Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Good Business

Work is sending Thor to Santa Barbara and lucky me, I get to tag along! (ooh, reminds me of those Girl Scout cookies!) It's a funny thing. Thor is very much the introvert. He's not much on sports - well, he likes to watch different games , but he's not like most men who die if they miss this or that or even see them at all. His main interest is without a doubt within the four walls of our home. He's happy to just hang out. He doesn't need to get in on the conversation or rebuild something all the time (he can leave that to S'mee). He likes long drives and his family. He really hates getting in front of a crowd and during his stint in the Bishopric he was literally physically ill every weekend just thinking about how he had to sit in front of the congregation for an hour and a half. Poor guy.

He likes to refer to his current career as being a Bishop for his company. He, like most Bishop's feel like their congregation is more like their family. Thor has a family of about 650+ families. He has higher ups he still needs to have a P.P.I. (profession-al personal interview) with, he needs to keep the missionary work going (always recruiting new personnel), tithing, welfare, budgets, etc. (he is C.F.O. and C.E.O. , and the fiduciary on several committees). He over sees contracts and guidelines and makes sure everyone is acting accordingly (Bishop's counsel) and, at times, he needs to excommunicate folks (everyone needs to follow the law, no exceptions). He offers counsel and extends professional help to those who may require more than his listening ear and good intentions. He has "ward counsel" (all leadership invited) and "ward socials" (all employees and sometimes their families invited). He is steward over "auxiliaries" (different departments). He's pretty booked.

Part of his job is keeping up with laws, policies, legislature, domestic and international working conditions and attending different government counsels and functions. This is the part of his job he regrets the most. He's not a fan of elbow rubbing and name dropping. He has met and conversed with his share of high government officials, but you'd never know it from him! Part of his job is also learning all that he can about pensions, safety, new codes, laws and regulations for California. That, and whatever he can do to keep everything in his jurisdiction legal and functioning at top performance and profit for both labour and management. He has to be bi-partisan, middle of the road, and be able to see things from both ends so that he can be fair, but mostly trusted, by both ends. He does a lot of arbitration as well.

He still gets physically ill. Mostly when he sees cuts in health and welfare coming or when he has to explain to retirees that once again, their costs are going up. He really cares about the families in his stewardship. When the majority of folks vote to increase the co-pay for E.R. visits and other health appointments, prescription drug costs, catastrophic illness, and long term health care, Thor thinks back to when we were a young family of 7. Five children going to the doctor adds up. Even as low as $5.00 per co-pay adds up- $25.00 just to walk through the door. Add another $5.00 co-pay for prescriptions and you have just taken $50.00 out of the family budget for that week. Most co-pay are higher than $5.00.

It's interesting. I have plenty of people who presume that because of what he does and who he associates with that Thor is making the big bucks. His wages are determined by the number of employees within his jurisdiction. He has the largest area in the U.S. but one of the smallest populations in the work force. So our numbers are very small. That's o.k. He knows each employee (by face, name, and circumstance) and many of their family members. In a way it makes his job very hard.

When Thor goes away to D.C., Santa Barbara, or Timbuktu you can bet he'll be the one guy who hits every session instead of the golf course. He there for his family. For him it's not just business, it's personal.

add to sk*rt

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