Friday, September 30, 2005

Things have improved quite a bit on the job front. It has been fun having friends and family come to visit (though I can't sit and chat like I'd rather do). This week, my mom, brother, nephew, and friends Amy and Francine all came by!! Still not happy about working almost everyday this week, but I am finally getting the "hang" of the register!

Okay, I guess I should confess that I have had a few "incidents" while I am adjusting.
Thursday, while speedily filling orders in the bakery, I was putting a bagel in the toaster (as I have done hundreds of times by now). The toaster oven has a rack that slowly moves toward the back of the toaster and then deposits the bagel on the bottom. Pretty simple. Slice bagel, open carefully with baking paper then place in toaster flat.

WELL, this time something went terribly wrong.

See the thin baking paper that is suppose to protect the customers from my "germs", decided to inflame before my eyes!!! Suddenly, I was holding a flaming paper in my hand and my only reaction was to DROP IT IN THE TRASH! Thankfully, my brain was still half working and I heard the customer say "Don't put it in the garbage!" so I quickly took the metal tongs and lifted the burning trash out and stomped the whole thing frantically. After all the black ashed settled, I breathed a sigh of relief and somehow was able to retrieve the bagel which had mean while been toasting nicely in the toaster.

Thankfully, there were no managers in sight!

Later, another employee assured me I was not the first person to have something catch on fire, nor the first to throw it in the garbage. I was, however, the first person to take it OUT of the garbage and stomp it out!

I guess I felt a little better afterwards.

Just keep the toaster away from me!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Planet Bread

This past week I have ventured back into the grueling world of "work". After Todd and I discussed the reality that I needed to return to work, my only comment was "i do not want to work with food". In my search for the "perfect" job, however, I was left with only one option.

Yep, FOOD.

A woman by the name of Brenda manages the Panera Bread in our local mall and told me she could fulfill the hour restraints I requested. So, last Monday I went into Lakeside Mall, turned in my application and had my "orientation" to learn the "facinating career choice" I had made. Tuesday night, I was sent to Planet Bread in Rochester, the required training night that all Panera employees must attend. I listen for 3 1/2 hours how Panera got its name ("pan-era- the era of the bread pan"). I learned how great working for Panera is and that their goal is "a loaf of bread in every arm".
As soon as I arrived at Planet Bread I felt like a huge outsider. First of all, I was told to wear the "uniform" (polo shirt, khaki pants) and since I was given my Panera hat, arrived wearing that as well. Apparently, the HAT was not a requirement and right away I felt like a huge "dork". All of the future employees looked up at me as I arrived and from the strange look on their young faces, it was obvious I was not only the oldest, but classified early on as "not cool". Withstanding the extreme peer pressure to remove the HAT in order to blend in a little, I swallowed my pride, reminded myself that although I am mistaken for a teen all the time, I am an ADULT and answered each question with every ounce of courage I could pretend to have. By the end of the night, I had baked bread, ate some great food and actually made a "friend".

But... that was only the beginnning.

Wednesday, I went into Panera dressed in my polo shirt, khaki pants and HELD my Panera cap until inside the mall. After receiving an hours worth of reading (how to's of cleaning the dining room of all things), I put on the classy apron and began to trail after the trainer as she gave me the dining room "tour". Brenda gave me a test, to which I must brag that I received 100%, then I got the chance to try out a few exercises on the register. "Not so bad" I thought and went home exhausted but satisfied I had passed my first day at work.

Thursday was a true test of my sanity. I was allowed to practice on the register for an hour and then as soon as the lunch hour rush came, was actually given my own register! AHHHHH! I tried to hide the panick and very ungracefully made it through until break time. Now, for those of you who are saying "Kim, its a register! How can it be that hard?", obviously you have never worked with FOOD. You see, it would be much easier to grab a purchase, scan it and take their money. However, when you are working the lunch rush at a restaurant in the mall, you have to deal with something like this,

"Ummm. I'd like the Turkey Bacon Bravo sandwich with brocolli cheddar soup. Oh and on the sandwich I'd like no onion, light mayo, horseradish on the side, add extra tomatoes, change the bread to tomato basil, no chips , two pickles and a frozen cappicino icee (which I have to make myself). Can you actually make that the Take two instead? I can't really eat a whole sandwich"

"Ok,..." (I am scrambling to void the entire transaction and have to start OVER because the customer now wants a take-two instead of a regular sand and soup) " You wanted what kind of bread with that?"

You can imagine the nightmare that has haunted me since.

Saturday morning I was actually MORE anxious knowing the stress and pressure I was going to have to endure on the weekend.

So, needless to say I have entered a world that has not greeted me kindly. Even though I am thankful that I am beginning to learn all the steps in the touch screen register, I hate having to learn a new thing that I truly have no pride in. I wish I did, and maybe it will come in time, I don't know.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

New perspective in the fog.

Here in MI we can get pretty intense fog. Thick, grey clouds that sink down so low that you are unable to see what dangers lie ahead. No matter what kind of head lights you have or how slow you drive, your vision is limited to the small scope of what it wishes to reveal. It can be very frightening out in weather such as this. Your imagination can start to run wild because the possibilites seem endless as to what is truly behind the grey mask.
I find myself in this blinding numb fog as we enter each new turn in this journey. I can only seem to get a month or so ahead and than the blinders come on and I am wandering around with only my faith to guide me. How much more I have had to depend on my Father to take my hand and lead me. I am frightened but strangly at peace knowing that He can see in the faint light.

It has been a few weeks since our disappointing news. Honestly, after a day or so the sadness faded but the questions such as "why" still filled my mind. At this moment, I feel numb. I know that all the hoping and planning cannot make God's plan come to pass. I've come to the acceptance that I will not be able to see more than each month at a time. Still, I am anxious to get past all of this and finally be able to settle down in the place God has picked for us.

Friday, September 09, 2005

A word of encouragement

"Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as adversity has done. Out of pain and problems have come the sweetest songs, the most poignant poems, the most gripping stories.
Out of suffering and tears have come the greatest spirits and the most blessed lives."
Billy Graham

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

God said "no"

Tonight, thirty minutes before we had to be up at the school for open house we got "the call". As soon as Todd began listening and I heard silence for a very long time I knew.
Yep, God said "no".
I have tried to believe that I would be at peace with whatever decision the church made because after all, we asked God to shut the doors. However, at the moment I had the guts to enter the room where Todd sat still conversing with the pastor from TX and I saw his sad, somber face, I didn't care about God's will. I only cared about our will. The fact that we loved the people and ministry there. The cheap houses and great schools, the closeness to my grandparents.That all clouded my mind instead. Honestly, I feel so shocked. I really don't care about the jobs in AZ or IN. I wanted Todd to get this one. I wanted to plan our trip down there, organize the move, pick out a great house. I wanted to give my kids time to settle into the new school before too much of the semester had passed. I am so tired of being unable to make long term plans. I am tired of not knowing whether we will need winter coats, or where we will spend Christmas. I am tired of knowing that we can not make all the bills and facing the reality that I will have to get a job outside of the home in addition to the ones I am already doing. I am just plain worn out. Tired and depressed.

I need to know God has an open door planned. That the church He has selected for us is better than we can imagine. I am becoming afraid that the doors will not stop closing. I need to regain the hope that I thought I was so secure in. God's will. Not mine or Todd's or another church's.


Once again I need the strength to gather myself off of the floor, dry my fountain of tears and wait on the One who knows and sees all. And most of all cares.

And so we follow Him.