January 2, 2008

(I stole the above term from someone else. I had to use it. Donething makes me ridiculously happy upon every utterance.)

It consumed the last two months of my life, but it has finally come to and end. Here are the things with which I am walking away from this onething conference:

~ Charleen Wells is one of the most fantastic people I have ever met. I don’t know how she does it. But she is incredible.

~ I love my boss. I now have an even deeper respect for that woman.

~ My job would have been much easier with a couple of trained pack-mules.

~ Quarters are important. Very important.

~ Money is filthy.

~ Conference delirium is really fun. I found myself happier and happier at the end of each “exhausperacting” night.

~ When you do what Char and I were doing… you’re just going to get stupid by day 2. That’s all there is to it. It doesn’t matter how intelligent you are or how simple your task my seem… you WILL be stupid.

~ Lights that are run on a motion detector are OBNOXIOUS.

~ Vernon Willis is delightfully funny.

~ Jesse Wells is one of the funniest people I have ever met. Fantastic and Funny make a great pair.

~ Richard Liantonio really can be absurdly good at just about anything. I took a risk, but my confidence in him totally paid off.

~ Jen Brown and Jeff Howard are impressively thorough.

~ People are lazy. Lazy, lazy, lazy. Rather than walk just a few yards further, they consistently opted to WAIT in line.

~ Armed escorts can be pretty fun.

~ Kirk Bryson takes bookstore morale to a whole new level.

~ It really is possible to be sad about the ending of such an exhausting endeavor.

~ Our space in Bartle Hall was really big… and walking back and forth across the whole thing gets really old really fast.

~ Having a bagger really makes a difference.

~ When the Call starts at 12PM, there is going to be a REALLY big rush at 11AM. This should have been obvious to me from the beginning.

~ When relying heavily upon caffeine to compensate for a lack of sleep, it is very important to secure a steady stream of it. When you go for extended periods without continued consumption, you are sure to be doomed by really unpleasant caffeine-withdrawal headaches.

~ When you are convinced that number-pads would be extraordinarily helpful, it pays to get over your fear of asking and just say something. The people in charge REALLY do care about the cashiers.

~ I really don’t like money.

~ The amount of money I make in a year is remarkably miniscule.

~ Remarkably simple tasks can become stunningly difficult after two and a half hours of constant counting, error-fixing, and problem-solving.

~ Trying to bag for someone after such a counting and problem-identifying frenzy is just silly. You WILL forget what you are doing after each transaction and repeatedly find yourself staring off into space while the cashier reaches across you to grab a bag. Time after time after time after time. You might as well just sit there with the intent of doing absolutely nothing.

~ I have incredible friends. 

~ Lauren Shafer is willing to go out of her way to serve. And she really does have a pretty amazing memory.

~ Kirk will pay for getting that song stuck in my head. He really will pay. (This is not a lesson learned, but I walk away from the conference with this determination.)

~ Doing what I did twice in one day may not be a fantastically good idea for one person.

~ My job really will turn a brain to mush. 

~ Getting 7 hours of sleep when your body has adjusted to having much less can be deadly. I’m pretty sure that I died on the third morning of the conference. That’ll teach me to get a full night’s sleep.

~ Our evening cashiers are phenomenal. We asked a lot of them (and more of the weight of things fell upon them), but they continually rose to our challenges… and without complaint.

~ We really do have a great bunch of people in the bookstore. I have such a deep affection for them right now.

~ It is very difficult to appear sane when you are trying to talk with someone who cannot hear the other conversation that is happening in your ear.

~ David and I can pick ’em. We did some great hiring these last few months.

~ The Lord really does hear and care and answer prayers. I say this with a very particular answer to prayer in mind, but I won’t give the details here. (Some would call it TMI.)

~ I like meat.

~ It’s actually quite normal to spend much of the conference wanting to curl up in the fetal position and cry. At least I hope that was normal. Well… not that I want that to be normal… but I want to not be that uniquely unstable.

~ Lotion is important when you have to constantly sanitize your hands.

~ “Sexual immoralitization”

~ It’s a little painful to walk through a room where you so tangibly feel the Lord doing something when you do not have the option to linger for a bit.

~ Earpieces are also obnoxious.

~ Paperclips disappear quickly.

~ A 14- to 17-hour shift won’t actually kill a person, but it is pretty exhausting.

~ The Lord really likes us.

~ Someone speaking simple words of affirmation and reminders that “we’re all in this together” are remarkably impacting. Though I heard him say it numerous times to each of us, Andrew nearly made me cry each time he said it. It seemed like it should have been humorous… but I really did almost cry. (Actually, there was moisture in my eyes when the whole thing happened, but that was a culmination of events and not entirely the result of his encouragement.)

~ The bookstore really could use A LOT of prayer coverage when onething comes around.

~ After the 6 days of insanity that were the conference for the bookstore, Cracker Barrel is a brilliant breakfast on morning 7. I think you could liken it to the way that the Lord rested on the 7th day.

~ Listening to The Messiah is a great way to recover from the conference. It’s very hope-ifying… and such.



  1. And it was worth it?

  2. Groovy.

  3. A 22 hour shift is reserved only for those who are never doing onething again…forget 17 hours, I can’t even try to feel bad for those people.

    Thanks for the props, you were a joy to work with.

    Sexual immoralitizaion forever…I feel like Lou would be angry if he knew that this was the only thing that you and I got out of the call…hmmm

    It was fun, it was real, miss everyone already, feel free to stop in over at DS any time.


  4. Wow! That was a lot to learn… I hope one thing you learned and just left off the list was that you have earned a lo-o-o-o-ong sleep!

  5. now your making me nearly cry,

    “i just want to let you know: we love you and we’re all in this together”


  6. Thank you for what you did at the conference.

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