There are more times than not, I cannot believe that I get to do what I do everyday! I think I have the most interesting, exciting, rewarding job that there is. Well, almost, I think that the guys that jump out of helicopters in the Bering Sea and save lives might have one up on me.
Last week we hosted Girl Power Day at the Mission. It seemed pretty straight forward. My minion mini me had the majority of the meetings finished. I would only have to attend the final touch-bases meeting.
The meeting was in the Short North right off of High Street. I assumed since it was so close I would just run down High Street lickity-split and arrive on time. I applied my thirty minute to get anyplace rule and headed out. For some odd reason I was super sleepy and could barely keep my eyes open. The traffic was horrible.
Sometime during the last month they dug up campus and were totally replacing it by shutting most of the lanes down. Who knew? I eventually made it, parked around back and headed in to the store.
I had absolutely no idea where we were meeting. Taylor was already in there. I must have looked suspicious spinning around in place looking for a conference room or a familiar face. I paced back and forth, I walked the entire store, still no one. As I headed to the check out area I decided to wedge my tired self between a shelf full of glass vases and a coat rack in an effort to save one step. CRASH !!! I knocked a vase off the shelf and was on my way to the second one when a man quickly came up and firmly said, “Can I help you please?”
“Why yes you can, I am here for a meeting. I am so sorry about the vase. I can clean it up if you want,” I answered.
“No, no, I will get it. With whom are you meeting?” he asked.
“I don’t know. I can’t remember her name,” I answered with authority.
He then began listing off names. My mind was screaming at him. I wanted to say how tired I was and that he could list off a hundred names and I still wouldn’t know who it was. Instead I smiled politely and said, “My daughter is here. She is a tiny little thing that looks like me, have you seen her?”
“Well, she is here someplace, I will just call her,” I went on.
I could not believe I was standing in this store next to a broken vase with no idea who I was meeting and really why I was here. I was so sleepy.
“MOM, MOM, what are you doing?” Taylor yelled across the store.
“Ah ha! See I am not crazy after all mister,” I wanted to say to the guy who doubted everything I was saying.
“Taylor, thank heavens you are here! I broke a vase and couldn’t remember who we are meeting,” I was so grateful.
We headed to the obscure conference room. Everyone was already there when I walked in. Taylor, who was trying to be helpful pulled out a chair for me to sit on. It had a side pump to lower it down to table level.
“Sit here Mom and just lower it.” I was hoping the meeting would continue while I gathered my stuff and sat.
I grabbed the chair lever and it went up about a foot. Ugh. All eyes were on us and the chair. Taylor grabbed the lever herself just in case I was in fact stupid and asleep. It went even higher.
Again with the lever and again higher.
Now I was just interested in how high the chair would go. She kept pumping and it kept going up. When it was almost as tall as her, I said, “You sit there, you’re short.” I sat in her chair leaving her next to the towering chair.
The lady whose name I still couldn’t remember brought the meeting back to order. The final directions and jobs were handed out and in a quick twenty minutes we were on our way.
We would begin on Tuesday setting up and hopefully finish on Thursday mid afternoon. The event would begin promptly at 11 and run until 3. We would tear down, pat ourselves on the back for another good event and head home at 4. It all looked good on paper.
Tuesday morning the program arrived at the Mission to begin setup. Our first job was to load all the water in to the giant porch refrigerator. We moved at least ten cases of water to the fridge and started looking for doors. Sadly, Children’s Hospital mobile unit that was providing all of the exam rooms got flooded in the great monsoon we just had. That meant we had to move everything inside and put doors on the rooms for privacy.
We have piles of doors. Doors we took off in every house, really nice solid wood doors. The only hitch was that they needed painted. Kyle, myself and Juan found some doors and lugged them up to get painted. Juan, Kyle and I think maybe Hugo were supposed to be painting. What I think they were doing was practicing watching paint dry. It’s a lost art form you know.
I left them to their task.
“Beth……. The compressor is super hot on this refrigerator out here. And… it smells like death,” One Time announced.
“What?” I asked. I didn’t really want him to repeat himself I was more just asking, what does this exactly mean for us.
“Unplug it, and lets clean under there. Maybe it is just over heating due to dirt. It was working yesterday,” I directed. I opened the refrigerator myself, I guess just hoping he was wrong or maybe the stern look I was giving it would prompt it to work.
DEATH, the whole thing smelled like death. Uggggg, now we have to unload all that water. But wait…..I closed the door and I still smelled death.
“Where is that horrible death smell coming from?” I asked the air or who ever was near me.
“I believe it’s the dumpster,” One Time said. “They emptied it and now it smells even worse than it did before,” he went on.
“Oh good! Now we can add that to our to do list, clean out the giant death dumpster. There is no way we can have all of these people here with all of this death smell.” I said.
I quickly added up how many cool places we had to store the water. I dispatched Eeyore to cleaning out all of the working refrigerators and One Time to examine the big fridge on the slight chance we could just reset it. Eeyore, One Time and I were on a mission. The rest of the Yahoo!’s were supposed to be painting the doors. Every time I walked into the painting area they seemed to be just standing there holding their brushes. It didn’t look like the doors were doing a good job painting themselves.
“Beth……” Kyle started out. “All of these doors are to small,” he continued. “They are the wrong doors! What do you want us to do?” he asked.
“What?” again with the what that I didn’t want answered.
He slowly repeated himself. “These aren’t the right doors. They don’t fit the door holes.”
The clock was ticking, we were farther behind now than when we started.
I made a quick list of where we stood:
The doors don’t fit/they have been painting for no reason.
The refrigerator is broken and smells like death.
Building two is not clean yet.
The dumpster smells like death.
The water is jammed in multiple places not leaving room for the 100 packed lunches.
We don’t have enough tables.
I am tired.
The program is cranky.
The monsoon is coming quickly.
Sometimes I can’t believe that God lets me do this job. There is truly nothing I would rather be doing!
“In God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 56:11 NIV