Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Best Part Of Waking Up

Amy is on cloud nine...she's landed her dream job - bussing tables and schmoozing with people at Starbucks.

Admittedly this is not the job that's going to right our financial ship, but it's a big step for Amy. She feels healthy enough to work at least part time and quite honestly she loves Starbucks, not simply the coffee, but the culture.

She worked there very briefly several years ago until she was offered a job more in line with her talents. She loved Starbucks and didn't want to leave, but it didn't seem to make sense - primarily to me - to turn down a more "button down" job to be a "Barista."

I was wrong. The job she took may have carried more prestige, but it didn't pay all that well and certainly didn't pay enough to justify the emotional and physical strain she endured.

Now of course there are other issues which make Starbucks seem like a God send. Amy needs a flexible schedule since we're a one car family...she can at times have some short term memory problems and was a little worried about having to remember drink orders from the crazed and caffeine deprived. She won't have to mess with making drinks or working the cash register. She'll be able to work hours that fit her schedule that won't hopefully drain her physically much less emotionally. Amy is still healing and no job is worth putting a stumbling block in front of that process.

Apparently Starbucks has never hired anyone for this position ever...anywhere. It's for someone to keep all the tables tidy, supplies stocked and most importantly - at least to Amy - to "mingle" with customers at one of Starbucks busiest locations (which happens to be only a couple miles from our home). Evidently at every other Starbucks in the world those duties are divided up among the staff, but the folks at this particular store convinced the company they were so busy there was a need for someone to do this job and only this job during their peak hours.

The company took a chance creating the position and I gather that the people in charge of the store have been praying they would find someone to make it work...to prove to the company they were right.

The people who hired Amy were quite obviously dismayed someone with Amy's résumé and skills - not to mention previous salary history - would want the job.

Amy was equally dismayed. She can't believe anyone would turn down such a position. She loves people, loves coffee, and doesn't want to stand behind a counter shouting out drink orders. She interviewed yesterday...they hired her today.

The folks at Starbucks are overjoyed - they've got someone who's not a bashful 17 year old mingling with customers, who knows everything about coffee and who understands what customer service really means. They've also hired someone who is not simply looking for a "summer job."

I wasn't there, but I'm certain as soon as Amy walked out of the interview the interviewers were high-fiving each other.

So Amy will get out of the house a few hours a week and go to Starbucks...and they'll pay her!

She'll get a free pound of coffee a week (okay, I have my ulterior motives too) and the money she earns we can keep outside our "budget" in a completely separate bank account to hopefully use for small spur-of-the-moment purchases and to augment our "date" fund.

Amy still has other sideline jobs that pay a little here and a little there, fixing computers, doing some web work but this is her first steady job "outside" the house in a long while. It's a big step.

It's also a big lesson...for me.

In the past couple of years like many folks we've felt the pressures of finances and fate. We wrestled with worry and tangled with trauma. We've done without and come to grips with forgoing desires.

We've come to know fear and confront confusion.

But in the process we've discovered some wondrous things, not the least of which is the true value of money.

We've come to recognize those things in life of real worth.

Invariably there are no dollar signs on them.

Healthy days. Content and independent children. Time together. True friendships.

The fulfillment of a job enjoyed.

And occasionally a truly good cup of overpriced coffee.

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. - Psalm 126:3