Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Making Plans

Not sure who said, "Man makes plans; God laughs," but there may be a ring of truth to that statement. The last couple of years have proven that sentiment time and again.

Let me be frank: I hate pizza. I am using the word "hate" here. Since I was 16 years old, off and on, I have had to work at a pizza place in order to make ends meet. I have done two stints at Pizza Hut, and I am presently in my third stint at Papa John's. The problem is that I am very good at it. Recently, I was made Assistant Manager, with a view to moving up to General Manager at some future date. I started as a delivery driver, and I was cool with that. The problem was, I was too good at it. My philosophy in my work, and I guess in everyday life (most of the time) is not to just be good at something, but to be the best. Maybe it is insecurity; who knows? Nevertheless, I have tried to settle into the career of management, thinking it must be God's will, since the 100 resumes or so that I have sent out have turned up empty. The problem is, you will recall, I HATE pizza. I can't even stand the smell of it anymore. As a manager, I feel more like a babysitter, and the pay is not all that great. Consequently, I have been miserable. I work 60 hours a week, never see my family, and make crappy money.

But who doesn't? This is just what people do. I don't mind working long hours. I just want to be able to get out of the red at the end of the month. Besides, is it so wrong to want to enjoy your work? I miss the ministry, but reality dictates that doors are not opening like they used to. I am almost 40 years old, and it is way past time for me to grow up and settle into a career. Fine, but please, ANYTHING but pizza!

For years, people have encouraged me to pursue the insurance industry. I have politely declined, thinking that it wasn't for me. But I had a strange call from my sister this past weekend. Terri is a fairly spiritual person, though, and called to tell me she felt "led" to tell me that I would really be helping people by working in the insurance industry. I had never really thought of it that way, and so I filed the conversation away and gave it some thought. Anyway, that same night Tracy and I were talking about making some changes in our careers, and how unhappy we are, etc. etc. I then called my longtime friend Greg, who works for Aflac (the one with the duck) to inquire about the insurance industry. He offered me a job on the spot. I was able to reactivate my insurance license with little trouble, and everything has fallen into place. I will begin work as soon as all the paperwork settles and I can give Papa John sufficient notice. I am excited about this opportunity. I have not been this excited about a career since 2003.

I also realize that in the last 4 years, I have had a bunch of jobs. That has got to stop. I believe that it will now. Aflac is going to open some doors for Tracy and I that we have been praying for for a long time. The trade off is this: instead of coming home every day covered in pizza slime and smelling like anchovies, I will have to endure people doing the Aflac duck impression.

I can live with that.

Update: Yesterday afternoon when I returned home from doing all the Aflac paperwork, a job I applied and interviewed for in December of 2006 called to tell me that they need me now. Two months with no word, no returned phone calls, and no job. NOW they need me. Furthermore, the pay they are offering is less than what it was in December. No, thank you.
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