It’s Just Pizza!

My job has been crazy!  I’m working over 80 hours this week and I have worked over 70 hours a week for the last four weeks.  There has been a lot of stress and a lot of ups and downs, but through it all I know it will be fine in the end.  I’ve reminded myself of the following story to get myself through:

When I was 15 I took a job as a pizza maker at Domino’s Pizza.  I worked there for a few years before leaving for college.  I have a lot of good memories from that job.  I remember on one occasion, I was working the cut table (that station was responsible for pulling pizza’s from the oven, cutting them, boxing them, and grouping them for deliveries.  When a driver got back from a run, he or she would have to take the oldest pizza and any pizzas going in the same direction.  Sometimes a driver would skip the oldest order in favor of a better run or a better neighborhood – it was against the rules and if caught the driver would face reprimand, but it still happened.

Anyway, I was working the cut table and one of our ‘old-timers’ came in from a run and suddenly got very upset.  Apparently, one of the younger drivers had come in before him but skipped the oldest order to take a grouping of three orders going to a nicer (better tipping) area.  After about a 10 minute rant, the older driver took the skipped order and left.  Here’s the part that stuck with me – we had an older lady (maybe in her late 50’s) that also delivered for us.  She had come in during the old-timer’s rant.  After he left in a tiff, she looked at me and said:

I took this job because of the low stress – It’s just pizza!

It’s just pizza!  What a great way to look at the situation.  I know that the issue for the old-timer wasn’t the pizza, and I know that life isn’t always simple – but when things start to get stressed, I remind myself – It’s just pizza.


Fixing the Glitch!

Have you ever seen the movie “Office Space”? Its rated R and has a lot of strong language, but if you get a chance to watch it on broadcast TV go for it. Its one of the most quoted movies around my office. Anyway, I recently found out about a situation that reminded me of a scene from the movie:

Bob Slydell: Milton Waddams.
Dom Portwood: Who’s he?
Bob Porter: You know, squirrely looking guy, mumbles a lot.
Dom Portwood: Oh, yeah.
Bob Slydell: Yeah, we can’t actually find a record of him being a current employee here.
Bob Porter: I looked into it more deeply and I found that apparently what happened is that he was laid off five years ago and no one ever told him about it; but through some kind of glitch in the payroll department, he still gets a paycheck.
Bob Slydell: So we just went ahead and fixed the glitch.
Bill Lumbergh: Great.
Dom Portwood: So, uh, Milton has been let go?
Bob Slydell: Well, just a second there, professor. We, uh, we fixed the *glitch*. So he won’t be receiving a paycheck anymore, so it’ll just work itself out naturally.
Bob Porter: We always like to avoid confrontation, whenever possible. Problem is solved from your end.

We fixed the glitch. I’ve always thought of this as a funny scene, but what if this really happened to you? You show up for work everyday but one payday, nothing gets deposited into your account? What would you do? How would you react? No one told you that you were let go, you got no severance package, no exit interview. Just no paycheck at the end of the week. Would you go back next week? In the movie, Milton thought it was an error with payroll. He kept going to work, asking around if there was a problem. Now, what if I told you this happens everyday in America. But, not to funny characters that mumble about their staplers – but to people you know and like.

Did you know that if you go to a small church (less than a few hundred) then there is a good chance your pastor didn’t get paid last week? If you are like me, you’re thinking, “No way, my pastor would have said something”. And like me, you would be wrong. I know a pastor today that hasn’t been paid in three weeks – but last Saturday night, he still spent time in his prayer closet seeking God for the people that would show up the next morning. I asked him why he kept working there and his response is what prompted me to write this blog – “This isn’t new – it happens to a lot of ministers”. I didn’t believe him – until I called one of my pastors from North Carolina. I asked my NC Friend – “Have you ever gone without a paycheck?” His reply – “Well Dale, you pay the bills of the church first because you have to keep the lights on. If there isn’t enough left over, then you don’t get paid”. I’ve confirmed this fact with four different pastors now – all of them in different parts of the country, all of them in different denominations.

Is this how we treat our pastors? Do you know if your pastor went without a paycheck this week? I dare you to ask him if he has ever gone without pay. The worst part about this is that I thought if people knew they would fix it. I’m finding out that in many cases, people hold back their regular giving on purpose because they aren’t happy with the pastor – so unhappy that they decide to ‘fix the glitch’ by ceasing to give! Find out of your pastor is missing paychecks – and fix that glitch! If you have to commit to give more, or just take up a special offering, do whatever it takes. The Apostle Paul said a workman is worthy of his wage (1 Tim 5:18).

I really do want to hear back from you on this – don’t just reply – ask you pastor, work to fix it if your pastor is missing paychecks, then reply to my post. I hope you can all say – I asked my pastor and he said he has never missed a check!, but I fear that will not be the case…


Busy, Busy, Busy

Hello All! I haven’t written an entry in a while because I have been crazy busy! So here is the latests on a few fronts: Stephanie’s New Biz: You may have noticed the ABC link in my sidebar by now – Stephanie has started an online store selling cloth diapers. I have wanted to use cloth diapers for years, but Stephanie wasn’t interested until our sister-in-law Dana sent her a starter pack of cloth diapers. They are very cute, lots of patterns and accessories – these aren’t the cloth diapers that our mom’s had to use! Stephanie gave them a second look and after a lot of research, jumped in with both feet! Lexi has been in nothing but cloth diapers and we love them. That’s why she started the business – well let’s be honest, we hope it makes money as well! Anyway – most of you don’t have kids in diapers, so I’m not pulling an ‘AmWay’ on ya – I’m not looking to sell you a bunch of stuff or ‘share’ with you an ‘opportunity’ – but I do hope you check out her store and let her know what you think – its Work: Work has been crazy!!! This is the busiest time of the year for my team because we have a freeze window from Nov 16th through the first week of January – so any business teams that want to get their IT projects done before the end of the year have to get them done in the next few weeks. I’ve been working 60-80 hour weeks for the last month. Yesterday was an especially rough day because through an automated process all of my access was incorrectly revoked – my email, my network login, my remote access to work from home, basically every access I need to do my job was removed! To get it fixed, I had to open a support ticket with our helpdesk but the standard time frame to correct it is three days! So, I had to get my senior level VP to call the helpdesk for escalation – which puts the time frame at eight hours. Still, losing an entire work day during this time of year is insane. To top it off – we have a new director that started officially yesterday and the first time she hears my name is from an outside business team demanding that she ‘get Dale’s access fixed – its affecting our timelines!’ WOW – great first impression! Church: I’ve been feeling lately like I’ve been hiding in the pews and its time to take a step forward to help advance the Kingdom of God. So, I scheduled a meeting with my Pastor to talk about where I can ‘step it up’ in our church. Shortly after I had scheduled the meeting with my Pastor, I got an email from a cousin regarding a youth pastor position at their church. My cousin asked if I would be willing to talk with his pastor regarding the position – I said yes, but I wanted to talk to my pastor before I would consider a position with another church. Within a few hours of emailing that reply to my cousin, his pastor called me! We talked about my history and that church’s future – but I let him know that I was meeting with my pastor soon and wouldn’t be interested in pursuing a position (staff or volunteer) outside of my church until after I had an opportunity to talk with my pastor. He let me know that they also had another minister candidate already scheduled to come into town but wanted to talk with me anyway – he even suggested that I visit his church and consider volunteering there. I can’t blame him for trying! I enjoyed talking with him and I did pray about it, but I love my

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current church and I’m not looking for employment, I want to affect the Kingdom of God in a positive way. If that means a full time job, great! If not, that’s ok too. Anyway – I have since met with my Pastor to discuss where I fit in our church. It was a good meeting and while my pastor did not know it, what I really needed to hear was that there was a place for me in our church – and that is the exact words his used during our meeting. I left encouraged and excited about the future. Well, I hope to get back to regular blog entry’s after the 16th – until then…