After 7 months (almost to the day), I have quit the Wal-Mart Distribution Center. It is an incredible time of rejoicing at the Linton home. Now, don't be confused; I'm still working on the weekends. I got a promotion to Assistant Manager at Domino's. This means more money hourly, but I'll still be delivering pizzas and making those all-important tips.
The freedom comes from the change of hours and the extreme decrease in physical exertion that the new job creates. I will have to now work an extra night on the weekend, but I won't go in until 6PM. That means an increase of four and a half hours at home with the boys (and my lovely wife) on Saturday and Sunday. Take out the two hours that I miss on Friday night before the boys go to bed and I get a net increase of 8 hours with the boys. Also, since there is much less labor involved at Domino's (read: almost none), I'm not as tired and zoned-out during the times I am at home. We can spend Saturday playing outside, going to the park, a trip to the zoo, whatever, and not affect my night at work. It is truly a wonderful blessing from God that I was given this opportunity.
Don't get me wrong: Wal-Mart was a tremendous blessing as well. It was exactly the job I needed at the time and it got us through a very hard time. My boss, Mike, could not have been any easier to work for. Any time I needed off, I got it. When I needed to go to part-time right after school started, he said it was fine. Even when I asked to get off at 11:30 on Sunday night when everyone else had to stay until 2-3, they granted it. They were great people to work for, and I am extremely grateful for their help. But, the job itself absolutely sucked, and I am so happy to be through with it.
There's a lesson here: the places God puts us and the opportunities He provides may not always be exactly what we want. As a matter of fact, they may suck tremendously and seem like a particular level of Hell. But that does not mean that they aren't God-sends. It doesn't mean that God was not involved in the process from the beginning. It doesn't mean that there aren't lessons to learn and reasons to rejoice. I can look back and see the chastening, the discipline, and the training that I received while working there. I also have had the privilege of developing a great friendship with Chris, a fellow minister and someone struggling to follow where God leads, even when life seems to go through a crappy season.
So, so long Wal-Mart. May we meet only in the land of shopping. Thanks for the money, thanks for the insurance, thanks for the lessons, and thanks for helping me lose 20 pounds. I'll miss you, but not enough to come back to you. You are a loss I will gladly get over.