Me and my shadow
I've been shadowed today by a high school senior. Not that he was eager to learn about professional ministry, but Edgewood High School has set apart this day for out-of-school activities for seniors: seniors are encouraged to go on college visits, participate in service projects, or shadow somebody doing one's work. Brad -- one of our Venturers -- had already done all the college visits he was interested in and didn't know of any service projects to do. So I told him he could come shadow me.
We started in the church office. I told him watching me work on my computer would be dull (though that's mostly what I do in the office), so I gave him the two-dollar tour of the church and grounds and we talked about what all the rooms were used for and how the church was built. Then we walked downtown to show him the RBB Family Store -- a thrift store in which many of our parishioners are engaged. We talked about the way non-profits of all sorts connect with each other. I also made sure he understood what "civil society" means, because it's not a concept you learn about in school much anymore.
By this time, Keith was ready for us to start work on the newsletter. We folded and taped the newsletter for the next hour and a half. Just part of the monthly routine of church work. While we were working on this project, a couple of people came to the church looking for help from our food pantry, and Keith left us to it while he assisted them. After finishing with the newsletter Brad and I took off together to do calls and errands.
We visited a parishioner in the nursing home. Then we grabbed a bite to eat in Highland Village. While there, I schmoozed briefly with another parishioner who was getting lunch, too. Then we poked our noses into another parishioner's shop round the corner to say hello. Back to E-ville to make a deposit of popcorn money for the Cub Scout Pack, of which I am Treasurer. Then it was over to Spencer to pre-order some special things for a future event from Rice's Meats (25 lb. of goat stew meat and 10 cases of apple slices for the Winter Rendezvous in January).
As we drove around, we talked about different work schedules and what it means to be in charge of your own schedule. Brad's ultimate goal is to start his own landscaping business. I warned him that the problem of being your own boss is not that you don't work hard enough; it's that you tend to work all hours of the day and night trying to keep up, and don't take specific breaks from the job. It all blurs together after a while.
We got back to the church, and I let him go home. I went home, too, to rest up before the Wednesday evening meetings and activities (always a heavily scheduled night at the church). It was fun to have someone to go the rounds with me today; I trust he also learned something about being a professional from spending the day with me.