New Blog!

Until I figure out how to do website forwarding, I have moved my blog over to www.travisweger.net

Go check it out!

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Who Doesn’t Want a Monkey in the Office

Ok, very random – but I work at an advertising agency in San Diego, and we are having a competition between the local agencies:

Whoever can get the most likes on a picture holding the Addy (an advertising award) gets a petting zoo in the office. If you have Instagram, please click and like this photo.

/rant

http://instagram.com/p/UzYZx8StXy/

 

This is the photo of myself epically standing in steam

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 4.04.45 PM

Remembering a Friend

How do you measure someones life? Is it by self improvement, or is it by the change you make in others’ lives? For most, just having positive self improvement is a milestone, but making a change in others lives is an accomplishment that can resonate farther than anything else. Chuck Cook was not only one to make a drastic¬†improvement in his life, but reached into others’ lives and helped improve theirs as well.

I first met Chuck during our orientation days at the University of San Diego. Being that USD is a “traditional” school, students ages range mostly 18-22 years old; it is very rare to see anyone past their mid 20’s. Myself, being 28 at the time when I transferred to USD, and Chuck being 31, we met because we had the “hey, you don’t look like you just graduated high school” look from across the room. We immediately became friends and stuck together throughout the rest of our time at USD.

Being non-traditional students, transfers, and living off-campus gave us a huge disadvantage for meeting and relating to students, so we both wanted to be as involved as possible. Chuck was the only person that I knew that that was involved in more clubs and organizations than I was, and had this uncanny ability to balance all of it. Granted, anyone that knew him knows that he would run around as this big stress ball, but that was his way of balancing all of it, and damn was he good at it.

While at USD, Chuck served as a mentor for a lot of the younger students and helped them in more ways imaginable. We were both in unique situations being undergraduates later in our lives, being able to work with and become friends with people 10-15 years younger than us. He would serve as a mentor, teacher, counselor, and most importantly, friend, to everyone he knew and worked with. He improved lives, and for that will forever be remembered.

Chuck was not only an inspiration because of the change that he made to others while at USD, but also because of the change in his personal life. I am not going to go into great detail about his amazing transition, but just know that he made a complete 180 for the absolute best. Not everyone follows the traditional path of college right out of high school, but for him to come back to college in his 30’s was a major success. He not only went back to school and graduated with a B.S. in Accounting, but got a job at KPMG, one of the best accounting firms in the nation. I can not even begin to explain the major success story that Chuck is, but just know that it is hands down one of the most motivating stories that I have ever witnessed.

Another way that Chuck influenced me personally was the introduction to the LGBT community. While serving in the military, I had friends that were gay, but never knew anyone that could openly talk about it. I can say that Chuck opened my eyes to the community and shared with me, not only the lifestyle, but the struggles of everyday life. I was honored to have such a close friend that was able to openly talk about it, and help me understand the LGBT community.

I know that if Chuck could have lived longer, he could have made an impact on so many other lives, as he has mine, but I also know that his story and memory will forever live on and help others in their lives as well. Rest in peace, Chuck: you were an amazing individual.

The Power of Philanthropy

Giving back has to be one of the most rewarding things I have been able to do in my life. I feel very lucky for all that I have accomplished over the years, and I attribute a lot of it to others being there for me along the way. Because of people like this, it makes me want to try harder to help out others on their journey throughout life as well.

No one can ever make it through their life without the assistance of others, and now that I am in my current position, I want to be the person that is helping others to exceed as well. A lot of people that I know don’t want to give back because they think it will cost too much; philanthropy can be more than giving someone something, it can be as simple as an attitude change.

One of the downsides of the military is that life is tough, and a lot of people get treated poorly as they come up through the ranks. When people get to the management , they tend to treat others the way that they were treated along the way. One of the things I told myself that I would never do when I got to a management level is to treat people poorly, but that I would be the buffer zone and try to break the stigma of bad behavior. I see my willingness to treat them better as a way of giving back to them, for the great work that they do for me. This has allowed me to excel at my job, not only in the military, but in my civilian life as well.

Philanthropy can be in form of other things as well. For instance, I created a little goodie-bag full of granola bars, chapstick and hygiene items. I also wrote a note in it, saying “keep your head up, people care about you.” I handed it off to the homeless man in the wheelchair along my drive home, the look on his face gave a real sense of satisfaction, and I know I made a difference in his day.

All it takes is a moment of your time, and you will make a difference in someones life, and they will remember it forever.

Social Media and Generations

I was talking with a colleague the other day about the differences in generations, and introduction into the world of social media. I am 29 years old, and in my lifetime I have seen the adaptation of home computers, video games enter the main stream, the invention of email and the internet, starting of text messaging and the integration of social networking. I believe that social networking is on par with the greatest advances in the past 30 years because of the way it has shaped how we communicate.

Being from the generation that didn’t start off computer mediated communication, I was able to go about my childhood spending a lot of time outdoors, and if I did spend time in front of a screen, it was playing split-screen Nintendo on a television. As much as I classify myself as a nerd, I still pride myself in my personal skills; speaking well in front of people has always been one of my strong points. As we get deeper and deeper into computer mediated communication, I notice that a lot of people are being more passive aggressive with their speaking tones, even waiting until they are away from someone to ask them something via social media or text. Are people becoming less personable and relying on text to get their message across without fear of face to face confrontation? From my experiences, I believe so.

Finding people from this generation is the best way to gear your social media team and we hold the best of both worlds: we are old enough to remember how to effectively communicate face to face, but young enough to see the implementation of social media and know how to use it. We are not too old to understand how the younger people think, and are not too young to know how life was before way things are today.

Mint

The difference between feeling a connection with something, or not, is huge; the same applies to animal. Since I was a child, I have always enjoyed the company of animals, but have never labeled myself as an eccentric animal lover. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy their company, and have had dogs all my life, but have never really understood or enjoyed the company of a cat.

Right after I got off active duty with the Navy, I moved in with my current roommate. He had a cat. Not that it was a problem, I just had always labeled myself as a dog person. The old adage says that you can’t judge someone until you live with them; I would say the same goes with animals. I try my best not to generalize, but the cat that I live with has changed my perspective on animals.

You have to meet this cat to really see the full effect of what she is like; she is a person, reincarnated as a dog, reincarnated as a cat. It is an interesting mixture, but she fully encompasses all three.

Her name is Mint; she would lay on you and be your best friend for life.