In my adult life I have had many jobs. I’ve done everything from dig graves to build yachts. I’ve delivered everything from telephone books (No, I didn’t get as excited as Steve Martin did in the movie The Jerk) to a full-fledged military HMMWV (civilians call it a Hummer) to the Yuma Proving Grounds.
The main reason for all the jobs is all the moves I mentioned in my last post here. The lessons learned will be carried with me throughout my life. I will always remember the sermon Pastor Ken Springstead gave while he was the part-time pastor at Croton Community Church in Michigan. He was working his way through the book of Ephesians, as he read in chapter 6 verse 7 “Serve wholeheartedly, as unto the Lord, not to men.” He explained that that meant we are to treat each assignment we are given at work as if Jesus Christ Himself had given it to us. I tried my best to keep that in mind at each job (sometimes that was a lot easier than others).
I mentioned at the end of my post on GBC how I landed my first driving job. I started out driving a pick-up delivering roofing and siding around Grand Rapids, Michigan. I took the opportunity to advance when it came up that winter, I became the #2 driver out of 6. Five years later I moved into the position of warehouse foreman. Keeping ahead of the space constraints of a growing company proved to be quite a challenge. I did it, but I wasn’t quite up to the emotional toll of the job. We were able to save up enough money for our first cross-country move in October, 1995.
Less than 2 years later I re-hired with that company at their Traverse City store (they actually bought pizzas and a cake for everybody when I left; I noticed they failed to do that when I returned). We felt the pull out west after we realized how long the winters are in Northern Michigan (we got 2 inches of snow on May 15th… the first snowfall came October 20th-that leaves just five months and five days for spring, summer and fall).
I knew that I was getting a test from God in the work department while we lived in Tucson, Arizona. I had to take on day labor to bring in money so we could keep up on our bills. My humility was being tested after being a foreman earlier. I did my best to keep Ephesians 6:7 in my attitude on every assignment. We moved back to Michigan to help Barb’s Mom out while Dad was dying.
I was so glad when August 2008 finally arrived; you see, as a truck driver you need to list ALL of the jobs you had in the past ten years. In 1998 I had a total of seven different jobs by August. I prayed that if God wanted us someplace for a short period of time after that that He would give me just one job while we were there. He answered that prayer in the affirmative.
I landed a job I said I would never do again, I delivered shingles and siding for a different company in Kalamazoo (Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo, MI. The Elvis sighting was never confirmed, but the city does actually exist). The booming economy at the time allowed us to reach our monthly sales quotas for over two years. We received the ‘Store of the Year Award’ three years in a row (that’s out of over 12 stores).
Our move to Sierra Vista, Arizona brought me to a job I now had a lot of experience in… I worked for a moving company. I soon learned that moving other people’s possessions is a bit more stressful than moving your own stuff. I was soon in talks with the company I worked for in Traverse City, MI. After we got there they changed the pay arrangement we had discussed. So, out of desperation, I called the Kalamazoo company… they were in search of somebody to run their warehouse. I got re-hired over the phone. I was much better at handling the pressures of the job this time around. When we left there in two years I received my first verbal offer of employment whenever I want to move back to the area.
We learned two lessons about living close to the Mexican border when we lived near Barb’s Mom in deep south Texas: First, if you’re not bi-lingual you’re at a definite disadvantage; and second, don’t expect to get paid very well. I landed a job at the city of McAllen working in the Streets Department because I was hired as a minority (a new experience for this white man). I started out driving a tractor mowing grass (it grows twelve months out of the year down there). Then I moved up to the patch truck… we hauled hot asphalt around filling in pot holes. I wondered at the time if we received the same job in Heaven that we had on Earth, if so then I would get a definite promotion if the rapture were to happen then… I would instantly become a goldsmith.
Our move to Kansas City brought me to work for a temporary truck driver agency. They couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t getting offers of full-time employment from their clients. I realized it was because that wasn’t where God wanted us to settle down. We decided to move to Dallas before I got my last assignment there… I have my second verbal offer of employment whenever I want to move back there (the Robinson’s are good Christian people to work for).
I got to experience another new thing when I was able to transfer with the company I already worked for. I was hired on by one of my assignments in Dallas, but their low pay forced me to look elsewhere. I prayed that if God wanted this to be my last job before my writing takes off that I would land a job with a large company. I now drive for a world-wide company.
My next stop… the best-sellers list (by God’s will).
I’ll see you later. Wade