Monday, December 14, 2009

Blast from the Past: Working in Provo

For those of you who don't know, a few weeks ago I started working for We are an online dating company that has 27 different niche dating sites. is actually the top Jewish dating site in the world, mazel tov! It's a great company and a great opportunity for me to professionally grow.

Working in Provo has kindled all kinds of memories from past visits and past living! While driving home from work today I compiled a mental list of the good and bad memories that I’ve re-visited. Some will make you smile; some will make you shake your head in understanding.

The Bad

  1. Happy Valley Dating… Only in Provo will date two become a DTR that is considered a success if you’ve discussed the possibility of your future marriage and children. Although meeting the parents by date 3 is encouraged it’s not mandatory.
  2. The one CRAZY roommate… maybe when you move in with an apartment full of strangers it’s always expected that one will be a little off, but I experienced this more in Provo than anywhere else. From the roommate that would turn the AC on in the winter and the heat on in the summer, to the one that would use the rest of our bath loofas, and the one that was medically declared mentally insane by the end of the semester I’ve had ones that would make a great book one of these days!
  3. The driving… I don’t know if a person’s driving IQ automatically drops 10 points when you enter the city limits, or if it’s a domino effect from being around so many bad drivers, but nobody seems to know how to drive, especially in the snow. This is still true…
  4. Get-Rich-Quick jobs… I swear there was more opportunity to sell Cutco, MaryKay, Avon, do envelope stuffing, etc. than anywhere else I’ve lived! And I had two roommates in particular that fell for each and every gimmick and tried to pay their tuition through these schemes.
  5. “On my mission”… I have since served a mission and know how life altering the experience can be, but it gets old really fast if every example in a church lesson, and in general conversation has at least 3 references to the glory days. I would hope positive, uplifting, and funny things have happened since that time.

The Good

  1. Climbing 5 days a week!!! There were so many people willing to get out on the mountains, and for some crazy reason I always had time to squeeze in a climb.
  2. Great friends are easy to come by! I moved in and out of several wards when I lived in Provo and each one had a few top notch people that I still keep in contact with. Also random friendships could pop up anywhere.
  3. My discovery of snowshoeing! A friend found three pairs of snowshoes in his garage, and a few of us found it our calling to make sure they got the use they needed. I’ve since bought my own, and am so grateful to have discovered this winter sport.
  4. BYU Creamery Ice Cream! Need I say more?
  5. Living in the “ghetto”. When I was told by my first Provo roommates that I really should drive the .01 miles to my work because I got off at midnight and we happened to live in the ghetto I knew I had moved to the right apartment!!!
  6. Hot Tub Hopping! All my apartments had hot tubs, and I indulged in them on a regular basis, but if our hot tub happened to be shut down for maintenance you could always go to the apartment complex next door or down the street because none of them had locks. They were all open for anyone to enjoy!
  7. Food at every activity! There’s something to be said for food that I don’t have to make, especially on a week night.
  8. REI Garage Sale! True, we had to drive to Salt Lake to indulge in this, but it was in Provo that I discovered this fabulous tri-yearly event that changed my outdoor gear purchasing power forever.
  9. Always someone to share your cooking with! Which is great when you love to make eggrolls and only know how to make a family sized batch.
  10. Walk in Baptisms! I loved that any day of the week; I could just walk in and do some good. Because it was so accessible I made this a weekly ritual. The question now is where has all that time gone?
 What are the best/worst memories you have of Provo?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Spreadsheets and Shotguns

I’ve been way out of touch lately, and for that I apologize! Life got pretty hectic for a while for several reasons. First, my company did some consolidation and my position was eliminated (ie, I was laid off). So I was running at about 100 miles an hour working to find something new in a month. The great news about that is I found a new job within 5 weeks! Although that’s a little over my goal, it’s a lot better than the average in the nation of 12 weeks.

The first few days went great! I've learned a lot and have been able to be extremely helpful in the end of the month reporting process. This month I’m told we got the reports done a day and a half sooner than they did last month. I think I can make a lot of changes here that will save everyone time. They haven’t had anyone in this position for the past 2 years, so there’s a lot of cleanup work to do. The last guy they hired stayed for 6 days, was offered a job from another company, and accepted that. So the joke around the office is I just have to last 7 days to be a success!

Wednesday was intense because my new boss, Angela, found out we needed to turn in our 2010 forecast by the following day. I was a bit freaked because that meant I not only needed to forecast what my department would be doing (without the benefit of seasonal trends since the department really bombed last year). But I also needed to divide that forecast up by the 24 main sites that my department got its subscriptions from. So I worked like mad, Angela got us a second day, and I’m now feeling pretty good about my numbers. After reviewing them Angela said they looked aggressive enough but at the same time reasonable (which means perfect in my eyes)!

I like the environment here, a lot more laid back than the last job I had. Not that I don’t think there will be stress (every job has it), but the atmosphere is a just a nice change. The people are extremely friendly  too. There are only two ladies in the office (with a third out on maternity leave). They're all low maintenance girls that won't be hard to get along with.

The guys are also nice. One popped his head up over the cubical to ask me if I owned a bike. My uncle James would be proud of me for rattling off my "Yes, a Garry Fisher Sugar Three Plus" which lead to an "Oh, mountain or street?" I guess the company has a street biking team. Maybe I have to get a street bike to build team unity or something. That could be fun.

The benefits are fabulous! We get free life insurance (Dave will get one year of my salary if I die), and free Disability insurance that covers 6 weeks of maternity leave, plus all the regular benefits (with pretty great medical). My favorite part is the PTO, I accrue 10 hours PTO a month, so by the end of the first year I’ll have 120 hours or 15 days to use as I see fit!!!

The commute isn't too bad, usually 40 minutes to work and an hour home, but I made it home in 35 minutes Wednesday… I attribute it to the tunnel vision that occurs when you stare at a spread sheet for far too long. I can handle that, even if the sun is down when I leave as well as when I get home (curse the winter).

Apart from that life in general has been pretty hectic with Thanksgiving down at the cabin (near Zion’s National Park), and worrying about my Grandpa Yoder’s intestinal surgery. Fortunately he’s recovering, although the process seems slow. I was able to stop by a few times over the holiday, and each time he seemed better than the prior visit.

Thanksgiving was tons of fun with lots of traditional food and Chinese food, hiking in Zion’s, petrified wood collecting, checking out the ghost town, and shot gun shooting. So I couldn't get my shotgun shooting pic to post, but you can see it on my facebook page. I'm a great shot, and it shows me killing a clay pigeon!!!