Month: June 2010

A strange career journey

The early part of my career was spent in the non-profit sector. First I was involved with state and local advocacy with AARP (this parlayed into regional advocacy on federal issues towards the end of my time there). Then I was the office manager for a small church. An Episcopal congregation with a solidly progressive bent, I was quite at home. Generally, I considered business to be destructive and “the problem”. With that, I delighted in the notion of trying to save the world. Then, through a series of accidents, I moved to the corporate world, working at Starbucks in Corporate Social Responsibility. During this time, I focused mostly on environmental affairs, but worked in a number of side projects. Thus, even in a Fortune 500 company, I was saving the world.

Now, though, I find myself in the belly of the beast, at Microsoft. I am in Operations, and supporting finance within that. MSFT does have a Corporate Citizenship team, and does good philanthropical work. But I am far removed from all that. I miss that work, yet I find my work fulfilling, which (frankly) surprises me. For ages, I thought that social mission and service were the only ways I would feel value. I see that I can add value across a wide variety of endeavors. Also, I’ve learned so very much about the challenges business faces, and how that impacts their citizenship. And that so very many business leaders are trying their very best to be good neighbors. Now, what will I do with that knowledge? Hmm…

Parental Discovery

My parents might need to be brought up on child-neglect charges: I had not heard of Leo Lionni until my son insisted we buy some of his books. Laughably, I assumed that Leo Lionni was a character, much like Junie B. Jones (consider the alliterative). I’ve learned otherwise. The recent purchase, “Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse” has been a delight to read. Exploring the art, I expect Eric Carle’s art was inspired by Lionni’s. As I delight in literature, I wonder why I’ve never encountered his name. Then I wonder if I haven’t. My journey as a father is laden with discovery. Discovering so much that I would expect to have known.

Perhaps my mother read to me from Lionni and Carle every night. I do not remember. I do remember such seminal works as “Harry: The Dirty Dog”, though. Strange thing, memory. I delighted in Dr. Suess, too. I wonder, at times, whether too much has been lost from my childhood memory. The loss of my mother took with it so much memory. Those moments that wouldn’t be possible for a young child to remember, no one else does, either. My father was off serving in the Navy; other relatives thousands of miles absent. So much of my sister and my early childhood had only one witness, who is silent. I’m left rattling cerebral cobwebs, and creating new memories with my son.

Random side note: I came across this video of Harry The Dirty Dog and just had to share. It’s only a trailer, but still