Monday, October 1, 2007

Day 13: Thelma Cleans the Mall

Do you have, or know of any stories, about people who take on any kind of job if they absolutely need to while they're in between jobs and looking for something better?

One of those "I'll do whatever it takes to do what needs to be done" kind of jobs? One of those humble blue collar beginnings on the way to... superstardom or senior management?

I have one now.

Today I started at my part-time temporary job with housekeeping at the mall. Yes, housekeeping. Not a big deal here in the US (if you don't have a huge credit card bill among other debts) because it's a decent way to make a living. And it's a great way to get a good workout without actually working out.

I have been on my feet since 7AM and I only sat down for thirty minutes for my lunch break. I stopped working at 430 this afternoon. My day was filled with floor sweeping, table cleaning, leaf picking, non-stop. Thank God, people in America pick up after themselves... mostly. There were a few tables that looked like the kinds in Manila where people just leave their mess.

The funny part is that people can't put their finger on where I'm from. They immediately assume I'm Hispanic like my colleagues but when they hear my English and my clear American accent, they ask where I'm from.

I didn't really have any qualms about the whole "housekeeping" thing. I meditated on Philippians 2 where Paul speaks about how Jesus "did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness..."

Not that I could consider what I did today anything like what Jesus did! But it was a humbling reminder that the King of heaven and earth stepped out of heaven to do what He needed to do so that we could be with Him.

I have said that I would gladly be a barista at Starbucks if I had to to get my daughter here. I almost got what I asked for! I have a great, kind, generous Christian boss who has been very, very nice to me. And he's even helping me look for something better!

Besides, part-time isn't so bad. And at least my daughter and my grandchildren and their grandchildren will have a story to tell someday about their Grandma T who left behind a successful life in the Philippines to start all over again so they could have a shot at a possibly better future IF they wanted a life in America. By then of course, the Philippines will be a developed country and they just might want to stay in Manila! Either way will be great.

As my feet started to yell at me for being so mean to them all day, I remembered a day when I was working as a Training Manager at a call center in Ortigas on a shift that lasted 22 hours and needed me back at the office after a two-hour nap. I remember saying to myself, "Management may seem fancy but sometimes I wonder what it would be like to do a job that just needed me to do something physical and leave after 8 hours." And another time while I was doing Zach and Joey in the Morning I wondered, "I wonder what it would be like to not have to have lightning quick wit at 6AM." I guess I got what I asked for!

October 12 I get to send Kyera my proofs. And the day I see her again, all of this will be truly worth it.

And someday, I'll have stories to share about the time I worked at the mall doing housekeeping...

Thank You, God, for making a way for me to have a job the soonest possible time. Because I'm so exhausted right now, I know I'll sleep soundly and missing my daughter won't hurt as much.

song playing in the living room: michael jamming on his guitar

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