Friday, September 30, 2005

Good Bye Ads

I love getting comments. I even like getting comments from perfect strangers. What I really enjoy is getting comments that are actually relevent to my post. What I despise, is being greeted by 3 junk ads disguised as a comment. Man oh man, junk mail seems to have found it's way into every form of communication. Well, I've decided to add the word verification feature to my comments section. Hopefully, that will rid my blog of all useless junk once and for all. Fingers are crossed.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Weekend of the fantastical

Sometimes, one can find themselves taking things for granted. This summer, I basically got to see Emily whenever I wanted. If I was willing to walk about 27 steps then I'd probably be in her presence. It was good and I enjoyed it. I realized that I had myself the greatest girlfriend that a guy could ever ask for. I also just really grew accustomed to having her around. I appreciated her but I didn't realize what a blessing it was to have her living on the same property as me.

Now, I do.

The months of September will be remembered as the time I realized how great the summer actually was. How much a man can miss not seeing that special someone on a regular basis. Two weeks apart doesn't seem so bad until you realize that person was used to seeing the other every day. I have and will survive. It has made me really appreciate and enjoy the time that I do have to spend with her. One of the most lovely, beautiful, smart, fun people I've had the pleasure of being in my life.

All this mushy talk to say, this past weekend was a pure joy. It was really great to be able to spend a whole weekend with her. Even if it meant I had to go through the firing squad known as her extended family. Actually, they ended up being really friendly and outgoing. They definitely asked the questions to figure out if I was worth the time of their neice. I can't blame them, she is a good one and deserves a quality guy.

I got to enjoy a fabulous banquet dinner on Saturday. Wow, do I love the Chinese food. Though it could be Thai or Japanese or Korean and I wouldn't know the difference. Other then, the family was using a book that was entitled 'Chinese Cuisine' (actually, I don't think that was the actual title but you get the point). I had to rush through the food because Emily had a big surprise to reveal.

We went to see a play at the Harbourfront Centre. I really enjoyed the theatre. It was small and intimate. Not a bad seat in the house. The play wasn't anything super special. But the company sure was. I definitely appreciated the surprise and gift. We then went for a nice stroll down the boardwalk and Music Garden. All in all, a rather pleasurable evening.

I realize talking about my weekend is sort of against my normal way of blogging. I usually rather talk about the newest toothpaste flavour or how reality television is decaying soceity. Not today. Today, I decided to brag about how great it was to have somebody really awesome in my life. Also admit that I know now how spoiled I was this summer. Now, I'm going to make sure to treasure every time I have with my 'special' friend.

To all my other great friends that I rarely see, you are missed. Thank you for all the great times and memories.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Service with a smile

Three summers ago, I was having a conversation with a Medeba board member regarding how the camp would be able to get continually returning staff. He wanted to know what Medeba had to do to get truly quality staff. Staff that was willing to exceed all expectations and really give the campers an once in a lifetime experience. Then get those same staff members to come back to Medeba for an extended time period. My answer was simply that you needed the staff to see Medeba as theirs. It had to be their place. A place that they deepily cared about. A place that they wanted to see grow and improve. A place that would truly impact many and many young people. Most of all, a place that the staff truly felt apart of and very connected to. Of course, since this was a conversation invovling me, it probably took about 3 hours to express. To this day, I still feel the best way to get quality staff is for the staff to really care about where they are working and for them, to feel an ownership of the place they are employed.

You have so many people that do a job just for a pay cheque. Often it will show in the type of service you get from such a place. A 16 year old kid who'll not smile and probably mumble while directing you to the coffee beans. Of course, you had asked him where the fried pickles were but he doesn't seem to have noticed. Or you're greeted by a zombie, on the other end of the register, that stares at the wall for 27 seconds before realizing you'd like to make an order. They then mix up your order about 5 times and don't think an apology is necessary for any. It's a little noticeable these people don't want to be there. Their only inspiration to improve is that they might not be yelled at by their supervisor if they work harder.

Basically, it comes down to two ways to get an employee to reach their potential. You have a job that motivates you to worker harder because if you do, then they'll be taking home more cash. That is why you get the smiling waiteress and the speedy service. Same reason, it seems the nice gentlemen wants you to find the best pair of runners possible. If you walk home happy or if you make a big purchase then they get some more moolah. It's a sound strategy but not all places of work are like that.

Option 2, is to make sure the employee cares about where they work. Or at least, like the job they are doing so they want to excell. The best way to do it is make work a happy environment. Make the staff feel they are a part of a team or even better, a family. I remember, dropping many different ideas to the board member on how to make Medeba staff feel this is the place for them. Put the staff in a position, where they want what is best for Medeba.

This idea seems so simple. Of all the jobs I've been at, Medebe was the only one that I felt a part of a team. I felt that I had support. I really wanted the best for the place. It's definitely an ideal that most bosses and owners seem to lack. They don't realize that the best way to improve business, is to improve things for the one's working there.

And that is my free advice to all wannabe business folks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Thank you, Medeba

Those close to me know that I didn't absolutely adore my last position at Medeba. Actually, even those not so close, but possible loyal blog readers, had a pretty good idea that Guest Group Coordinator wasn't my dream position. I want to make it very clear that I still love the camp that is Medeba. I still believe in what it stands for. I consider all the Year Round staff to be close and dear friends. I decided that now that I'm no longer a Medebite that I should put together a little tribute. Tonight, I will list, in a very random order, many of the good things that came out of my year long run as Guest Group Coordinator.

Opportunity to enjoy another year of roommating with the man, the myth, the legend Scott 'Pueller' Martin

Joanne hugs

Fries dates with Pamela

Having visits from the old posse comprised of T-Bone, Hohickey, Angry Mike, Stump & Jared (one of these names doesn't belong)

Having visits from amazing former Medeba staff like Kegal, N8, Katy, Moi, Doralee, Blitz, Lizzy B, Justina and a bunch of other great folks that my lousy memory won't let me remember

Experiencing the vision and passion that Steve Archibald has for Medeba

The wit and sarcasm of Michael

Realizing that I'm 100 times more oraganized then 99.9% of all Youth Pastors in this province (ha, take that my former high school teachers! I'm not the most disorganized man in the world!!!)

Getting to know another year's LDP

Being blessed with the most amazing girlfriend in the universe, Emily (yeah, I'm a sap)

Realizing Ken is one of the funniest and kindest men this world will ever know

Staying over night with the lovely and endearing Baines (Andrew & Pip)

Getting to hear many great testimonies from several Pastors (I mock them but they truly are amazing people to give it all up for God)

Getting the inspiration to pursue a career as a teacher

Hearing Mandy's interpretion of how racoons sound

Finally, getting to know Bruce after coming to this camp for 9 years

Getting to go to Bon Echo (wow, what a gorgeous place and some really fun climbing)

Learning some new office skills because truth is, as evil as the building is, it's a valuable skill to be able to work in one

Realizing Glenda may be the real 'Director' of Medeba

Waking up every morning to a gorgeous outdoors environment

Rock climbing, paddling, and biking whenever I wanted

Being able to spend another year at a camp that will always have a piece of my heart

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Denouncing Retirement

I haven't quit blogging. I intend on keep on doing this thing for a very long time. Since I'll be unemployed soon, I'll have lots of time to do this blogging. Since I won't be very busy, I'll have lots of time to think and ponder and come up with odd rants. Yes it's true, my Medeba run is very close to the end. 2 days to the end to be exact. I'm looking forward to moving on but I'll miss the people here. I love the people here. I just didn't love fishing female products out of the toilet and trying to understand the mind of youth pastors. Strange creatures those youth worker folks. I won't miss a single phone chat with them. Well, unless the youth pastor's name is T-bone. That guys has it going on.

So yeah, this is another cop out post. I thought, a month was long enough to keep you waiting to hear if I still lived. Yes, I was able to survive the Asian Invasion of 2005 (a retreat week of several Asian churches). Now, I'm preparing to pass the Guest group torch over to a new sucker. . . er. . . person. But first, now is the time on the sprockets where we dance!!! Hmmm. . . wonder if anyone got that reference. One big pat on the back for the first to know it.

Now, is the time where I end this blog. I'm hoping the next entry won't be dated some time next June. I'm sure you all are too.