Sunday, June 29, 2008

June 29, 2008 - I love BBQ

Hey there, hi there and hello there all ... happy almost Independence Day! I'm looking forward to the short work week and the trip back home to try and help the folks over the 4th. (The picture is a salute to the great Cardboard Boat Regatta that will take place during the Freedom Festival festivities now being held over Labor Day).

It was an absolutely fantastic week at Aflac and it went by quite swiftly I must say. We started in on our 2009 business planning this week, which should be an interesting process to go through over the next few months. I also was fortunate to represent our department at a couple very intriguing meetings which included a lengthy formal peer review of a project and an administrative-wide work flow project we're considering. It was pretty interesting to see both IT and the business units' different viewpoints on project allocation and resources, should be fun to watch this one play out. We had a "Lunch and Learn" session with our Sr. Legal VP Joey Loudermilk where he discussed the political ramifications of the election, how Aflac's Political Action Committees (PACs) operate as well as our lobbying efforts. I learned a great deal about the company and how it operates from a political standpoint on certain issues. The best part of the week though had to be all of the interviews I was able to head up for a couple positions in our department. It was myself and another supervisor that ran the show and we had some great candidates ... we're taking a good bit of time because getting the right people on the bus is the biggest part of leadership! (Then we can find out where they sit later, but getting them on is the first step:) O yes, I almost forgot another fun activity at work this week. As my fitness video that I was in has grown in popularity I have been asked to do a variety of interesting things including starring in another video ... a parody of the new movie Get Smart. I was asked to be Maxwell Smart (Steve Carrell) in a video for our associates and let me tell you, it is hilarious. I'm hoping to get my hands on it for your viewing pleasure, but I cannot guarantee any good acting!

Last week's blog was hard to top with the Red Cross check from Aflac and the news that I was invited to be a part of Making it Count, but this past week was wonderful as well. There was all sorts of volunteer time at the Aflac Outdoor Games this weekend. I originally was supposed to work in the kids zone, but they must've heard about my taste testing skills from by General Mills/Betty Crocker Frosting days because I was recruited to work in the BBQ contest tent. Wow, who would've ever thought that there are certified BBQ tasting judges. Some of these folks travel all over the US judging contests and some of the participants go all over the country winning different championships. Since I was not a Kansas City BBQ Certified Judge, all I did the first day was work at the "Grazing Table." Basically, when the judges had taken there share out of the contestant's submission, we would graze on the leftovers ... delish! I've never tasted such good BBQ in my life, but I definitely ate way too much! Sunday was the amateur event where you did not need to be a "Certified" judge, so I was a table captain that got to show off the goods to the judges where they critiqued each entry on appearance, taste and tenderness. I'm still full! I was also able to watch the Aussie lumberjacks chopping wood, the agility dogs and the dock dogs leap into the water ... which was my favorite!

Also, since I spent the time creating the Miss Georgia program, I was given free tickets to the finale. It's not just a beauty contest like I once thought, there were some ridiculously talented girls (none that could parachute out of hot air balloon and quilt at the same time though Jenny:). I've never seen more tap dancing, opera singing and baton twirling in my life but it was pretty crazy ... the fans/parents there were way more intense then a little league soccer tournament, wow! On Friday night Jennelle and I went to a Murder Mystery dinner in town which was my first experience. It was a delicious meal and a funny story set during a picnic where Jennelle ended up being the killer. Some of the folks that were given speaking parts really got into it and it was pretty dern country!

Well I should probably get back to my spring cleaning of clothes and the sort, but I will leave you with a final morsel I learned from Jim Stovall that is very interesting: "In reality, we cannot manage time. It is a constant force in all of our lives. The only thing we can manage is ourselves and how we choose to invest the time we have been given." It's true, we're only given so much time in this world and it's up to us to pursue those things that make us happy and give us the most enjoyment in our life. I've learned that lesson from many people throughout my life, but never been able to put it into words.

So there it is ... be happy in whatever you do, and if you're not ... find something new:) Can't wait to see everyone back home again this week, have a great Independence Day!



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