Part of this church plant experience includes a need for me to find income outside of our young church. Because of this need, I have decided to seek employment at a large coffee chain that I seldom ever visit but that I know offers benefits for the family and therefore it is a place I would like to work.
What this means is that I have to humble myself, ask for an application and turn it in to a person 10 years younger than me in hopes that my 1 1/2 Master’s Degrees and 12 years of working with people, organizing events, managing crises, and public speaking is all enough to convince him/her that I have what it takes to make a cup of coffee.
Today as I sat in one of this organization’s thousands of stores (and not one scheduled to close) waiting to speak with a manager (who happens to be a former student of mine) I had to laugh at the whole experience. As I sat there I noticed a kid who was probably around 16 years old filling out his application and I felt a sense of competition. Would my post-graduate and pre-doctoral work stand out against his excellence during his junior year of high school? Will my years of hiring, training, and managing employees be a positive if it is set alongside his 7 months of serving as a school mascot? Does that fact that this is probably his first job make him a promising candidate with lots of potential? Could that work against an old guy who quit a well paying job to move to the Middle East and then who returned to America to begin a new church? Am I overcommitted, overqualified, or over-the-hilled?
Am I even answering these questions in a manner that they are hoping for?... “Why do you like coffee?” Should I say it is because it creates a positive emotion in me that allows me to be more focused in reading and more progressive in my studies? Should I say that it is a wonderful subject around which meaningful conversations are allowed to flow? Or like the 16 year old, should I say, “Because it tastes good with lots of sugar and milk”. I am lost over what I should do. Next question, “Where have you visited one of our stores in the past and what was your experience”. 16 year old says, “I went to one with my mom once and now I am in this one”. Should I say, “I have actually been in your stores all across the world and find that even though it is not the best coffee and you do not offer free wi-fi, I always know what I will get and the service is consistent and courteous everywhere.”
I guess I will just fill this in the best I can and in the end I know that it is probably my 4 years of working as a food server that will ultimately qualify me for this job (and the fact that I want to work the 4 AM shift). I will keep you posted as to my progress in this endeavor and know that if 16 year old gets this job and I don’t, I will be in desperate need of some counseling for my low self-esteem.