Making it Home?

When I was told I would be placed in “Corporate Housing Lubbock” for a month and then into “Corporate Housing Midland” for another month, I cannot tell you how displeased I felt.  Those word combinations being issued to me by my lovely company were supposed to be comforting – “You will be sent out of town to do our bidding, but rest easy because you will be given a home there – A corporate home – A corporate home in Lubbock/Midland.  You lucky salesman.  We value you so much that we are putting you into some sort of ugly box version of furnished life in cities you would never visit.”

Thanks bosses.  You really know how to treat your best workers.

I am a traveling salesman.  I should not be complaining.  I’ve been to all sorts of weird towns and lived out of my suitcase in bed bug motor lodges without complaint.  What bothered me most about this memorandum about my upcoming road trip itineraries was the use of euphemisms to describe my “housing opportunities.”  Usually my company just says, “get a motel for under $75 and save the receipts.”  But this time, I was told I had been set up in Corporate Housing – as if I were going to be ushered into a swank spot that I actually enjoyed.  Staying out on the road is not a swank thing.  And living in a motel is never called living in a home.

I was mad at my bosses – even more angry at the marketing department who most likely worded the memo to me.  I just want honesty.  Don’t raise my expectations that I’m going to be setting up shop at a nice place every night.  Just keep it real and pay for my vending machine dinners — A Snickers, some Doritos, and a 16 ounce Mountain Dew will do me fine.

After stewing a while and thinking about firing off an email to my superiors about their joke of a housing description, I thought better of it and determined to be a good employee.  I decided to be the sort who is unflappable – someone who is not emotionally affected by a silly set of words.  I went on the extended sales trip and prepared for the regular.

But then, when I got to my destinations in Lubbock and Midland, and found that my extended stay housing (At Home Corporate Suites) was actually the opposite of what I had been imagining and even beyond what I could have asked for, I had to totally eat my words (the ones I left in my head).  For once, my company had put me up in two places that were beautifully furnished spaces.  I was actually impressed with the design, the staff who handled my needs, the food options, and the fact that it really did feel like a home.

This is my confession of being an angry little child who guessed wrong about their bosses and their care for me.  It’s also a promise to find a way to stay at these amazing places again.  I liked them better than my own apartment.

Training Legends

After going to college and getting two bachelor degrees and then following that up with a Master’s Degree, I can honestly say that I do not believe in campus Higher Education – unless it is the sort that actually prepares you to do something specific.

Being “well-rounded” is a nice idea if the job market did not want so many rectangles and squares.

Anyway, I’m just being negative, disruptive, and iconoclastic.I should have begun by saying:  “I sure love those Universities and Colleges that truly prepare their students to become legendary.”

Yeah – that sounds so much better than saying Higher Education is a complete racket for most of the students who enroll and major in humanities, political science, history, communications, and other useless majors which should only be made available as “affinity minors.”

So sticking with the positive – Let me say this:  for those who are in the market for Texas colleges, I know one, which basically trains all of its students to be skilled in areas where they can find great jobs when they graduate.  Sure, Western Texas College in Snyder may not produce Socrates or Nietzsche.  But after spending some time speaking with their staff and talking with their students (and even taking a peek at their graduates’ employment records) I can honestly say that this Texas college is rocking it the right way.

Students come and at a 99% graduate.  Then they go get great jobs in fields where there are high-paying job openings.

Isn’t that what college is about?

I think this Texas Community College has it right!!!

Congrats to you – You have almost made me change my mind about the intelligence of going to school beyond high school!!!

 

 

The Art of Withdrawal – Part One

I am sitting here on the wooden porch of a really amazing Texas Bed and Breakfast after deciding to take a few days away from my job, which has me temporarily living in a nearby big city (actually in some pretty nice extended stay apartments.)

The job is fine.  The life is fine.  The big city is fine.

“Everything is in it’s right place” to put it in Radiohead terms.

But lately, “right” and “fine” are not cutting it.

I am as happy as the next guy with the normal American life, but I have to say ever since I hit age 40, I am sensing that there must be more to life than waking, working, eating, relating tiredly, and then sleeping.  I am not discontent – in fact, I am extremely grateful for my home improvement world and the people who make up my spheres of influence.  But, I knew I had to pull away to this place in Snyder, Texas (The Windmill Ranch Preserve) because it has a growing reputation as a place for people like me who are wondering about and wandering into a deeper world.

There has to be more to life than what I can see.

Thus, I have begun this process of withdrawal from the one life by vacate-ing my locale and coming out into this lovely space, which makes me long for solitude.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

I expect that withdrawal is an art and that I am a baboon with a paintbrush.  But, one must always be evolving…

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