I was blog tagged a couple of
weeksmonths ago by David Laribee (thanks David!), so now it's time to reveal a little more about the man behind the curtain. Here are five things about me you probably didn't know:
- I have a map freak gene. Ever since I was a little kid, I was gifted with the ability to know where I am at all times. My parents still love to tell the story of how I guided them home from a family trip to the Philadelphia Zoo (an hour or so away) at the age of 6 after having only been there on a trip I had taken there with my day camp a year earlier.
I've been addicted to maps ever since. When Google Earth arrived on the scene, let's just say it killed my personal productivity for quite some time. I've been proud to discover recently that it appears I have passed that gene onto my son. He's only 4, and already he knows how to dictate amazingly accurate directions from the back seat!
- Like DonXML, I have a slight connection to Jersey guy Kevin Smith. My left arm appeared briefly in the movie "Chasing Amy" as an extra. If you watch the movie, check the scene where the main characters are having a fight during an ice hockey game. When the camera angle focuses on Ben Affleck's face, you can see the corner of a guy's face who is making a silly face by blowing up his cheek. The arm to the left of that guy is mine! That scene was filmed at the Ocean Palace Ice Skating Rink in Brick, NJ during the spring of 1996.
- I'm a big fan of radio and have followed it closely since the days when Power 95 used to battle it out over the NYC airwaves with Z100 in the 80s. I once thought I'd make a career as a radio DJ. However, I quickly learned that there is no money in radio and went to school for engineering. (Good decision! DJs are becoming obsolete nowadays as a result of the costs savings provided by automated stations that run off of a hard drive! Can you say "Jack FM"?!)
These days I'm content to be a daily reader of the NY Radio Message board where other radio fans like myself hang out. (I may get another shot at 'radio' yet... podcasting sounds like a lot of fun to me, and I may try a shot at that as part of my current job at Microsoft!)
- Throughout high-school and college, I worked at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. Six Flags is an amusement park that tries to be family friendly as possible. They don't always get it right, but they sure try.
Given that this was Jersey, and young people aren't always the most courteous, customer service was drilled into our heads on a daily basis like some sort of brainwashing scheme. We actually had to attend multiple classes where we learned corny acronyms like S.U.P.E.R. or C.A.R.E. with words like Stop, Understand, Empathize, etc... I doubt your average convenience store clerk had to go through stuff like that. It may have seemed extremely corny at the time, but looking back on it, those corny customer service slogans and skills are things that I find myself using to this day in my career! Who'd have thunk it?!
- I can speak and understand Spanish quite well. (Okay, I may speak more 'Spanglish' than Spanish, but I can get by.) A few years ago while working on a consulting gig in Europe, I continually felt embarrassed at the fact that I could only speak one language when many of my co-workers spoke three or four! I had a basic understanding of Spanish from back in high-school, but could do little more than read it. Determined to do something about it when I returned home, I took a couple of night classes at the local high-school to practice speaking.
This comes in quite handy these days since there are so many more Spanish speaking people in America than there used to be. It's great to be able to respond back in restaurants or other retail establishments where the employees may only speak Spanish
Now that that is out of the way, I get to tag 5 more: