Sunday, April 20, 2008


I like to tell people that I have the best job at the hospital. Where other folks spend their working days placing IVs in children, giving parents bad news, rushing grant applications, spending endless hours in labs doing important research, or making difficult decisions about the future of our institution, I get to hang out in the most fun part of the hospital, making coffee for everyone who needs a cup.

Part of the fun is getting to know a cross-section of our hospital...mostly staff, but also visitors and families. I've gotten to know exactly how seven-year-old "Keith" likes his hot chocolate, how a prominent scientist likes his latte, and which coffee blends are favored by post doc researchers.

And then there are the moments that really knock my socks off. There's a parent who comes by our store nearly every day. "Janey" orders the same coffee every time: four cappuccinos, along with four pastries. (Usually she gives me free reign to select the pastries.) This order costs a bit more than $20. Four or five days a week. Yes, that's about $100 per week. Did I mention who the coffee and snacks are for? No? They're for the nurses who are taking care of her daughter.

This woman, about my age, never shows the strain of being in the hospital with a sick child. She is very, very beautiful and her smile lights up the room. She's cheerful and funny, and obviously generous.

And if she were none of those things, given the difficulty of her current situation....1000 miles away from home, with her husband and other daughter just as far away...I wouldn't blame her a bit. If she were cranky or distracted or tearful, I wouldn't be at all surprised.

But she's meeting this challenge with grace and graciousness and gratitude, and I look forward to her daily visit. That visit reminds me that I work in an amazing place, full of amazing people, and that we have so many opportunties, every day, to do good, to make new friends, to make a difference in someone's life.

I'm trying to rise to the challenge. If Janey can be that great with so many obstacles, I can be that great too. My life is pretty easy: my kids are healthy and smart, my husband is great, I have a good job. My list of complaints and worries is short. But the opportunities I have to do better - to be kinder, more generous, more helpful, more inspiring - are ample.

Amazing what a person can learn while making coffee.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Absentee = nothing to write

I'm peeking out from my hole of work and church responsibilities to tell you, all eight of my readers, that I'm still alive.

The recent major changes at work have led to me working ten-hour days for the past three weeks. It sounds much worse than it is, to be honest. I've come to the conclusion that I've got the best job at the entire hospital, and my new staff is fantastic.

The best part about that statement? Is that I hand-picked each of them. So their success is evidence that I'm cut out for this management position (which I am, but confirmation is always nice).

In futher job secuity news, our daily and weekly sales are climbing every week, and this week looks to be much bigger than the past two, which were the two best weeks of 2008. Given that sales are generally higher in cold weather, this is pretty great.

But yes, I also have a family. A really fantastic family, actually. And they continue to be fantastic. The school year is winding down, which means concerts, programs, and the dreaded TCAP tests. My kids were blessed with the "performs well on standardized tests" genes, so this is not as stressful for us as for other families.

I owe the internet a post about my wonderful son and his wonderful birthday party. And I'll write it soon, but not yet. I was at work before 7 and left after 5:30. Am tired.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Back, for a second

Just want to make sure everyone knows that the Memphis Tigers rock! I can't wait until tomorrow's game. It's a great moment for my beloved city - I sure hope we can hold on for one more game.