Classic (read: LONG) entry ahead, folks!
Fantasy football > me
This is my first season playing fantasy football. On my fantasy football team that looked good on paper from the get-go, I had Donovan McNabb and Shaun Alexander. What is one thing these two have in common? They both were on the cover of EA SPORTS’ Madden franchise video games.
Why is that worth mentioning? Because there’s a “Madden Curse” that seems to strike those who “grace” the game’s covers with their presence. Shaun Alexander suffered a broken foot in his third game of the year. McNabb suffered a season-ending knee injury yesterday.
Here’s an article from ESPN.com with a good sidebar breaking down “the curse.”
Here’s an article ESPN.com did on “the curse” last year:
I went “shopping” for quarterbacks this morning and dropped Donovan McNabb, who tore his right ACL yesterday, and picked up Michael Vick. I opened up Vick’s profile and noticed he has the same birthday as me, but is a year older! So now, I like him even more! I liked him before simply because he was left-handed (and a strong arm) and has some pretty crazy ability to run the ball. I’d say I’m still a bigger Carson Palmer, Brett Favre, and Reggie Bush fan than Michael Vick, but he’s now “up there” on my list. I also still like Kurt Warner because of who he is off the field as much as on it. I never was a “huge” Matt Leinart fan even though he was a lefty Trojan quarterback. I might’ve been if it weren’t for a #5 in the same backfield.
Father knows best
At this time, I will attempt to breakdown my work situation since May. As Steve Quon (Xanga: GR81stud) mentioned in my original entry giving God praise for His provision of the new job, He worked things out better than I imagined.
I wasn’t enjoying being a warranty administrator at Pacific BMW because of the work I was doing, a conviction that some things didn’t sit well with my personal beliefs and values, and some of the “junk” some of the technicians/mechanics there were giving me. I decided I had to go even though I didn’t have anything lined up because it wasn’t good for me to be there. I wanted to quit at the end of May, but was asked to consider staying for a little while to give them time to hire a replacement(s) and train those who would fill my vacancy. I told them I would stay until the end of June as a gesture to help the company. Ironically, one of my replacements quit in August and is now doing something completely different.
End of June/Early July 2006
As I was finishing up at Pacific BMW, a couple of things crawled onto my plate. I received a call from the service manager at Sierra Acura in Alhambra for their open warranty administrator position. I didn’t apply for the position and I guess he found my resume through Monster.com. At the same time that was going, I was setting up an interview with one of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.’s contractors for a customer service position. I thought that would’ve been so great! God didn’t give me that job (my best guess is because of my lack of actual customer service experience even though I would think I would have a better idea of what goes wrong with vehicles because of my warranty experience) and I’m sure He has His perfect reason or reasons why that didn’t pan out. So I took the position at Sierra Acura which was my “Plan B” thinking it might work out okay to do the same thing with a change of scenery so to speak. I started my stint at Sierra Acura in mid-July not knowing what exactly was going to happen next.
Late July 2006
I started thinking it’d be awesome to become a California Highway Patrol Officer! I still think it’d be awesome to be one! I started finding out more about it and what the steps in the process of becoming an officer were.
Working on a repair order (the paperwork showing the repair performed on a vehicle) that had a problem I’d seen many, many times before, I told myself, “That’s it! I need to find something else to do!” So I started looking on Monster.com again for any cool jobs where I could do a lot of driving without have a Class B or Class A license or getting paid not very much to be driving around. After seeing a job posting sent to one of my e-mail accounts from the USC Alumni Association’s inSCircle sub-section, I decided to take a look at its job forum. I browsed through postings dating all the way back to July. I saw one that said Edmunds.com was hiring and contacted the poster via AIM (Thank God for AIM!) that same night. A recruiter contacted me two days later and it was cool to see that God had gotten the ball rolling again for me. The highly-touted Trojan network/family finally became something personal to me more than three years after graduating. Some people kid and say “USC” can also stand for the “University of Social Connections”. Let’s just say this Trojan (me) will never “kid” about that again.
The cool thing was the recruiter who contacted me was the same one who e-mailed me in late June after I submitted my resume to Edmunds. In mid-July, I replied to her e-mail (yeah it was a few weeks after she sent it) letting her know I had just started a new job and wanted to get a feel for it. By this time in October, I had definitely gotten a feel for it and let’s just saying I didn’t like what I felt. This time around she was contacting me for a different position that was in the same department as the position she first e-mailed me about. After learning about this position I’d be interviewing for, I figured I’d be a great fit, a virtual shoe-in, for the position. I went to the interview and really liked what I saw in the organization and its people. I felt confident after going through the interview and was very optimistic at the thought of being offered the position. The week passed and I found out from my fellow Trojan that I didn’t get the position because it was given to someone internally. That was a tough pill to swallow because my connection thought I was a great fit (and so did I) for the position. It was also a little “weird” finding out I didn’t get it before the recruiter actually told me I didn’t get it, because my inside source knew the person they hired internally to fill it. On one hand, I don’t have a problem with them selecting “internally” because that’s their perogative and I don’t blame them one bit for doing what they did. On the other hand, it was tough to swallow because I was told earlier in the week by my source that I was the frontrunner only to not get the job.
Because the recruiter was so busy, she wasn’t able to get back to me when she had originally told me the company would. I left her a voicemail on the afternoon of Friday, October 27th, wanting to know what my status was even though I already knew what it was. She e-mailed me back that same evening saying she would contact me after the weekend. Again, that was tough because I knew “bad news” was coming. When my inside source broke the “bad news” to me the previous Thursday night over AIM, he told me there was a posting for an Associate Business Analyst position that I could express interest in upon receiving the “bad news.” Fast forward to the afternoon of Monday, October 30th, when the recruiter was able to call me. She told me up front that she had some “bad news” for me and some “good news” for me. Being the kind of guy I am (straight shooter, folks!), I wanted the “bad news” first. She told me that they did indeed choose someone within the organization to fill the position even though I was the top candidate (which the ego and my pride liked to hear…which shows I’m a sinner just like every person who’s ever lived/will live). She then asked me if I’d be interested in interviewing for the Associate Business Analyst position to which I replied I definitely would be. I had actually planned on lobbying for this had she not brought it up because I already had the mentality that I didn’t want to stay at my current work feeling “stranded” after I had gotten all worked up only to be let down. I felt I needed a way out as soon as possible. So she was kind enough to pass my information on to one of Edmunds’ other recruiters.
The other recruiter (#2) contacted me shortly thereafter and set up a phone interview with me and the person who will be my manager once I start. To be honest, I don’t think I sounded like I was someone he wanted to hire while we were talking over the phone but by God’s grace, he extended an opportunity for me to come in for an interview with him and a couple of his people. So the recruiter (#2) worked out all the details and I went in two days later to interview for the analyst position. I had a gut feeling it was going to be a lot more challenging to “land” this job, but I think it may have also made me rely on God more than I did for the previous position (which is not to say I didn’t rely on Him at all earlier). I felt I wasn’t as great of a fit for the position according to the job description and requirements and qualifications. To be honest, it was hard to feel very confident about getting the job. The job itself is also more challenging and demanding than the first one I interviewed which scared me a little, but after further thought, made me realize it would be even better for me to do it if God gave it to me. At the interview, I felt I hit it off really well with two of the people, but still wasn’t sure if the manager was sold on me. At that point, I just told myself everything is in God’s hands. The recruiter told me I would be contacted on Monday (this interview took place on Thursday, November 2nd) and the wait began…again.
Monday came and the recruiter called me up asking for two more references because one of the ones I gave him was “being difficult” with him over the phone. This caused me to think two things. 1) It’s probably a good thing that he’s at a point where he’s checking my references. After all, why would someone check the references of an applicant they didn’t give the “green light” on? 2) Why would he need two more references? That transpired Monday morning and I didn’t hear from him the rest of the day. I thought, “Okay. They’ll get back to me tomorrow.” Tuesday came and went without a word. Some of you may be thinking, “Why didn’t I just call them to find out if I got it or not already?” My reasoning (I’m human and it may very well be flawed) was I didn’t want to seem impatient or feel like I was “forcing their hand.” I also didn’t want to come across as desperate as well. On Tuesday night after talking to a friend, I decided I would wait until Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM PST at the very latest until reaching out to touch someone. So 11:30 AM came and I called the recruiter (#2) who did not answer his phone. I left a voicemail message requesting an update on what my status was regarding the position I interviewed for. A few minutes later, the Director of Human Resources called me to extend the job offer. I was surprised the recruiter (#2) didn’t call me back because when the HR director called me, I noticed her telephone number’s prefix was the same as everyone else’s at Edmunds. While she was talking to me, she said she could “see” the smile on my face! I shared with her how elated I felt that I was being offered the job. I turned in my letter of resignation the next day and as a result, Wednesday will be my last day at Sierra Acura and I will start at Edmunds right after the Thanksgiving weekend!
This Thanksgiving, I will be thankful for God, Jesus Christ-His Son, the Holy Spirit God used to convict me of my sin and bring me to Him, the life He’s given me, my family, my friends, and my situation in life (things God has provided – roof over my head, work, transportation, etc. – my life is far from perfect, but far from being a fierce storm…but definitely one covered by grace and mercy).
In closing, I will share again the verses God placed in my heart to help me get through the “trial” of getting a new job.
Philippians 4:6-7 (whole chapter, New Amercan Standard Bible)
Be anxioius for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Trojan fans, ESPN’s College GameDay built by The Home Depot is coming to our CI-TAY!!! Who will join me this Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 7 AM PST to show our support for ol’ SC?
BEAT THE IRISH/BRUINS!!! Fight on for ol’ SC! Fight on to victory! Fight on!
Did you know?
USC’s “Fight On” song was used to inspire combat-bound troops in the Aleutians Campaign during World War II.
FIGHT ON FOR OL’ JC!!!