Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Signs of Life

Since I came back to New Orleans for my job I haven't been focused on anything. I have been here everyday and I even got a promotion. Somehow I still find myself drifting most of the day. The post Katrina stress always seems to have me down. I don't even write blogs as much because I can't think straight.
There is nothing worse than a series of meetings over a two day period to make you want to quit when you are in this state of mind. Last year I went to this same meeting with my entire staff representing our agency. I was a novice, the understudy and the low man on the totem pole. One year later, I was back as the lone representative for the entire program and had the title of coordinator behind my name. I had two choices. The first choice that came to mind was to go Tuesday and sit quietly writing down notes like I am interested then skip Wednesday's session and blame it on some housing appointment or something personal and stay home. I was all sold on the first choice and went in the conference room Tuesday surrounding by allot of smart people. That's when I had a long talk with myself. I told myself "Cliff, you are just as knowledgeable and capable as anyone in this room. Not only that, you were raised by a father that is an ego maniac and his father had the most self confidence of anyone you ever known. You have almost an obsessive pride about your name and who you are. What kind of Harris man are you to sit in here and let these people think your ass don't belong? What would grandpa say? Now open your damn mouth and show them you got skills." That's exactly what I did. I proceeded to demonstrate my training methods, articulate the merits of a closed database and totally shoot down the idea of a state system I feel is designed to have access to my local records. I felt really good. In fact, I felt so good that I went back to work and gave a three hour seminar on the mayor's race (my all Caucasian work staff thinks I should run for mayor of Chocolate City), the rebuilding of the Ninth Ward and why Kobe Bryant is the MVP of the NBA this year. It feels good when I have a day when I am 100% together after the storm. On those days people get the whole Cliff experience: charm, charisma, knowledge, humor, the ability to dominate a conversation and the biggest ego any bald, short, chubby black man has ever had. Grandpa would be proud.

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