"If small town America didn't exist, I wouldn't even care!" Tydas Pharaoh
DATELINE CHATFIELD MINNESOTA -
It seems like just yesterday I was blogging to you guys about my excitement when I was able to drive to Iowa to bring my son home from college.
Well,today it was time to bring him back.
I have mixed feelings about this. I always wish the family I raised would remain in tact, but I know it is in everybody's best interest if we follow the conventional pathway of maturity.
So once again, I'm driving down a road which will lead us all to a new stepping stone, the bread truck is packed from bumper to bumper with fitted baseball caps and over 50 pairs of Nike's which are all packed in their original boxes.
Tydus is wearing his Dre Beats (head phones) and like every other Father in America, I navigate a course to a destination that will have no direct bearing on my personal life. While the destinations featured character listens to hip hop with heavy eye lids.
Don't get me wrong, this is a fathers job, chauffeuring is one of the few roles left in my sons life where he will concede I am dominate.
When you drive an almost 20 year old who was raised in a metropolis through little hick towns, and you realize chances are that he's going to remain in an institution which is nestled in a corn field for several more years, it kinda gets you thinking.
Man rule #528 declares that once a child turns 18 and becomes an adult, it is in the fathers best interest to no longer dole out advise. Now this is not to say that a dad can't administer rules, you can do that until your kids 50, if they live under your roof, but....you still should not give them advise.
It simply falls upon deaf ears.
So now we pull into Chatfield, this is a nice little rube town in southeast Minnesota,If you left the city limits and continued south, if you smoked 4 cigs while driving, you'd cross Iowa as you lit the 5th.
I always pull into the Greenway Cenex for gas on the route, and I can see my son invisibly rolling his eyes at my predictability.
After gassing up, I always go into the restroom and wash my hands, I hate sweaty gas hands on a road trip, and the cool thing about the Greenway Cenex bathroom is it is decorated as if you were at a tea party.
When you see this unique washroom, you know for a fact it wasn't the ownerships idea, somebody put so much work into it that it had to be a young grandmother of a cashier or something like that.
The walls are actually wall papered, and I have to wonder if this beautiful aesthetic is what has warded off graffiti, or maybe farmers simply don't tag the room that they poo in.
On the woman's wall, there is a large framed lithograph of what I'm guessing is a famous French painting. It appeared to be from the impressionism period, you know....the piece had that whole Monet vibe rolling.
In the picture was a woman outside her cottage and the landscape was filled with orange dots (which represented flowers) further than the eye could see.
My Pastry chef Gilson is in France as we speak, she is living on a goat farm on an island which floats off the western coast.She met these people on Facebook, and now she's actually living the dream.
To Gilson, France is a reality,but to many of the women who pee on that toilet in Chatfield, I'll bet France seems as realistic as Venus.
This is not-not-not a judgment by any means, simply an observation.
Success can only be grasped if it shows you it's handle.
Are there really any handles to Paris in Chatfield?.........maybe, but I doubt it.
As I popped back into the truck, apparently my kid is decided to do something unprecedented, he's torn down the musical barricade and is going to talk to me.
As we pulled out of the lot, straight ahead of us was a dwarfed Ferris Wheel and a slide for people who rode potato sacks. I'm guessing they were remnants left over from the previous evenings Hooting Annie.
We looked at the shoddy craftsmanship of the Ferris wheel, and before I mentioned that kids in our neighborhood would bypass this ride for 5 minutes on a X-Box, Tydus threw out a clever quip about it belong to gerbils on steroids.
95% of the time Tydus and I have discussions out of Sue McGleno's earshot, we're usually talking about things that are irreverent, things that would make you like me less if you knew...LOL, so I'll simply keep my mouth shut, but if you are a father, and have/had a 20 year old son.....you know exactly what I'm talking about.
This went on for a bit, and then we turned off the last highway onto the dirt roads that took us through Amish country.
I don't know where it came from, but all of a sudden I felt compelled. I felt like I needed to impart some wisdom on my kid, and to be truthful....it kinda freaked me out.
I guess the bottom line was even if my kid thought my topic or conversation was lame, maybe one day when I'm dead he will look back and get that I just wanted him to know that I wanted to do the "Little Drummer Boy" deal and share with him one of the few gifts I have.
He's not a dog guy, he's twice as good at baseball as I was in my prime, so all I really had left was my junk drawer of savvy.
"If you do get your teaching degree, if you end up coaching sports, no matter what your career is, whats the best way to separate from your colleagues? How will you raise your personal visibility?"
"Its not a trick question kid. Life is a competition, but the smartest or most qualified person doesn't always win. What is the quickest past to the largest pile of money in your field?"
"I think w/o a doubt, it is conflict resolution. I never knew until I got older how fearful the majority of humans are to effectively and expediently resolve conflict.
Peoples careers or entire departments can travel off course if somebody in their work place doesn't have a vision.
but, but.....even if somebody in a department has vision, perception is a funny thing, greed, ego, and moral beliefs (or lack of them) will all contribute to pulling people away from one another.
So how do you get into a position where you can do this? You just do it. Don't wait to be asked. Read as much as you can by experts on conflict resolution, but then attach your Tydus swag to it, throw down your own version.
The main reason people fear conflict is that they don't want to be attacked themselves. Even in the most cleverly calculated situations, you're gonna get some shrapnel in your a**.
You actually have to train yourself how to become bulletproof. I've brought unions into huge plants. I've been in the midst of heated legal battles, and I've always been able to disconnect from it the second I get home.
You have to, if you are going to be effective.
Every company, every concept, every project that has people running it will be flawed, why? because humans are a flawed species."
"And the key to your presentation, your conversations, your revelations..........
It all boils down to confidence. If you don't have any....fake it.
I swear to the Polish Christ, a subscription to false confidence is the fastest way to the power podium.
Once you see the fruitful results of your efforts, you will buy into yourself. If you are going to be a leader, you have to have someplace to lead people to."
When I was elevated to CEO of the baking company I currently work for in Capitol City, I was called into a room and told that in some respects the position was being handed to me somewhat reluctantly.
Ownership told me that it was the hope that the company would be run by somebody with a college degree in business, I appreciated the honesty, but for reason not told to me. I was informed at least for awhile, they were going with me.
Have a vision,rush to the roar of conflict, and make people believe in you.
Its a flawless template.
Around this point, he caught my flavor so I terminated the topic before he began to find it droll.
Even at 20, or maybe especially at 20, I find my self issuing wisdom in baby-steps.
Alright, the soap box is starting to wobble under my feet, and I can see the hook coming in from stage left, but before I sign off, my next post will discuss adventures at the Irish Fair, and it will include a scone recipe so bad a** that it will change the way you eat for the rest of your life.