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Lessons from the Stand: Turning an Overwhelming Situation into a Fun Adventure

So it’s been a while since I’ve written because I basically fell into a post football season stupor and am just now beginning to emerge and function in the world like a real person.

…I totally borrowed that opening line from one of my favorite bloggers — only she had “book launch” where I inserted “football season.” I hope I can write the opening sentence again someday using her words, “book launch.”  But…sigh…… I digress!

The last 3 months have been ALL about high school football. And when I say ALL, I mean ALL. Eddie and I found ourselves volunteering to run the concession stand as the emails came pouring in a couple days before the first home game, asking for help.  We literally agreed on a Tuesday and the first game was Friday. We had NO idea the amount of work it takes to have a successful concession stand. You have to understand, this snack-shack makes thousands of dollars every time it’s open.

The learning curve was off the charts! I SHOULD have been writing a blog post every week of this venture because you would have been very entertained. Some of the challenging “highlights” include broken refrigerators and ice machines (ICE is EVERYTHING in a snack bar!), breakers blowing, plastic melting in the nacho cheese crockpot, chocolate bars melting in the sun, huge COSTCO runs with school administration changing their minds every week on how to purchase food, stacks of inventory lists, creative strategies to enlist volunteers each week, ETC!!.

Whew!

The craziest part of the whole experience is I am TERRIBLE at food prep and thinking fast in stressful situations. I am more of a planner who needs time to process. Completely wrong profile to run a concession stand! But… I am fully aware of my limitations, knowing when I’m in over my head, and not afraid to ask for help. And… let’s not forget…I am married to Eddie, who can problem solve ANYTHING and has endless amounts of energy!

When I look back at this past season, several points stand out that I want to share with you. I’m calling this: Lessons from the Stand… or… Lessons from the Shack… or …Bar. (Just insert whatever title most strikes your fancy.)  Here goes—

Lessons from the Stand: My Reflections on Turning an Overwhelming Situation into a Fun Adventure!

Ask for help: This one is easy for me. In fact, the subject line of many of my emails was “begging for help.” People responded! It was an amazing journey of reconnecting with old friends and making some incredible new friends. Everyone has different strengths and we each found our snack-shack-rhythm (hah!) and formed an incredible community of people working toward the same goal. And just for reference… it took 30 volunteers each home game to run this thing!

Have Fun!!: or stay positive… reframe the way you view things. Eddie and I jokingly called all our snack-bar related activities our date nights. We would laugh about it as we mopped the floor or joke about it as we caused a scene in Costco pushing our overloaded carts with hamburger buns sliding off at every turn.  We were together and we could laugh…and that is a gift.

 

Creatively problem solve: or simply call Eddie. He’s brilliant! We decided my strengths were supervising and panicking and Ed did everything else! But seriously… many times we would simply say, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

Be grateful and say thank you A LOT! ‘nuff said!

 

 

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