Sunday, January 27, 2008

Week 26 - What a wondermous week!

Hey there, hi there and hello there. Could have been one of the best weeks down in the south thus far, besides the Packers losing and we're not going to talk about that! Also, congrats to Mr. Ball & Chain Blake Bradley and his new wifey Jessica...welcome to the club!

This was the best start to a work week ever, we had the day off on Monday! When I went back on Tuesday I had a training class, Diversity Advantage. The class was going along great, when all of a sudden my boss Bob walks in...then all of the rest of the SIFErs and some ladies from the foundation office. After I saw the balloons, I realized something was up; I won the Aflac Volunteer of the Month is an amazing honor that caught me a bit off guard. It was a pretty steady week of work after that, had a few meetings and started some work in Actuarial, not the most exciting thing but interesting nonetheless. Gotta love the trending of unemployment rates versus short term disability and their relative incurred loss ratios!

On Thursday Dedra and I had the opportunity to speak at an event on diversity, One Columbus' Dare to Dream event with high school students. I co-facilitated a session on recognizing diversity which was quite a good time. Then on Friday morning I was in on a panel that interviewed some of the finalists for the Young Professional Program Director position at the Columbus Chamber that I've been helping to get off the ground. We interviewed 3 candidates and I think two of them could get the job done very hopefully this thing gets off the ground soon! We had our second social interchange event on Friday where about 25 people from Aflac and their families got together for the Columbus Cottonmouths hockey game at the Civic Center. It was a great time, lots of fights and lots of scoring with some pretty cool folks.

I had another great experience this week with Toastmasters in my new role as VP Membership. There were a few of us that traveled up to Duluth, GA to attend the Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) to learn more about the organization and grow in my communication skill set. We have our table topic competition this Thursday, so hopefully I don't mess up too much and can go on to area competition.

You're probably wondering what made it such a good week, well it was all of that but then Jenny came down and put the exclamation on the whole thing. I picked her up late Sunday night and I made her some delicious breakfast on Monday consisting of a yummy omelet and orange juice...ok, so the oj wasn't too fantastic, but she did enjoy the omelet making skills:) We ventured back up to Atlanta for a surprise visit to the Georgia Aquarium. It was an amazing time, I don't think there were more than 5 minutes when we didn't laugh the whole time we were there...that continued the whole time she was here I think. We saw the beluga whales, the whole shark (some people call them whale sharks), the penguins and just had a great time! After an illegal park job, we walked around Centennial Park and toured the CNN building. After a great day of hanging out, I decided to try and earn a couple extra blue stars and made a deluxe dinner complete with steak, asparagus, fruit salad and Ovaltine of course! We combined that with the famous peach cobbler before a night of chilling at mi casa. I had to work on Tuesday, but she did join me to meet my compadres at el Vaquero, she got the thumbs up but they still didn't understand why she stayed around after learning of some of my quirks...she probably couldn't find an earlier flight;) We went down to the Riverwalk after work and then out Carrabas, where I was reminded of her passion for ice cream so we strolled over to the Stone Slab. She toured the town a bit both days and on Wednesday I took her to Fuji for my favorite lunch stop; her first time with sushi and hibachi so I was gentle. It was an amazingly hilarious time again, don't think there's many girls out there that I would've laughed that much over a 3 day period with;P Guess we'll see where that all goes in the future...flying by the seat of our pants right now and it's pretty fun!

Well that's all she wrote folks, I wish you the best and lastly I want to give a shout out to my Grandma Naber who is feeling better after some technical difficulties and is back with her friends in assisted living. Love ya grandma:)



Sunday, January 20, 2008

Week 25 - Wondermous winterness

Hey there, hi there and hello there all. It seems like it's been a reoccurring theme here the last few weeks, but this was another great one:) Even though it's dipping down to Iowa weather, it's still about 30 degrees warmer than back we even had some snow up in Hotlanta.

I never thought I would enjoy my last rotation as much as I did, but the Compliance department was quite a good time. The leadership and analysts in the department were very personable the two weeks I occupied their conference room. It was very interesting to learn about the advertising and editorial aspects of the compliance department and how they tie in to the commercials, printed materials and other aspects of the company. I was able to assist in some market conduct research and learn a lot over the last couple of weeks. I also had an odd opportunity come up where I was able to work with Bob Ottman (my boss-man) to make a wellness video with Mr. Fitnessband...quite hilarious...coming to an intranet near you soon!

At the beginning of the week I was fortunate enough to tag along with some folks from the Columbus Chamber up to the Georgia Chamber Annual Eggs & Issues Breakfast in Atlanta (Omni Hotel view pictured above...berry nice). I was able to hear the president of the National Chamber, Tom Donahue, and meet some influential folks...lots of hob-nobbing:) We hung out in Atlanta for the evening and then was able to listen to Gov. Perdue, the Lt. Gov. and the Georgia Speaker of the House which were all very interesting as they began their '08 sessions.

Had another fun week of volunteering as well with the third Lasseter Academy lesson. I brought the students together for a goal-making session and connected really well with a few of them, so it was very beneficial. We also got the SIFE group together on Saturday to make a bunch of blankets for the elderly in honor of MLK Jr. Day. While there, the Hands on the Valley folks asked if I would be on their advisory council...I'm still working on saying no, didn't seem to work that time;)

I'm in the middle of watching the Packers stick it to the Giants and hope they can finish out the game. It's been a pretty exciting day, and it's just beginning. I have my first non-family visitor flying down by the seat of her pants;) Jenny gets in late tonight and I'm really looking forward to hanging out and getting to know her better over the next few days. I don't know what it is about her, but I know we're going to have some good times...I'll let you know how it goes next weekend:)

Until next time, hope you all have wonderful days ahead of you! See you soon.



Sunday, January 13, 2008

Week 24 - Gotta love 2008

Hey there, hi there and hello there folks. What a great start to the New Year if I do say so myself. I hope everyone's 2008 is starting off the same!

Started in the Compliance department this week and was handed a project on Day 1 to be completed by Day There are some pretty nice ladies (I think there's only 3 guys in the whole department) working on the 4th floor. I do feel pretty special that I am currently in a corner office with windows and a door (some people call it a conference room that I have to leave when they have meetings, but you have to look on the bright side of things I suppose:). The project I worked on seemed it would be quite difficult at first, but after just talking with folks it turned out to be an issue of communication after all. I did a presentation of my findings/recommendations and even though I don't think they'll use my suggestions, we brought everything to the table and solved some issues they'd had for some six months I'll call it a success! We had a pretty fun SIFE Analyst photo shoot this week for the duck...don't really know what it's all about, but I finally got up to the 19th floor which was very plush:) I also started in with a new mentor this week...Joe Smith who is the 2nd VP over Business Process Excellence (or something fancy like that). He seems like a great guy to get to know and hopefully we can get out on the bike trails together. We also had a pretty big project presentation for the initiative I've been working on for pretty much the entire time I've been here. It went pretty well I think; able to get the point across and bring everyone to the table and get on the same page so I would call it another project presentation success for the week;)

Also had another Toastmasters speech this week about New Year's Resolutions that went swimmingly...then I was nominated and elected VP of Membership for the club...I need to learn how to say no I think! We had another SIFErs in Action meeting as well this week that was wondermous. We had a few guests join us, and when we put all the numbers together since we've gathered our group has volunteered >140 hours, donated more than $450 to charities, gathered more than 130 cans of food for the homeless and begun numerous literacy initiatives for the community...this all makes me very-very excited!!! Can't wait to see the rest of the projects come to fruition in the months to come.

I've learned that our basketball and bowling teams are the cellar dwellers of their respective leagues, so I'm just beginning to go out there and have a good time:) I hadn't done some volunteer work for a while so I signed up for the Pine Mountain Trail Association (PMTA) clean-up day on Saturday. I met up with some older guys and we hiked in the FDR state park to level out some trails, put up some signs and clean-up a bit. It was a gorgeous day in the mountains, so I hiked around a bit after I was done working (pictured above). I think it'll be fun to get into hiking so I'm going to join the PMTA here pretty soon I do believe...should be good times!

Getting pretty excited to host my first non-family guests from Iowa next week...Jenny is kind of a crazy-flying-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of lady...which is pretty awesome if I do say so myself. I'm looking forward to some good times...hope she enjoys my Betty Crocker-skills (or lack-thereof).

Welp, I should probably pack for the Georgia Annual Chamber meeting I'm going to tomorrow afternoon-Tuesday up in Atlanta. Should be a good time...get to hear Governor Sonny Perdue for the first time so I'm looking forward to it. Hope everyone continues to have good times...peace out.



Sunday, January 6, 2008

Week 23 - Happy New Year Indeed!

Hey there, hi there and hello there folks...hope the holiday season ended well and the New Year has started off with a bang! Want to first wish my best friend Ryan Flugum a happy 23rd birthday big boy, just think...only two more years until you get reduced car insurance rates! (pictured to the right with the thumb, yes we enjoy looking like Smurfs;)

Last week was pretty slow at the ol' Aflac, we had people still on vacation and the Product Development department was gearing up for Focus. Friday was my last day there...wish I could've contributed more in that area, but it is what it is. Monday I start my two weeks in Compliance which will be followed by Actuarial...very intriguing. I had a good meeting with HR to talk about the SIFE rotation and grad school stuff. Doesn't look like I'll be getting any Aflac grad school scholarship money like I thought I would when I came down for at least a few years as it is now...guess I'm going to have to do some more thinking about that whole situation, we'll see where it takes me.

Had a great New Years celebration at John's place (Miranda's main squeeze). We had some scrumtrulescent wings, great card games, quarters and I drank an entire 2 litre of Lemonade which put me in a serious sugar high. I think I was hungover the next day from the over 200g of sugar, but it was worth it!

Had a pretty good showing at the ol' bowling alley this week, but we got smoked usual! The Aflac Basketballers finally pulled off win #2 of the season, very exciting:) We had an Iowa-like week worth of weather this past week. It got down to the low 30's in the middle of the week and then today it was back up around 70 today. I took advantage of that nice weather down by the Riverwalk on the ol' Rollerblades...I'm getting that whole stopping thing down so it's a bit more fun!

I've been chatting with that Jenny lady more lately and she decided to go flying by the seat of her pants and book a flight down south in two weeks. I don't know what's going on, but it's pretty fantacular if I do say so myself. We're going to have a pretty awesome time I do believe, so I guess we'll see where this goes:)

Well I hope everyone continues to have a fantastic start to the New Year and until next time, go get em tiger.