Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sometimes a form letter can be reassuring

No one ever wants a form letter of rejection, but in the case of job seekers, a form letter just saying your resume/application was received would be nice.

For me, it feels like I am working in a vacuum as I look for a job. I send out resumes by the handful, but hear nothing in return. Did my e-mail reach it's destination? I use GMail, so I have know way of knowing for certain my message arrived at its intended destination. (There's no IT department to bug.) So, I sit here wondering - is it me they didn't like or did that not even get my message? That is the most agonizing feeling of all.

Why can't perspective employers turn on an auto-responder to their job inboxes? All we seekers need to know is that you received our e-mail and it's in your system. Just a little assurance that we're not sending our finely crafted cover e-mails and resumes into the cloud of cyberspace.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In awe of the Hubble mission

Watching the Space Shuttle Atlantis link up with Hubble brings back some fond memories of my roommate and I watching in awe a previous shuttle repair mission as space walkers repaired the telescopes vision 300+ miles above the earth. It was one of the first times you could watch an entire mission live on TV and we were riveted.

That was many years ago and still, I sit here watching (via the Web) in awe. This is dubbed a risky mission by NASA because of the telescope’s high orbit and the amount of space junk floating in said orbit that could fatally damage Atlantis. But which one of us wouldn’t give everything and anything to be one of those astronauts preparing to repair Hubble?

Granted, I’d be so distracted looking out the window, I’m not sure I’d get any work done.

Thanks to NASA TV for letting us peer in on the mission and allowing us to dream like we’re kids again of a great space adventure.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy 86th Birthday, Grandpa

My Grandpa would have turned 86 today. Sadly, he died a week shy of his birthday. As a tribute to him, here's the eulogy I gave at his funeral on Tuesday.

Happy 86th Grandpa

First, I want to apologize to St. Peter for the big backup at the pearly gates. We figure Grandpa's been talking his ear off for the past couple days, sharing jokes and giving his thoughts on how the operation should run.

I've never had to speak at a funeral, but I have given a few toasts at weddings. So, I'll do what I know best and offer a toast of sorts to my Grandpa:

To Grandpa ... For serving our country in World War II:
As my dad wrote in Grandpa's obituary, he truly was a member of our "greatest generation". Of course, if you spent more than 5 minutes with him you would hear at least one, if not more, stories from the war. One of my regrets was not putting a camera or microphone in front of him to record his vast history, particularly the stories of the south pacific in the early 1940s.

To Grandpa ... For teaching us that old dogs can learn new tricks:
Anyone who knew my Grandpa prior to breaking his hip knows that he had some demons. But after breaking his hip 8 years ago, he was a changed man – for the better. Proof we can all change if we really want to.

To Grandpa ... For showing us you can find a friend anywhere:
I spent a lot of time with grandpa during the last week of his life. Everyday I was sitting in his room, someone would come to visit – be it Andrea, who worked with him at Dover Rehab; the lady who brought him his daily paper every morning and checked in on him before heading home for the day; or even one of the staff sneaking in to watch Red Sox games with him at night. And of course, there was his friend Angie, who he met when he first moved to Charpentier Apartments. Even though I just met Angie the night before grandpa passed, I feel like I've known her for years. Grandpa had a special way of connecting with people and getting to know them. So this toast is to both him and those that have kept grandpa close to their hearts.

To Grandpa ... For always having a not-so-appropriate joke for all occasions:
Lets just say Christmas will never be the same without Grandpa’s annual Santa Claus joke.

To grandpa ... For his home remedies:
Like how to get rid of a cold: get a fifth of Old Crow, drink it. When you wake up in the morning, you won't know if you’re sick from the cold or the Old Crow.

Finally, to Grandpa ... For teaching me what's important:
This lesson from Grandpa came in his final days. As my wife Amy will tell you, I tend to sweat the small stuff and get absorbed in things that really aren't that important. Well, watching Grandpa struggle those final days truly put what is important in perspective: friends and family. Without them, we really have nothing. Grandpa didn't have much in the way of material possessions, but he is rich in the love of his family and friends as he heads into heaven to be reunited with my Nana and all those who have gone before him. For that lesson, I will be forever grateful.

Rest in peace Grandpa.