Monday, January 14, 2008

Hanging On The Santa Cross

There is a strange cultural phenomenon here in the South. When a person dies in an auto accident, the family or friends of the victim will put a wooden cross memorial at the site of the incident. These crosses dot the Alabama highways and are a accepted as an expression of public personal grief even as they ugly up the roadsides.

This year I saw one that filled me with dark fascination. Someone decorated the wooden monument with a holly bough and a Santa hat. Imagine that: a Santa Cross.

I've been interviewing people for jobs at our company. This is new for me. I didn't expect to become the manager of product development eight months after accepting the job, but one who takes chances the way I have in my career doesn't always predict the path ahead. I know why I left but that doesn't mean I had a good plan if any. Uncertainty can be pleasant or unpleasant. I manage it. I enjoy it. Risk is acceptable regardless of what I have to lose because when I manage it, there is a thrill to that. No matter how nasty people or circumstances are, one can make do and better themselves.

Something I notice is just how dissatisfied some are with their current employer, yet how reticent they are to take a new job when offered until they get the opinions of the very people they are leaving if they take a new job. Perhaps we want approval or applause or maybe we just don't have enough confidence to believe we can control the circumstances wherever we land. I understand that.

Yet I don't understand when someone is so uncertain that they will endure another season in a freezing hell over taking a chance that they might have to manage uncertainty. We can talk about having to take care of our families, our responsibilities, but eventually we have to take care of business, we have to manage uncertainty.

Sitting here watching a miles long flight of birds flying Southeast, content in the cold, and otherwise looking for grain, maybe that is the way most people manage the winters of discomfort and discontent.

Others put up a Santa Cross.

I understand both. I just don't want to hang on one and wait for the wind to turn warm again. Better to fly.

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