Behind enemy lines

My psychology teacher told us a story about how every single time that he had left an educational institution it had closed. He then went on to say, if I stop teaching here, watch out it might be closed. I am not sure why that story stuck with me, but I still remember it until this day. He was a very good teacher and used several psychology principles while teaching. What brings this story to my mind is how every single time I leave a job it seems that I leave teammates behind enemy lines.

The must recent one is one of the most painful exits. I left my last job with more than just a sour taste in my mouth. I left with the knowledge that serving the customer was not one of their goals. The projects has been so mismanaged that I wonder how they were going to work things out. When a project runs out of money and there is nothing to be delivered but smoke and mirrors…

I had seen a migration from a company before, but I did not find out about this migration until I was out of there. The latest person to leave was one of the people that pushed me over the edge into the I cannot work with this people anymore. Not only did this person help run through the budget, they also cultivated a personal relationship with the client at the expense of how the company looked. I witnessed first hand how trashing the company made this person look good, but the reality was that it was only to hide incompetence.

Now I have a couple of friends stuck behind enemy lines. They truly thought that the company could pick up the pieces of the project and move forward, I know better. Management is clueless about how serious the problem is, and even though I tried to voice my point of view, my concerns were dismissed. I also did not go as far as to say that the person leaving now had truly damaged the image of the company in the clients eyes. hindsight is always 20/20 and even thought I did get out of Michigan thanks to these people, I am not sure if given the chance I would have done it all over again. I am left with the question of should I say something? Should I share my ideas and my plan to recovery? Should I care since I have friends behind enemy lines?

Past experience tells me that once you leave a company, you become a scapegoat for all the things that are not going quite right. Credibility is then gone and what you say has little or no value. I just wish there was something I could do to help, but I have a new job now that is a lot more deserving of my time.

Smoking

It seems like a lot of my online friends had no clue that I smoked. Some of my oldest friends also had no clue that I had picked the habit up a couple of years ago… again.

I first tasted tobacco when I was very young, my Granpa actually let me light his cigarettes for him. I never actually inhaled and as bad as it sounds, I don’t think it was something horrible. The first cigarette I actually smoked was when I was around 8 thanks to a babysitter that let me smoke one of her cigarettes. I did not smoke again until I was 14.

In Colombia you can buy individual cigarettes for some cents. It is also worth noting that they did not card you for smokes there, partly because it is convenient to go pick up cigarettes for your parents. I started smoking Kools and remember getting lightheaded. One of my best friends smoked and even though it was not about being cool, I was a little more than curious. My Mom has smoked my whole life, and even though it has never been more than maybe a couple of cigarettes a day, it really made me wonder what it was all about.

I moved to the US and my underage smoking stopped until I turned 18. I actually remember the day I started smoking again, I was driving my first car, a 1990 Hyunday that started my love for sunroofs and I had just bought a pack of Marlboro lights. I light up my smoke right in the parking lot of the high school. My smoking partners then were actually both from Guatemala, the two coolest rockers that introduced me to alternative rock.

After high school, smoking lead me to meeting my best friends. A group of 8 people that I thought were going to be in my life forever. Turns out that I still know how to contact 4 of them, but I am not close to any of them anymore. I smoked way too much and way too often and after about 3 years of smoking, I quit for the first time… I thought I had quit forever.

I actually did not pick up another pack for years, about 3… then I moved to Michigan. A couple of people at work smoked and the stress of the place I was at made me see why. I started playing darts every Friday, and with the alcohol the smokes went hand in hand. I had not smoked in any of my cars except my very first one, but little by little I started to smoke in my car again. Then I joined a cult.

Actually I had already quit smoking because it was not as fun as it was before. I was not able to run without being out of breath, it was made even more obvious when I started playing racquetball again. One of my great uncles passed away from a sudden heart attack and he was a smoker. Cigarettes then exited my life for about six months. My life then entered that big black hole that sucked my happiness for a little over a year. During that period of time cigarettes became a painful object that also provided relief. I lost control of my life in many levels but for stupid reasons I cannot quite understand, and I held on to the little control I felt when I would light up one of those cancer sticks and sucked it right down to the filter.

I had been smoking ever since, until this past week. I had not been smoking at my new job because I tried not to smoke at work ever since I left Michigan. Little by little I started to realize that I did not need the smoking anymore. The anxiety that it used to reduce was not present in my life anymore. Even though for a while those little smelly tubes represented control in some sick way, I did not need them anymore. For some strange reason it was not hard at all to stop. There was no cravings… it makes me realize how different my life is now, it also makes me realize how sometimes we place so much power on insignificant, inanimate objects that in the end were just full of smoke.

Penguins, Yes, No, Maybe

The news around town has concentrated on the political race, and to be honest I could not care less. I was watching a sports news show and I became really irritated. It seems that the Penguins coming to KC is a possibility again, and the moron commentator immediately went to say that it would be a mistake. He then went on to use the Predators situation as backing evidence. I get really irritated when people that have never been to Kansas City dismiss it as a little town in the middle of cowville. Before jumping into the rant I will explain the situation for those of you not familiar with hockey.

The Penguins are thinking about leaving Pittsburgh. One of the cities among the list of possibilities is Kansas City, which actually has a brand new arena being built right downtown. Along with the new arena which Sprint is offering to the Penguins rent free, comes a downtown that is going through a huge boom and a city that loves sports. The sportscaster’s point was that the Tennessee Predators, the best team in the NHL at the moment, don’t fill up their arena when playing home.

I am not sure if the newscaster has never been to Kansas City before, but this city loves sports. Take the NFL team, the KC Chiefs have some of the most die hard fans in the league. While The Royals suck, they still have people go to their games, granted, not like people go to Cubs games, but still. I think a hockey team will do just fine in Kansas City, and I hope that people stop thinking of this as a little city. While it might have a small downtown, its surrounding areas and suburbs have enough people to rival other big metropolitan areas. So, Lemieux, make up your mind and bring he Penguins here already.

Chess

I have played ever since my maternal Grandfather taught me how to play when I was very young. During high school back in Colombia, I had the chance to play with one of the best players in the whole country that actually went to my school. I am not sure what Mr. Orozco is doing now. I also used to play almost every lunch period for probably about a year with my best friend Nitoxxx.

After I moved to the US, I did not play much until college. I am not a great player. I am probably not beyond a beginner level, but I still love to play. About a couple of years ago I started to play online at a site called Chessworld.net, and for a good year I played several games at a time. The site is dedicated to very slow turn based chess, but I did get to learn a lot from playing there.

Where I am working now, there seem to be a lot of chess players, and I am very excited. I have only had the chance to play with one of them, but I am glad to know that he can beat me. Chess is a game where the thrill is to play with someone that you initially cannot beat, at least for me it is.

I cannot think of any other game that I have played throughout my whole life like this one and still enjoy. I also enjoy GO quite a bit, but it is not a game I grew up with. So what are some of the games that you played as a child, maybe with your family that you still play?

Weak Feast One Hundred & Thirty Three

Appetizer
What does the color pink make you think of?
GO CS:S!

Soup
Name something you thought you had lost, but later found.
My Marbles

Salad
In 3 words, describe this past week.
Work, Work, Work… or Capullo x 3

Main Course
What are you obsessed with?
Gaming

Dessert
What kind of perfume or cologne do you like to wear?
Dunhill – Desire

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