Sunday, October 28, 2007

Week 13 - Words cannot explain the amazingness!

Hey there, hi there and hello there! Best week in Georgia by far...I don't even know where to start. I hope all is going well for everyone down here, back home and everywhere in between.

The ol' Aflac Duck has been treating me very well lately...and the AFL stock is on the rise, which is nice:) Work has been quite challenging lately, which has been great. Since I'm the project manager on a couple big projects, it's been really fun continuing to work with the vendors on contracts, NDAs, negotiating time frames and trying to get everything in by the end of the year. Some vendors even gave me a call to see if they could fly in to talk with me from New York...wish they would've flown me to New York, but o well! This week Jason (Swiney), Eddie (Mr. Ed), Blake and I even got to go golfing during work for the Boy Scouts...which was amazing! I actually shot better than I usually do, cutting down on the Caddyshack slice a bit with one amazing birdie putt.
It was an even more wondermous week outside of work. Tuesday night was free salmon and steak at the RiverWatch where we saw some pictures of the Hooch and heard they may be putting in some white water rafting action. Bowling of course came again on Wednesday where we had a clean sweep; I bowled two pretty good games with 162 and 147 but we won't talk about the other one! Thursday Mr. Ed, Swiney and I went out for some male bonding and pizza after golf and Friday brought about my first Columbus Cottonmouth Hockey game. We had about 12 people come and watch the Snakes whoop up on the Havoc including three wonderful fights! Sunday brought about another round of par 3 golf action with Josh, Blake and Mikey...didn't even go in the water this week. There were some hysterical moments throughout the 9 holes and I shot about 7 strokes better this week which made me a happy guy!
Columbus is apparently trying to start a Young Professionals Network like Access Iowa back home. They must have heard I was involved back in Iowa so I ate some lunch with one of the members of the Columbus Chamber that I met at the Legislative Express event last week to chat about how we can get it off the ground. It sounds like I could get pretty involved with helping this thing come to fruition, which would be a great thing for the community. I started up with the Lasseter Academy this week on a SIFE project of sorts teaching them about the financial marketplace. The group of students remind me of the ones at Metro so I am stoked for this project to continue throughout the year. After I was done with the lesson, all of the students were leaving and I asked if they were done for the day and a couple turned and said that Fridays are their days off...they just came in to hear what I had to say. What an amazing feeling, it made me feel pretty good for the rest of the day! Speaking of great feeling, I forgot to mention a couple weeks ago how proud I was of some of my best friends. One of my good SIFE friends Ashley and I talk some and she called me and we started chatting about volunteering and she said that there was just something missing at work, so she decided to try and fulfill that with some volunteer work and it just made me happy. Then the same thing happened with another SIFEr Sarah when we chatted, she always makes me smile. And it didn't stop there, Lindsay called and told me that she was getting involved in volunteer work as well and loving it! But best of all was when my sister called and told me all the amazing thins she was doing back at the mount...getting 50 college kids to go read to youngins is a feat I have never seen anyone do. I know it's weird to say, but she makes me so proud every time I talk with her...she's amazing! Then a bunch of us got together to cap off the week at Easter Seals to paint a few more rooms for the stuff as usual.
O, I almost forgot the most important thing...I'm coming back home this week for Fish's wedding and some good times with family and ol' friends! I am stoked to see everyone...all the friends and the family of course. Shueyville, Iowa here I come...hope you're ready!
Until next time, have a superific week, don't forget to dress up for Halloween and go Packers!
Alwayz, Nate

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Week 12 - Another year under the belt

Hey there, hi there and hello there. I hope everyone and everything is going wondermously for all.

Twenty-three years old seems a lot like twenty-two...guess birthdays won't get exciting again until I hit twenty-five and finally start saving some money on car insurance! Thanks again pops for coming down, it was a blast. Thanks also to my family, everyone at work (especially Annikka's balloon and Ruthanne's cookie cake), the Funkmaster and all the rest of my pals for the great birthday wishes and gifts. I bought myself a new fishing pole and a Brett Favre jersey for the game in a few weeks...very exciting!

On the Aflac side I have run into a crash course of business these last couple of weeks with the projects I'm working on...learning quickly about the importance of strategic planning and the budget process as we're rushing to get in capital expenditures by the end of the fiscal year. It has been fun contacting vendors, working on contracts and bringing people together to get things done...what a rush! It's been somewhat difficult to try and grasp the fact that everything isn't always planned out like it should be and some things get too rushed in my opinion, but I've learned that's why I'm not the one making the big time decisions:) I did get to take an all day leadership course on how to help coach people, which was very interesting to learn about.
We had another great SIFE meeting this week recapping all of the good things we've done and getting psyched for all the things we have in store. My bossman Bob put me in charge of the social activities in addition to running the meetings and I think we're going to have an amazing time getting together outside of work...even more than we do now! We've got some more volunteer action set-up for this upcoming weekend...should be fun!

I went up to the Children's Hospital in Atlanta again this week with Mike Hope and some other Aflac, what an experience. I played BINGO with two little boys that were only 1 and 2. After chatting with their mom a bit, she told me that even at that young age they had already been through multiple heart was really hard to swallow knowing what these kids had gone through, but they were still happy-go-lucky! We played catch with their new football and exchanged high-fives before I said farewell to Demarcus and Demarko...two kids that are an inspiration to everyone, helping me realize how insignificant some of the worries I dwell on actually are. I wish their family the best:)

Had another wonderful sports week with some amazing left-handed Then this weekend I went with my compadre Josh to a podunk par three course, that was amazing! The highlight had to be the brawl that broke out in the fog of our soccer game. After one of our guys was getting kicked, I ran in and tackled a couple guys off of him and must have grazed some fellas' nose. To make a long story short, a guy punched our player in the back of the head and a few others kicked him while he was down before I came in to break it up...I ended up with a red card and now have to chat with the cops to tell my story because our guy may press charges against the cheap shot...should be an interesting experience to say the least!

Other than that it was a great week, full of excitement and adventure as usual. I know this week will be the same.

I want to end by remembering Ryan Zimmerman, a fellow '07 MMC grad whom has passed earlier this week. I was only able to interact with Ryan through Ambassadors and outside of the classroom every now and then, but it seemed as though he had a very positive outlook on life and you could tell how grateful he was to be graduating and on that stage during his commencement address. It makes us all remember that life is too short to live each day for the next. You have to live in the now and make every day count, live life to the fullest and leave it with no regrets. Your family is in our prayers.

Until next time folks, remember to get out there and enjoy your family, friends and everything you have.



Sunday, October 14, 2007

Week 11 - Delicious chocolate and a great visit!

Hey there, hi there and hello there all. Life is good, I read that in a book once and I have found it to be true. I hope you are all having a wonderful time as well!

This has been one great week right from the get-go. I'm still having a fantastic time at work getting to meet new people pretty much every day. I'm still on a pretty steep learning curve in my new department, and the projects from the first stop are still rolling along. It's still hard to get used to the hoops you have to get through going from a great idea to execution, but it is helping me to learn the business that much better. I think I'm starting to understand some of the politics and ideals of Aflac a little better through all of the trials and tribulations of the projects I'm helping to implement and it's very interesting working with the different personalities. I did join the Aflac Toastmasters group so I could get some more work speaking in front of people and thinking on my toes. I've gotten to be the Ahh counter and Grammarian the past couple of weeks and it has been quite the entertaining experience!

Had another fun week outside of work. Of course I'm consistently the most inconsistent bowler, but it's always a good time meeting new folks at the alley. Our soccer team did have a big W this week winning 4-2...chalk another one up for Victorious Secret! I also had a great opportunity to chat with some students at an alternative learning facility. I think this will be a great project opportunity and give some of us SIFErs a real opportunity to give back to the community yet again!

One of the highlights of the week had to be the Business Expo that Jason, Mike and I went to. Met a couple of folks I knew from work, which is always fun, and got a lot of free food. Made a connection with the Columbus Chamber folks and the local news station. The best part of the evening had to be when the Chocolate Fountain lady was spooning the left-over chocolate into the trash bin only to have me ask her to ladle some into my newly acquired water, hilarity ensued! After we took a picture together, I went back...gave her my business card, and told her to email me...yes, I said, "Email me" and walked away...makes for a great story, I'm not planning on an email though!

Best part of the week was when my pops came down Friday night. We had a great weekend of relaxation and catching up. We met some of the SIFErs Saturday morning at the ol' IHOP, caught a movie and watched the Hawks, the Packers and the Chiefs make a solid sports weekend. We even ventured up to Callaway Gardens to see the birds of prey show, the butterfly place and just took time to walk around in the gorgeous weather.

It has been a fantastic weekend with pops, my last as a 22 year, I'm an old man! I hope everyone continues to have good fortune and good times...until next time.

Peace out


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Week 10 - New place...still good times

Hey there, hi there and hello there all. Hope everyone is having superfantacular times all over! I'll tell you it has been another wonderful week down here in Columbus, GA.
I started my second rotation for the Duck this last week and had to pack up my stuff and move out to the Paul S. Amos Campus...holy schnikes that place is huge! There are a lot more people out there, and apparently a 70/30 girl/guy ratio...which is nice:) I had a fantastic time in Support Services and will miss all the great people there, but Policy Services is going to be a great time and I get to do some pretty cool future planning and business modeling so that'll be interesting. I've already met some pretty awesome folks over at my new place and it was even better that we had Customer Service Week this week, which it seemed like the whole company was partying the whole week...then Greg Biffle (the NASCAR driver dude) came and made an appearance. I think I would've been more excited if I had ever watched a race, but thought it was pretty cool they brought him down. I was able to meet the president and other executives of one of the vendors I'm working with on a project, which was very exciting...although corporate red tape is very unnerving at times! I also got lucky enough to go to lunch with the Chief People Officer (that name just sounds cool) for was fantastic, but the waitress was even more amazing...I'll never forget the waitress from Ohio, wow!
So I bowled a 201 last week, and came back with back to back 75, I guess you could say consistancy is not my thing! We did win our third soccer game this past Friday...we've got some pretty cool cats on our team so it's been fun thus far. Took another wonderful bike trip over to Flat Rock Park, I'm starting to get in some good biking out RAGBRAI!
Hands on Georgia week finished up today and I was fortunate to be able to go and help paint the local library, if I'm not careful all of this painting could turn into a new career...pause not! I will say that our Autism Walk was the highlight of the week. I started a team and got 14 people to show up early on a Saturday morning and we raised over $200 for a great cause. This was an event that really hit home and made me think of all the good times had back home with the kids from the Arc, I hope they're all well!
Well kids, it's been's been fun...and it's been real fun. Hope all of you back home are having great times with school, homework and the real world! Pops is coming down this week and less than a month I'll be back home for the weekend...good times to be had. Until next time, peace out.
ps...that picture has nothing to do with anything, it just happens to be the funniest picture I've ever taken and thought I'd share it with you!