Friday, August 28, 2009

Isn't it Ironic?

Interesting story.

Today I was serving a table of eight and after I brought out the first round of drinks, I spilled a water on a gentlemen. It did not drench him or cause him to have to even leave his seat to clean up, but I did get it on his shirt. I was totally flustered and embarrassed and felt so bad. My manager was there right after it happened and he cleaned up the mess by telling the man that the restaurant would take care of his meal.

I pretty much avoided that man completely the rest of the meal. Definitly did not make eye contact. When it came time to do checks, my boss told me to just not give him a recepit at all. He took care of it.

The irnoy of the situation: The man wasn't outraged or anything, so he left me a ten dollar tip that would have covered his whole meal had he been required to pay. So I made ten dollars off of spilling water on a guest. I am not stupid enough to think that this will always be the case, but man...what luck. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Job.

So, I start my new job today...well, continue some on site training, but that's a start.

I will be working for the YMCA. Some of you may know that I worked for the Y for two years in college in Cincinnati, so I am excited to continue. The YMCA down here is a whole different story from those up north/midwest. They are very grounded in and focused on Christian principles, and as an employee you are taken such good care of.

I am hoping to move into a full time coordinator position within the next two months because it is expected to open up. I need to do a little work that proves that I am qualified.

We had our first meeting about YL Club planning on Monday. It was our group of Campaigner (Bible study) students who were interested in being an integral part of the club planning process. There were about 18 kids there who expressed interest. I am already starting to feel my first bouts of anxiety about leading at a brand new school. I am worried about girls liking me and worried about giving "enough" time to meeting people, especially in these beginning stages. I need to be reminded all the time that God is bigger than all of my worldly measurements of "enough."

Let's see, other than that life is same ol'. Still waiting tables joyfully and hanging out with my stellar roomates. We tye-dyed with our friend Jenna last night. It was awesome. White v-necks.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Funny Story From the Restaurant Biz

Okay. So I have been waitressing at a wood grilled steak restaurant for about 2.5 months now. It is called Firebirds and it is 100000 miles short of my dream job. That is all irrelevant to the following story, but I didn't want you people to think that because I am laughing at a story about work, that I like work. haha...

Anyway, about 4 weeks ago I no longer had to be the new girl at work because three new trainees started. One guy was named Clint, my childhood rottweiler's name, and he was...hmmh...overzealous about serving. While training he was often stepping right in front of his trainer to take over tables that were not his. He claimed to me during his 3rd day of training that he was a better server than about 75% of people who had been working there since the restaurant had opened a year ago. Really? Funny he says that because Justin, another guy I worked with, really hit the nail on the head when he described Clint like this: "You know, whenever something goes wrong and a manager is on the rampage, you can pretty much bet your entire earnings for the night on the fact that Clint is responsible." Amen, Justin.

So, Clint is just notorious for being brash, rude to females, and he ruins a good joke by repeating it every time he passes you back in the server alley. Even if it was someone else's joke. I hate it when people do that. When he first started working, a few different people asked him to pick up shifts for them and he very sarcastically, and with a laugh, would tell those people, "Yea, right."

Last week when the schedule came out Clint realized that he had forgotten to ask off for this coming Saturday night. He proceeds to approach me, and ask me if I work on Saturday. After I tell him yes, I think so, I work a double, he proceeds to ask me three more times. "Are you sure? You do? You do?" YES I KNOW MY OWN SCHEDULE. Now, in my defense, I really makea conscious effort to be above reproach at the restaurant. It is such a negative working environment for most that I try to be in a good mood and nice to people. I pray walking in there to exude Christ, but Clint pushes me to the edge.

After I tell him that I cannot work for him because I ALREADY WORK THAT NIGHT, he proceeds to tell me what he portrays as a sob story about having to miss the birthday celebration of his friend who is leaving for Iraq soon. Sorry, Charlie. Can't help you out. It's not like your mom is getting surgery. So, fast forward to today, a day before the Saturday that he is trying to get off. Clint approaches me AGAIN today to ask me if I work Saturday, and can I work for him. I politely (as I can) let him know that yes I am STILL scheduled to work on Saturday night and NO I cannot work for him. He double checks, and I about body check him to the face, politely. He proceeds to tell me that he needs someone to work for him because HIS MOM IS COMING INTO TOWN TO VISIT. Thats weird? I thought...seems Clint forgot that he already asked me to work for him.

I approach my friend Trish from WV who I work with and tell her this private joke, and she mentions that she picked up on it as well. She then waltzes over to Clint and asks him is he is mad that his mom is coming in town causing him to miss the big birthday bash for his friend who is going away to Iraq soon. His spilt second, quick thinking response: Oh, what are you talking about? Birthday...uh well that friend actually broke his leg so no more birthday party. Way to think on your feet chief. Next time you ask me to work for you, be more prepared with your excuse story.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Officially not on drugs

Passed my DRUG TEST. Woohoo. Had lots of nerves heading in there. But what a ridiculous 15 minute experience.

I got word today from the YMCA Human Resources Director that I would need to do my drug test within the next three days or else I would have to postpone my employment for an entire year. Needless to say, I went in this afternoon after work. When I get there a MAN takes me through these wooden, rickety swinging double doors and starts asking me some questions. We get to talking about my job at the YMCA, about Ohio, about my WV driver's license, even about college (since he went to Ohio U. like my parents).

He feels like an uncle at this point and I keep thinking he is going to hand me over to some nursing school student who gets stuck with the crap jobs...someone who is will point me in the direction of the bathroom with a plastic cup, and to whom I will only speak the word, "Here" when finished.

Surprise, the friendly man who has become an uncle to me is the administer-er of the drug test. Neglecting any sort of conversation transition, the man goes straight from talking about Cleveland snow and the hotness of Charlotte into handing me a plastic cup telling me I gotta have at least one ounce, and I can't flush the toilet or wash my hands after I am done. Thankfully he doesn't notice the embarrassment and shock on my face and points to the bathroom telling me that there is a "no running water" rule. I enter, do what needs to be done, and don't flush or wash my hands.

I have to HAND HIM MY PEE in front of this other young guy that works there just standing in the hallway. He sets it on the counter as if we are actually in some sterile professional environment, such as, oh, i don't know, a CLINIC. But, instead we are just standing in a dingy wooden hallway with chipping paint and a stack of plastic cups. He puts on ONE plastic glove, takes MY pee, and starts dipping different pieces of plastic in it while talking to me about the weather, again. This man has no shame. Thank God for that people. He proceeds to tell me that I passed and hopes to see me at the YMCA sometime since he attends the same one I will be working at. I refrain from making a joke about him recognizing me by the color of my pee and turn to leave, just in time to see him enter the bathroom that I had just left and flush my pee down the toilet. Enough said.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Moving on...over.

Welp...I am moving, again. :)

Yes, yes. The word gypsy has never carried so much weight in my life (despite the fact that it is the most ocmmonly used word in the Thomas family vocabulary). Tuesday night I went over to my friend Julia's house (Julia is the new Young Life intern here in Charlotte) to stay the night. Julia lives with one of the most gracious, loving and nurturing women I have met. Robin lives in a three bedroom townhome and Julia moved in there to live just about 3 weeks ago.

Anyway, When I got there on Tuesday night Robin called me into the kitchen and said that we needed to have a pow wow. I stood there confused with my pillow and toothbrush in hand ready to make a joke about how I was just going to leave a toothbrush there so that I wouldn't always have to remember to bring my own. Robin proceeds to tell me that God loves her and because he loves her he gave her a home. She was blessed by many a family when working for Young Life when given a place to live for free in order to do ministry.

She then proceeded to tell me that God was giving her the opportunity to offer her home to me as well. That she and Julia had talked, and wanted me to move in with them. Crazy people. I love crazy people. So...that's that. I moved some of my stuff over there today and will be there temporarily until I get better acclamated with the area around where I am working at the YMCA and the area around Ardrey Kell (AK) where I am leading Young Life.

Can you believe how GOOD God is?

Not to mention I get to wake up to some of the sweetest emails. ;)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

As promised...

Where do I even begin. Well, my computer is on its last leg battery wise, and I am at Caribou with no power cord, so I will do my best to start from the beginning (though this is more of a circle than a line start to finish).

I am currently back living with the Regional Director of Young Life for the Carolina's. He and his wife have been SO GRACIOUS to let me stay at there place at all, much less come back for more since I am still without a full time job or place to live. Each day I feel like I am a little closer to both. There is still some "up in the air" moments regarding housing and working for the YMCA, but some very hopeful prospects. In the meantime I am still working at the restaurant. I like the people I work with and it is becoming more routine once I arrive, but I still dread the hours leading up to going in to work. Working on that...being joyful always.

My personal (relationship) life has taken quite the turn and if you are interested I would be willing to share some more, but it is not exactly public blog material. Let's just say that I am happy, encouraged, challenged and being optimistic.

The past 3 weeks have been crazy packed with days off of work for visitors and trips. I was able to see Molly, my college roomie, in Hilton Head where I was visiting some other old/new friends. What a great time. Plus I am thinking Hilton Head might be a great new destination vacation for the Thomas/Sliman clans. Though no place will ever be Kiawah (RIP).

I am making friends. New ones. Great ones. And many of them. My friend Julia, who is a new intern for Young Life here, is the greatest. She lives very near to me and we have hung out and had sleepovers and had coffee and dinner and all the great things that great women do. She is 1000% Southern and offers many a good laugh and lesson for me regarding all things appropriate in the South.

God has ben teaching me a lot about His ability to BE. To be all. To be everything, and at the same time to be MORE. HE IS. I just need to keep remembering that anytime I start to worry about me, and myself, and I and Jaclyn....that HE IS. My shortcomings, my mess ups, my overcompensations...they pale in comparison to the mere fact that he lives in me and HE IS. So scratch all that other stuff.

I will start leading Young Life VERY soon. I am nervous and anxious and totally excited. This ministry really had a huge part in keeping me down here and my summer away from it has been my most fruitful time with the Lord yet. He has been preparing me (when I let him, because I am dumb sometimes), and I am ready to lean hard on Him through loving high school girls.

So...that is a lot of brief stuff for now. I will be better at this again. I promise.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Guest Blog: Charles G.

I am not giving you what I promised. I apologize in advance for that, but I am giving you something much better: A guest blog from my best friend from Xavier, Charles Galvin. Some of you might remember Charles' earlier guest spot blogs about his stand up comedy, so sit back and hang on. He never disappoints.

So it feels like forever ago since Jaclyn and I last saw each other, not counting a few attempts at Skype, which generally works better when you are not trying to pirate free Wi-Fi from your neighbors. In an effort to reconnect, Jaclyn reached out to me and begged that I do a guest blog. And by reached out and begged, I mean I was reading her blog one day, noticed that nothing substantive had been written in a while, asked her if I could do a post, and she obliged. For those of you who don’t know me very well, I apologize. You will probably want to go ahead and stop reading now, because not much of it will be about Jaclyn, partly because we’ve been apart for the whole summer, but also because I’m desperate for a moment in the spotlight of “I Rejoice”.

The past summer I took on the job of head coach for the Beckett Ridge Barracudas, a summer swim team that I’ve now coached for 5 years after swimming for 12 years. We achieved what some might consider successful results, winning our league championship for the 15th year in a row. It was a tremendous relief to not let the streak be snapped in my first year on the job, and while I have had many great accomplishments in my career, this summer saw the biggest one yet: convincing a 6 year old to swim a race without taking a breath.

Since the magic ended about a week ago, my life has been the whirlwind of adventures that most professional athletes/coaches experience in the off-season, or at least that’s what I imagine. Probably the best part about my job is that while most of the swimmers know I’m 22, it doesn’t ever seem to sink in. They still see me as though I am in High School, and frankly I love it. My best friends this summer have been RJ ( a fellow Xavier grad turned swim coach) and about a dozen boys ranging in age from 10 to 14. Before you raise your eyebrows and get all Billie-Jean on me, relax. I have been on vacation to visit my girlfriend Natalie in Boston, and can assure you that my relationship with these boys is purely to boost my ego and nothing else. There’s nothing like being able to relive that age, only this time around do everything I wish I’d done so that I’m the coolest kid at the pool.

I have also been on vacation to visit my grandparents in Vermont. These were some of the same grandparents that offered me some wisdom as to what I should do with my life at my graduation party:
Papa: Congratulations on graduating Charles, that’s a big deal. Now what exactly was it you majored in?
Me: English with a Business minor.
Papa: Ah-ha. You know what? Up in Vermont, they’re dying for people to fill out prescriptions and work in drug stores.
Me: You mean pharmacists?
Papa: Yes! Pharmacists! And I hear they make pretty good money too. You should look into that. Does Xavier have a pharmacy program?
Me: No, they don’t. I think it’s about a 6-year program from what I’ve heard from other people who are in one though.
Papa: Well, you’ve probably taken most of the same core classes, so I bet it wouldn’t take as long. Give it some thought.

I’ve always thought of myself as a trendsetter, and this summer has been no exception. My most recent offering to society has been living with my parents at home without actively seeking a full-time job. It has yet to catch on from what I can tell though. Most of the Facebook profiles that I have stalked seem to indicate that my former classmates are either enrolled in graduate classes or working somewhere, while some have even gotten married. I am looking forward the gravity of my decisions eventually sinking in and waking up one morning to realize how much time I’ve wasted. Until then, I join you in eagerly awaiting the far-too-few-and-far-between updates on Jaclyn’s life so that I may vicariously live through her.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Updates coming

I know it has been ages, and today my mom reminded me. I have been neglecting my blog, and though I am notorious for being a quitter (gymnastics, ballet, flute, swimming, guitar), this is not something I am quitting. The past week has been busy and wonderful and unforgettable all in one.

Tonight I head up to a concert a little north of Charlotte with Dad and my sister Danielle. They got into Charlotte today and we are going to see Def Leppard, Cheap Trick and's favorites. After they leave tomorrow I should have a little bit of time to sit, breathe, process and then write...because I gotta write, because life is changing and I want to keep up.

God is good people. Expect updates tomorrow. It is a priority

Saturday, August 1, 2009


So, this weekend promises MANY many fun times, good memories, and just some of the best people. Tonight, there will be four great friends staying the night and I cannot wait. To begin, my sister, Becca, and one of my best friends from Cincinnati, Ally, will be getting to Charlotte in about an hour. I will get a few hours this afternoon to just hang with the girls and for that I am so grateful. We will hopefully make dinner and Tyler, whom I met at the beach 5 years ago, and have since reconnected with, will head down early evening. Tyler and I are going to a Rascal Flatts concert.

After we leave for the concert the 5th and final member of the weekend arrives. He is from Atlanta and goes to UGA. Colton will be here around 6 or 7. Colton was on Work Crew at Saranac when Becca was also on WC and I was on Summer Staff. They were both Roustabouts and haven't seen each other SINCE then...four years. We are very excited for this reunion.

So...what a smorgasborg of fun and friends. I cannot wait for it to begin!