Saturday, August 21, 2010

Licensed to Drive

I'm officially a licensed driver in the state of Illinois. At the expense of my Wisconsin license, which they made me surrender at the DMV, and after taking a written exam, which I aced, I stood in line and got my photo taken for my brand new license. Add that to me driving in vehicles with Illinois plates downtown and in all sorts of traffic, and you have an Chicagoan.

It feels like there are so many steps to moving somewhere new and starting a new job. I've been filling out paperwork for weeks, signing tons of documents, learning how to punch in, going over job expectations and dress codes, attending daily community meetings and info sessions---and I have yet to actually meet the guys I'm working with. I have gotten a tour of my placement, Daley Home, but none of the guys were there at that time. This coming week is more training (CPR, crisis prevention, computer systems, etc) and finally on Sunday I will get to meet the guys.

If you can't tell by the randomness of these posts, I'm a mess right now. I can't remember what day it is most of the time, thanks to being gone on retreat, and I feel like I'm in an alternate universe. Having 13 roommates is awesome so far (we're still in the "Honeymoon" phase where we like each other), but because we are still getting to know each other, etc, we tend to stay up quite late to hang out. We've had so much information thrown at us in the past week that in order to stay sane I have to just take it one day at a time. Thinking ahead makes me anxious.

On Thursday, when we got back from retreat, Fr. Scott came to our apartment and cooked us a wonderful meal of pasta with pesto. He also said mass right in our living room, along with telling us a bunch of stories about the creation of Mercy Home. You can tell Mercy Home is his passion and that he puts a lot into making sure the boys and girls who live here are safe and taken care of.

Friday was our last offical day of retreat, even though we were back in the city. We went to Mary Bartelme park (a few blocks away) to go over our handbook and have a picnic lunch. It was extremely hot, so we only lasted halfway through the handbook before breaking out lunch and heading back to the apartment for the rest of it. We also decided on house jobs for the year (a coordinator for each of the program values, vehicle coordinators, hospitality coordinators, etc) and I am the MercyWorks Petty Cash Officer along with Diego. Math is not my strong suit, but I figure I can add and subtract and sort receipts. Since Mercy Home is a nonprofit, we are not taxed on our purchases (a great thing since the rate is something like 10%).

Last night we stayed in to play pictionary and study for our written driving exam today, and tomorrow we have our first house meeting to decide chores and put into effect community rules. Now I'm thinking it's time I head to the beach and enjoy the humidity. :)


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