Friday, June 6, 2014

I’ve got job security. And you do, too.

If you’re a mom, you’re probably going to relate to what I have to say. And if you don’t have children, stick around because I’m going to bring you into the fold in a minute…

As the Conover household's Director of Operations, I love my job but wholeheartedly admit to bitching and moaning about the incessant demands:

I'm the last one in bed at night, yet the first one up in the morning; I don't get sick days; and you already know my strong disdain for laundry. And don’t even get me started about the fact that if I even so much as attempt to write a blog post in the presence of both children, my son commences to climbing on me like a human jungle gym, and my daughter suddenly needs to be nursed.

But guess what? For all of my bellyaching and bemoaning, I know I’ve got staying power. My children are not going to wake up one morning and say, “You know what? Your services are no longer needed here, mom. So, thanks, but, you’ve just been released.”

Nope. Like me or not – and I’d like to believe that, for the most part, they like me – mama isn’t going anywhere.

But the same can’t be said for an NFL football player.

Like any position in the private sector, job security is shaky, at best, and playing professional football is no different. But I think people would be surprised to know the alarming rate at which NFL players have to look over their shoulders – and on a daily basis, no less – because threats abound.

A few weeks ago, the NFL hosted its annual draft. There were cheers, and hugs, and high-fives all around by the draftees and their families, because it was assumed that after said player had jumped the tremendous hurdle of getting drafted, it will all be smooth sailing from there. The player had managed to beat tremendous odds, after all: While there are hundreds of college football teams, there are only 32 NFL teams; and while a college team is comprised of 85 scholarship players and an unlimited number of walk-ons, the absolute total number of players on an NFL team is only 53.

But at the end of the draft, the average NFL team has about 85 players on its roster.

You do the math: Players will be cut at training camp – before the season even begins.

And even if a player manages to make it through camp, the aforementioned threats are large, looming, and, frankly, never-ending. Let’s pretend for a moment you are an NFL player. Let me break down why you should be afraid. Very afraid:

The Work-out Threat: A draft is the most popular means an NFL team obtains players, but it is far from the only means. Team personnel “work-out” (read: audition) players all year round for the purpose of having another player on speed-dial in case you become injured.

The Free Agent Threat: Let’s say a player comes to the end of his contract, yet is still able-bodied and ready to play. He now becomes a free agent, which means he is free to become signed by any team, at any time. And he could be coming to your team to take your spot.

The New Coach Threat: What if a team gets a new head coach? He is likely to bring with him new ideas, new philosophies, and, sometimes, the recommendation that the team sign players from his previous team.

The Injury Threat: This scenario is sure to make your head spin: An NFL team typically employs six wide receivers. Let’s say one gets hurt, and the remaining five are not 100%. So that means it is imperative that your team replace the one that is injured. But your team is still employing the injured guy – even though he isn’t playing at the moment, and if your team obtains his replacement, then the team be at 54 players when they can only have 53 on the roster. What happens now? Team personnel start sniffing around in other areas of your team, and they find that they are heavy in the offensive lineman department – the position you play: the team only needs eight linemen, but they currently have nine. So they hand you your walking papers. This game of musical chairs happens. All. The. Time. 

The Upgrade Threat: Let’s say you drive a 2010 BMW. It runs fine, you still love it, and you are happy with it…but you are presented with the opportunity to buy a 2014 BMW – for less. Why wouldn’t you want a younger, shinier version of the car you’ve already got? NFL scouts are no different.

The bottom line is this: While this is the day-to-day reality of playing in the NFL, these are factors that, thankfully, I needn’t worry about. I’ve got my position as Mama on lock. And even if you’re not a mother, you may enjoy the same security – perhaps you just haven’t looked at your situation from the proper perspective. Whether you are a daughter, sister, caregiver, or the truest friend someone may have, there is a certain comfort in knowing that you are needed, that you are wanted, that things will fall apart without you, and, ultimately, that you make all the difference.

There is no feeling in the world akin to the validation that you are not only a first-round draft choice, you are the only draft choice.

I will remind myself of this, of course, at 3:18 a.m. when my daughter gets up for her first of three middle-of-the-night feedings, or when my son crashes my already too-short shower by abruptly pelting me with his Little People while proclaiming that it is “bathy time” for them, too.


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26 comments:

  1. And as a mom you never retire cause shortly after everyone grows up and moves out the grandbabies start arriving! It is life long job security!

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    1. Whoa, Susie! No! You can't hit me with grandbabies first thing in the morning, girlfriend! I haven't even had my coffee yet! Besides: You are too young -- and waaay too young looking -- to be a grandma.

      But I feel you 100% on our job security...

      I love your comments, Susie; have a superb weekend.

      xo

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    2. Courtney, my love I hopefully will always be young looking. I will have my never ending supply of retin a at my side as I nip, tuck, and tweak what needs to be done! With my oldest being 25 my grandma days are closer than yours for sure. I already know I want to be called GG (Gorgeous Grandma)!!

      Have a beautiful weekend, my friend!

      xxo

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    3. "GG." Of course, Susie! That is brilliant. And very fitting, my friend.

      You enjoy your weekend as well!

      xo

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  2. This post rocks! I am sharing it everywhere! I had never thought of my job as a mom in this way, but it's so true. My kids are never getting rid of me!

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    1. Thank you SO MUCH for your comment and support, Ida. Like many of my blog posts, I wasn't sure how it would be received, but it was inspired by a chat Scott and I had one morning over breakfast a few days after the draft...

      It got me to thinking -- or comparing, I should say -- professional football and motherhood.

      Really, I truly appreciate your comment. Enjoy your weekend.

      xo

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  3. Ufta, my personality type would not deal well with so much uncertainty. Part of me wants to make a blithe reference to the unpredictability of childraising and how quickly that time goes... but I find myself in a serious mood this morning, so I won't. :)

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    1. "Serious mood." Is it one of those days? (I'm just reading through the lines with regard to your comment...)

      On another note, you've got me extremely curious about this Ufta personality type, as I've never heard about this before. But, for some reason, it reminds me of the 7 chakras, which I've studied in depth. (As a yoga instructor, I actually used to teach classes designed to ignite certain chakras...) Anyhow, when I did a search for "Ufta personality type," this was the first page that came up:
      http://www.personalitypage.com/high-level.html
      but it didn't mention Ufta. Please shoot me an e-mail about this when you have time!

      But I will agree with you wholeheartedly that signing up for that much uncertainty is not for everyone.

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    2. *laugh * It's been one of those weeks... I'm on a roller coaster of happy one moment and ready to cry the next - and I wish that was just an expression and not the honest truth. :P It shouldn't be SAD, not this time of year, so I'm left with pinning it on what my pediatrician called the "baby crazies," and I have a blog post that I'm scared to post about it... not so much for fear of exposing myself as that I'm afraid of offending other people I know. :P

      It's funny that that page came up! I'm either an INFP or an INTP... I always forget which but I'm pretty sure it's the first. I'm a planner... I like to have everything planned out and detailed and when things deviate... oh man. My karmic lesson to learn this life is to throw myself into uncertainty and be okay with it. To me that is totally scary!

      I admire people (like your husband) who can do what they love and accept that level of crazy change possibility. I was trying to think of a clever way to compare how fast kids grow and how you never know what you're going to be dealing with next (such as an overnight refusal to poop in the potty!) to the draft, in jest, of course... but I just wasn't able to make that leap. :)

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    3. Hugs to you, Dakota. I can relate: An inability to accept change is something I grapple with often, too. (But doesn't everyone? I mean, at least to some degree?)

      Don't be so hard on yourself. Hell, we get enough crap thrown at us from life in general without us being hard on ourselves, too. Give yourself some credit (and mercy), really...

      With regard to your first paragraph, hang in there...

      xo

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  4. I love this post! I know a guy who was drafted to Miami Dolphins and during training camp he got hurt and then cut. Football is truly cut throat!

    A mom's job is never job, we work 24/7! Enjoy your weekend Courtney!

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    1. "Football is truly cut throat!" You can say that again.

      "A mom's job is never job." You can also say that one again...but bold it, italicize it, and underline it! lol

      Thank you for stopping by -- and commenting. I SO appreciate it, Louida!

      You enjoy your weekend, as well.

      xo

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  5. You really do hate laundry huh? I have a little secret...on nights I work HEAT games...are awesome-ly fantastic nanny does laundry for us. It's a lifesaver!

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    1. Wow, why didn't *I* think of that!?! LOL

      But can I let you in a little secret about me: I'm not a fan of having "help" hanging around my home. No thanks. I'd prefer to bitch and moan while continuing to hold down the fort on my own.

      But, then, if I had to work your hours outside the home, I might think differently...

      Thanks for commenting!

      (Let's Go LeBron! lol)

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  6. I'm glad that I have my mama job on lock too. I never knew how unstabable the NFL jobs are. I hope these guys always have a plan B.

    Sonya
    Saving Everyday With Sonya K

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    1. Happy Saturday, Sonya!

      That a was one of the reasons I did that post -- because people would be surprised to learn that the NFL is somewhat of a revolving door with little to no security.

      And with regard to the Plan B -- Scott was smart about it from the start in that he graduated college before getting drafted -- and then he went to culinary school after retiring from the NFL. (Furthermore, Scott was different in the sense that he walked away from the game on his own accord.)

      Many players don't go that route -- not because they are not capable, but because they don't want to think about the day when their career is going to come to an end. But that's precisely what they need to do because, chances, are, they will not have a say in the matter.

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  7. I never really thought of it that way, Courtney, but it makes absolute sense. I knew it wasn't smooth sailing and that things can change with a moment's notice, without any input from the player, which must be so frustrating. How many have backup plans, I wonder? I found you over at Coach Daddy's place. Have a great rest of your weekend!

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    1. Hi, Michelle! Welcome...and thank you for stopping by. (I'll be sure to return the visit later this evening...as right now, I am on Potty Training Super Watch, and, technically shouldn't even be on the computer now. lol)

      I venture to say most don't have back-up plans-- not because they are not capable or without options, because they do. The issue lies in never thinking that day will come for them, which I completely get. I mean, how hard must it be to do something virtually all of your life...and then one day you can't do it anymore? My husband got injured -- and then cut -- but was still given the opportunity to try out for another NFL team, but ultimately decided that his body had endured enough and walked away on his own accord, which many plays opt not to do.

      I appreciate your visit -- and your comment.

      Enjoy your Sunday.

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  8. Totally never thought of it this way but you are soooo right! I never really considered the intensity and emotions that must be involved in drafting, training camp, etc. Wow. That's tough stuff to navigate.

    Thanks for sharing. Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

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    1. Hi, Jennifer! Yes, it's a grind, for sure. And while it can be glamorous one minute, it can also, quite literally, go up in smoke the next.

      I so appreciate your visit -- and comment -- today!

      Wishing you a lovely day as well...

      xo

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  9. Wow! I've learned about much of this over the past few years from my husband and you know...you are so right! As moms our positions are secure outside of things so tragic like death or something but I don't want to think of that! I always think and wonder what will be the outcome of all the choosing and all with our favorite team, the COWBOYS! LOL. You just never know each given year who will be a great pick, who will take whose job, etc etc. Looking forward to hearing what happens and seeing it too. :) Thanks so much for sharing this post with us at the Creative Style Linkup!!

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    1. Hey, there, Brittnei! Yes, if there's one thing you can count on in the game of professional football, it is this: EVERYTHING is liable to change. My two cents? Just enjoy the game itself -- not matter who is playing, and don't hang your hat on any one scenario or player...

      Thank you so much, again, for commenting.

      xo

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  10. I loev this post. Mums do indeed rule the world and there is no pink slip for mums. That's a job I would like to have one day. Until then, aunties come in a close second. :-)

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    1. Hey, there! Thanks for commenting...

      Thank you SO MUCH for your kind words. I tend to agree with you, for obvious reasons. ;-)

      I also agree with you on the virtues of a wonderful Aunt: The world needs more of them.

      xo

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  11. My husband isn't an athlete, but as an engineer, the company goes through rounds of unexpected layoffs all the time. You don't know it's coming, but when it does, it's hundreds of people at a time. We often cover whether I can and should go back to work at the drop of a dime, and I'm looking forward to the time when I'm NEEDED to go back, but for now, I'm happy being home. Thanks for sharing with Creative Style

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    1. Hi, April. Thanks so, SO much for sharing this comment. And I also know of what you speak...

      We live a stone's throw away from Ford World Headquarters, and, subsequently, several Ford assembly plants where a ton of engineers work their tails off to produce cars that the world will end up driving. And although it has seems to have leveled off, there was a time when it seemed like every time we turned around, engineers -- the white collar positions -- were disappearing.

      Job security: No one has it.

      Except us. ;-)

      Thanks, again, for stopping by.

      xo

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