Friday, February 13, 2009

A New Challenge

Yesterday while I was working at Mother's Day Out, Kevin called me. He sounds a little serious and tells me that he needs to tell me something. My heart starts to beat a little faster and all sorts of things start going through my head. He tells me that Wurzburg is officially going to close the Nashville branch. He knew that this may happen because there had been talk of it at the last meeting, but he didn't know what that would mean to him. He did know that so his job was safe. The higher ups like him and need him. He just didn't know where he was going to work.

A little background on how Kevin came to work for Wurzburg and in Nashville. Wurzburg is a packaging company and is based out of Memphis. There were branch offices in the southeast such as Nashville, Frankfort, Birmingham, and Huntsville to name a few. Technically Kevin works for Artcraft. Artcraft is the labeling division of Wurzburg. At one time, Artcraft was a wholly owned subsidary of Wurzburg, but I am not sure anymore because there have been so many changes over the past few years.

Right before Kevin and I got married, Kevin was working for a landscaper friend of his. He was doing grunt work and the pay wasn't very promising, but it was a job. One day, his sister-in-law was at her work, and they were having copier problems. A copier tech came out to look at the copier. While he was there, he asked if she knew anyone who was good at repairing things because they needed some new techs. Well, Marsha knew that Kevin was good at things like that and got some information about the company and passed it on to Kevin. Kevin pursued the job and was hired on about a month before we got married. That was wonderful blessing for us. Kevin worked for Ikon Office Solutions for about a year. It was a job, and he was good at it. Like most jobs there were some politics involved and he was getting a little discouraged. One day he was sent to Artcraft to fix their copier. While he was there, the Service manager came in and started talking to him. Larry mentioned they were needing a new service tech and told him to give him a call if he was interested. It wasn't long before Kevin was interested and hoping for the best, he quit his job at Ikon hoping that Artcraft would hire him. Thankfully, Artcraft did hire him.

Kevin started out as a service technician at Artcraft in 1997. He had to learn how to repair industrial label printers and label applicators. Kevin a natural at things like that so it didn't take him long. Kevin worked with one other technician named Kim. Larry was the Service Manager and Stuart was a sales manager who was also over the service department. Kevin did his job and even got me a job at Artcraft. I started out as a receptionist and worked my way into Customer Service. He became Label-aire certified and learned a lot about the labeling process.

In 2002, Wurzburg started making changes. One of the things that appealed to Kevin and this job was the branch office in Nashville. He mentioned that he would like to work in Nashville and he was promised that one day he would. As the years went by, we figured it wouldn't happen but it did. Stuart worked it out to have an Artcraft service technician in the Nashville office and hinted around that there might be opportunities to "climb the corporate ladder." In March of that year, we packed up our stuff and brought our daughter to Nashville.

Kevin did the same thing in Nashville as he did in Memphis. Larry no longer worked for Artcraft and Kim was now over Kevin. Kevin does his job well and soon he was getting to know the salesmen in Nashville and would go with them on sales calls. The salesmen would use his knowledge of labeling printing and applicators and he helped sell some equipment. The salesmen knew they could depend on him. As a few years went by, people he worked with left and new people were hired. Kevin's job started to change and his bosses changed and his pay changed. He has had several people over him. Just in the past year and a half, he has had four different bosses. Two of which were fired, and one realized that someone else could be over him and now Stuart is back as his boss and Kevin is pleased with that.

I don't know exactly what Kevin title is now but I do know what he does. He will work with the sales team to sell industial packaging equipment mainly label printers and applicators and a few other things. He travels for his job and he mainly goes around the Southeast United States but he has been to Mexico and California and Chicago. He makes day trips or overnight stays or even week long trips. He might go somewhere every week for a month and then he will be home for a month. He has been travelling for his job since he started so I am use to it. I do miss him when he is gone and I always pray for his safety and God has always brought him home safely.

So now to our new challenge. The Nashville branch office is closing. Wurzburg realized that everything could ship out of Memphis via Averitt truckline and get to the customers the next day. Having so many branch offices was not necessary and to hopefully save money, they are closing several of the branch warehouses. The salesman will continue selling in their territories, using thier homes as base. Even two of the customer service reps will have jobs but just working from home. The higher ups came to Stuart with blueprints of the Memphis office and asked him where he wanted Kevin to be. My biggest fear was about to come true. We were going to have to move back to Memphis. I would move if I had to but I didn't want to. Stuart looked at them and told them that he wanted Kevin to stay in Nashville. He is in a good location and it has been working out for years so why change a good thing. In about 60 to 90 days, Kevin will be working from home. The challenge is that we don't have a big house. We've talked about it and have several ideas. What will probably happen is that our bedroom will contain his office. It isn't ideal but it is the most practical solution right now. We will just have to make a few changes and live with it for a while. Hopefully very soon, maybe we can buy a bigger house with a space to make an office just for him.

In today's economy, I am so thankful that Kevin has a job. It is scary out there right now with people losing jobs and losing their homes and families being torn apart because of financial difficulties. I would have moved to Memphis if they told Kevin that he had to work there. I am so grateful that Stuart knows Kevin and trusts him enough to keep him here. I love living in Lebanon and not because it is where I am from but becuase it is a great place to live. The kids are happy here. Faith loves her school and John Derrick has granddaddy close by. Our church home is wonderful and we have found where we belong. So I am willing to put up with close quarters for a while if it means that we stay here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Happiness is....

Today I woke up and started to think of happy thoughts. I thought that it might be fun to write down things that make me smile.

Happiness is...

1. Watching my kids play together.

2. Listening to John Derrick tell me something especially when he gets very animated with his hands.

3. Faith doing well in school.

4. Having the toys put away where they belong

5. When John Derrick takes a nap

6. Taking a car trip and talking with Kevin

7. Trying a new recipe and it turns out to be a keeper

8. Listening to John Derrick laugh at a funny movie

9. Watching new TV shows

10. Bedtime for the kids

11. Cool sheets on a warm summer day

12. Warm flannel sheets on a cold winter day

13. Christmas morning

14. Watching TV with Kevin

15. New clothes

16. Finding cash that I forgot I had

17. Finding old friends on Facebook

18. Reading a good book

19. Re-reading my favorite books

21. Watching a good movie

22. Going to the lake

23. Making homemade cookies

24. The opening song in the movie Cars

25. Having the windows open on a beautiful day

26. Payday

27. A cake or brownies baking in the oven

28. Having a good friend

29. Seasons changing

30. A hot shower

31. A good night sleep

32. Watching John Derrick play with his best friend

33. Chocolate

34. Donuts

35. Christmas lights

36. Going out with Kevin

37. Remembering some of the fun things that I did in high school and college

38. Watching a favorite movie

39. When Faith is excited about something at school

40. Knowing that God is always in control

41. Knowing that God has always answered my prayers to bring Kevin home safely when he goes out of town.

42. Remembering how God answered prayers

43. Remembering how God answers prayers differently from the way I thought they should be answered

44. Seeing God's blessings in my two children

45. Seeing God's amazing creation

46. Knowing God is part of my life and how horrible it would be for Him not to be part of my life

47. Reading about the heros in the Bible

48. Having parents who raised me to know God

49. Having two beautiful children

50. Being married to my best friend, Kevin