Friday, September 9, 2016

Merchandise Mart is next. Doors open on the right at Merchandise Mart.

2016 A Letter from the Front!

Cool Runnings -- Peace be the journey. I recently bade farewell to a great group of guys on my shift! They truly were my family away from home for the 2 years I was with IPsoft. Parting with them will be difficult. As I transition into a new position soon (with a company in the Merchandise Mart, hence title ala brown line train conductor), my heart wanted to give back to those guys that helped me succeed with THEM! I'm one of those few that think like that.  I chose the movie title, "Cool Runnings" for my farewell address specifically to my shift -- 2nd shift, that is. Watch the movie. The Jamaican bobsled team (which was based on true events) WAS MY SHIFT, all the way up to the end where they carried the broken sled across the finish line, and finished the race!!! That was the guys I worked with on my shift. We had our bad times, we had our good times, but when it came down to it in the end, we pulled together, even when things broke down and there was no hope, we picked it up and crossed the finish line!

155 N Wacker Drive
The Loop | Wednesday September 7, 2016 · 14:04
“Last day.”


There is a story to to tell about a special laptop. In July 2015, I was awarded the Rockstar of Month award for great work and recognition. The award was a rock star and gift card. I don't do speeches very well but I made sure I thanked the people who placed a vote for me.

Little did I know, but it didn't end there...

In December 2015, I won Rockstar of the year award and that was done by unanimous and popular vote against all the chosen rockstars throughout the year. Whoa! I was awarded a Dell XPS 13 Laptop (Windows 10) for the prize. Again, very humbled, I thanked all those that voted for me, and yes, I was shocked.  If you know me, you know that I am a private person and hate being recognized lol. That's why I blog!


After receiving the award, I took it home and made it a part of my home network and domain. There it remained for 9 months. In that time frame, I didn't really feel like the laptop belonged to me at all and that feeling was more intense after leaving IPsoft behind this month, so I battled and wrestled with my heart during my last couple weeks with IPsoft.

"This laptop doesn't belong to you, Eric," my heart was telling me. "You need to give it back to the guys you worked really hard with, the guys that are your family, the guys that you succeeded with TOGETHER as a team! This was a team effort!"

Ok, ok heart. I can't argue with you! You know what's best. The laptop doesn't belong to me. So, out of the blue, I approached two guys on my shift, two guys that work hard and have not been recognized with a Rockstar award (well, yet), guys that are DESERVING, guys that, not only work hard, but express humility, meekness, honesty, kindness, sincerity, loyalty -- qualities that rarely get awarded and recognized. I found the two guys.  Aziz and Jocel, if you are reading, you guys are the best!!! I approached them and told them my story about the laptop and how it doesn't belong to me. They both thought I was nuts at first, but once I told them you can't argue with the heart, they understood what that meant. You see, THOSE guys who express humility and meekness GET THAT PART!!!!

So, the duel began...
"I didn't know you can win a laptop from playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock."
"Well, in this case you can.  Anything is possible."

Rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock.

Aziz was the winner!!!!  Jocel and Aziz played a good game! The joy of awarding the laptop to him was overwhelming and my heart knew it was the right thing to do. I was at peace finally! The laptop went to a well-deserving teammate.


Little did I know then, but that wasn't the end...

Aziz and Jocel both approached me and said they could not accept the award because THEIR hearts were saying the same thing my heart said. It was my last full day of work. Oh boy. How do you handle a war of giving hearts? I put my head down on the conference table in agony. "Guys, I can't take this back. It belongs to you," I told Aziz.  Both Jocel and Aziz said it belongs to you.  You won this and it wouldn't be right for either of us to accept it. By now, it was my last full day of work and the night was almost over. "Ok, I know what I'm going to do with this now. This doesn't belong to me guys. I pulled up my Facebook page on my phone and opened my friend, Karen's page. I opened a recent picture of both her daughters and pointed to the eldest daughter. "The laptop belongs to her!"  

They both nodded. Jocel exclaimed. "You know that there is probably someone more deserving and in need of this than any of us."

Then, it hit me. "You are both right! It belongs to her," pointing at the picture with Karen's eldest daughter. At the time, I wasn't sure why I went directly to her picture and pointed to her eldest daughter, but I knew at the same time, it was the right thing. She had just began college and probably could use a nice laptop for her studies. So, the decision was final for all three of us (Me, Jocel and Aziz). It belongs to Karen's eldest daughter. The heart hath spake.

Little did we three know then, but we were all on the same page and after I explained to them about some recent events that Karen's daughter went through (that I learned after I got home from work), we three were in utter awe! It was fate! It was settled. The laptop didn't belong to any of us at that point, and we all had a part to play in its story and journey. We knew then and there whom the prize was for!

So, tomorrow, after I put Office and AV software on the laptop, it is getting shipped to Karen in Garfield Heights OH for her daughter. The heart hath spake. Listen to it. It knows the right thing and what to do. The laptop has a tale to tell. It had a journey through the depths of three hearts! It took three hearts to decide who this prize truly belongs to! Thank you gents!!! As I say farewell to these guys it will be hard. Photos capture one thing, but the heart captures another, and I will think back to the guys on my shift with fond memories...

The UPS Store
North Park | Friday September 9, 2016 · 15:10
“Picking up. Dropping off.”

"Doors closing...
This is a brown line train to Kimball..."

And, in the words of the Unknown Pilsen Tagger in Chicago, "Keep havin' a good day!"

**More about "Praise, price and prize" word etymologies, "The Price of Praise and Prizes, or Prizing up an Etymological Bottle" by Anatoly Liberman

Jocel and Aziz battling with Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard., Spock.

Last IPsoft 2nd Shift Sunset at 155 N. Wacker.

Connect to me elsewhere at your own risk.

My Life starts at the Chicago Water Tower!
Mark 0, 0, 0, 0. The last 0 is for the time parameter
Keeping a train of thought and keeping on track.