Saturday, April 4, 2015

This wasn't the plan... well, my plan...

Talk about being nervous to work 5 hours in a store. This was something brand new. I had no idea what I was doing. I knew only the two people I walked into the store with. My Aunt and my Boo. We were doing this for the Bean. For Elite softball. I'd been asked to babysit the Williams that night. I would rather have been doing that...
but who could have known what would come next!
The Missouri Mavericks are a hockey team based out of Independence, MO. They were established in 2009. They were about 6 weeks into their 5th season when I walked into that teamstore. They were playing in the CHL when I worked that first game on December 7th. It was the first time I'd been in the rink. I didn't even own black pants; good thing Mary Shepherd did.
At 5:30, doors open. In come the people. It was fun. It was loud. And it was busy in that teamstore. I like those things. There were other Game Time Staff working, too. I knew who a few of them were by sight from Syd's team, but didn't really know them. One GTS lady was really nice to me. She had been there a lot of times. She told me if I liked it so much, I should tell the boss; she was looking to hire someone part-time. The boss, Nicki, was a pretty lady who had absolute control. She was very confidant; you could tell she was smart. Two other girls were there with her. Teresa and Victoria. They had everything ready for us to go, they knew the computers. They were good at what they did. Way better that I could I ever be, I thought. I worked on the floor. Talking to people, helping find sizes, always straightening. Loving the continual flow of people and having something to do.
Standing by the door to the concourse watching the game during the 2nd period, I smiled and said out loud to no one in particular, "My kids would love this!" Nicki was close by and heard me. She said, "You don't look old enough to have kids." I said, "Well, I don't. They are two cuties I nanny for." She asked me more about them and what all my job entailed. Her eyes got big and she said, "I've been looking for a you." This was the beginning of the end of life as I knew it in Missouri. I left that night with 5 tickets to the next game, a free burger coupon for 54th Street, and an interview. The woman who would soon become my boss at the Mavericks showed very clearly who she was that first time I ever met her: she was hard-working. She was tough as all get out. She was caring.
And she was extremely giving.
When I went back for my interview, I was again very nervous. "I know nothing about working a store," I thought. I just do kids and playing and cooking and cleaning... how was I going to do this job!? The answer? Lots of hard work. Lots of good training. Lots of messing up. Lots of POD runs. And lots of hockey games.
Now, at the end of the 6th Season, I've grown to love the Topshelf Teamstore! Think I'm crazy all you want, but it seriously is one of my favorite places to be... because I LOVE the people I work with and what we do while we're there. I've been pushed hard to learn and grow. To do my best. To aim not for good, but for GREAT!
Teresa and I became managers in August of 2014. This was a big step from my 20 hours a week I'd been doing when I was hired. Nicki's plan was to work one season as our boss, and then to be able to be out... back home to her own flock of sports players in the making. The Mavericks were a family affair: husband running the upstairs, wife running the downstairs, and the kids running the whole arena with their cuteness. Those 6 are not only my bosses and cuties that I spend a lot of time with, they are also my friends. They have shown themselves to continually be: hard-working, confidant, caring, and SO giving.
The foursome which were the Teamstore girls during our 5th Season was a crew alright! Teresa, Victoria, Mallory, and I have become good friends. They make me laugh and we hang out and do fun stuff together. Teresa and I work together very closely now. She is one of my best friends. We are opposites in many ways, but funny enough, those opposite areas are what make us work so well together... we are pretty much an old married couple. It's always gonna be ok at the end of the day. She's got my back, and I have hers.
This season has been exciting, FULL of change, very difficult, a huge amount of work, and I've LOVED it. As strange as it sounds to say, this little GA girl LOVES hockey! I love the upstairs staff and our Game Time Staff. Love the bosses and love the players. Mac, our mascot has ALWAYS been my favorite. One of the best people I've gotten to meet is the guy who keeps the rink looking nice. Ron ALWAYS has a smile on his face and has time to ask you how you're doing. He remembers that it's about the little things.
So, no. I didn't really want to volunteer that night for the Mavs. But I did it for my aunt. And I can't even begin to tell you the blessings that have followed from that one choice... 
It wasn't my plan... but it was HIS.
I'm SOO thankful that HE brought the Missouri Mavericks into my life!