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Friday, July 25, 2008

Ode to the Loss of A Showroom (yes, another novel)

**sidebar** stay tuned for updates on the Paulucci Wedding. I've been putting it off while waiting for Andy to come home and show me how to get my pictures off the camera and onto the computer.***

So, as many of you know, about two weeks ago The Boss decided we needed to close down the 29th Street Showroom. What a big uncaring meanie he is. (just kidding dad, no one is saying that, but humor always makes things better, right?) No seriously, it was time. As hard as it was (I'm sure) to make that decision, it was a good one.
For those of you that are not family members and have not heard the schpeel (sp?) - this is not an indication of the health of Standard Companies. SC is not shutting down showrooms for the sake of shutting them down, it wasn't "time to close a branch, now which one?" It was the simple fact that TNS as it was affectionately called was not pulling it's weight. And never really had.
There can be plenty of speculating on why the location failed but above and beyond it all, I think it was simply that- location. Sure, we were on 29th Street (one over from the main drag of 28th for those of you non G-Rappers), but we were at the end of this funny little extension that was really rarely used. Until I worked there I never used it! So unless you needed to see Mr. Andrews Jewelers, needed a flag, wanted to use the back entrance to Sams Club, or looked us up in the directory, it's not a place one stumbles on accidentally. And honestly, it was that random walk-in traffic that spurred the leasing of the showroom in the first place. Add to that the fact that we weren't "forcing" any traffic, as our builders were already comfy in their normal showrooms (and it would be business we had already anyways), things just weren't working out. Thankfully we didn't own that building so we didn't have to sell it! (small favors, but favors nonetheless).
So onwards, TNS has been dismantled, it's "residents" and displays relocated to new locations, it's inner walls torn down and thrown away. For those of us who "lived" there though, it still seems a bit like the phantom limb you still feel. While we immediately moved to our new places of business, parts and pieces did not begin showing up until several days later. One by one "recovered" appliances, cabinets, display boards, and accessories began to filter in to each showroom like misplaced keepsakes. Emails would arrive each day letting us know who was unreachable as they'd be spending the day at TNS doing inventory or demolition. It felt to me (and Sarah, I checked) as though someone had died and their belongings were being auctioned off in some sort of grotesque estate sale as it all had to be done quickly and handled carefully.
Neither of us liked the thought of someone going through the showroom, opening doors and removing things. It was like they would find all our dirty little secrets though we couldn't remember hiding anything. Maybe we thought they would see how often we did (or didn't) dust, or someones ugly dishware we'd hidden in a drawer rather than use in a display. I know there had to have been outdated literature we just never threw away, or maybe it was a bad paint job covered by a ficus tree. Who knows? It just felt weird, and invasive, and really impersonal. There was also the sense of unfinished business in the manner of displays we'd never gotten to show off, or in some cases, even finish!
Call me sappy and sentimental...I am...But when you think about your day-to-day life and you work full time, you really do spend the majority of your waking hours at your place of business. I have spent more of my useful daytime hours in the last 2 1/2 years since graduating college in that showroom than any other place. And then one day, poof! It's gone. And with it goes Sarah- whom I have really enjoyed getting to know- a woman (girl? lady?) that I became more and more convinced I had way too much in common with ;) And who finally made working in an economy that pretty much sucks totally bearable. I even started to miss the girl by the time Tuesday came around! (the first day of the week we worked together) And with as much time as we spent together in our little "pen" (our desk area) we knew just about everything going on in eachother's lives- at every moment.
So there it is, my cathartic blog on losing a showroom. Again, call me overly melancholy, but I'm sure someone else must know what I'm talking about?.... Buehler?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cedar Point and Back, All In One Day

Oh...my...goodness. What a way to be introduced to middle and high school youth ministry. Yesterday was the first major event I have been entirely in charge of thus far. I think it went well, I don't think the kids knew how terrified I was and I managed not to loose any of them or have any major injuries. Woo hoo!
Here's the breakdown:
3:00am: Andy gets up and starts getting ready for work...Krista keeps snoring
4:15am: Krista gets out of bed and stumbles to the shower
4:25am: Krista drags herself out of the shower and starts getting ready
4:47am: Krista "mounts up" in the big Eaglecrest Ministries 15-passenger van and heads to TCC
5:03am: Due to minimal traffic lights Krista arrives at TCC and opens the church
5:50am or so: DEPART!
(allow 4 hours for driving and stopping, and Krista trying to force feed the kids muffins and juice so we don't loose any of them due to low blood sugar or something weird like that...)
10:00am: Arrive in Cedar Point, Krista throws herself in front of kids to keep them from stampeeding into the park.
1:30pm: Meet for lunch
5:30pm: Meet for dinner
8:00pm: DEPART!
In the meantime I managed to ride the "Top Thrill Dragster" -120mph in 4 seconds HOLY CRAP, The Millenium Force (ginormous drop) and the Power Tower, plus a mirade of other smaller rides for the girls who didn't like big rides. It was a good time, I chose shoes that would not fall off my feet and I thought would give my arches good support (My ooolllddd Birkenstocks), turns out it was a bit too much support as I have bruises on my arches from walking for 10 hours.
Finally, at 12:45am we returned to church, I deposited the kids and took the van back home. It was a great time, the kids had a fantastic time, the leaders are all exhausted but they were so helpful to me and great sports about everything (Thank you Josh G. Josh W. and Michele!!!) Josh W. Thank you in particular for carrying around Jessica's big pink dog, backpack, and water bottle when she just plain didn't feel like it anymore, Josh G. Thank you for driving and laying down the law about seatbelts, Michele, thank you for keeping an eye on Brett W. and allowing him to have a great time. Oh, and High Schoolers -even though it was technically your "job," thank you for looking out for the younger kids, they look up to you all so much!
Now, I'm off to return the van and spend the evening at the Dosters for another High School event. Yay!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Church Bathroom Remodel

Just a fun story for the day- I work at Thornapple now every Monday and Wednesday. When I got there this morning a few ladies from the church; Mrs. Murphy, Mrs. Ireton, and Mrs. Herrendeen, were already hard at work putting up the new wall paper in the men's bathroom. They were very particular about everything and did a great job! Mrs. Ireton really wanted to write a Bible verse on the wall under the paper so the men "would be blessed without knowing it." Aw, how cute. So they commissioned me and Pastor Paul to come up with something that had to do with either walls or bathrooms.
Pastor Paul's was the story of when King Saul went to relieve himself and David snuck up behind him to cut off a corner of his robe - a sign of his determination to take over the Kingship.
Mine was from Proverbs and said: "Like a city without walls is a man without self-control."

The ladies decided to write the versus containing Saul's story under the wall paper and sign their names while they are contemplating a custom UL sign with the Proverbs verse to go OVER the wall paper :)