Being blessed to be a store manager through the expansion and construction of a store from regular general merchandise to a full blow Supercenter is either the best or worst time to maintain a blog. Work days grow longer, energy grows shorter, and brain time reserved for something as seemingly simple as writing a blog post becomes very limited and a battle of will power decides where that remaining quarter tank of brain is spent. In competition for the short time that I have been home and awake comes the winter of 2010/2011 illness. A seemingly never ending pelting of different variations of the same illness. Even more important and strong in pull of competition of time is the wonderful and always new daughter of mine, Avery. Every day is a whole new world of learning and personality with her. It's like one of the most exciting movies or projects you've ever been a part of that did not end in one sit down or one day session. I keep finding myself wanting, excited, and wondering about what is coming next and what did I miss when it comes to the blessing of ours... Avery.
So, in an effort not to dwell on the store, but still record and acknowledge for reasons stated in my own blog statement or purpose, here are some events in the short time we've been in 2011 at my beloved store 1650.
- Dust walls... a 3 wall expansion of a store requires construction to build a fake real dust wall 12 ft in to the store to allow for demolition of the current walls outside. This is occurring on the two longest walls in the store and the front to back shorter wall will soon come in an additional estimated 22ft totaling somewhere around 34 ft total lost on that side of the store. So the irony is that we will be forced to shrink to almost half of our original size just to expand later. An associate brought in a doll shopping cart yesterday. Very small. We all laughed in a nervous and yet comical fashion when it was mentioned that for about 4 months, that cart size might be the largest we could afford to give the customers or they wouldn't fit down the aisles. LOL. I love my associates. I found the fact that they were able to joke about it, yet somehow let their concern slip through accidentally in body language and mannerisms was very enjoyable to me. They have been a positive bunch overall, even through some possible negative situations. Again, blessed.
- Stabbing... as I covered with many already while visiting, there was a stabbing at my store once afternoon in January. It was a dramatic event that I won't go into much detail about for lack of time, but will mention a few key points. Customer stabbed another customer. Stabbed customer stumbles up to the front registers and exposes his midsection stab to all the customers and associates in the area. Good Samaritan customer gives medical attention to the victim. Victim points out the attacker, still in the store, walking to the front door. Additional customer stops the attacker with knife still in hand by shutting the door to escape van which had pulled up in the front of the store. Police arrive, paramedics arrive, and crime scene from 2:30 in the afternoon to 11pm that night. The Good Lord was watching over myself and my Walmart family thankfully and the words "they were from our little town" were uttered yet one more time in my life and I am soberly reminded that anyone is capable of anything and total trust must simply be laid in the hands of the Lord.
- Fire... two small ones during the remodel. Once in the management office and once on the roof.
- Flood... A large amount of water pouring down the entire back wall of the store from the roof due to roof construction. 10's of thousands of dollars in damage and weeks of lost time and additional work. Great response from neighboring Walmart stores! Great response and positive attitude from associates! Great response from brand new management! By the way, I missed the actual flooding, I was in MN! Nothing like text messages and phone conversations about the store floating away! Great job by my team.
- Other situations involving ceiling, dust walls, parking lot, and receiving trucks that I won't mention now, but might at a later date. Probably not though.
Well, there it is. In the record books as intended to capture what undoubtedly will be an interesting part of our lives when we look back on it. Of course this doesn't even cover the my awesome family and their support at home and specifically my wonderful bride. Through my adventures outside of the home, she has been courageous and wonderful at home on adventures of her own handling two kids for the first time ever on a daily basis. Some days I wonder who is more at war, my wife with a toddler and infant at home, or myself with a new position and construction at Walmart. Although, if this is war, then things are pretty good and we're continuously blessed. We both love what we do and are very fortunate to have each other to do those things! :)
More blog posts in the future, I promise! Levi and Avery stories and a backlog of adorable pictures!