Hardware Store Haikus

I feel called to vocational ministry but I have bills to pay and a family to feed. I do this by working at my local hardware store as a salesperson and quasi-supervisor. I drive a forklift, cut keys, fill propane, mix paint. I also am responsible for training employees and merchandising the store. This isn’t ministry it’s just life, but ministry is the stuff of life. Here is a taste of my day-to-day:

I open today
My gaggle drives me to work
stuck behind  the train

“You got a thingy
that will whatchamacallit?”
“Absolutely, yes.”

“Doesn’t fit,” He sighs.
Package says universal.
Not this universe.

Can you cut a key?
Yes, if I have the right blank.
No. She leaves the store.

He asks,”EEEEE-poxy?”
Holding out the ‘E’ too long–
It stuck to his tongue.

“Sixteen Inches,” he says.
I measure eighteen. Displeased,
“Sixteen’s what I need.”

“It’s slow can I go home?”
The cashier asks, I respond:
we have work to do.

“Time for your training!”
She complies with verve and speed
grimacing at me.

Break time: I’m reading
He leans to see the cover.
Far too religious!

“CUSTOMER SERVICE
TO PROPANE WHO WILL RESPOND?!?”
Running, I get gas.

His eyes scan the shelf,
What can I help you find? No
I was just looking.

It’s twenty to eight
I ride the pallet jack back
Almost closing time

On not getting hired by Logos Bible Software (again).

So Wednesday afternoon I had a job interview  at Logos Bible Software. It did not go well. They waited until Thursday morning  to email my rejection, but it was not surprising. It was hands-down, the most awkward interview of my life.

This is no reflection on Logos. I use their software and  highly recommend it. The people conducting my  interview are all great at their jobs. I  respect them highly. The founder of the company and author of Fire Someone Today, Bob Pritchett, was there.  I had hoped for the sequel: Hire Someone Today.  It was not to be. I failed to impress Bob or any of the other major players in the room. I am not bitter and I think they made the right decision.

Was I qualified for the position I applied for? Yes. Would I have done good work there? Absolutely. Would I have risen to the challenges of that environment? Without a doubt. Was I the best person for the job? Nope. 

The most nerve-wracking part of the interview is forever burned in my mind:

Interviewer: You say you have attention to detail, do you mean grammar or something else?

Me: [Feeling that the hammer was about to fall]: While I’ve written a lot. . .

Interviewer: because I see three mistakes on the first page of your resumé. The third sentence is a run on sentence and needs a comma, you have a sentence with two spaces after the period when all other sentences have one and there is a missing period after your third bullet point when you have one after your first, second, and fourth.

Me: [Shock and embarrassment]

Interviewer 2: I also see some formatting issues here. . .

The rest of the interview wasn’t that bad, but I clearly did not wow the crowd.  When I recovered from the shock of the interview,  my only reaction was to laugh. They must have enjoyed watching me squirm.

I think I wanted this job to work out because I would be doing something related to my field of study. I have an M.Div and I sell animal feed and nipple extractors at the local hardware store.  It is good, honest work, but ultimately I don’t feel like it is what I was born to do. I believe my gifts lie in preaching and teaching and pastoral care.  I looked at Logos as a step in the right direction and something to do in the meantime. I would get to help craft theological and biblical resources. It seemed great. But parts of the job would have been a poor fit for me.

I would have been working on video lectures and preparing them for release by crafting online text which complemented the lecture. I could have done this but I’m not sure this work would have nourished my true self.  I long to nurture, to care for, to proclaim, to excite, to instigate.  I love to spend time writing, reading, studying and learning  but where it comes alive for me is when I get to share what I learn with others. I am relational to the bone. I would have loved aspects about the job and I am sure (even if Logos wasn’t) that I would have excelled at it.  But that work is not what I was born to do.

When we were done  my five interviewers all sprinted from the room, leaving me to show myself out.  So for the moment I remain the most theologically educated hardware employee in the city of Blaine.