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How do you seize the moment?

Dec 01, 2011 / Human ResourcesJust Me / Trackback

Through affil­i­a­tion with diver­sity ini­tia­tives in my com­mu­nity in Wilkes-Barre PA, I was afforded the oppor­tu­nity to obtain some tick­ets to attend the President’s Amer­i­can Jobs Act talk yes­ter­day in Scran­ton. I quickly requested enough tick­ets for my col­leagues from The Arc of Luzerne County and The Arc of PA who work out of the office.

Among other things, we advo­cate for and have a huge inter­est in employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties. We are work­ing to develop a two-year work readi­ness pro­gram for peo­ple with intel­lec­tual and devel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties and autism. In this econ­omy, when it’s often dif­fi­cult for fully abled peo­ple to find mean­ing­ful suit­able employ­ment, the oppor­tu­ni­ties for those who may need spe­cial sup­ports in the work­place remain slim. It was impor­tant to be there.

As a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of NEPA Vet­er­ans Mul­ti­care Alliance, it was impor­tant to be there too, in sup­port of the freshly signed­Vet­er­ans Oppor­tu­nity to Work to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.

Have you ever been to see Pres­i­dent Obama speak? It’s an all day event full of antic­i­pa­tion, rules, traf­fic, park­ing, wait­ing and secu­rity, cul­mi­nat­ing in beau­ti­ful patri­otic music, the Pledge ofAl­l­e­giance, an unde­sired invo­ca­tion, intro­duc­tions and finally a 30 minute speech — full of pas­sion, impor­tant issues, con­ge­nial­ity, humor and the ask to urge your Con­gress­man to sign the Amer­i­can Jobs Act.

We were for­tu­nate to have tick­ets that put us in the front row.

With­out a doubt, the most urgent chal­lenge that we face right now is get­ting our econ­omy to grow faster and to cre­ate more jobs. we cant wait for an increas­ingly dys­func­tional Con­gress to do its job. Where they wont act, I will. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama

The night before when my dis­traught mom called to ask me if I knew what the Pres­i­dent did and then pro­ceeded to tell me he signed a bill that would re-enact horse slaugh­ter in the US — I said ‘Well, if I would get a chance to speak with him I would ask him about it because I have a hard time believ­ing he would do that.” I searched, found arti­cles in the media, felt con­fused and went to bed.

I ask what you would do with one minute — because as the Pres­i­dent hopped off the stage and made his way toward us to shake hands I con­tem­plated just say­ing nice to meet you Mr. Pres­i­dent — like every­one else seemed to be doing, com­ment­ing on one of the many job or econ­omy related things on my mind –or seiz­ing the moment com­pletely off topic and being ignored but keep­ing a promise I never actu­ally thought I would ever have a chance at. I went for seiz­ing the moment as he shook my hand with a con­ver­sa­tion some­thing like:

Thank you for pass­ing the Hire Heroes Act Mr. Pres­i­dent but I am very dis­ap­pointed you signed the bill to slaugh­ter horses.…

The what?

The bill you signed on Novem­ber 18 that enables horses to be slaugh­tered in the US.

I don’t know about that and I think I’m pretty good about know­ing what I sign.

Well, you did and it’s all over the media.

I’m going to to check that out, that doesn’t sound right.

OK, I’ll follow-up with you on that, thanks.

And he moved on…

And I’ll fol­low up because I don’t believe he real­ized that H.R. 2112’s bland lan­guage would indi­cate to any­one it was­re­ally about horse pro­cess­ing a.k.a. horse slaugh­ter.

In any event, I was pleased to have the oppor­tu­nity to seize the moment by voic­ing my con­cern right to the top.

I’ll let you know the result of the follow-up.

P.S. Con­gress needs to pass the Jobs Act. Call your Con­gress­man today and insist.… there isn’t a moment to lose.



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