware procurement process for our nonprofit company, saving ~ $20,000 in returned, damaged, and lost merchandise. I’ve also created a more efficient invoice routing procedure saving the company’s IT department hundreds of dollars in late payments. Instinctively, when I see a system that is not working properly, I begin brainstorming, reorganizing, and experimenting to make it better. I am a list maker and a task master. As part of a larger team of colleagues, I’ve been part of taking over-arching, big picture concepts and breaking them down into workable and manageable parts. My role is as the coordinator, making sure all if the moving parts are working together at the same rate and in the same direction. With a family that is heavily educated in web design, business solutions, and programming, I have resources at my fingertips that most others do not. I am a perpetual smiler and I love to laugh. I don’t find value in assigning blame when things go wrong. My objective is to learn from mistakes and keep moving forward.
Why am I perfect for this job? Because every manager, director, and executive I’ve ever worked with tells me they don’t know what they did before me. I have the ability to make your job simpler and less stressful and I actually enjoy the work. That’s why.