Thursday, June 16, 2005

Boy Meets Big City

Thursday, June 16, 2005 –
Well, what to say? With the sound of Alanis Morriset and the normal chatter of an early morning Starbucks, the company of a fresh Hazelnut Breve, and the good feeling of just finishing an early morning workout…it is a good morning!

Good News!!! As of yesterday, I am officially hired on at AAA. I’m stoked…I was pretty certain that I would get in, but the interview process had be scared a few times! After submitting my resume, they wanted me to officially complete the online application. Then after that, I waited about a week for a call back from HR. At which point I had to go in for a pre-interview. Followed up by an aptitude test (which I’m certain I bombed!). followed by another interview. After which I discovered I was actually accepted. Then came the endless tax forms…address agonies (where exactly am I living now?)…and drug testing (I wont bore you with those details). But the long and short of it is that I’m really pleased to be working at a great place over the summer with a professional environment, great benefits, and good company (Nathan and I start training together on Monday!).

In other News…I did arrive in Omaha, Nebraska safe and sound. The train ride was definitely fantastic. Take a plane trip…multiply the space by about 3X…remove the seat belts…add the ability to get up and move around whenever you want…and a few extra things like a lounge and restaurant…then add a few extra hours to the trip…and viola! you’ve got a train trip! Definitely an experience I would choose to repeat. If you have time to kill, and someone to spend the trip with, that would make it all that much more special.

It hit me in Chicago how much I’ve become accustomed to Dump-Town, and by ‘Dump-Town’ I mean Big-City-Reject-Junkyard, and by ‘Big-City-Reject-Junkyard’ I mean Jackson ‘The Armpit’, Michigan. I am very glad that my resolution was set early on to not spend the summer there…for upon leaving I might have been satisfied to stick around there until school started again. But like the frog in boiling water, I needed rescuing. My plans had been made, and I did depart.

In Chicago I had a two hour layover between trains. So after seeing the ticket counter and getting luggage checked, I lit out of the station, and set off down the street in search of lunch. Lou Mitchell’s, a Chicago tradition since 1929, and packed shoulder to shoulder, ended up filling the bill. But back to what I was saying earlier, it was there in the café/deli/diner munching away on my massively delicious BLT, that I noticed the definite difference in feel between the small town Jackson, and Big City Chicago. Everybody was busy. Everything was busy. Everyone was pushing. Making things happen. Noone and Nothing stood still. All was activity and a sense of important urgency pervaded my surroundings. I loved it!

And now in Omaha…I was noticing just this morning on the way back from the gym how nice everything is! The streets are well kept! The storefronts are in good repair! All the grass in cut and trim! Everything just feels so clean and crisp! And it’s great! (I’ve no idea how I’m going to take going back to aforementioned-unmentionable Small Town)

Anyhow, I’m running our of things to post right now. So I’ll quit rambling and hopefully find some Wi-Fi connection to get online with today. Yeah, that’d be good…since Panera Bread gypped me the other day.

I’ll leave all my wonderful readers with this one thought…Pay attention to the little things. Whether it’s things said. Things seen. Things dreamt. Things intangible that can only be felt. Never stop believing in the power of your dreams. Because it’s the small things that make up the big vision. And until you start paying attention to little things, and acting on them, the big picture will never take shape.
Nuff said…


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Saturday, June 11, 2005 -
So my day began with a very nostalgic-feeling breakfast of coffee and almond-poppyseed muffin, eaten on the train platform, where I overheard the following conversation between 7-year-old boy and dad while I was waiting for the delayed train:

“Dad, where are we going?”
“Chicago. It’s a big, big city!”
“Oh. Are we gonna get there today?”
“Oh, yeah. We’ll ride the train for a long time today. And when we get there, we’ll walk all around a look at stuff. Then we’ll sleep there. And tomorrow we’ll ride the train back!”
“OK”

It looked like they were just taking the weekend for a dad-and-son trip to the Big City, out of Jackson, and their only piece of luggage? A small red ‘Budweiser’ duffel. Definitely redneck! But kudos to dad for hangin out with his boy!

Since then the defining moments of my trip have been eavesdropping on the conversation between two business associates in the seat behind me as they discuss the personalities and ethics of their co-workers, listening to my favorite mix of music including Billy Joel’s Only the Good Die Young and Russell Watson singing I Don’t Know How I Got By, looking out the windows at cornfield after cornfield and then all of a sudden seeing a vineyard in the middle of it all, thinking about my future as it awaits me in Omaha…

Yeah…a lot of thinking about the immediate future. My summer seems a lot like this train ride. I’ve bought my ticket. I’ve packed up. I’ve boarded the train. and now I’m hurtling forward into the future, helpless to stop my progress towards the goal I selected. At once I wonder if I made the right decision for where/how to spend this summer. But at the next instance, I know that He’s been directing me every step of the way and opened doors in this direction. So as long as He’s the Conductor of my train…I’m cool with hurtling forward into the future!

Which seems to be one of the cool things about being a college student now. Just enough age and responsibility to feel like I’m someone doing something. But just enough leeway that noone really expects you to be responsible or super financially stable! I mean, what college student do you know who pays every single bill on time in full, gets a 4.0 GPA, goes to bed at 10:30 every night, drinks eight glasses of water everyday, watches their diet religiously, has a model figure, votes at every election, etc. who’s not an Asian female who watches less than one hour of TV a week. (If you’ve seen the preview for The Perfect Score, you know where that comes from…)

2 comments:

RyanJShaffer said...

John..
I told you I would get around to congratulating you on your new job.. Congrats! Very cool..

And, let me just say, (and don't get a big head..) I love your writing style. Informative, funny, lighthearted, weird. It's cool man!

Leave me a comment on my post you.. you...

Briana said...

hey watson,
Im glad to hear that your having such a good time in Chicago. And I would have to agree with Ryan, I do love your style. Keep enjoying it!