Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Bread Bash

This past Sunday I had to attend my first ever Panera Bread Bash. The only thing I knew to expect was that we would all learn the new products coming out and it was mandatory. It was great to arrive and see most of the staff in everyday clothes. In uniforms, everyone looks the same and we never have the opportunity to see each other as individuals. The first person I saw, was Ryan, a young college age guy who works with me. Ryan is not a large guy, actually he's pretty small. He is very sweet and actually reminds me of my brother. As I glanced at him moving around table, I was very surprised to see his ensemble. He was wearing black baggy pants with chains and without a hat, is...well... balding.

When I was there for a few minutes, I was greeted with a huge hug and a very loud "KIM!". When I turned around, I recognized the voice as Roxanne. Roxanne was in our previous youth group and works one evening a week at Panera. We talked for a while and then a while later she turned to me and said,

Roxanne "What are you doing here?"
Me (laughing) "I work here!"
Roxanne "You do?!"
Me "YEAH! For over two months now!"
Roxanne "OH MY GOSH!"

Apparently the other teens who work at Panera (also from our former youth group) failed to inform her of this information. She thought I was just visiting the manager, Brenda!

The meeting began with an entire thankgiving meal. They even had pumpkin pie and small plastic wine glasses to fill with sparkling cider to complete the look. The teens (who made up most of the employees) seemed to really enjoy the cider part. :) After stuffing ourselves, they took time to review policy and honor employees of the month. I received two pins for completing my certification tests (I won't mention it took me three times to pass the register test!). The meeting was almost over when they began to give the "Rising star" awards. Our assistant manager, Maria, began to speak about an employee in Spanish. She said wonderfully kinds words about Ana, who blushed scarlett and smiled from ear to ear. Ana (who speaks only a small amount of English) works in the back of the house, and gets tasks done at rocket speed. After the framed award was given to her, she went over and hugged about five or six people! It was so cute!

The bread bash turned out to be really enjoyable and it made me realize what a relational company Panera is. They really care about their employees and for the first time, I felt great about my job.

Of course, recieving a "rising star' award myself didn't help either!!


At 6:19 PM, Blogger Sonflowergurl said...

I'm so glad you're enjoying your job!

Still praying for you guys!

At 12:06 AM, Blogger Tony Myles said...

I have to admit that on some level the hat thing appealed to me, too, with a developing bald spot on the top of my head.

Then again... I can't seem to get a part-time job anyway, so... :)

At 2:47 AM, Blogger Frau Spotz said...

I am so glad that you have been able to find joy in your work!!! No matter what job you are doing, if you can find joy in doing it, it is a good job!! I've had jobs that pay a lot more than what I am making right now, but there was no joy in it, and I hated it. This job, though it pays less, offers me small joys that (sometimes) make it worth it.

And, if I read correctly, you received a Rising Star award...Congratulations!!!!!

At 10:32 AM, Blogger The Thief said...

I wonder what our church might look like if we had awards nights for all the volunteer workers like that... the relational thing is really key.

And there is no shame in balding. None whatsoever.


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