I’m not professing this to be the most interesting thing that I’ll spend time writing. I’ve decided that a good starting point would be to explain what lead to putting in my notice of resignation at Best Buy.
First off, I thrive on puzzles. I’ve solved many and I thrive on the concept of picking things apart until I understand them fully. Now apply that to Best Buy and Geek Squad. I’ve worked for Best Buy for a bit over five years. The sad reality is that I became comfortable and no longer challenged myself to anything new. Sure, Best Buy is always advancing new ideas and concepts to increase sales there’s a small challenge in that I suppose. However, I discovered there is no puzzle in fixing computers once you’ve fixed five years’ worth of them. I have gotten to the point where I utilize “Don-sense” and can with a fair bit of uncanny accuracy predict what’s wrong with computers at work as my team can vouch for since they ask me all sorts of questions and ask me to triage their check-in’s daily. Simply put, I’m no longer feeling challenged.
Secondly, when I began my job at Geek Squad in Kokomo I had it in my head that I was going to become a Network Administrator. I thought computers were the Alpha and the Omega for me. I worked for Best Buy for no less than one year and I was quickly working my way up the ranks. I had successfully usurped the Kokomo precinct from the hands of Ryan Gentry thanks to his dissatisfaction with Geek Squad and a failed pilot program… I became the supervisor of Geek Squad. A new puzzle, exciting, a puzzle that I quickly solved and for eighteen months I prospered as one of the best Deputy of Counter Intelligence’s (DCI’s) in the district. I trained several agents, an assistant manager, and several DCI’s throughout my career. I was on track to whatever I wanted from Best Buy. It simply wasn’t what I wanted.
Thirdly, my interests shifted from computers to humans within two years of working at Best Buy. I discovered that humans are a significantly more interesting and ever changing puzzle. People are capable of change, higher thought, and being taught. I discovered one day working at the counter helping an older couple that I loved the ability I had to connect with people and teach. It was the beginning of a domino effect that would eventually lead me to change my major, end my marriage, embrace my inner creator that I had buried, and introduce me to the effect of alcohol. (hah)
The Dominoes fall.
Domino #1: Rick Evans
While I was working in Kokomo back in 2007-8, I had an agent named Rick Evans who was the most wonderful human being a person could dare to be friends with. He was absolutely nice and courteous to everyone. It was that quality that convinced me to make him my senior agent. I needed a person who could smooth over customer issues.
Rick Evans and I discussed writing stories and I occasionally told him of my ideas for novels. Rick was a creative genius and encouraged me to write more often. Rick reminded me of skills I’d long put to bed as a writer. It was then that I started realizing my heart wasn’t into the cold, ticking, silence of computer repair. I was in love with creation, I wanted to inspire, to teach, and mold minds. It took 3 years for the awakening that Rick started to take hold, but am I ever thankful it did. Rick Evans is a great friend and I’m thankful for the conversations.
Domino #2: Dad dies.
My father died in November of 2009. I never got to know my father; I never resolved my anger with him for his divorce and his subsequent marriage to a woman that I didn’t care for. Whether or not that was jealousy for a broken home or whatever, I don’t care to rehash. However, I never got to tell him that I loved him. He never knew and I never knew whether or not he loved me. I felt miserable for knowing that I would never get to know for sure. I didn’t get past it until I made a commitment following domino #3
Domino #3: RENT
In December 2009 a friend of mine introduced me to RENT. There are hundreds of musicals that tell you to embrace what time you have and to never miss an opportunity to better yourself. However, this one struck a chord in me. I believe the part from the musical that I enjoyed the most was the affirmation.
“There’s only us. There’s only this Forget regret– or life is yours to miss. No other road, no other way, No day but today” — Jonathan Larson
This inspired and continues to inspire me not only to tell my friends and family I love them, but to make sure that I seize the opportunity every chance I get to learn something new, to understand something, meet new people, and to try to believe in something greater than myself. I started doing this as often as possible and this lead me to spend a week with my mother in Florida simply because I could. I really wanted to make sure she knew I loved her, I’d had a rough childhood with her. I was a pretty unhappy kid and I hope that she knows how much I appreciated her never giving up on me. However, right before leaving for Florida… I met Laura through an online dating website, Plenty of Fish.
Domino #4: Laura!
Laura and I talked through email throughout my trip to my mom’s in Florida. I had a rough go of getting back in time to have our date. I scheduled our first date the day I was returning from Florida, March 21st. My airline allowed me to get on my flight despite knowing that my connecting flight to Indiana from Washington DC was cancelled. I had to do some major schmoozing with a hostess at the AirTran counter but I finally got a flight directly to Indianapolis. (I was originally going to Fort Wayne and driving to Indy for the date.) I had told Laura that she was going to be the highlight of my day and of course that made her nervous to live up to.
There is something wonderful about this woman. She’s a perfect mate for me in every way. She worries when I’m care-free and she makes lists when I think in abstracts. We use both of our ways of thinking to conquer everything and though our life gets a little messy sometime I know that I’m going to marry this woman. I can’t even begin to imagine life without her.
Laura has seen that increasingly I have come home depressed and drained from working at Best Buy. It wasn’t anything in particular, it wasn’t bad managers, it wasn’t a bad work environment, but what it most certainly was… was not for me. Laura has been supportive and has done a great job of making me feel better when I got home. A few conversations and a pile of money from taxes and student loans later… I have a failsafe cushion that will last a substantial amount of time. This will give me time to search out and obtain a job that is more about giving back than taking away.
What’s going to happen now? Who knows, but when you’re living in America, 11 years past the millennium, you are still what you own. I don’t want to be that, I want to be remembered for what I’ve done, what I’ve given, and what I’ve taught.
I’ll see you all on the road. Hopefully, the rest of you stop waiting for Godot and start living your lives.
~Don Sedberry, January 25, 2011.