Figure Out What's Next

Left to Fend for Myself

career change coaching dennis blank Sep 20, 2010

by Dennis Blank

photo via pixabay

d'blank is on his own while Coach Lou tours Europe

Dear Readers: As regular readers may know, Coach Lou has taken off for a leisurely tour of Europe with her husband, Coach Andy, leaving poor me here to stew in my own juices while she drinks cappuccino and looks at old paintings. Really. Some people are just so self-absorbed!

Well, that's just a little joke in case you weren't sure. Nobody deserves a nice trip more than my pal Coach Lou, but I surely will miss her. I must tell you that having a personal coach to help me think through the question of what to do with the rest of my life has been a tremendous help; if you've never tried it I can heartily recommend it. Of course they aren't all as wise as Lou. I'll miss her sage advice and so will you, since we're going to take a few weeks off until she returns. I'll be sure to post, as usual, of the Facebook Life 3.0 page at that time.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share one final road trip story, which I found rather heartening. I drove more than 7000 miles between May 15 and September 15, all without incident until my right rear tire blew out when I was about 200 miles from my Florida home base last Sunday. I was on a two lane country road. There was no real shoulder, so I pulled into the grass and called for assistance. It was late afternoon, 94 degrees and very humid. There were very threatening thunderheads on the horizon. There wasn't a building in site - hadn't been for miles. I leaned against the completely packed truck of my car and waited for the service truck, hoping he arrived before the rain, which would force me into the Dutch oven that my sedan was quickly becoming.

It took him about 45 minutes to get there - pretty good given the remoteness of my position. In the time I waited, four separate cars stopped to ask me if I needed help. What's more, a Hollywood casting director wouldn't have picked a more interesting mix of people. The first car, a late model, upscale SUV held a 60-ish couple who looked like they were on their way to a church social. The second was a 10 year-old pickup driven by a young Hispanic man who spoke broken English and offered to change the tire for me. The third was a minivan so bland it could have been any age. It held a couple closer to 80 than 70. The wife was driving and she actually made a U-turn to see if I needed anything. Finally, an 80's era Firebird pulled up, driven by young white man wearing a backwards ball cap, sleeveless tee-shirt and grimy blue jeans. If you'd seen him I suspect the label that would come to mind would have been either "red neck" or "white trash." I confess, with some shame, that's what I thought. He pointed out a path that leads through the woods to his house where I was welcome to wait for the truck if it started raining.

Sometimes the world seems like a cold place, but there are a great number of good people among us.

Your pal,


Coach Lou is a co-founder of Chain Reaction Partners, an executive coaching and leadership training consultancy in Boulder, Colorado.  d'blank is the author of The Daily Blank blog.


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