I Suck at Serving

16 11 2007

So sorry I haven’t posted this week – I’ve been ridiculously busy. But I’m finally done with training at Ninfa’s.

Last night was my first time to actually take on a few tables – and right now I suck at it.

One table asked me what kind of drinks I would recommend – I know nothing about alcohol. I had to get Cameron (my trainer) to take over from there. Oh, and I messed up their order, too. She wanted ground beef on her salad – I ordered fajita beef.

I spilled charro beans on an old guy with a suit. He wasn’t very happy.

One lady wanted nachos – and instead of the regular cheese, she wanted chili con queso and rice on them without beans. Even though this was kind of a strange order, I got it right, except I forgot to exclude the beans.

I forgot about one of my tables.

I almost forgot to I.D. a girl who asked for a Margarita.

I’m better at Greek and Hebrew.

Life is good, hard, hectic, beautiful, joyous, frustrating, exhuasting, energizing, fun, hilarious, blissful, tedious, incredible, etc.

8 11 2007

I’m not sure what to think about life right now.

I’ve got a baby on the way. That’s exciting, to say the least. I love my wife. Every moment with her is just… peaceful. My favorite part of the day is when I get to just be with her.

I’ve got a new job. It’s pretty cool, I suppose. There are some fun people there. And I’ll make good money for what it is – a transitional, part-time job. But, dang, training is not easy. Passing the menu test is definitely doable, just incredibly taxing, stressful, and time consuming.

Class is great. I love Truett. Next to family it’s the best part of being alive. I’ve learned so much and met so many wonderful people. I have truly seen the love of God at this place. But, dang, the work is tedious at times. Dr. Ngan’s assignments make me not like the Bible – I didn’t think that could happen.

Leaving Western Heights has caused a flurry of conflicting emotions. I am sad about leaving my kids, to be sure. I will miss them greatly. I will miss teaching them, hanging out with them; I will miss trying to show them what Jesus is like. But I am surely excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and the newfound freedom on Sundays that I will have.

Life is strange and confusing, really, when you sit back and reflect.

Through it all, may each and every one of us pursue love, joy, peace, faith, and hope. And may God bless those pursuits.

Mental Burnout

30 10 2007

I recently went to a session at Truett on burnout sponsored by True Course Ministries. Burnout was described in this way at the session:

Burnout is a cluster of symptoms, including emotional and physical exhaustion, depersonalization or a tendency to withdraw from people, and decreased personal and professional performance.

In this session they talked about the common occurrence of burnout that happens among “helping professions.” This includes teachers, lawyers, doctors, law enforcement, clergy, social work, etc…. Here are a few of the statistics that struck me:

  • 50% of American parents (about to be me) burnout
  • 20% of clergy (me) burnout and never return to ministry (uh-oh)
  • people most prone to burnout are idealists (me) and perfectionists (not me).

Then, to top off the fact that I, myself, am one of those unfortunates who are extremely prone to burnout, they added a list of symptoms of people who are experiencing burnout. They listed mental, physical, and spiritual symptoms. These are the mental symptoms that someone experiencing burnout undergoes…

  • anger (as in a kind of inner anger, not necessarily a “throwing things across the room” kind of anger)
  • cynicism
  • negativism
  • increased irritability
  • sense of helplessness
  • decreased self-esteem
  • sense of hopelessness
  • self doubt
  • apathy
  • difficulty concentrating or paying attention
  • feelings of disenchantment
  • disillusionment
  • disorientation
  • confusion

I read this list and thought, “That looks a lot like me! YAY!” Luckily, I’m not to the point where I’m experiencing any kind of physical symptoms, nor am I experiencing many of the spiritual symptoms that they listed, but undoubtedly, this is cause for concern. Now I’m not on track for depression or anything, nor are any of the ‘symptoms’ that I have severe. But they’re there. I am undergoing burnout.

So, the question becomes, how do I combat burnout?

I don’t know the answer.

Do you have experience with burnout? How did/didn’t you handle it?

Blog Action Day was yesterday, but yay for the environment!

17 10 2007

I’m slow at these things.

Blog Action Day

We need to do all that we can to protect our environment.

In celebration of this momentous occasion, I will be jamming to Jack Johnson’s “3 R’s” off the Curious George soundtrack.

I am a mass murderer

5 10 2007

… of fish.

I mean, not only do I kill fish either at a lake or in the ocean when I want to eat them (i.e., when I go fishing), but I kill them within my home as well.

You ask, “Why would you kill fish in your own home, Marc?”

My answer, “Because I hate them!”

Here’s what I do: I go to Petsmart, buy three or four fish, and take them home to my 10 gallon, (apparently) poisonous tank.

“Why,” you ask?

My goal in life is to kill off all of Petsmart’s tropical fish population, three at a time, once a week.

You ask, “If you want to kill off Petsmart’s fish population, why not buy more at a time? And why even bother bringing them home and putting them in your (apparently) poisonous tank?”

My answer, “That’s too expensive. I have to strike small. ” And to the second question, “I’m not that smart.”

But you’ve gotta admit, it’s a pretty good strategy, killing these fish three at a time. I make the Petsmart people “think” that I actually want to buy and keep their fish. I even bring a sample of my water, and I even go to the extent of asking why my fish keep dying (suckers). The strategy works perfectly because they tell me that my water is perfect for keeping fish, and that they don’t know why my fish are dying. Little do they know I have planted an undetectable poison in my tank to kill off their precious fish. And they actually sell them to me!

Die guppies. DIE!!!!!!