October 14th, 2009

I Am The Eggman

I’ve been doing a lot of changing in the last few months. I’ve always been one for self-critiquing, but I haven’t always been one for doing anything about the findings. A combination of events (my birthday being one of them) was the push I needed to help me move past myself, however little the steps might be.

Most of my adjustments have been in my thinking – how I approach relationships, how I handle conflicts, how willing I am to take on new responsibilities, that kind of thing. I haven’t turned into SuperMup or anything, but the changes have been good for me. I think the best way to describe it is that I’ve become less adamant. Not about important things, of course, but about things that I’ve learned aren’t as important as I thought.
Anyone who has known me for any length of time whatsoever knows that I am not a “vegetable guy.” I am a “meat and potatoes guy,” through and through. Also, “dessert guy.” I couldn’t see the point in eating stuff I don’t like the taste of.
Along comes this mindset change, and with it this thought: “I should try lettuce again.” Now, please understand that this thought is as foreign to me as Clark Kent is to Planet Earth. I had tried lettuce on many occasions dating back many years. A long time ago it made me gag. More recently I found that I no longer gagged, but I still didn’t like it any. Turning 37 was apparently my rocket to Earth, and Texas Roadhouse ended up being my Ma & Pa Kent.
I tried some salad. If I remember correctly, I tried someone else’s salad. And… it was okay. It wasn’t awesome, but I could eat it. That was the first step on a slippery slope. The next time I went, I actually ordered a salad for myself. Then I ordered salads at other places. Now ordering salads is a standard part of my restaurant experience. And something weird happened along the way: I actually starting liking salad, even looking forward to the next one and even more strangely, occasionally getting a hankering for salad. I have apparently been replaced by a pod person (but not a pea pod person, as I still can’t stand peas).
A couple of things about my learning to eat salads:
  • I am still on the hunt for the exact right salad dressing. The Caesar at Texas Roadhouse is the current favorite, but I feel like there is something I’m yet missing.
  • The House salad (minus tomatoes!) at Texas Roadhouse is my absolute favorite salad, and it’s all because of the hard-boiled egg on it. Just writing about it is making me want one. If they were open for lunch I’d go tomorrow.
  • I can eat tomatoes on salad, but I don’t like to.
  • Eating salads hasn’t changed some other eating habits. For instance, even though I can now eat lettuce, I still don’t order it on things I liked before liking lettuce. I won’t get lettuce on Taco Bell soft tacos or on Culver’s butterburgers, for example.
I’ve discovered that my mantra has become “I can eat that.” As in, “That may not be my favorite thing to eat, but… I can eat it.” I can’t adequately explain to you how much of a change in thinking about food that is for me, nor can I find the words to describe how that is indicative of a sea change in my thinking as a whole.
I’m not sure where this change in thinking will take me, but I will say that so far it’s been a good thing.
May 1st, 2008

Same As The Old?

Today is New Boss Day at work. The boss that hired me retired last October, and we’ve had an interim boss since then. Today’s the first day for the new fellow.

I can’t speak for the rest of the people in my department, but I’m a little nervous. I like things to stay the same, and it’s pretty much a sure thing that they won’t. There’s been rampant speculation on what might change, but no one knows exactly what will happen until it happens. We’re meeting as a department tomorrow, so I imagine we’ll at least get a partial picture of things to come.

Getting a new boss is trickier business than getting a new job, I think. When you get a new job, you know things will be different. With a new boss, you’re more in limbo, unsure of what’s going to happen next.

When I was the Director of Student Activities at the college I worked, I made a pretty big change my second year, one that required meeting with the President of the college several times, along with a few other higher-ups. It took a lot of convincing, but they eventually let me implement my ideas. What was the main impetus behind the change? My getting hazed seven years prior as a freshman in that same college. When students joined a society (kind of the small Baptist college version of fraternities and sororities, sorta…), there was one big night where the new members were inducted. Whereas it had once been a fancy affair with dinners and whatnot, by the time I was in college it had become a “throw eggs at the new person and yell at them” kind of thing. It left a bad taste in my mouth, and for the next seven years I noticed every bad thing about the current society set up that there was, and used them as my supporting arguments for change. I got the Dean of Men on my side and let him run with a lot of the details, and together we put together an alternative that focused more on helping people than throwing eggs at them and making them do push-ups.

You never know how something like that will work out, but they’re still using that system now, almost ten years later. My brother works at that college, and tells me that there’s good and bad with the system, and there’ve been some tweaks to it here and there, but it still seems to be working fairly well. I know that’s got nothing to do with me, but it does serve as a reminder that sometimes change is okay.

I’ll let you know in ten years how this one ended up.