Friday, February 29, 2008

The Nathan Anderson Show and The Family Business

So, this has been a memorable, if not EXHAUSTING, week. By the time I clocked in for my 5th day Friday, I was one hour short of 40! (That's 39, or 3 score and 9 years.) Here's how my week looked:

Monday: Supervised 7a-3p shift, then 2 hours of office work/department head meetings. This was the first day that Aaron, my manager, was gone, and I had things that I needed to have prepared for the next two days. Aaron told me that, during the three days he would be gone, it would be The Nathan Anderson Show. So, just as with any good show, you gotta make sure you know your lines. So, I didn't leave the property until I felt perfectly comfortable. Had a guy tell me he may call out sick Wednesday night. I just looked at him and said, "Dude...You CAN'T tell me TODAY that you're gonna call out sick in TWO DAYS, when you aren't sick right now!"

Tuesday: On property at 5:45am for final checks before supervising a shift 6am-3pm. 550 person breakfast. 310 check-outs. 250 people combined for lunches. 230 check-ins. 100% full Garage. 8 Valets. Our District Manager was there to help out and offer a "Manager Presence". I put him on the top of the garage and said, "Call me when there is one row left." We have NEVER parked cars the way we parked them that morning. It was nuts, but kinda fun at the same time. Got yelled at by an employee who though I HAD to let him park there. I finally told him, "Talk to your manager...He parked down at the library parking lot." Off the ramp at 3pm. Meeting at 4pm. Hotel Manager was very happy with the way things went. (They had been EXTREMELY worried, with Aaron being out of town.) Finished a few things in the office. Left at 4:45pm.

Wednesday: On property just before 8am for meeting with department managers, wearing the same outfit I proposed to Kacey in. (I figured it was good luck!) Hotel GM said, "Aaron should go out of town more often!" I took that as a compliment. 130 Valet Cars departing. Stayed around for an hour and a half to make sure no Valets died. District Manager called to say, "Good job, you were very composed [Tuesday]." Got to see the pretty snow. Came back before 3pm to supervise 2nd shift. Dude called out sick before I got there. He better be glad he's not working next week, or I'd give him a piece of my mind. Then I'd ask for it back...I don't have a whole lot to work with. Worked hard, made good money. Went home to Mike and Sara...and, surprisingly, Kacey. Went to bed.

Thursday: Supervised 7am-3pm shift. The Show is over, Aaron was back, so briefed him. Was a welcomed slower day. Went home. Took a nap.

Friday: On property at 7am, only on ramp for 30 minutes. 3rd Shifter advised us he was moving to South America to teach English. Cool...but today's his last day...not cool. Then to the office, where I fought with the schedule for 3-4 hours. Have one supervisor asking off next week, plus one valet. Gave myself Monday off. Then scheduled myself for 2 2nds, 2 3rd's to cover for the guy who quit, and 1 7a-3p, to mix it up. Also scheduled Aaron for 29 hours, on top of his salary work! With him, had EXACTLY enough guys for every shift. blah. Left around 3:20. Went and saw the love of my life for an hour and a half, then home to catch up on Jericho ON DEMAND and relax. I was ready for some of that.

Now, I head to bed. Getting up in the morning, heading to E-Town and moving the Hughes family. So glad I get to. When I thought I wasn't going to be able to help move them, I was pretty ticked. Just ask Kacey. Some families take picnics, vacations, go to ballgames. Not my family. No, the Andersons...we move. We move ourselves, each other, our friends, your friends. Geez, I've helped people move that I barely even know. I moved many college friends. This is Lesli's 7th move since she's been married. At least one of us was there for each. It's the Family Business. I got paid to pack and move a professor's sister from Abilene to Hot Springs, Arkansas. Money is always good. Food is also an acceptable payment. But for family...we'll take hugs. And, anyway, it's an excuse to see family.

So, I'm glad I gave myself off Monday. Will give me a chance to recoup, revive, and get ready for next week. I think Kacey thinks I'm going to kill myself...well, inadvertently. But I'm tough. I'm an Anderson. We move stuff. And, I've definitely got some Ruffin in me too. :o)

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Love and Work

So, apparently, I have something to blog about! ;o) Well, first off, I worked 11 hours today, so there may be some typos or things that just flat out don't make sense, so I apologize ahead of time.

So, yes, I did the "get down on a knee" thing. AKA, proposed to the most beautiful woman I know! I, like Kacey, would prefer to tell it in person or on the phone, but I'll put at least some things in here. Although, the only people who read this blog already know all the details, I'm pretty sure.

Anyway, we had a chance to go home this weekend and spend time with our families, which was so much fun! (Especially the whole "I have the cutest niece in the world" part!) We are really blessed to have known each other's families for so long. I mean, Greg was my youth deacon (and dare I say...Stephanie was the youth deaconess!). I've known Kacey and her family since I was 12 when they moved to "Paducah." (I say it like that b/c they live in MARSHALL COUNTY, a fact I like to remind Kacey of when she says words like, "like.") Anyway, I totally just went on a tangent....

Oh yeah, we went home. I told Kacey to "pack something nice" for Saturday night because, as much as we wanted to spend time with our families, I wanted us to have some "us time" too. Of course, she thought that meant PROPOSAL...which it totally did. You see, I WANTED her to know that I was gonna propose. But since she knew a ring was coming, and since we'd already talked "marriage," I had to have some way to keep the element of surprise. So, I decide to go the whole night without proposing, even give her a kiss goodnight and let her go inside. Then I would knock on the door, and be down on one knee, holding a ring, when she opened it. And this worked perfect for me. It meant I didn't have to hide my excitement or nervousness in fear of "giving it away" because I wanted her to expect it like that. So, it worked perfect, in my opinion. I'm sure I could explain it better after some sleep or in person...or both.

I have enjoyed so much telling people at work about getting engaged. It's funny, because almost all of them (mainly the women that work at the hotel) have pointed out my big goofy grin when I tell it. But I'm okay with being that happy. Today, one of the ladies almost started crying, saying it was "beautiful," which sounds good to me. I've never been more proud of anything I've done in my life than choosing (and even impressing at times) such a wonderful woman. The only thing that remotely competes is when I speak of Minnesota. It's kinda the same as Kacey speaking of Saba. But still, I don't think Minnesota or Saba compares with this for us.

As to what Kacey said on her blog... I don't know how exactly I'd explain our history. We definitely had an interest in each other for a LONG time. I never really spoke of it to anyone, not even family, mainly because I knew it couldn't work...well, then. Too much age difference, too much punching, too much distance, not the right timing. But now, God has finally provided us a chance and a time. Now, if she punches me, it's a little different. It's not a little girl who I think is cute, but a young woman who makes me light up when I see her. So, yeah, we haven't dated long. But we knew that if we were ever going to date, we would have to know FOR SURE. It was just one of those situations where we couldn't "just date." She waited until she "knew" and I am SO thankful for that.

To my best friend: Thank You! I am looking forward to the rest of our life, but not taking for granted every minute I have with you.

To everyone else: Thank you for your support, and most of all, prayers. Those also are not taken for granted! May God bless you for asking for His will in our lives!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Random update

So, just a few things, none really related to the other.

I was reminded last night of the one area that Target falls behind Wal-Mart: Home & Office. I LOVE Target. Their style for stuff, pretty much anything, is so much better than Wal-Mart's. I would usually rather buy food at "Vah-Maht" (that's what my mommy calls it) b/c it's cheaper, but I generally go to the Food Lion for food anyway. Everything else is Target.
But last night, Kacey called me to see if I could run to Target to get her a portfolio and resume paper for her Career Fair today at the scomb of Lip. (I'll always remember Brad Fuqua telling me, "Hey, you got some scomb on your shirt!" HAHA) So, I get to Target, looking for a portfolio. The Home & Office section is small to begin with, always has been. But I could only find two boxes of resume paper (white and cream) and two Padfolio's (black and brown). So, we went with the only options that would work for Career Fairs, white paper and black padfolio. I love Target, but they really need to improve this section!

This morning was kinda weird for me. At 6:38am, I got a phone call from my manager as I was literally about to head out the door. That's about 3 minutes later than when I like to leave, so I thought maybe I was supposed to have been there at 6:30 and forgot. But, nope, he was just calling saying that we had our third shift person not show last night, and that he may need me to work 2nd shift (3-11) or third (11p-7a), so for me not to come in and wait for him to call me. We talked 3 different times this morning, and I ended up not going in at all today, so it was a day off. Weird.

Weather looks like it's gonna get messy for us tonight, though it's been better than what Kentucky has been getting. We haven't gotten any rain or ice yet, but they are saying the rain we are getting now should turn into freezing rain around 1am, then "freezing drizzle" around 4am...I had never heard of FREEZING DRIZZLE before!! I thought that was just part of freezing rain! Oh well. The weather is becoming like the new detail descriptions of ratings for movies. Like, Definitely Maybe, which I really wanna see, is rated "Rated PG-13 for sexual content, including some frank dialogue, language and smoking." Frank Dialogue...did Frank even know that he had lines in this movie, or that they weren't child-appropriate??? (I'm an idiot, yes. I already know this. But it made ME laugh!)

Speaking of movies that I want to see... There is ONE movie that I am more STOKED about than any other, more than the new Batman or Indiana Jones (and I'm pretty stoked about those two). Just ask Kacey, and she'll tell you: WALL-E. We've seen the preview in theater at least twice, and the first time, I was totally glued to the screen. The second time, I seriously freaked out when the preview started! I think Kacey gets a kick out of me, giving her a chance to laugh at me, as if she doesn't already get enough! But, seriously...I really wanna see that movie. If you haven't seen the preview, check it out!!

Well, that's all. Just figured I'd be a good person and update. Peace

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Christian Conferences: 2nd Post Today!

Yes, this is the second one today. It's about something that's been in my head for a while to blog about, so I figured I'd go ahead tonight with it.

Christian Youth Conferences. Christian Conferences. Large Christian gatherings. As a Christian myself, nothing frustrates me more in my job. There are three things I never want to hear as a valet supervisor, and CHRISTIAN CONFERENCE is definitely one of those three! You see, Christians are an interesting folk in large groups. I'm not judging your every-day Christian interacting in the normal world while they work their "normal" job. No, I'm talking about those who travel to things like "The Call" and "Luis Palau Festivals." The people who are there for there "Christian" shindig, but forget they are supposed to be Christ-like on their way there and back. I saw a book in the bookstore with Mike that had a title something like "God I'm Fine With, It's Christians I Don't Like." Such an appropriate title, especially for anyone in the Service/Hospitality industry.

One thing that frustrates me is the way in which they (the "Christians") affect my ability to "minister" to any of the people I work with...EVER! "The Call" was over 6 months ago, as was "Luis Palau," but my guys STILL talk about it with disdain! They don't forget. Why? Part of it is, right when they start to forget, some other Christian Conference will come in to remind them. Another part is because a seed has been planted, a bad one. And it works the same as a good seed being planted. You might be wondering exactly how it is that these conference participants create such disdain. So, here's just a couple:

1)Not treating hospitality staff with respect. I'm not meaning you have to be the nicest person in the world (though that doesn't help). But realize that you will close and open your own doors for ministry by the way you treat others. And, selfishly, realize that you'll get better service by the way you treat the staff. Just use your manners...and your brain!

2)Tip. If you are using services that you would normally see get tipped in a movie (valet, bell, wait staffs), then that's what you are supposed to do too! Each state is different. But in TN, those who work in that industry can be paid as low as $2.13/hour by their company. This means, pretty much, their livelihood is tips. So, they aren't just doing this job because they enjoy it. It pays the bills. Sometimes, when someone "stiffs" us offers just a "Thank You," we will pass that "Thank You" around to the whole team, since we tip pool. I usually take the "th." But, as a Christian, if you do not ever tip, you might as well be preaching about lolly pops, because it will matter that much to the valet, bellman, or whoever. (For the uneducated, because I get asked this all the time, $2 is average for Valet per service. $1 per bag is the old gold standard for Bell Service. $4-$5 should probably be the minimum for the whole bellrun. A full, heavy bellcart should be higher.)

If you are thinking, "Well, our youth kids don't always listen," or "Have you tried directing a large group that won't listen?" remember two things. The first is, I'm not talking about youth kids. Teens are a whole 'nother breed, but they wouldn't be the ones we are dealing with anyway. It's the adults that are the problem. And, yes, I have directed groups that wouldn't listen. But that still doesn't affect how you treat others. Frustrate you, yes. But don't take it out one those who are trying to serve you, that's just not cool.

I know that none of the people who read my blog are like this, but if you want to pass on this info to people, it would make my job much easier, and chance of ministry much higher!!

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Wow, I'm Tired

So, I've already posted the start to my weekend that was. So, after working 2 shifts that Friday (7a-3p, 11p-7a), I came home and got in bed Saturday morning a few minutes after 8am. Mike and Sara Darling were coming down with Stephanie Reynolds Saturday so that the girls could go do girly things, and I was going to spend some time with Mike, so I asked Kacey to call and wake me when they got done with their sushi lunch. Apparently, it was Stephanie who called me, but I honestly don't remember a thing. I just vaguely remember talking to someone and laying there afterwards, wondering if I really had. Apparently, according to Kacey, there were a few long pauses and "yeah" kind of responses from me. I think I kinda sounded like Lesli when you try to wake her up!
It was cool spending some time with Mike (or Mikey as the Reynolds' call him). I don't think I had realized it before, but I'm not sure he and I had ever done anything as simple as getting lunch. And, it was fun getting a chance to tell our "story" to someone who knew the both of us, other than family. We didn't do anything special, but it was definitely enjoyable (at least on my end). My brain had a hard time sticking to a thought, but that's slightly expected after 3 hours of sleep.
After the Paducah crew went back, I headed back to my apartment while Kacey took her cousin home. Just as I pulled up to my apartment, my phone rang: Aaron, my manager. He had the same dilemma as the previous night. And the same question was posed to me: Would I work 3rd Shift. Unlike Friday night, I actually decline. I honestly just wasn't sure if my body could do it. It was tough, I hate telling people, "No." Kacey and I ended up trying to hang out, renting the movie The Kingdom and picked up Chinese food. The movie was slightly disappointing, and we gave up on it after a boring 1st half of the movie. I actually ended up going to bed at a decent time. But even with that, when I woke up Sunday, I did NOT feel well at all, probably my body saying, "hey, I'm not feeling well, and you need to CHILL!"

So, we were back at my apartment Sunday afternoon. I went to lay down on my bed, not thinking I would actually fall asleep. But I did apparently...because I woke up to the sound of someone cleaning my kitchen. I thought it was my roommate, Grant, until I remembered Kacey was supposed to be here somewhere. Then I heard her speak, and realized SHE was cleaning my kitchen. So, I stumbled in there and asked her to stop, to which she said, "No." Her reasoning was that she knew we had friends coming down from Paducah for a Super Bowl party, and that since I wasn't feeling well (and that she had taken much of my free time recently), she was going to clean it. I disagreed, but didn't really have a lot of energy to put up a very substantial fight. So, I leaned against the wall. What I didn't know was that she wasn't done there, insisting on cleaning my bathroom too. I didn't like the idea of this. I mean, my bathroom isn't the worst, but it's still MY bathroom. Still lacking energy, I lost this fight too. I guess if I'm ever going to lose a fight, these probably aren't bad ones to lose! She even ended up pouring Hydrogen Peroxide in my ears. Isn't that an amazing woman?! Definitely gives me something brag on her about!!

My Super Bowl party was cut a little short. Channing, Jake, Nate, and Tiffany had come down to join us here in Nashville. But I got another call from Aaron wondering if I could work that night. The previous night, the one I had turned down, had been covered by the 2nd shift supervisor, meaning he had to pull a double. If I didn't work this night, he might have to do it again, which I didn't think was right. So, I said I would. But I definitely made a few people unhappy, mainly Kacey. It wasn't that I was working (well, mostly wasn't), just that I wasn't healthy and working overnight without sleep wouldn't help. I knew she was right, but it was still something I felt like I had to do. But making her "not happy" wasn't very fun.... I also had to leave my apartment with my friends sitting in my living room.
We actually all, minus Grant, ended up meeting for breakfast at Noshville when I got off work. I had one of the best omelets of my life...Spicy Chicken and Green Peppers. Yum. But, after I got home, I slept straight to 7pm. My phone was right by my head, but I missed two phone calls without flinching. I think I may have been tired or something. Today (Tuesday) at work was a long day, just because I didn't feel well. Aaron made me go eat one of his bananas at one point because he said I was pale. Oh well. Tomorrow is my off-day, so I plan on sleeping in and relaxing as much as I can. At least I made some extra money...and I was given something to brag on Kacey I really need anymore opportunities. :o) But this is one that I can blog about and know that I won't get in trouble!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Mr. Reliable

So, it's 2 o'clock, Saturday morning, February 2. I should be at my apartment, in my bed warm and asleep, right?? Well, of course not! Where am I instead? Why, the wonderful Downtown Nashville Sheraton working the 11pm-7am shift after having worked 7am-3pm today! YAY!

Just as Kacey and I were about to go out to see the movie Michael Clayton (sorry Stephanie, totally forgot to tell him, "hi."), who is actually George Clooney, my Contract Manager Aaron calls me on my cell. Whenever he calls and I'm not already at work, it's never a good sign. So, when I answered it was more of a, "Hey..." out of my mouth than any normal greeting you would give when answering the phone (ie. "?Bueno?" [I really wish I could do the upside-down question mark when typing...if you know how, tell me] [Kacey will be proud of me for using brackets inside the parenthases]). Hey informed me that our normal 3rd shift person couldn't come in because of some car problem, blah blah. He wanted to see if I could cover 3rd Shift or the next morning's 1st Shift (Saturday). But knowing that I already had plans for Saturday, I didn't really want to give that up. So, I asked him to keep calling around to the other properties and give me a call back around 10pm. He also said he would call back the 3rd shift person to see if he could get her a taxi.

Instead, Aaron calls back 15 minutes later and provides one of the best quotes I've heard in a while. When I asked him if the 3rd shift person could come, he said, "No." I asked why, and he said (no joke), "Car something. Baby something. Something, Something, Something." I died laughing, which is great b/c I should have been peeved at the thought of working.

So, yeah, I'm here. And it's cold. Kacey said I'm too nice and sweet. And I don't really agree with that. When Aaron said he appreciated it and I was his favorite, I said, "Well, you should," and "Yeah, I should be," respectively. A nice, sweet person doesn't say that. They say things like, "I would love to help," or, "It would be my pleasure." None of that came out of my mouth. But it did remind me of when one of the guys at work called me Mr. Reliable, meaning I could always be counted on to stay a a couple extra hours or pick up an emergency shift. So, I guess that's another name for me, Mr. Reliable.

One positive is, since I worked my 40 hours already, I'm getting overtime for this at the 11p-7a, that's always good. And, even though it's a Friday night, it's actually been kinda slow, so I'm in the office for a few minutes thawing out. Kacey was a sweetheart and brought me coffee and a muffin at midnight to go along with the two energy drink I already bought. I'm a pretty blessed guy!

Oh, and if any of you are planning on calling me Saturday morning before lunchtime, please....don't. :o)

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