Life’s Great at Super 8?

During my “college years” I worked as a front desk clerk at a Super 8 Motel near my home. It wasn’t as glamorous as it sounds. It doesn’t sound glamorous to you? Exactly.

Saying that I hated this job would be inaccurate. Saying that the job was uninspiring would be accurate. Occasionally the work was fast-paced and there was a great sense of  urgency. Occasionally my shift went by as slowly as cold molasses and it felt like my life was being drained from me. It was a job that provided me a paycheck and that is all.

Or at least that is what I thought until I thought about it a little more. (I know that there  is such a thing as a double negative, but does the same thing apply to the word “thought?” I hope not.)

My job at Super 8 also provided me with some very valuable lessons. Here are a few things I learned via my time there:

1. Multitasking sometimes stinks, but it is sometimes necessary. I learned this by occasionally having to monitor the front desk, answer incoming calls, and un-stop toilets simultaneously. In case you’re wondering, this is not a lot of fun. Unless you like poop. And if you like poop, please stop reading this blog. There are too many weirdos who read this blog already. (Just kidding–s0rt of.)

2. A lot of people lie. I already knew this, but I didn’t realize that almost everyone will lie in order to save a few bucks. Like the guy who rented 4 rooms and said that there would be 2 people to each room and when I went by the rooms later that night there were approximately 47 people in each room.

3. In general, we don’t know as much as we think we do. Customer upon entering the lobby: “Did you leave the light on for me?” Me: “That’s Motel 6.” Customer: “Are you sure?” Me: “Yes.” Customer: “Really..I’m sure I heard that on one of your commercials.” Me: “I’m sure and I’m also sure that my name isn’t Tom Bodett.”

4. Silence is beautiful. While working the 11pm-7am shift it would sometimes become amazingly silent and astoundingly still. In these moments I would often ponder the depth of God’s love and grace to me, a mere sinner seeking to know Him more fully. This was beautiful.

For a while, I spent far too much time focusing on the negative parts of my time at Super 8 Motel. Thankfully I finally was able to see the positives.

Similarly, in my life I have spent far too much time focusing on the negative aspects of church. There are plenty of things that us church goers do wrong; plenty of things that we could improve upon.

Yes–we need to improve. But improvement will only come if we quit complaining about our shortcomings and begin actually working on them.

What difference does it make if we do the right thing? After all, there are many more who do not and who may never.

My answer–change has to start somewhere.

It may as well start with us.

What are some terrible jobs that you have had in the past and what are some lessons you learned as a result?
What are some changes that the church needs to make and what are you doing about it?

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18 thoughts on “Life’s Great at Super 8?

  1. I’ve only had…standing in front of a moving saw belt grinding the edges off glass planes…I quit when I started dozing off on the job and hitting my head against the moving saw belt.

  2. I had a job in a sawmill one summer which taught me that there an incredibly diverse number of people in the world. It also taught me words that I could have added to my vocabulary. I also witnessed gunplay in action and I thought I was going to die.

  3. When i was unemployed I started delivering pizzas. I loved it! But then he decided, since I was old enough to work the fryer (the teens weren’t) to bring me inside. I despised it! i went from being the last one to leave work to being the first who would be willing to leave. There are some jobs that don’t pay enough. That was one of them. I did learn a new respect for teens who work while in school and adults who put up with them. And like Larry, I too learned some words I could add to my vocab. 🙂

  4. Third shift security at an abandoned yarn plant. I had to walk this place 3 times a night, even though there was nothing to protect. Sorta cool, though, cause it was like a ghost town.

    No, wait! My worst job was working in the dish room in a Ryan’s (especially on Sunday). The worst part was remembering the days when I made 60k a year. I kept reminding myself of Daniel and Joseph. Of course, now I drive a school bus.

  5. I used to work for my Dad…

    not recomended…especially if your dad is like my dad…his way or the highway…lol…

    Love you Dad!

  6. My worst job so far is the one I’m working right now – sitting at an info desk at a community college, directing traffic and handling the social media profiles for the school…and only making $8.83 an hour (about $700 a month). It’s not enough to pay my bills, or even half my bills. Truly frustrating and draining and humiliating. God has a reason for it, I hope!

  7. My job at a Christian bookstore was not the best. I got accused of stealing money and I didn’t do it. I quit soon after because they made things so awkward for me. Come to find out a few months later another employee was arrested for stealing lots of money.

  8. The worst job I had was at McDonald’s as a teenager…standing for 12 hours and the mgr telling us he could run circles around us! AAaaarrrggh, as Charlie Brown would say.

    What I would change about the church is challenge all to be thankful, truly thankful for everything.

    I read the book by Ann Vancamp “1000 gifts dare to live fully right where you are” and took her dare. I write at least 3 things down each day that I’m thankful for.

    It’s what God desires from us. A small effort on our part, but rewarding.

  9. My worst job was working at a Sears Catalog Store (remember them). I worked with the guy doing the installations. Worse part was installing air conditioners in the summer. Houses were hot because no a/c and by the time we got the cool breeze blowing it was time to leave and go to another not so cool place. At least I lasted there a couple of years.
    I tried roofing one summer and only made it through a couple of days before I went out and found a different job.

  10. I don’t know if it was my worst job but definitely one of my toughest. I use to work 3rd shift loading U.S. Mail from Ohio that would be going out to all the other states. It was either burning up in the summer or absolutely freezing in the winter and it was 3rd shift with constant lifting. Some people worked really hard while others were lazy or didn’t show up but couldn’t be fired easily because it was a union postion…even though we didn’t have a union rep. Good pay about $15 an hour about 25-30 hours a week but really high turnover.
    I think one of the changes the church needs to make is actually asking people in their 20’s and 30’s what they want to see happen in the life of the church. Churches many times say they want people in that age range but then continually doing only what people in their 50’s and 60’s want done.

  11. Hmm… I’ve been a:

    Night janitor (as fun as it sounds)
    Paperboy (we don’t have these anymore on account of weirdos)
    Portrait photographer (so much fun when a large family group comes in, little Billy says he’s sick, mom ignores him, and he barfs all over the studio floor)
    Chick-fil-A sample guy (as fun as it sounds, plus free chicken!)

  12. I really didn’t have any “bad” jobs growing up. I remember loathing organizing the colored notebooks while working at OfficeMax. Not that the environment was bad, it was just so… so… tedious. I suppose I learned the importance of a super organized office…? Not really. :-/

  13. I used to work at a Super 8 too in college! I worked the night shift from 7PM to 7AM. It gave me a lot of good stories. Fire alarms incessantly going off when we had a full house (and I was working alone). A guy busted for getting ready to make crystal meth in the hotel. A prostitution ring. Scads of stories of irate guests.
    Of course it did have its upsides. The pay was decent for what I had to do. I was left alone, and my bosses respected the job I did.

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