Sunday, February 22, 2009

My First Solo Day as a Bookstore Volunteer

I am a new trainee. I have recently volunteered to work one Sunday afternoon each month as a voluneer in my Parish's Catholic bookstore. Today was my first day solo. Or at least it was supposed to be...

I am blessed (as we all are) that God always sends us an angel when we most need one. Today I needed an angel several times. I was trained very well a couple of weeks ago by the bookstore's Assistant Manager and I really thought I was going to do all right on my first solo Sunday.

What's that saying? Pride goeth before a fall... or something like that... anyway,

I had to pick up the money bag which was marked 'Sunday' in a certain hallway closet. So I proceeded to the hallway, located the key to the closet, turned the key in the lock.. nothing.

Tried again. Nothing. Tried again on the assumption that I just wasn't turning the key hard enough... Nothing.

I have 20 minutes before the store is due to open, so I head over to the OCIA class taking place in the Rectory because I know a good friend of mine in over there and she knows how to open the bookstore. So I go over and get her, follow her back to the hallway closet and she proceeds to open the closet door no problem! I, in the meantime, am metaphorically beating my head against the table 'cause she has opened the correct closet door while I had been trying to open the broomcloset! So I'm off to a rather inauspicious start...

Next: During 'start of day' procedures, I was supposed to enter my name as the 'user' for the day. My name was not recognized. So now my angel friend, who had accompanied me to the bookstore to make sure I got that door open, punches in her 'user' name and the computer comes up!

Great - I think "things will be fine now - just a small bump getting started." I unlock the door to the bookstore, flip over the sign in the window to read "OPEN" and hang out the flag, which also indicates that we are OPEN for business! I turn to go back inside - whoops, I've locked myself out! What would I have done if my angel had not still been inside! The cash drawer was unlocked, the computer was on, the store declared itself OPEN for business, my own purse and coat were inside; all the while I'm locked outside!

So, for the third time, my angel comes to my rescue! So I'm thinking to myself, "she must think I'm a total nut case..."

So the afternoon proceeds along rather pleasantly. My angel leaves, several customers arrive; two are looking for items I cannot locate. Hmmm, definite pattern emerging here.

But things work out - one customer purchases a different book than the one she had been searching for; I find the item the second customer wanted, hiding on a bottom shelf, and all is well.

Closing time comes - my angel, as promised, returns to help out with 'end of day' procedures.
I count the money in the drawer, post and reconcile to the computer and then: the computer decides it does recognize my name after all, but since I had not put in my 'user' name during the start up procedures, it will not let me continue with the end of day procedures! (Computers...I mutter...)

Long story short - we call the Assistant Manager; she walks us through the error and 45 minutes past closing, we are done!

I sometimes wonder if the evil one, who prowls about looking to destroy our souls, sometimes just gets some big kick messing with our heads: nothing too big-- just the little mundane things that drive us all to distraction and cause us to pull our hair out!

But what he consistently forgets is that God's mercy always goes before us. God had arranged my schedule and my angel's schedule to coincide today; she was there to help me when I really needed help and although many things seemed to go wrong on my solo flight in the bookstore, at the end of the day, we both laughed about it and chalked it up to one major learning experience.

I'll return to the bookstore for my Sunday volunteer day next month and perhaps there will be other, different obstacles in my path. But I learned a lot today and the evil one will just have to come up with something a bit more innovative the next time! I will be prayed up and ready to do battle!

No comments:

Post a Comment