Can’t believe it has been 11 years

I remember as a child anytime someone would speak of President Kennedy they would always add that they remembered where they were and what they were doing when he was assassinated.  As a young person, those statements had no real meaning.

September 11, 2001 brought meaning to those words.  I was at the Best Buy in  Albany NY.  My Operations partner Sara and I had flown in Sunday morning for the physical Inventory Sunday night.  We woke up early Monday morning and headed to the store to help begin the reconciliation process.    I had been in the warehouse unaware of anything happening until I walked into the employee break room where I found a few employees watching television. They told me that there had been an accident and a plane had hit the World Trade Center tower.  As I stood there, the second plane hit.  I still recall the chill I felt, the shock, the looks we shared because we all knew that this had been no accident.

The next few hours become more blurred.  Employees who had family member in NY city.  Changing all of the televisions to live news and setting up chairs for customers to sit. My mother finally getting a hold of me, in tears.  I remember telling her I was sorry I had not called but I was not in NYC.

We were due to fly home later in the day which of course could not happen since air travel was shut down.  We ended up in a dumpy motel in a not so nice nearby city.  We shared a room and took shifts throughout the night watching the television hoping survivors would be found.  This was not intentional it kind of just happened. The next morning we drove our rental car home.  Driving into the silent airport is another feeling I will never forget.

We would like to pound our chest and say that the cowards who attacked civilians going to work did not change us, but that is not true.  We have cameras on every corners watching our every move.  We are molested while trying to board an airplane.  We hand over our personal belongings for search as we enter any large public venue.

Interviews are done with people who always say similar things about they do not mind a little inconvenience if it makes them safer.  But is it any safer really?  As people were taking off their shoes in the Philly airport in March, a drunk out of control man drove his car right through security fences onto the runway of the airport.  Last week the current boyfriend of a woman mad about the actions of an ex called in a fake bomb threat to a plane the ex was on.  The plane full of people  traveling to Texas had to be turned around and searched.  Millions of dollars spent on cameras that no one watches or do not work.  A study done over the summer showed half of the cameras in a Philadelphia  did not function properly.

The buildings at ground zero are still not completed due to labor and political issues and the museum still not open due to political and religious disagreement .  And we still refer to it as “Ground Zero”.

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”  Benjamin Franklin

Will this fill the void? (an ongoing story)

I was hired at Best Buy as a media supervisor due to my experience at good ole Sam Goody.  I was in charge of the giant area in the center of the store, and in those days it was giant.  We still had VHS and cassette tapes boxed computer software and of course DVD’s.  My department did well and at the first chance I had to apply for a promotion I jumped on it!

I was promoted to a management position in merchandising.  I was not the greatest at that, to put it mildly.  Best Buy in the early years made a decision that to compete it needed to grow quickly.  They would blast a market with multi-store same day openings.  IT would cause great hoopla and a lot of press.  People would line up for great deal.

Behind the scenes it caused issues.  Low stock levels and awful shrink problems due to large amounts of employees hired in small periods of time, trianed by other short term employees.  This opportunity allowed for me to use my strength.  Identify and attack the issue.  Most of the stores in our market had massive shrink issues, (loss, theft etc).   I was moved to inventory control in one store and within a few months we had either retrained, relocated or arrested all who needed.  By Inventory time the store was under budget and did even better the next time.  Due to the companies continued massive growth, it did not take too long before I got my shot to take over my own district where we did the same.  Massive retraining, lots of meetings with employees to gain buy-in, a few arrests here and there and success for the mission of shrink control.

Life was good!  For many years I had fun at work.  But like everything it had to change.  That type of growth could not continue forever.

Somewhere around 2002ish they started the “re-structuring” .  A politically correct way of saying downsizing and piling of work on another.  I would assume other roles with little to no additional pay.  Lots of headaches.  And it hit me…I was making great money, had lots of toys but hated getting up in the morning hated everything around me.

I had achieved everything I wanted, power, money success so what was my problem?  Frank and I had been talking about children but after the way I grew up I was so afraid that we would be terrible parents.

We were married six years before having Megan.  I made the decision early in my pregnancy that I would resign my position after having the baby.  My market won a holiday contest sending myself and several other of my team to LA for a few days.  I was about 4 months pregnant at the time of the trip.  I think this trip was part of helping to make the decision.  I did a good amount of traveling with work, late nights and early mornings.  This would not be good for my soon to be growing family. I did not tell anyone at the company this until after Megan was born, they would probably never have believed me anyway.

Megan was born In August 2004, I resigned in October, at the end of my leave.  Once I looked at that adorable little face I knew I could not go back to work.  I was given the opportunity my mother never had, the opportunity to be home for every fall, every tear, every smile, every everything and I jumped on it!