Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Great Day.

Yesterday was a great day.

It started in the morning. I got up and got out running. The weather was cool and damp but no rain. I felt good and ran faster than I had been. I got back to my home just as the rain started. Cool! But even better, while running, God changed my attitude about searching for a job. I worry a lot about getting a new job. I worry about the future, get depressed and then mope around and am too discouraged to do much. God affirmed that he will take care of me and my family. Even if we have no money and are on the street, he'll take care of us. I don't expect that -- he's always treated us way better than that. But whatever, the guarantee is that he'll take care of us. I need to let him handle the results and I need to focus on doing what I should every day.

Two quotes came to mind. The first is "Pray like it's up to God and work like it's up to me." Easy to say, hard to remember and do. The second is Matthew 6:25-34 where Jesus shows how God takes care of the birds and flowers and says we are a lot more important than them. In particular, Matthew 6:33-34 "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

This all put me in a great mood. And I stayed in a great mood despite a couple of things. First, during my run I felt a twinge on the side of my right leg, just below the knee. When I got home it was mildly sore and I had to be careful to not bend too much. Discouraging, especially since I always talk about avoiding injury. But also ironic. Just Saturday in our beginning running group, Ruth mention she felt something on the side of her calf. I'd never heard of it before. Now I empathize.

Second, a little after I started up my computer I saw the Blue Screen of Death. Fortunately I got the computer restarted and was able to back up all my docs. And it has been OK since.

So, I got a little frustrated, but my mood alteration held and I left for my Wednesday job club (AVPPNG, a network club for job seekers) in high spirits. Our meeting was good. Part of the meeting was a presentation by an EDD person, Margie, about the WIA program, a program to help people get training they need. Many in our group had already applied and were asking what was going on with their applications. Margie explained many times how there were so many applications and so few workers, so many steps involved and why it took so long. Then she dropped a great quote, "Next week with the government is two or three months." In other words, what we'd normally expect in a week usually takes the government two or three months.

After the meeting four of us went out to lunch. We had a fun and encouraging time. Plus we had lots of stimulating conversation, including some good spiritually oriented discussions. One of the encouraging things was that the other three had good chances of landing jobs soon. I commented that I was the odd man out but they re-assured me that I was also the newbie (they'd all been at it a lot longer than me) and good things would come my way too.

After all that, I went to the Robolopes robot club at Antelope Valley High. This year's competition is building robots that play a form of soccer. I help with the software. It was a good time as usual, although we are currently at a roadblock.

When I got home, I got dinner and checked my email. About two weeks ago I had sent an email asking how my application for a flight test engineer at the Edwards Flight Test Center was doing. This is an application that I put in about four months ago (Margie's quote about government weeks became relevant in a new context). My email question and big concern was whether it had passed the human resources screening. It's not exactly my field and I was concerned (OK, worried!) that the HR people would just reject it outright. Yesterday, I got an answer. It had a lot of government speak that I didn't understand well, but it seemed to be saying I passed and my application was sent to the hiring managers.

In the evening we went to our usual Wednesday prayer meeting. Instead of being at church it was in the pastor's home. This made it warmer and cozier than normal on a cold rainy night. Plus lots of people showed up and we had a very good time -- lots of encouragement and uplifting interaction.

Of particular interest to me was that Sherman was there. Sherm is my contact at Edwards and the reason I applied for the job at the FTC. He helped me interpret my email (I'd printed it out hoping he'd be there). He confirmed that I'd "made the cert" and that my resume was now referred out to the hiring managers. YEAH! (Plus I'm not such an odd man out anymore!)

One slightly discouraging thing is that I'm one of 224 who made the cert. However, Sherm reassured me that usually half are no longer available. Plus that many applicants means there are a lot of jobs available -- even a hundred openings is not that big for a place as huge as Edwards. I sent him the email and he is going to ask his bosses what's happening. Plus Sherm had already introduced me to his big boss many months ago. He is one of the hiring managers and spoke to me about how they needed lots of experienced engineers and how they'd get me talking to lots of different people to see where I fit in. Now that I've made the cert I feel good about presenting all my skills and am excited about being able to talk with people out there. It's still a long way from having a job, but it's a huge, exciting step forward.

Well, that's my great day. Hallelujah and Praise God!