11/29/2009 11:32:00 pm

Difficult Second

Posted by Tom French |

I preached at my church again tonight. It was my second time preaching at my church. I was a little nervous about it because I feel like the second one is always harder than the first. Unless your first was a shocker.

See the first you give a heap of attention to. And so you generally do an ok job. But then if you do ok with your first, then you can be tempted to slip for number two, rest on knowledge that you're too awesome to stuff up. Or you've put all your good stuff into number one that number two is just looking for scraps.

It's like this with a band's second album or a TV show's second season. And I feel like it could be like that with preaching. My second sermons at my old churches were pretty dismal.

And in order to avoid that happening tonight I wanted to be working on tonight's sermon for a while before hand. In some ways I was, I was thinking about it well in advance. But I only got down to serious work on it about two weeks ago. Still two weeks is a lot longer than I was able to give sermons in the previous seven years.

But this week, when I looked at my week I realised I wasn't going to get any time to work on the thing let alone write it. My days and my nights were full. I worked most days last week. Friday I was working, then I had Youth Group. Saturday I was hanging out with Hannah and then worked ushering right through to 11:30pm. As I caught the train home last night I wrote out the outline of my sermon.

Today, I had a church meeting, and then five and a half free hours, between when that finished and when I preached. So I came home and typed hard, stopping only for some essential wedges and Coke. I finished with a printed sermon 9 minutes before church started.

I walked up to church thinking over everything I left out of the sermon, and everything I hadn't articulated clearly enough. I went over all the problems with the structure of the sermon. It's a normal process for me before I preach. Each time I preach I tell myself all the reasons why this one sucks.

Then I start to stress that I'll preach badly and people will think I'm a crap preacher.

Then I pray and say "God, use my words, good or bad for your glory. Make this about you not me." And then I still think the sermon is crap, but I have to keep remembering that it's ok if I look crap too. God can do what he wants.

Before I preached tonight I got moved by my inadequacy to be preaching and the enormity of the task of sharing God's word. I worked out a prayer to pray before I preached as a result. I reckon it was a good sounding prayer too. Then when I got up to pray, my mic started giving feedback and I forgot my beautifully crafted prayer, and just started thinking about where I could stand on the stage where I wouldn't feedback. I tried to regain the prayer, but I lost the moment a little. I was disappointed God wouldn't hear how elegantly I could articulate my inadequacy to preach his word. But I reckon he probably knows that already.

In the end I was happy with the sermon. I got thirsty, as I often do. I remembered my water this time but it was too far away. I need a stool with my water on it, like this. But that would look a little wanky.

Speaking of wanky, when it was time to preach tonight, I had to carry the lectern myself from the side of the stage to the middle. There was no one to carry it for me. Standards are slipping. If we were Hillsong there would be someone with the lectern ministry, and rightly so. Someone did it for me on a camp last year, and I think there were 25% more salvations because I was free to just focus on bringing the word, not carrying lecterns around.

What's actually embarrassing is that when I walked up on stage I thought to myself "No one has moved the lectern for me." No joke. Someone should punch me.

Anyway, I was happy with the sermon. I censored myself on the jokes about nudity and porn stars, which I think was the right choice. Although I reckon they would have been funny. For instance, which do think is funnier a monkey dressed as an astronaut or a monkey dressed as a porn star? Need I say more?

All up, I'm hoping God is using the sermon to change us and see him more clearly. However inadequate I am to preach with all my vanity, self-love and self-doubt, God is bigger. And despite who I am, I know his word will not return to him empty.

And that is my post-preach debrief. Until I podcast it, and then I'll debrief again on the preaching blog. But I'll probably mostly just talk about the content there. And I haven't really talked about that at all. I don't want to mix the content too much. You know, I can't deprive the cross-readership.

11/25/2009 11:38:00 am

Poo Fashion

Posted by Tom French |

There is a tree over our washing line in which Rainbow Lorikeets are currently loving to sit and eat the flowers.

On Sunday Jenny brought in my clothes from off the line. This was the collection of clothes I discovered when I got home.

Poo Clothes.jpg

Freakin' birds.

11/23/2009 01:39:00 pm

New Moon

Posted by Tom French |

Bella and Edward.jpg

Warning: Spoilers ahead

Gem, Matt and I went and saw New Moon and it turned out to be even more terrible than the first movie, which is quite an achievement. While I spent much of the first film laughing, I spent much of this one saying "Oh my goodness" in exasperation at the poisonous trash that was defecating all over our eyes. Matt sat next to me and regularly said words which I shan't repeat on the blog, but it summed up my feelings better than the ones I could express to the limits of my Christian piety.

The acting was terrible, Edward still looks like a sad, cancer patient, and the writing was atrocious ("I love you, I can't live without you, you're my everything, I'm terrible for you, you're my breath, get away from me, but I actually really need you"). The only good bit of script was when Edward quoted a chunk of Shakespeare. It had a rather jarring effect finding such quality amongst such ugliness, kinda like finding a Rembrandt in a crack house.

I know I'm sounding rather harsh. But I can't find much to redeem this film. If you're a lady Jacob Black's abs are impressive and they might redeem the film a little (as they did for Lesley). There was a squeal in the cinema from many females when he took off his shirt for the first time. He spends almost the entire film with nothing but a pair of shorts on. His clothes get destroyed when he turns into a werewolf, but somehow he has an endless supply of jeans cut-offs at his disposal for when he goes back to human form. One imagines he spends all his time when not a werewolf at Wal Mart buying jeans then going home and cutting off the legs.

But apart from Jacob's conspicuous abs (which did little for me except make me feel inferior) this film is pretty useless. I don't think any of the character's are happy for any moment of the film. They're all depressed and spend the whole time moping about lost love. It makes for infuriating watching.

And then there are the messages. Which I think are probably the most horrendous bit of the film. Because I can cope with bad films if they aren't spreading terrible lies. This film is emotional porn at its worst.

There's the total dependence of Bella and Jacob on each other. They live and breath each other, and yet when they're together they just natter at each other (Bella: Turn me into a vampire, Edward: No, I won't, I love you and wouldn't do that to you, Bella: Turn me into a vampire, Edward: No, I won't... and so it goes). They are so co-dependant that when Edward thinks Bella has died he tries to kill himself, only to be saved by Bella as she proves to him that she's still alive. And this attempted suicide, sparkling in the sun, is seen as Edward's great romantic devotion to Bella. If a guy kills himself because he can't have his girlfriend any more, it's not romantic, it's totally unhealthy. Why do people want to hold up Bella and Edward's relationship as the epitome of true love? Teenage girls don't need any more encouragement to get into unhealthy relationships.

Romeo and Juliet is held up through out the film as this archetypal love story for Bella and Edward, as if Romeo and Juliet are the pinnacle of romance. They're not. The play isn't a romance, it's tragedy! Romeo and Juliet die! It wasn't as if Shakespeare wrote it to say "Hey kid's, be like this. Woo!"

If Edward was a vampire with any courage, when he found out Bella was dead, he wouldn't kill himself, at risk of sounding terribly clichéd, he'd decide to keep living with the pain, working at healing and making something good of his life, because that's what Bella would want. Except she probably wouldn't because Bella is one of the most selfish leading ladies in cinema since Scarlet O'Hara. She spends the whole film using and manipulating Jacob because it makes her feel better about Edward being gone and then using and manipulating Edward to make her feel good and turn her into a vampire.

If you want to get all Christian about it, then Bella and Edward are in the high priesthood for the idolatry of relationship. Surely Stephanie Mayer, the Mormon, can see that elevating anything other than God to that level of obsession in your life is going to be fundamentally destructive to the soul. We may not agree on who God is, but we should probably be able to agree that romance isn't God.

But perhaps the whole divine marriage thing of the Mormons, and the elevation of humanity to divinity in the after life is part of all this. So I could see how you could allow Bella and Edward's romance to be seen as some kind of representation of true humanity's realisation. After all it was the romance of father God and mother God who made the world and birthed us. But I digress.

Aside from Bella and Edward's mess, there's a scene in the film where Bella meets the fiancée of the head werewolf. She's had half her face ripped off by her fiancée in a snap fit of rage. And there she is, the first time we meet her, serving muffins to her man's equally dangerous friends. And when he comes home, they give each other a kiss and continue as if nothing is wrong. And this should be a cause for concern in the film. But it's not. No one thinks to mention that perhaps this girl should get out of the relationship. Their not even married and the guy has torn half her face off, and they just go on as if his fit of rage just comes with the territory of being engaged to a werewolf.

The only time the issue is addressed is when Jacob says he can't hang out with Bella any more because he might do the same to her. But then he hangs around anyway because he just can't stay away from her and he's selfish. And she keeps wanting him close anyway because he's her best friend. So we overlook the potential for incredible violence being perpetrated against these women if it's for the sake of relationship.

It's all just so terribly sick. And I think I react so strongly to it because it's so popular and so obsessed over by so many women and girls. It's just sending so many bad messages. If this is what girls are obsessing over, what will they take with them into their future relationships?

All that said though, I'm not going to go on a crusade to rid the world of Twilight. And if it gives us an opportunity to assess how healthy relationship should be done, then I'll take it. So maybe we should just look for those openings, to somehow point out that finding your Jacob or your Edward isn't actually going to be all it's cracked up to be and hopefully in turn, we can help people to see who might be better at protecting and selflessly loving these women who want good love so much.

11/23/2009 12:59:00 am

If You Need to Explain...

Posted by Tom French |

Overheard in the Westfield Food Court on Saturday:

"...the Pope is the top guy, he runs the Catholic Church so he's obviously he's going to be Catholic."

11/21/2009 12:24:00 pm

Biblical Crush

Posted by Tom French |

Mary Heart.jpg

So I was thinking about Celebrity Crushes, in regards to another blogpost I might post later. But I was thinking that probably celebrities are not the most wholesome bunch to have a crush on, so perhaps we should be encouraging them. But why not encourage a good old Biblical crush?

At first I thought perhaps Mary would be someone I wouldn't mind having a crush on. She was pretty wholesome, and the Bible likes her. And then I remembered that she was probably around 13 when she got pregnant, which makes her rather too young. Plus it'd be a little awkward telling Jesus "I have a crush on your Mum." So I dismissed that idea.

I talked about it with Howie and we realised that most of the women in the Bible seem to be prostitutes, sleep with their Dad, or sleep with their Dad dressed as prostitutes, so their not the types of crushes we want to encourage.

However there's Esther, she's hot, and she saves all her people from certain death. So that's a plus. She's married to the king, which may make her a little inaccessible. But you could certainly have a crush from a far.

Ruth's pretty good too. She certainly puts in the effort of pursuing her man, which is good for lazy men. But she's also a widow, so you might a little baggage to deal with.

Deborah was pretty good but some men might find her a little intimidating.

For the women, the options are a little better.

Obviously there's Jesus, but I reckon if I was chick I'd feel a little awkward having a crush on him, seeing as we'd have the same Father.

Solomon was probably a pretty attractive option until he turned into Hugh Hefner.

Jenny said a younger David would be good. Before he started stalking ladies and murdering their husbands. Though I reckon he might be a little hard to be in a relationship with seeing as he was always off at war leading an army somewhere.

Jonathan on the other hand. He was loyal. Probably a snag. And seeing as he was a soldier, he probably looked a little like Brad Pitt in Troy.

In the New Testament there's Barnabas. I always imagine Barnabas was a little chubby, but lovely, and full of encouragement.

Paul would be too intense. Plus he kinda loved being single.

John's good if you want a sensitive type.

But I reckon the best one would be Timothy. Young, smart, loved by all the old ladies. What more could you want?

That's about as far as I've got in my thinking. If you were to have a biblical crush, who would it be?

11/20/2009 11:37:00 pm

Twit

Posted by Tom French |

I am currently toying with the idea of tweeting.

I do generally find Twitter dull. Or if someone has something good say, infuriatingly short.

I think I shall shoot for exceedingly dull. I wanna make it an art form.

11/18/2009 11:31:00 pm

Membership

Posted by Tom French |

I found out the other day that I am now officially a member of my new Baptist church. Hurrah! Now I can vote in the Christocracy (like a democracy, except Jesus votes through the real Christians and Satan votes through the fake ones and you see who wins).

Personally, I'm very excited to be a member. I had to be interviewed and everything. Although I never had to be dunked. I only got sprinkled as a child by the man in a dress, and they let me be a member anyway. These Baptists are soft, for which I am thankful. I think they might read out my name at the Church AGM on Sunday week. I'm sure I'll cry because it'll be very moving. I hope we all hold hands and sing "Welcome to the Family".

I'm wondering if I am still a member of the Anglican church? I think I might be. I think getting confirmed makes me an Anglican for life.

I'm hoping to maintain my Anglicanism. I want to be able to vote as an Anglican too. Not that voting means anything when you're an Anglican because the Anglican Church is a Autocracy. The Senior Minister just does whatever he wants but it's recommended he has Jesus as his senior advisor. Or Calvin if he's in Sydney. Or Elton John, if he/she is in the USA.

Anyway, I'm happy to now be officially a Baptist and an Anglican. I think I shall call myself a Banglican. I shall dance like a Baptist but drink like an Anglican, and everyone will just think I'm your typical Aussie bloke.

Banglicans, represent!

11/17/2009 11:32:00 pm

Google Reader

Posted by Tom French |

Over the past few days I've decided to make more use of my Google Reader. I have started to follow people and the blog posts they share, and I've started sharing blog posts that I like.

I think I like it because I read peoples blogs and think "Gosh, I wish I blogged that." Now with Google Reader I kinda can. Google tells me I have 5 people following my shared, but I wouldn't be surprised if I actually have none.

I'm slowly putting in you folk from Blog Feed so I can share your posts if I like them with all five of my avid followers.

Feel free to follow me if you want. I'm here or you can just search for thomaswench. That'll work too.

Now wasn't that exciting?

11/16/2009 11:00:00 pm

Tumbarumba

Posted by Tom French |

Team Tumba.jpg

I spent this weekend in Tumbarumba with Soul in the Bush.

Soul in the Bush (I think technically it's meant to be SoulintheBush, but that's not that easy to read) is a ministry of Soul Survivor NSW/ACT where they send teams out to various country towns around NSW to serve the church there in whatever way the church wants.

So I was invited to join Beth, Tanya and James on a trip out to Tumbarumba to serve the church there. On Friday night we met 4 of the members of the Anglican church who were hosting us. They were most friendly and very happy to have us there.

On Saturday morning I was off to do some gardening pulling out weeds for an old lady with MS, then it was lunch with one of the families from Church. In the afternoon we helped run a kids afternoon, which was followed by a barbie for dinner and a youth night that night.

Sunday we ran half the church service, doing music, a testimony and giving the sermon. Then we drove home.

When I left home I had $14 in my bank account and $3 in my wallet so I wasn't entirely sure how it was all going work. When I got home I'd gotten to eat three meals a day, had all my accommodation paid for, and the petrol to get me there, and I only ended up scabbing one Coke off a team member during the whole trip. God's provision was generous and so were his people.

I did enjoy spending a few days with Beth, Tanya and James. We all stayed in a cabin together in the caravan park, so I feel like I got to have plenty of fun together. I enjoyed hanging out in the boys end of the cabin with James (the girls took the bedroom and because we're good Christians us boys didn't go in once). He was quite happy partake in poo jokes so I knew I had a good mission companion.

I also loved seeing the country folk and meeting a bunch of people who love God and love serving him in their community. They were so thankful to us for being there, I felt so blessed to be able to be a blessing.

When we ran the youth night we had some of the local hooligans turn up. They didn't feel like playing my wide game, they just wanted to look tough and throw water bombs. Then the local drug dealer turned up and they just wanted to impress him. Happily though, the hooligans and the drug dealer, and all the other youth, heard that God lavishes his love on them and thinks their valuable, so it was certainly worth having them along.

I prayed for a few guys who may never have been prayed for out loud before. They said I could do it and then giggled when I did but I still felt privileged to get to do it.

Running half the church service yesterday for Tumba Anglican meant that it became one of the longest church services in the world outside of Africa. We had a children's story, a testimony, communion, new music, old music, announcements and a sermon. It took us and hour and fifty minutes to get through the whole service. I did the sermon on Colossians 1:15-23, it was a rehash of an old one. While I love preaching new stuff, I also enjoy doing old stuff because you can pick your best sermons and do them better. And it takes about an hour or two to prepare rather than 15-20 hours. Still if I had to pick between old ones rehashed or new ones, I'd pick new ones.

Finally I did quite enjoy the road tripping. 'Cause road tripping is almost always fun, and it was fun this time.

I had a good weekend.

11/11/2009 06:30:00 pm

Professional

Posted by Tom French |

Today at my painting work I got given white painter pants. I'm very excited. I think I've finally made it.

11/10/2009 02:09:00 pm

Well Assessed

Posted by Tom French |

I got this email from a job interview I went to a week ago to be a photographic assistant for Santa photos:

Hi Tom

Thanks for your email. Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. As you saw we had a lot of applicants at this stage we have given the positions to some of the more experienced people. We enjoyed meeting you – good luck with your music.

Regards


I'm really glad they took the time to get to know me. I might write back and tell them the new album is coming along great.

11/09/2009 11:56:00 pm

Cricket

Posted by Tom French |

There's a cricket in our dining room. It makes the whole room sound an awkward silence.

11/09/2009 11:24:00 am

Audible

Posted by Tom French |

Warning: long and probably dull account of consumer woe ahead

I am a member of Audible.com. It's an audiobook website. They charge me $16-$20 a month (depending on the exchange rate) to download one audiobook a month.

Unfortunately I slowed down in my audiobook listening. It was because I bought a 22-hour history of the American Civil War, and I struggled to get through it, so I didn't buy new books till I finished that one. But I never finished it, and the credits just stacked up.

Anyway, being on the poorer side this year, I thought, I should cancel my membership, but every time I went to cancel my membership they'd say "If you cancel you'll lose all your credits." And I thought, "I paid for them, I don't want to lose them."

So I thought up a cunning plan. My debit card expired last month. So I decided to keep money out of my account around billing time last month, and then the credit card would expire, and I wouldn't have to keep buying credits, I wouldn't have to cancel my membership, and I could use my remaining credits to buy books, and then cancel.

Well the plan worked until money went into my account about a week after the billing day, and bam, they took it. "Fair enough" I thought, "I am still a member." But my card expired so they weren't going be doing that again.

Then I checked my bank account today, and they still took money out, with my expired card! I don't know how that's possible!

So I just went and bought 6 audiobooks with my credits, and they'll just sit there till I download them. Then I went to cancel my membership.

I clicked the tiny, hidden link "Cancel my membership". They asked why, I said I was too poor. Then on the next screen they said "We're sorry to see you go, please accept $20 credit from us to thank you for being a member." So I took it. I thought it was just a parting gift, and when I came back, I could use it if I wanted it. But no, turns out, when you click that you're opting out of cancelling your membership. Sneaky buggers. So I was still a member.

I went back to try and cancel my membership again, quite happy to sacrifice my $20 credit, and there was nothing to click anymore, it had changed to an international phone number to call to cancel my membership. Sneaky, sneaky buggers.

So now I have $20 credit, an expired debit card, 6 books waiting to be downloaded and a continuing membership to Audible.com.

I will sort things out one day, but first I should go get dressed.

11/05/2009 10:12:00 pm

Influence

Posted by Tom French |

I have to fill out a form for a good conservative, Christian organisation and one of the questions is "List your 5 most influential books, outside the Bible?"

I thought that was a good question, so I thought I'd answer it here:

1. Evangelical Truth - John Stott

Evangelical Truth.jpg

I never knew what an evangelical was before I read this book. It was on my pre-reading list for Youthworks. It's the only non-compulsory pre-reading I've ever done I think.

Anyway I read this book about evangelicals and Stott described a Christian that was me. I loved the Jesus and fervently believed the Bible. After growing up in a rather liberal church, I had never know my brand of Christianity had a name, or that it was popular. But then I read this book and realised I was an evangelical. I suspect the feeling was somewhat similar to the feeling mutants get when they realise they're not alone and they get accepted into Professor X's academy. Someone had defined me and it felt good.

Ever since reading that book I've been excited about loving and believing the Bible, and excited that there are plenty of people out there who feel the same as me. And I think I've loved the Bible more, and teaching the Bible more, because I realised it's not so strange to love the Bible.

2. Making Movies - Sidney Lumet

Making Movies.jpg

This was given to me for Christmas one year by my sister. I think I was 14. Up until that point my obsession with film and television production was leading me to want to be an actor. But then I read this book and I realised that actors had to be in touch with their feelings, and that sounded terrible.

But directing on the other hand meant that you got to play with cameras, lights, lens, set design, story, acting, editing, everything really. The entire film production process was open to you. Directing was where it was at.

And the life that Lumet described, seemed like the best life ever. I love film making, and this whole book was about a whole life of film making. I wanted that.

And so I decided to be a film director on the strength of this book.

I subsequently discovered what a famous and fantastic director Sidney Lumet is. I think that could be my favourite non-fiction book ever.

3. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis de Bernieres

Captain Corellis Mandolin.jpg

This is my favourite book ever.

I read this after Jo lent it to me. I don't know what I was expecting. Jo just said it was good.

It was amazing. And the film is has nothing on the book.

I do love love stories. But the love stories I love the most are the ones about the hardness of love, and the unfulfilled longings and messiness of love. And this book is all that.

De Berniares' style of mixing real life with mild fantasy, his wonderful use of words, his hyper-real characters, it all just makes me so happy.

Reading this book felt like magic the whole time I read it. It gave me that feeling in my gut I get when I hear an amazing guitar solo, or see a spectacular scene in a film. I don't quite now how to describe it, but it's like the happiness is too intense for just the usual outlets, it has to employ organs usually reserved for other functions to express how profound the joy is. It's like I feel heavier and lighter as the same time. It's pretty darn special.

I know I've quoted this before, but just the first line of this book fills me with joy:

"He took the old man over to the window, threw open its shutters, and an explosion of midday heat and light instantaneously threw the room into an effulgent dazzle, as though some importunate and unduly luminous angel had mistakenly picked that place for an epiphany."

I couldn't really quantify the influence this book has had on my life. But I know it's made me love words more and appreciate love more. The book has stayed with me, its story has become part of my story and every fiction book I read gets compared to this book.

4. The Trivialization of God - Donald McCullogh

Trivialization of God.gif

I picked up this book for $5 at Koorong. I think I was 18. I got it because Mum had been lent it by one of her friends and I liked the front cover.

The whole book is about how big God is. God is not a god you can fit into your own schemes and agendas. He doesn't exist to support your cause. God is his own person, he rules the world, and he's terrifying in his magnificence and power.

This book taught me how scary and terrible God is. It made me appreciate what it means that a person would die to look into the face of God. God is not my buddy. He's a consuming fire.

I think my respect and awe of God grew ten-fold as a result of this book. And I better understood the grace shown to us in Jesus so that we can approach this magnificent and awesome God without being destroyed, this God whose amazing power is bent on love.

5. Don't Just Stand There, Pray Something - Ronald Dunn

Dont Just Stand There.gif

I think I was in year 10 or 11 when I read this. It was also Jo's. I don't actually remember much about this book but it had two lasting effects on me. It made me pray more and it inspired me to have regular quiet times.

The book told me to have a daily quiet time and when I did it to systematically work my way through books of the Bible. So I did. Ever since reading that book I've been having daily (or almost daily) quiet times. And because of reading this book and working my way through books of the Bible I read the whole Bible. I reckon I've read the whole Bible a number of times now, and this book inspired me to do it. That's pretty influential I'd say.


And they are my five. 3 out of 5 of these books I got from my sister. That's pretty cool. Thanks Jo. You changed my life.

What are your five? Or if the Bible is not a most influential book in your life, what are your six?

11/05/2009 09:21:00 pm

Skins

Posted by Tom French |

Skins.jpg

I watched the first four episodes of Skins last night. I'd been thinking about watching the show for over a year, since some of the crew in my small group told me to watch it. They loved it.

I wasn't feeling overly excited about the show, I thought it might just be a depressing show about sex, drugs and teenagers, designed to shock and titillate rather than say anything worthwhile. I was prepared to not watch much.

But the show isn't half-bad. It's kinda like a naughties, TV series of Trainspotting but less depressing. Each episode focuses on one of the characters in the group. It's teenagers dealing with eating disorders, falling in love, dysfunctional families, making dumb decisions. Pretty typical teenage stuff, if not a bit heightened in frequency and density for television.

And while there is a lot of talk in the show about sex and drugs, they seem to be just aspects of the character's lives, rather than the focus of the stories, or just devices to get people to watch. The show doesn't feel exploitative or deliberately provocative at all.

What's really cool is that the show's writers have an average age of 21. So it's written by people who know what it's like to live the reality of these characters. The age of the writers does explain some of the humour and surreal characters that pop up through out the show. Every now and again it's gets a little HSC Drama. But it's never too much to be anything more than a mild distraction.

So I'm a fan. I'm not sure how quickly I'll work my way through the show but I reckon I'll at least get through the first season.

11/03/2009 11:05:00 am

Spread the News

Posted by Tom French |

Advocate Weight Loss.jpg

This shows why you should always pick up your Hornsby and Upper North Shore Advocate off your driveway quickly. After 5 weeks it becomes somewhat unreadable.

11/02/2009 01:54:00 pm

Shmick

Posted by Tom French |

The other thing that happened at work was that I noticed that all the cleaners were wearing pants, nice shirts and waistcoats (or should they be called wastecoats, heh heh). I mentioned this to one of the other ushers and he agreed that the cleaners looked good. Better than us in fact. I want to wear a waistcoat.

When one of the cleaners walked past we told him he looked good in his fancy clothes.

I said "You're looking better than us, we should swap jobs."

As soon as I'd said it I felt bad because I realised that I was implying that because we were ushers we should look better than the cleaners. I don't really think there should be class distinctions between jobs, especially in the same work place.

So I tried to make up for my rudeness by telling the guy that he looked good. I hope he wasn't too offended.

I hope we ushers get waistcoats.

11/01/2009 10:05:00 pm

How to be a Good Salesperson

Posted by Tom French |

I worked yesterday ushering at a conference. It was a conference for sales people of a big brand, pyramid scheme. It wasn't all that interesting. Most of the talk was about how if you do the right thing in the company you can retire within a few years.

There was one person telling people how to be good at sales. He said most people were bad because they were worried about what other people thought of them. Like if I push my crappy product on you, you'll probably think I'm a tool. He didn't put it quite like that, but that was the implication. In fact the speakers often mentioned the fact that people tend to dislike the sales people of this brand. It was a source of pride that people dislike them. Kinda like when Christians get together and say "The world will hate us, but we have the truth. Rah rah rah!"

Anyway, the speaker was saying, to be a good sales person you have to not worry about what people think of you. People don't think about you as much as you think they do. He said "I want you to ask yourself, how many times today have you thought about your spouse? Your children? Your best friend? Your friends? Your neighbours? Your acquaintances? Not once. You haven't thought about them at all, because you're too busy thinking about yourself. And in fact they haven't thought about you because they're too busy thinking about themselves. People are essentially selfish. It's alright that's just how we are."

His application for this enlightening piece of information was that you should be as brash as you want in selling stuff, because no-body is thinking about you, so don't worry about what people think of you.

It was rather inspiring stuff.

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