The View From Here

musings by John The Irishman

Coolest. Job. Ever.

with 14 comments

At least for my adult life ~ I DID grow up working in a bar/bowling alley/restaurant surrounded by family & friends & sports, you know !  I have been in various management positions, designed specialized equipment & production lines, was the “go to guy” for the owner of a $50-million per year company, and some other cool stuff.  While my new position may not be for everyone ~ I LOVE it !

And what am I doing now, you may ask (or not) ?  Managing one of the largest Emergency Food Pantries in Greater Cleveland !  This job has all the elements (except $$$) that I wanted in an ideal job : not sitting behind a computer all day analyzing reports, working for a non-profit and actually helping people, dealing with the public, close to home, not “dressing” for work, etc… ~ there’s a lot more but enough said.  I also get to work with many, many community groups for fund-raising, networking, outreach and the like.

It all started with me answering a want ad 8 months ago for volunteers needed for a local agency that has a very large food pantry, and social workers that can provide assistance with obtaining food stamps, utilities help, foreclosure & rental remediation, legal aid, employment assistance and many other services.  We are basically “one stop shopping” for almost all of our client’s needs.  We have a very diverse, multi-cultural clientele, and with a population base of around 125,000 people for our specific agency, there’s a lot of need !

I started volunteering in the pantry in March, and quickly became a supervisor and ran things when the volunteer pantry manager was out.  When that gentleman left in September, I became “acting” manager, working there every day.  Heck, I was unemployed with no prospects so why not ?  Everybody’s gotta be somewhere !

In late September they decided to make it a part-time paid position, and after a normal interview process I was asked to join the staff !  That was awesome, because I loved what I had been doing, but never thought it would be a career.  I am basically now getting paid for what I was doing for free, so it feels more like I got a raise than the ecstatic feeling one gets with a new job.  I am in charge of other volunteers, procuring, storing  & distributing perishable and non-perishable foods, inventory control & warehousing, and everything else that a large pantry would typically require.  I am also required to maintain operations within OSHA and FDA Guidelines.

On a side note, I also help manage our 5 community Farmer’s Markets, and am heavily involved in our Community Garden project (1,200 2,400 square feet !) in conjunction with the City of Lakewood.  It’s all very exciting stuff to me, and there’s a lot more going on than I care to bore you with (if anyone is even still reading).  I feel this has been the culmination of my quitting my job over two years ago, stepping out in faith (https://johntheirishman.wordpress.com/2008/06/18/ive-got-those-unemployment-blues/).  A strange series of events have led me here ~ well, not so strange ~ I see His hand all over it.  I am truly blessed…

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Written by johntheirishman

Wednesday, 4 November, 2009 @ 16:56 at 16:56

14 Responses

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  1. Good job – and now when you need volunteers, you have this hugh family to hit up! Are you guys going to be able to make thanksgiving saturday?

    mary wodka

    Thursday, 5 November, 2009 @ 18:13 at 18:13

    • Hello ! The plan is to go, but you know how Lisa is with inclement weather. My concern is with the new dog ~ she’s “almost” potty trained. She does well at night if we could get a room with a door, or we’ll keep her close on her leash in the family room. Her “record” when we’re away from her is up to 6 hours, but she’s really good at letting us know when she needs to go out…

      johntheirishman

      Thursday, 5 November, 2009 @ 19:01 at 19:01

      • You want a room with a door – you got it! You know Jakob is bringing his new girlfriend…

        mary wodka

        Saturday, 7 November, 2009 @ 19:49 at 19:49

  2. We will let you know, and yes ~ I know Bertie is coming. Hope she’s ready for us !

    johntheirishman

    Sunday, 8 November, 2009 @ 8:47 at 8:47

  3. Does this mean I am no longer your #1 charity case? Better keep the Moran food pantry stocked for the next couple months!

    BH

    Saturday, 14 November, 2009 @ 8:28 at 8:28

    • While at this juncture in life you are deemed “self sufficient” and are above our financial guidelines for your family size, our pantry always will welcome you…

      johntheirishman

      Saturday, 14 November, 2009 @ 12:00 at 12:00

  4. It’s good to know the pantry will always open it’s doors in times of need.
    Don’t you guys work like medicaid anyways? The more kids we have, the more assistance we get?

    BH

    Friday, 20 November, 2009 @ 9:41 at 9:41

    • That would be correct ~ based on family size, so as long as you’re a baby factory and keep pumping out kids you’ll qualify…(income guidelines permitting)

      johntheirishman

      Friday, 20 November, 2009 @ 10:04 at 10:04

  5. I am a Walter afterall… did grandma get government aid for popping out so many?

    BH

    Monday, 23 November, 2009 @ 11:22 at 11:22

    • Dunno, but you can ask her when you come home ! Besides, weren’t most of the kids born in Europe ?

      jti

      Monday, 23 November, 2009 @ 14:24 at 14:24

  6. Love it, congrats Irishman—AWESOME!

    johnnyj

    Thursday, 26 November, 2009 @ 0:43 at 0:43

  7. Johnny J ! Thanks, how’s things with the baby & married life ? Hope all is well, and have a great Thanksgiving ~ we all have a lot to be thankful for !!!

    johntheirishman

    Thursday, 26 November, 2009 @ 11:07 at 11:07

    • Lovin the married life, all is well! Our first ‘baby’ is due January 1…A boy nicknamed ‘HUCK’ (long story)…I’m going to name him the first thing that pops into my head when I see him born…

      …Therefore, his name will be vasectomy…

      I kid, I kid!!! I’m excited…Congrats to Pam and Snake!

      johnnyj

      Friday, 11 December, 2009 @ 1:58 at 1:58

      • I’m happy for yous guys ! I will be meeting the little Snakette in about 1-1/2 weeks…

        jti

        Friday, 11 December, 2009 @ 5:15 at 5:15


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