Archive for work

Goodbye Holidays

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2012 by brianestover

The holidays have come and gone. It’s back to the real world tomorrow. Life in the fishbowl is over.

My neighborhood goes ridiculous during the Christmas holiday. Lights everywhere. It took two cranes to get all the trees strung with lights. One guy does a mini Bellagio thing in his front yard with water shooting up 20 yards. Thousands of people stroll through the neighborhood. Every single night for 3 weeks. It’s nuts. Except for drive nights. These are the three nights they allow cars in the hood. My cul de sac turned into a parking lot. No one moved for 15 minutes. It ridiculous, comical, over the top, outlandish and people litter. A lot. My house was underwhelming compared to many. If I could find my camera I’d post pics. On a plus side, I was able to get to know many of my neighbors, never ran out of beer when walking my dog at night and it was interesting to see a thousand people walking around the hood.

I also managed to get in some working out. I ran just over 29.5 miles last week. That surpasses any months total from August through December. That’s right, I ran less then 25 miles each of those months. I rode less then 60 miles each of those months. Half of those rides were beer/mountain bike rides with the neighborhood guys. With one or two exceptions, there isn’t a lot of horsepower in the hood on a bike. But they can drink some beer.

All in all though, I lost a few pounds, feel a lot better if not a bit tired, read a few books, my dog and I walked together roughly 25 miles over the break and best of all, I didn’t do one bit of real work that entire time. My Fed Ex package for tomorrow’s conference call isn’t getting opened until 8am. Let the stress begin then.

A Bit of a Shift

Posted in Stuff with tags , , , , on July 14, 2010 by brianestover

I worked with my boss today. It’s great to get a gut check on how I’m doing, where I can improve, how I stack up against everyone else in the country etc. Not to toot my own horn but I stack up well except in one department. For the last six quarters, I’ve worked in the most competitive region in the country and the highest growth district in the country. I even helped fuel lot of that growth, a higher then fair share at times. For the past 6 months the district has ranked #1 nationally. Now though I’m near the bottom of the highest totem pole in the country. Not a bad place to be mind you but it sucks being ranked near the bottom out of 10. Granted, I’m ranked in the top 20% regionally and even higher nationally but man, I feel like an anchor on a high riding, fast boat. Last year I rarely ever dropped out of the top three in the district. This year I’m not even in the top 5. Being somewhat competitive it’s pretty tough professionally. If I was anywhere else in the country I’d be a rock star. Here I’m nothing but a top tiered anchor. If I was anywhere else in the country I’d be THE rock star.

What makes it worse is my boss did a little experiment. I run an $800k+ sales territory, but I do it all in my head. Everything. Ask me anything, anytime about my territory and I can tell you. This has been a little bit of an issue between us. He seems worried that “if you die, I’ve got nothing to give to whomever I would have to hire to replace you” Yes, he actually told me that, almost brought a tear to my eye. I thought I was saving the environment by not using paper unnecessarily. Instead I’m causing him heartburn and should I die, whoever steps into my territory would be looking at nothing to help get them oriented. I have to give my boss credit though, because he gets me fired up. I like working with him, which seems unusual in my industry. When I ask him where I suck and what I can do to be better and more effective he gives it to me. Straight and hardly any sugar coating.

The experiment was based upon actually writing goals down, breaking them down to the little steps and then executing them. I’m more of a look at the historic data, think about the current climate and this is what I promise you and it’s above the goals the company wants me to hit. No worries, I’ve got everything in my head. Funny thing is I don’t coach like that, I plan everything out. Go figure. I’m more of a concept guy then details anyway so it seemed to work. But now, faced with evidence that writing down goals and all the steps and everything you need to do works (duh), I’m being challenged (how dare he) to kick it up a notch. To regain my spot at the top. Probably a good thing because we got spiffy new computers that kick ass and don’t crash when you run two or more spreadsheets.

So here it goes bossman. I will deliver you 110% to goal for my first line and 113.75% for my second line for Q3. And yes I did figure all that out in my head, but for you, I’ll send you a spreadsheet so you can see I’m almost as smart as I sound. I also promise to commit to writing things down both big and little, sending you a business plan for this year (finally) and putting things in order in case I get killed while riding my bike. I also promise to mail in my expense reports at least 1x per month starting in August…probably.