Quirky Co-Workers

Sometimes I wonder how some people get hired where I work.  I mean, I know we all come from different backgrounds and experiences and I don’t have a problem with that.  I’m just wondering about those co-workers who are quirky.   

I have one that will burst into song at any moment and will ask very personal questions out of nowhere.  

It really makes you wonder how they were hired. 

So how do you deal with quirky co-workers?  You have to work with them so how can you keep your sanity?

Right off the start you must set boundaries.  Be firm and direct about how far that co-worker can go.  

For instance, my co-worker wants to call me Uncle Milton but I put the brakes on that and let him know that was not my name and we weren’t going to start with the nickname thing.  

If you warn them and they ignore you the you can take it to management.   Hopefully you want have to elevate it to that level.  

With most annoying co-workers the best solution is to be straightforward and direct. Don’t be angry or hostile or it will backfire on you badly.  It’s okay to speak up for yourself in a professional way. 

At least you don’t have to live with them.  


Friday Flashback: Georgia Force

Arena football is still around although they are down to eight teams but the league was booming in 2002-2012.  During those years, the Georgia Force played in the league.  They made the playoffs in seven of the nine years they played and lost ArenaBowl XIX in 2005 to Colorado.

The first version of the Force originated as the Nashville Kats when the team moved from Nashville to Atlanta in 2002.  They originally played in Philips Arena but moved to Gwinnett Arena in 2003.   Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank bought the team in 2004.

In 2007, the Force had their best record at 14-2 and were the #2 seed in the AFL playoffs but was upset in the conference championship game by the Columbus Destroyers 66-56.

The league suspended operations in 2009 due to financial and labor issues but resurrected in 2011.  The Force returned when Alabama Vipers relocated their franchise to Atlanta.   The Force played two more seasons but eventually folded after the 2012 season.  Low attendance plagued the Force as they averaged on 4,242 in their final season.

Some of the most notable players for the Force were:  Chris Greisen (QB), Jermaine Smith (OL/DL) and Troy Bergeron (Offensive Specialist).

Georgia Force seasons:

  • 2002  (6-8) 
  • 2003 (8-8) – Lost in Quarterfinals to San Jose
  • 2004 (7-9)
  • 2005 (11-5) – Lost ArenaBowl XIX to Colorado
  • 2006 (8-8) – Lost in Divisional Round to Dallas
  • 2007 (14-2) – Lost in Conference Championship to Columbus
  • 2008 (10-6) – Lost in Division Round to Cleveland
  • 2009 – League did not play
  • 2010 – Force did not play
  • 2011 – (11-7) – Lost in Conference Championship to Jacksonville
  • 2012 – (9-9) – Lost in Semifinals to Jacksonville

The AFL has recently awarded an expansion team to Washington, DC for next season but there are no indications that Atlanta will have another chance for Arena Footbll.


AUDL “July Madness” Begins

The American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) has finished the regular season and now enters the playoffs to start this weekend.  Here are the match ups for the first weekend:

  • New York Empire at DC Breeze
  • Minnesota Wind Chill at Pittsburgh Thunderbirds
  • Los Angeles Aviators at Seattle Cascades
  • Atlanta Hustle at Raleigh Flyers

The winners will face the teams that clinched the regular season division titles next weekend. 

The final four teams will meet at Breese Stevens Field in Madison, Wisconsin during the weekend of August 6-7.

The favorites to win the title are the Toronto Rush and the Madison Radicals but watch for the Dallas Roughnecks or Pittsburgh Thunderbirds to make their own bid.  

Here are the final standings for the 2016 AUDL regular season:

East Division

  • Toronto Rush (12-2)
  • DC Breeze (10-4)
  • New York Empire (7-7)
  • Ottawa Outlaws (7-7)
  • Montreal Royal (6-8)
  • Philadelphia Phoenix (0-14)

Midwest Division

  • Madison Radicals (14-0)
  • Pittsburgh Thunderbirds (10-4)
  • Minnesota Wind Chill (9-5)
  • Indianapolis AlleyCats (8-6)
  • Chicago Wildfire (4-10)
  • Detroit Mechanix (4-10)
  • Cincinnati Revolution (0-14)

West Division

  • San Francisco FlameThrowers (11-3)
  • Seattle Cascades (9-5)
  • Los Angeles Aviators (9-5)
  • Vancouver Riptide (6-8)
  • San Jose Spiders (5-9)
  • San Diego Growlers (2-12)

South Division

  • Dallas Roughnecks (14-0)
  • Raleigh Flyers (9-5)
  • Atlanta Hustle (7-7)
  • Austin Sol (7-7)
  • Jacksonville Cannons (5-9)
  • Charlotte Express (4-10)
  • Nashville Nightwatch (3-11)

Team of the Week: Portugal

I must admit that I do not keep up with the international soccer scene but when dining at a local sports bar in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday it was clear that it was a pro-France crowd when they groaned at near-misses on goal by France.  After settling down from the initial outburst and getting my heart rate back down to normal, I realized they were watching the Euro 2016 championship.

When I got home I checkout the final score:  Portugal 1, France 0.

To compare it to other sports in America this was like an 8-8 wildcard team winning the Super Bowl.

Portugal advanced out of the group round with ties against Iceland, Austria and Hungary.  They were the 15th seed in the round of 16.  They beat Croatia 1-0 (extra time),  Poland 2-1 (penalty kicks) and Wales 2-0.   

In the final, forward Eder scored in the 109th minute from 30 yards out for the game-winning goal to give Portugal their first win in the European Championship.   Portugal prevailed without their star player, Cristiano Ronaldo who was injured in the game.

Words Matter

Remember that old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”?

That old adage first appeared in The Christian Recorder of March 1862, a publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

It certainly doesn’t fit in what we see today in America.  

Now it seems if you say “Black Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter” that you are against others or even called a racist.  America is way too hypersensitive about these kind of things.  If you say “black lives matter” it doesn’t make you racist no more than saying you support any other cause.  

If you were to join a march against cancer that doesn’t mean you are for Alzhemiers or ALS.  It only means that you are trying to bring attention to that issue.  Usually because that issue affected you personally in some way. 

Yes all lives matter.  Where were these movements when we were killing Native Americans and taking their land?   Would it have been racist for them to form a group called “Indian Lives Matter”?

President Obama made the statement yesterday  “We are not as divided as we seem”.  Is he serious?   Has he been watching the news?   When simple words divide us there is definitely something wrong.   It’s not sticks and stones that are hurting us.  It’s words and guns that are doing it.  

Nightwatch Finish Season With Historic Win

Nashville 30, Jacksonville 26

The Nashville Nightwatch ended their second season in the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) scoring a franchise-high 30 goals for a 30-26 win over the Jacksonville Cannons.  With the win, the Nightwatch finished the season at 3-11 and exceeded their win total from last season.

In one of their best games I have seen them play, the Nightwatch scored the first goal and never trailed as they built a 19-13 lead at halftime and then held on in the final quarter.  In past games, the Nightwatch have struggled with getting the disc up the field and moving forward but on Saturday night they had sharp passes and connected on long passes down the field that set the pace for their record-setting effort.

Jake Wright led the Nightwatch with nine goals and finished the season with 53 goals.  Tyler Conger had six assists in the game.

Now the question:  Will they be back in 2017?

All indications are that they will but here are a few ideas I propose to improve:

  1. Better home field.   John Overton High School is not a good field for location or game atmosphere.  I think you need a more intimate setting where the fans are closer to the game.  Also, Overton is right next to I-65 and that’s just not a good setting at all.  A better location would be one closer to Nashville.  Maybe the Vanderbilt area.  Maybe later I will come up with some ideas of better fields.
  2. More sponsors.  The team really needs some major sponsors if they are going to survive.  More money will help.
  3. Advertise.  More exposure is needed.  Set up booths at festivals or public events to let people know about the team.
  4. Media Coverage.  It improved some this year with a few articles and posts from some local news personalities that attended the game.  Still need more.

Unfortunately the Nightwatch did not qualify for the AUDL playoffs but you can still following the playoffs here.

The 2017 season begins again in April.

Kill People With Kindness

The tragic events this past week remind us that we live in a fallen and volitale world.  Just when you might have thought our nation was past racial strife and anger yet another incident happens to rear its ugly head once again.  

I don’t understand why there are so many more instances where white police officers are killing black people.  It is very disturbing to every race.  We live in a quick-tempered, trigger-happy world today.  It has gotten out of control.

Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

People are quick to get angry even if they are in the wrong.  There is no kindness.  Just today I was sitting down at a department store waiting for my wife and daughter while they were shopping and this woman I have never met before came up and said, “That’s just like a man to get what he wants and sit down.”    I sat shocked not knowing exactly what to say.  They weren’t words of kindness.  Why are we so quick to say an unkind thing or make negative assumptions about people?

For believers, it is imperative to set the example.  We should be quick to be kind to one another and forgive often.  Yes, people are going to do mean things but that doesn’t give us the cause to do something back.  

So how should we respond to the violence this week?

  1. Show kindness to everyone.  All races of people.  Don’t just limit it to the people you know.  
  2. Cut people some slack.  Don’t immediately respond in anger.  If someone cuts you off in traffic or says a mean word to you, forgive them quickly and respond with kindness.
  3. Don’t make assumptions about people.  We all have experiences and histories others do not know about.  Let’s give people the benefit of the doubt.  

We don’t need to join protests or respond with violence.  Just make a difference where you are.