Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Why You Gotta Be So Mean?

I'll admit it.  I watch The Voice.  Every single episode.  All seasons.

NOTE:  Team Blake, baby!

There were lots of contestants that I liked, but Danielle Bradbery was my favorite from the beginning.  One of the songs she sang near the beginning was called Mean.  I didn't know the song, but loved her voice and wanted to vote for her, so I downloaded it.

NOTE:  I now have NINETEEN (19 -- nineteen!) songs from this season of The Voice on my I-Phone.  Danielle is my most purchased singer, but I have plenty from the others too.  Nineteen.  Yikes.

Anyway, the first time I really listened to Mean and heard the words, I couldn't help but think about abused children and wanted to know more.

Turns out that Mean is a Taylor Swift song and here are the words:

You, with your words like knives
And swords and weapons that you use against me
You have knocked me off my feet again
Got me feeling like I'm nothing
You, with your voice like nails on a chalkboard
Calling me out when I'm wounded
You picking on the weaker man

You can take me down with just one single blow
But you don't know, what you don't know...

Someday I'll be living in a big ol' city
And all you're ever gonna be is mean
Someday I'll be big enough so you can't hit me
And all you're ever gonna be is mean
Why you gotta be so mean?

You, with your switching sides
And your wildfire lies and your humiliation
You have pointed out my flaws again
As if I don't already see them
I walk with my head down
Trying to block you out 'cause I'll never impress you
I just wanna feel okay again

I bet you got pushed around
Somebody made you cold
But the cycle ends right now
'Cause you can't lead me down that road
And you don't know, what you don't know...

Someday I'll be living in a big ol' city
And all you're ever gonna be is mean
Someday I'll be big enough so you can't hit me
And all you're ever gonna be is mean
Why you gotta be so mean?

And I can see you years from now in a bar
Talking over a football game
With that same big loud opinion
But nobody's listening
Washed up and ranting about the same old bitter things
Drunk and grumbling on about how I can't sing
But all you are is mean

All you are is mean
And a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life
And mean, and mean, and mean, and mean

But someday I'll be living in a big ol' city
And all you're ever gonna be is mean, yeah
Someday I'll be big enough so you can't hit me
And all you're ever gonna be is mean
Why you gotta be so mean?

Taylor says she wrote the song about her critics, but the words are SO applicable to the children we serve at Community Partners of Dallas.
It makes me cry to think about children who "just wanna feel okay again" and dream about one day being "big enough so you can't hit me" -- and believe me there are so many children in Dallas feeling this way right now.  Every 103 minutes another child is confirmed as abused and neglected in Dallas County.
How can people be so mean?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Four Favorite Things I Love Right Now! Part 10

Last month's Four Favs post (visit it here if you missed it was so popular that I even got a present from a reader:

Copper Moscow Mule Cups!  Thank you, Sandy -- as you can see, I put them right to good use!

I've been super busy lately and the office is blowing and going with Community Partners of Dallas' Back to School Drive, staff vacations, staff changes, etc.  So, I almost forgot about the blog today.  Luckily, I saw a package of my 2nd fav on my desk and away we go!
  1. Lexus RX350 -- I am currently driving my fourth one of these (I've had black, brandywine, red, white, in that order) and I can tell you that I don't think I'll ever buy a different car or model.  This is the small SUV and it is perfect for me.  Love everything about it.  Call Jeff Hazelwood at Sewell for sales and Sara Cockburn for service -- they are the best!  Tell them I sent you, of course.
  2. Sour Patch Watermelon -- Joanna got me on these tiny bites of deliciousness and oh, how I wish she hadn't ever done so.  They are so good and just a perfect bite of sour and sweet.  If you like the way your pants fit now, don't try them. 
  3. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris -- Or really anything by David is worth a read and a laugh.  I wish that I could make him my best friend and have dinner with him once a week.  Haven't yet read Exploring Diabetes with Owls, but I own it.
  4. Karen Adams Calendar -- This is one of my favorite things to purchase each year at Paper Affair.  Each calendar page is beautifully designed and it has a little sparkle for the glamour girl in all of us.  My 2014 refill is already sitting in the drawer ready to be put into action! 

What are your Four Favs?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Yes, I did.  It was in the lobby of Community Partners of Dallas.  Why did I do this, you might ask?  Let's go back to the beginning...

NOTE:  The beginning was about 30 minutes ago, so we're not talking the olden days or anything.  "Ain't nobody got time for that" -- as Sweet Brown would say.

I had made my morning coffee -- using my blessed Keurig -- and was just walking back to my office to start the day, when I heard my office phone ringing from the hall.  It was my friend Jill (she was stuck in traffic).  She wanted to know how Traces was at the Winspear last night since she and her crew are going tonight.

NOTE:  Go and see Traces -- it is part of the AT&T Broadway series at the Winspear and just opened last night.  It is a grittier Cirque du Soleil type performance and it was great.  Bonus:  90 Minutes.  No Intermission.  This always get a Woo Hoo from my crowd!

Anyway, as we're talking Jill tells me that she got a message from one of her friends (who also works with us at CPD) and that she had woken up with pink eye this morning.  I tell Jill that she hasn't called in, but then I look and the red message light is on, so I know that is probably what my message is about.

Jill and I finish the conversation and I listen to the message and yes, Ann woke up with pink eye and is on her way to the doctor, then will come in, but she won't touch anything.

I then send an email to the staff letting them know Ann's status and end the email with "Wipe down your stuff."

Since I don't tell the staff to do anything that I wouldn't do myself (this is mostly true -- hey, I put in my time, people -- I've even plunged toilets), I got out my package of Clorox Wipes (keep my own under my desk at all times) and started wiping down places where I know Ann might have touched yesterday.

This gets me to the lobby with the wipes and Lauren and I are both going over stuff.  I am rubbing the door knobs, the door locks, the alarm pad, etc., and while I'm at the alarm pad, I see the fire alarm thing.  You know -- this:

Now I know that Ann had not touched the fire alarm, but it looked dusty, so I just quickly decided to give it a quick wipe down and that was all she wrote.


Luckily, we are blessed to be part of The Meadows Foundation's Wilson Block, so lickety split a super cute Dallas police officer was here and stayed with us until the Meadows maintenance staff got here to shut the thing down.  The alarm probably only screamed for 10 minutes, but it felt like a lifetime.

And to add insult to injury, we had a group of volunteers arrive (early) while the thing was blaring, so while Vanessa ran to keep them outside (in the 90+ degree heat), I had to go out and explain to them that I was the idiot who set it off and that they didn't need to be scared.

NOTE:  You may be surprised to know that volunteers don't exactly relish the idea of entering a building with a huge-ass fire alarm blaring and a police car outside.

So, what did I learn from this?
  • Be careful -- I didn't think about how quickly I could set the alarm off. 
  • Be grateful -- for the fabulous Meadows staff and security and for my great staff who jumped into action to keep normalcy with one another and the volunteers.
And Ann needs to stay away from people with pink eye.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Are Your Employees the Best? Mine Are.

Back to my Secrets of Non-Profit Management Series today -- and this is a big one. 

The most important thing to running a great non-profit organization is hiring the right staff members.

You've had this experience -- I know that you have:
  • Made a donation and received no boo, no hoo, no f -- I mean bupkis?
  • Arrived at a volunteer day excited to help and saw the staff members sitting together and gossipping?
  • Walked into an office and the receptionist doesn't even look up, much less smile at you?
  • Made an effort to attend an auxiliary meeting and not a single person greets you or welcomes you?
  • Called an agency and you can just tell that the person on the other line is mad, bored, or just doesn't care?
I know you've had this experience because I have.  And because I have we try to make sure that this is NOT your experience at Community Partners of Dallas.  And how we do that is my next Secret.

Non-Profit Management Secret # 6 is...

Hire The Personality, Not The Experience.

To me, the type of person is way more important than what they have done in the past.  I look for the Hs & Fs in my hires:
  • Happy
  • Honest
  • Hardworking
  • Friendly
  • Funny
  • Fabulous
Yes, it is great if you can get the Hs & Fs in someone with experience in their position (CPD's Development VP and Volunteer VP are both great examples of this), but don't worry if you hire someone right out of college with little experience. 

If they have the Hs & Fs, you can teach them how to do the job -- the way you want it done -- and they will be great assets to your agency.

Do you agree? 

If not, I'd love to hear from you. 

If so, I hope you'll share the post! 

I'm reminded of a post that Seth Godin (my guru of blogging) wrote.  Here are his words:

Most of all, great stories agree with our world view. The best stories don’t teach people anything new. Instead, the best stories agree with what the audience already believes and makes the members of the audience feel smart and secure when reminded how right they were in the first place.

I'm right.

And yes, I'm the sole judge of that.

Monday, June 3, 2013

8 Words That Could Change Your Life

This morning I've been thinking about words.

I love words.

I must admit that I am feeling super-smart because I am a new subscriber to The New York Times Sunday paper, so I spent about 3 hours off and on reading it yesterday...

Anyway, I watched a show on Showtime over the weekend called Richard Pryor:  Omit the Logic.  Worth watching if you have the chance.  But it is the phrase Omit the Logic that I keep thinking about.

Is it possible to omit the logic and would it be smart?

For me, I think I could use some omitting of logic.  I tend to think a lot about things in order to make the best decision, especially about Community Partners of Dallas.  How many backpacks to order for the back-to-school drive, what is the plan for the 25th anniversary in 2014, how can we get more caseworkers to read our newsletter, etc. 

To me, omitting the logic means to look at something in a different way, turn it upside down.

And this brought me back to my my favorite question and the 8 words that could change your life (courtesy of my friend Marilyn Stidham):

What would you do if you weren't afraid?

Let's omit the logic and be fearless on this beautiful Monday!