Sunday, May 11, 2008

May 11, 2008 - Happy Mother's Day!

Hey there, hi there and a special hello there to all the mothers in my life! I can never thank you all enough for all that you have done for me throughout the years and wish you the greatest Mother's Day. Mom, Barb, Nicole, Sarah and my Grandmas Naber, Seda, Park, MarJoan and my aunts Dribbles, Karen, Carolyn, Tracy, Diane, Anne and Mindy ... you all have changed my life in one way or another and I thank you very much! I also want to wish Dustin a happy birthday and wish Haleigh best of luck with the grad party ... wish I could be there lady!

So a new chapter began at work this week in my rotation as I've been asked to become the Supervisor of the Future State Process Innovation & Control team for Policy Services (PS). In common terms, there is currently a group of 3 analysts and myself that are working with the different production areas throughout PS to determine what the current state of operations are, research/brainstorm where the future state should be and then come up with a strategic plan to get there ... yes, very involved! The guys on the team are great people and have been very helpful as I get started in leadership at Aflac. Thus far, they've been very responsive and supportive as we figure out where we want to go to improve the department. I've been able to get involved with administration's planning of our 2009 initiatives as well as continue my work with the leadership conference. Also, a bunch of the ol' SIFErs were involved in the interview process of the next generation of Aflac SIFE Analysts coming this fall. In addition to all of this, it was Aflac's Employee Appreciation Week (EAW) which is basically a week of celebrations, prize give-a-ways and free food! Every employee received Aflac duffel bags and other goodies in addition to all of the registered volunteers receiving a grill/cooler combo gift ... pretty swanky! They gave away stock, gift certificates and thousands of dollars throughout the week. It all culminated on Friday morning with a huge celebration at the Civic Center where nearly all 4,500 or so employees gathered for 3 hours of prizes, games and give-a-ways. I helped set-up the night before and of course I volunteered to dress up as the monkey, which ended up turning into an appearance as Spongebob Squarepants, a French wolf and a gorilla that was locked in a safe with my patented fitness band giving away $1,000 (got to love the costume changes, brought me back to the ol' show choir days:)! It was an absolutely crazy event and an amazing week.

Also, I did a couple volunteer gigs this week that were pretty fun. I went back to the Lasseter Academy again this week to help them work on teamwork with a cool tennis ball activity. I had a wake-up call when one of the kids asked, "Why in the heck (insert PG-13 word) are we doing this stupid activity?" I tried explaining the importance of teamwork throughout life, but it got to a point where I said to the boy group I was working with that if they didn't want to participate they could leave. I was afraid they all would leave, and at the beginning of the year I think they would've, but more than 3/4 of them stayed and one of them said that they weren't going to quit like they always do, they wanted to have some success. It was another one of those "aha" volunteer moments where you realize what you are doing really makes a difference. I also went to South Columbus Elementary School on behalf of the Literacy Alliance to read to about 40 pre-k students and give them all 2 books. The kids really got into the book and even laughed at most of my jokes ... which is quite an accomplishment I'd say for 4 year olds, guess I just relate well to little kids ... on maturity level:) I beat you all to the punch b/c I know you were thinking it!

Had a mildly successful sports week as well with a couple goals scored between two soccer games. We tied in co-ed and won a laugher in the 18+ league. I also stepped on the ol' baseball/softball diamond for the first time in about 12 years for the Relay for Life softball tourney. I didn't do as bad as I thought I would going 1-2 with a snag in left center. We lost, but that just gave me an opportunity to work on my tennis skills by beating Swinny at the apartment's court. I played a bit of golf today as well where the ol' driver didn't treat me too bad. The Caddyshack slice did make an appearance a few times, but for the most part I hit the ball pretty well with a couple pars:) Lastly, I had a dominating performance at the Zoo City go-kart track beating the Bradley's and Swinford ... bring it on Jenny!

I want to wish the MMC SIFErs the best of luck at Nationals this week in Chicago, wish I could be there to cheer you on. I know you've all done amazing things throughout the year and impacted people's lives more than you'll ever imagine. Best of luck to you and all of the MMC seniors as you approach graduation this week. It's the best times of your life and the "real world" is right around the corner, so live it up and prepare for more good times. Don't just settle for any job, but find one that you'll enjoy going to everyday and it will never feel like you "have" to work!

As my good friend Dr. Seuss once said, "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. YOU can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go." The time is yours, make the most of what you've got and be on your way to great things!Lastly, I want to say hello to all of my family and friends back home, at the mount and wherever you may be. I miss you all so very much and could not be doing half of what I'm doing now without all of your support from 1,000 miles away ... thanks!
Alwayz, Nate

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