As I was walking with Peach this morning I was actually thinking of different things I might like to blog about in the future.  So naturally I thought about all of things I had already blogged about.  Blogs are their own little timelines in a person or company's life.  Turns out I didn't really come up with anything very interesting.  I have found that when I am engaged in an activity outside (and by myself), I am much more tuned in to what I am doing and what's going on around me.  So, once I stopped thinking about what I might blog about I started tuning in to the sounds around me.  

At that point I was near a house that was being worked on, so there were sounds of construction...hammering, boards clanking against each other and workers discussing the task at hand.  I said good morning to a couple of them as I passed by.  People tend to be very friendly around here.Then I noticed the sound of the breeze rushing through the trees and the birds chirping.  For a moment I felt like Snow White or Sleeping Beauty walking through nature, except that I was wearing jeans and t-shirt and walking a dog, while my surrounding were not at all cartoon-like.  But the sounds were amazing.  These are sounds I wake up to everyday and it still surprises me that I get to wake up to them everyday.  Just down the lane I ended up walking by a house where someone was warming up to practice the piano.  On my way back the person was playing a song and tripped on a note, but nonetheless it sounded wonderful. For a moment I wondered what it would be like to be in that person's shoes, playing the piano with the windows open and looking out onto the Bay.  

To sound completely cliche and to quote a completely over-quoted, yet absolutely perfect quote from Ferris Bueller's Day Off - "Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."

Song of the moment: Forsaken Cowboy, Royksopp
As the search continues to find employment in this fine city, the phone interview continues to challenge the spirit.  I suppose a healthy dose of self-criticism is good for continual personal development, but the phone interview has always been one of the most challenging aspects of the job searching process for me.  I can feel really good in a phone interview up to a point and then there is always a question or two that surprises me to the point of my brain just turning off temporarily.  And, of course, you never have the time to hit the mental reset button so you do your best to push through with some semblance of an acceptable answer.  Today I had a phone interview and there were two questions that threw me.  And they weren't complicated questions, but in the realm of questions that may have been asked they did not pop up into my head beforehand.

The first question was, "What do you think when you hear the phrase 'the customer is always right'"?  The first thing that popped into my head was I don't really think much of it at all.  Then I thought I certainly can't say that.  So I flubbed my way through the question by saying something to the effect of that it depends on the situation and the customer should always receive what they expect.  Mediocre answer at best.  This question has stuck in my head and I keep answering it over and over again.  The things that keep popping up in my ever changing answer are that when the quality of service or product is matches expectation, then that phrase doesn't need consideration.  When you put in your best effort to match quality with expectation then the customer is always right because they are getting what they expect.  Yeah, that would have been a better answer.  Oh well.

The second question was, "how do you define success?"  When I'm not thinking about the above question, this is the question I keep answering over and over again.  My answer wasn't horrible but I could have elaborated on it more clearly to round it out.  I said that I define success in satisfaction.  And success comes in different sizes.  I mentioned successfully recreating a Julia Child recipe (which can be a lot more challenging that you might think) but also dealing with a disgruntled student who doesn't understand why the expectations she set for her teammates have resulted in her doing the brunt of the work at the end of the semester.  I wish I had included in my answer that when you know you've done your best and you've obtained the intended results while feeling good about it, that is satisfaction...that is success.  

By then end of the day I'll have completely re-answered these questions, perhaps thinking about it from a different perspective.  And should I have another phone interview, or even an in-person interview, I'll have a better mental hold on how to answer similar questions.  After learning more about the company from the interview, I would really love to work there, but if it doesn't work out then the right job will come along....and hopefully sooner rather than later.

Good luck to all you fellow job hunters and stay strong!
That moment at the end of the day when you know the day is actually coming to close...when you know the next move you make is to find relief (take a deep breathe and release the sigh) from the jaggedness of the day.  The barrier that we construct throughout the course of the day to separate our true selves from that person that we become everyday in order to be successful, whether it's at making a living or redefining ourselves in order to make ourselves feel more like part of the world.  Ooooh....I think I'm getting a little too much in my head. It's complicated in here and can be difficult to write down (even in my teenage diary) without sounding like a crazy person.  And who knows how long it would take to get to my actual point in this posting.

So jumping to my point, I wanted to describe my experience of coming down from a day. And it's not an everyday experience anymore but it's one I made a routine of for a few years and, whenever I think about it, it always feels fresh and refreshing.  I would get home from a day or the "5:00" hour would come around and I would pour myself a cran and Stoli, walk out onto my porch (unless it was 95 degrees with 100% humidity...Florida can be brutal during the summer), sit down and look at my cocktail.  It was at that very moment that the day had officially started to close. That first crisp sip of cranberry juice, vodka and melting ice that I could make my way back to being me, plainly and simply. I would sit on my porch sipping my cocktail and watch the world go by (On the east coast drinking at work is typically unheard of...apparently it kills productivity). Although we typically don't consciously think about it, there is always something that we do to complete a day and pay respect to the simplicity that is life.  And we all do it whether we have an insanely crazy busy day or we spent the day reading while enjoying the great outdoors.  

I find the intricacies of life to be fascinating.