Friday, December 3, 2010

New Orleans 2007

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This was my first trip into the city, I came on my first missions trip not knowing what God wanted or intended for me. At the time, I worked for an office retail store, inside the copy center. A week before the trip, I found myself sick with a really terrible cold. I wasn't sure if I would be able to even go on the trip.

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My team partnered up with Habitat for Humanity to work on a the roof for a house. We carried the trusses up, installed particle board and the tar for the roof. We also did a few more things inside the house. At lunch, I went inside the home next door and took the photo you see in the beginning of this post.

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I mostly shot with my Canon AE1 Program using the 50mm f/1.8 lens it came with.

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Seeing the home finished in 2009 was also an amazing experience. Knowing that somehow, my hands played a part in the lives of the people who resided in the house, the hearts and minds who make it a home.

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I traversed through the trusses with my camera on hand and I couldn't be more thankful. Everytime I look back at these photos, I can't believe how much God had used this experience to change my life. Shortly after coming back from the trip, I wondered what my work schedule would have been. So I drove down to work and I was just excited to see everyone in the store. Upon my arrival, my department manager came up to me with a somber look in his eyes.

He took me into his office and said, "I'm sorry Aaron, but you were fired." I was somewhat confused and curious as to what he was referring to. He attempted to fire me on another occasion out of spite because I couldn't come to work on short notice. In that incident, he told our store manager that he wanted to let me go saying, "Aaron told me on the phone that he didn't want to come into work today!" The store manager said, "okay." My assistant manager at the time heard about this and told one of our account managers, who also mentioned it to the district manager... and, yup... I got called back and I wasn't fired.

My department manager was a newly promoted sales associate from the supply retail end of the business. Knowing nothing in the copy/print center, it was difficult for him to earn his team's respect as we operated without his direction. At the time, I was a key employee who was very efficient at the job. I drove up sales, finished print jobs, corresponded with third party printers and customers, I was pretty good at what I did. My assistant manager and account manager knew I would never say that I would not want to come to work, so they trusted my character over our department manager's words. So they called our district manager, apparently remembered me from a previous visit and called the store manager.

Unfortunately, this time, I was actually fired. He was able to fire me by not mentioning my sick days whenever I called in; then he added my six day vacation days (which I was entitled to) and used that as a leave of absense without warning. Which wasn't true. Fortunately, three weeks before I got back, I was hired elsewhere. The plan was to put in my two weeks notice after getting back from New Orleans. God is truly good.

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Sorry about that tangent... anyway, back to the missions trip... it was good, God is good, I also noticed that I took many photos of my friend (who is now my girlfriend) and it somewhat freaked me out. God really has changed me since then.

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This last shot is somewhat of a creeper shot... I didn't really know I actually liked her at the time. It was a really confusing time.

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