Reconnection with each of my contacts – Update #1

It’s been a little over a month ago since I committed to reconnecting with each of my contacts.  You can read the post where I laid out the parameters of the project here.

The progress has been relatively slow, however even still, the response has been rather fortuitous .

I was able to make it through the  A’s in my cell phone as it seemed easiest, given I was traveling when I started the project and because I found myself a rider instead of a driver on most occasions while on vacation.  This lead to my ability to text and email with greater focus than what I might normally be presented with.  I was able to knock out 5-10 connections while waiting for a friend or riding to see another.

The contact is brief, as I meld noting a unique personal life intersection, that the recipient and I share.

In total, I reached out to 89 people and I am proud to have entered they’re lives.  The responses to my connections have been received with gratitude, excitement, anger, humility, a wall up, industry, and more..

Highlights include:

– An opportunity to consult with a very respectable firm, which may prove to be quite lucrative.
– A blind date that yielded great conversation and a most delicious beer.
– An incredibly easy conversation with a friend I’d not seen in 3 years or so, whom I randomly saw again in the grocery store only a few days later.
– An awareness of what a friend had experienced when we took a spiritual retreat nearly 4 years prior, of which I was completely unaware.  His insight was profound and stayed with me many more days following our brief exchange via email.
– A belly hurt inducing laugh with 2 old rugby buddies (one if LA and one in NY) about the shenanigans be embarked upon with feverish ferocity back in the day.
– Shorts notes from some of my broker colleagues giving me their point of view on the pulse of the emerging real estate market.
– A smiling conversation with an old lover that now lives in Russia, whom at the time I wrote was attending the wedding of a mutual friend..one of which I would have probably never know about.
– Sound advice from an older gentleman whose presence and tutelage more resembles that of a wise sage than that of that just an ordinary human man.
– A humbling new awareness that the last time I spoke with a particular person, that I had really hurt her feelings.
– A sales pitch.
– Humbly making a call to say that I was sorry for a past misunderstanding, of which has yet to be returned.
– A general sense of catching up with life with around 10-15 more
– Several contacts had contact info that was incorrect, thus got purged from the archives
– A handful of folks who had no clue who I was.  1 of them proclaimed “Stranger danger’ and asked not to be contacted again…I wish she could have heard my distracting laughter after having read that and “Take care”

So, its been a success so far…and I’m just getting started.  At the rate I’m going right now,  having contacted nearly 100 people in a month, I can logistically anticipate making it through my phone in approximately the next 12-15 months.  It was actually sort of fun to write someone that I had perhaps met only once 5 years prior, and try to guess the response.  I was wrong, regarding what I thought they might say in return, about 50% of time, which did not surprise me.

I’m going to stick with it.  I found new growth, humility, laughter, serendipity, resurfaced memories (good and bad), and so much more.  It makes me feel connected, thus part of, a people that are moving through their lives.  They to are learning and growing and  wishing and dreaming and working through the doldrums and collectively working toward making life grand.  Inasmuch, given my daily aspiration to achieve the a fore mentioned progress, helps to make my life more grand.

To those whose lives I touch and vice versa, I humbly say “Thank you!”

Stay close

Garner, you do not have to live this way. You really don’t..

So I visited White Deer Park last week and wrote about my experience here.  A fellow found my blog and commented on how the gal that I had the bad experience with was perhaps having a bad day or was dealing with other issues when I came on the scene.

I get it.

We all have bad days or perhaps become snarky when we are dealing with issues outside the realm of the issue at hand and the person in front of us gets to take the heat.  Do you know what the right thing to do is after you make a mistake?  You make it right, as quickly and best you can.

If you’ve acted like an idiot, which we all do at times, you simply go back and let whom ever you offended know what your true intentions were and move on.  Yes, its a hard pill to swallow, but its important, unless you want people to remain confirmed that you are in fact an idiot.  The mistake is made when you do nothing.  Or even worse, to do nothing even when you’ve had a chance to do something.  Did you see what happened to Southwest Airlines when they kicked Kevin Smith off his flight for being too fat and were assholes about it?  Or what about when United Airlines would not pay for a guitar they broke?

PR lesson #1 – Don’t let 8,000,000 views of a video take place before making an apology.  It hurts your bottom line.

Well, I assumed that Stephanie would have been made aware of my remarks, given Sean’s apparent affinity for her.  My hypothesis proved to be correct, not by her calling me to let me know what was really on her mind that afternoon or to explain what her true intentions were..

Nope.  I realized that Garner Parks and Recreation knew of my blog post because my father called to ask about something else and after hearing his name they asked him if he was related to me and that they did not like my blog post.

Well done, Garner.  So, you had someone act like a jerk, were made aware of it, and then aired your dirty laundry to a stranger on the phone? Well done.

Do you know what would happen if you worked for a solid company that was making money and did that?  I don’t think I need to spell it out for you..

Why wouldn’t you just call me? I not that hard to get a hold of.

But, I think there is an underlying issue here that needs addressing.  It’s more important than just a single person not acting professional or even an entire department., because I think it is the root of the attitude that I encountered the first time.

Why is it there is such a close mindedness?

Why does one get “No, we don’t do that.” or “Sorry, that isn’t part of the policy.” or “Well, this is just the way it always has been.  No, we aren’t going to try something different.”  I could go on and on.  These responses are the default.

And do you know who gets to reap the results of this attitude?  EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US.

Instead of an atmosphere of encouragement and expansion, there is reservation.  Instead of an open door for suggestions, there is a gate closed with bureaucracy and red tape .  Instead of offering alternatives and options, there are denials and dismissing.

We, all of us, even the trolls, bear the burden of this collective mind set.

It really is pretty crummy, because it doesn’t have to be that way.  It is a pity.

I’m going to use this as a lesson to teach myself to be a bit more open minded and accepting of ideas that I might not share.  I owe it to myself, right?  I owe it to my family and my neighbors and my community, right?  I owe it to you, Garner, right?

A good man said it most famously..

Some men see things as they are and say why.  I dream of things that never were and say why not ~ Bobby Kennedy

Clamdigger Rugby

Somewhere around $2,000 per year is what the university usually allocates to the boys to buy jerseys, pay tourny entrance fees, pay refs, etc.

Not this year.

In light of the recent team swigiblylou, they’ll not receive those funds this coming season..and we don’t know about the next one.

There are a few bucks in the kitty right now, but they need your help.

Click here now to make any size donation. Use code VCS7001774 or write in ‘rugby’ after selecting ‘other’ from the drop down box.

Its ok if you can only skim off a little bit, its the number of folks that will ultimately make the difference.

Think for a moment about the laughs, fun, and friends this amazing club has given you and yours.  Remember the high fives in the try zone..the mate extending a hand after you got your ass knocked down..the all around shenanigans that are so very funny and chocolaty.

The goal is $1,000

$5, $50, $500..it doesn’t matter..just a little bit makes a big difference!

Click here now to help the boys. Use code VCS7001774 or write in ‘rugby’ after selecting ‘other’ from the drop down box.

Clamdiggers for life!

Stay close,

AD ‘01

White Deer Park – Beautiful but watch out for trolls

I am visiting my parents in Garner, NC this week and visited White Deer Park for the first time.

Beautiful! But, you’re not allowed to use it.

My buddies and I learned how to hike and camp in these woods as kids. We knew them like the back of our hands. The short cuts, the creeks, the rope swing and the tobacco barns. Where there might have been a girl living at a distant cul-de-sac and how long it would take to escape the rock salt of old Mr. Thompson’s shotgun if found snooping on the edges of his peach orchard.

This was our home. Every day, from around 6 years old through high school.

So today, my father and I took my dog through the woods that once were our stomping grounds. Lovely walkways meander through the relatively mature pine and deciduous forest.  Small bridges led me across those creeks and where that hay barn stood is now a pleasantly designed patio structure that would be great for a cookout.

Just beyond the parking lot is the learning deck. It boasted a lean design with lots of stone work and panel glass and had a canter-levered deck that solidly allowed for an aerial view of the forest below.

I thought ‘Wow! Garner is really moving up. This reminds me of Denver or Lake Tahoe’, as the clean lines and exposed pine brought me back to another time. I greeted the middle aged gal working the lone desk in the lobby/foyer and peered through a large glass wall/door at 2 people sitting opposite each other in a room probably 60×40. I exclaimed to her how nice I thought it was.

Me – Its great.  Its beautiful. This was built recently..! Super!  You know, I grew up right here.  As a kid I used to run around in these woods.  It looks really great, what you guys have done with the place.  So, do you guys have wifi here?

Gal – No.

Me – When do you plan to add it?

Gal – We don’t?

Me – (head turn sideways ponder look on face) Ever..

Gal – No. We’re to far into the woods for wifi.  (click here to see just how far into the woods it is – map)

Me – Ohh..

Walmart delivery guy walks in. Gal directs attention to him

I walk toward glass wall/door to see what the room is all about

Gal – You can’t go in there.

Me – Me?

Gal – Yes, they are having a meeting.

Me – Those 2 people?

Gal – Yes.

Me – Is there a schedule as to when I might be able to use the room?

Gal – No. You can rent it.  You’ll need to call the number in the pamphlet.

Me – So you mean that the general public is not allowed in this room to say, ‘read, write, watch the forest..?’

Gal – No.

Me – Can someone sit outside?

Gal – Yes. I guess (huff..face of frustration)

Me – But not inside this beautiful room?

Gal – Correct (attention directed back to Walmart guy with smirk)

Me – Who does get to use the room?

Gal – We have programs and you can rent it. (hmmmfffffff back to Walmart guy)

Me – Thank you very much.

I guess some parts of Garner haven’t changed. What a pity.

Facility, landscaping crew whose work I witnessed and spoke with, overall park – World class!

Smug attitude and policy of troll bridge keeper – Massive fail!