Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Box cutter in my pocket

No I am not a terrorist and I don't play one on TV. Today I came home from the store with a box cutter in my pocket. For the past month, Dan, Michael and I have been running my brother-in-law Billy's store, Endicott Variety. I think I have used the box cutter on maybe one or two boxes since working there but we usually use it to open a variety of things. Today it was for opening the bundles of newspapers and the 8 packs of bagged ice (5 lb bags) to fill the ice chest.
This past week Katie and Michael competed in the NCFCA's National Championship Tournament in Greenville, SC. This was the first Nationals that I have missed in the past 5 years. Even though I was sad about missing it, many things pointed to the fact that I was exactly where I was suppose to be this week, including the box cutter in my pocket.
I am amazed what Billy does. It takes 2 of us (usually Michael works with either Dan or me and Dan and I work a couple of days together) to do what Billy does in the morning. It is no wonder to me that he needed a hip replacement. It is a physically demanding work. The joint is jumping and week day mornings are especially hopping. We've learned to keep up with the coffee (today I thought I was in good shape and by 8 oclock I was running behind) and for the most part the customers have been patient with us. Coffee is a huge seller. There is not a Dunkies or Starbucks for a mile or two and the store is located right near the train station and right off the highway.
Before Dan was a nurse, Dan and Billy ran their dad's store in Wellesley together. So for Dan running the store was like jumping in the deep end and just remembering the stroke, for me it was jumping in the deep end and being expected to swim. I feel like Dori in Nemo, "just keep swimming, swimming swimming." So, I have been swimming. I am not as fast as Billy and "Danny" (as he is affectionally called by family members and customers alike) but my form is good and I am DOING it.
Dan is still nursing in the evening, while running the store overall. It would have been a great hardship on him for me to even consider asking him for me to have the week off. This is something we agreed to do together and it has also allowed for my sister-in-law, Kelly to stay at home take care of Billy and their kids. I am tired but grateful. I am encouraged.
Having been involved in helping run tournaments the last 5 years has been a lot of fun and hard work. Running the store is very similar with the one exception, the store never closes, no holidays or closing award ceremonies and those Monday thru Friday customers streaming in saying, "aren't you glad its Friday?" and I smile and tell them to have a nice weekend.
So, it is like an ongoing tournament with a cast of regular characters and lots of human interaction. Communication skills are coming in handy and walking with Jesus has too. The job requires an overall willingness to serve your customers with a smile.