Last Day at Spirit 2016


Hey, blog world! Today, my summer work term at Spirit of Newfoundland came to an end. I’m sad that it did. I had a dazlious summer working there! As I’ve said countless times, and will continue to say countless more, it’s the best place in the world! Tuesdays and Thursdays were my favorite day of the week because I got to go to work!

I love all my co-workers, and yes, even you John, though you are a hard case (John is one of the bartenders at Spirit. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a sweetheart but at the same time he’s a hard case too! He loves pulling people’s legs and getting them on the go!) It was so nice to see all my old friends again and make some new ones! Miss Leah is really going to miss Jordan now that she has to go to school. Jordan is new to Spirit and he does marketing and social media. He made me smile! I thought it was so sweet how he always called me miss Leah! I’m also very thankful for Penny! She’s who you talk to when you call Spirit on the phone to make a reservation. I’m terrible at remembering to sign in and sign out every day (sorry Bridget! (our accountant)) and Penny would always remind me to do so. I don’t know what I would have done without her! What I love the most about my co-workers is that they accept me for who I am. An Autistic globophobe who keeps a stuffed dragon in her purse (I take Stuffy out and hug him when I feel sad, scared or stressed. It really helps.) They don’t pass judgment or make fun of me. That means the world to me. A lot of neurotypical (“normal”) people are unaccepting of me and I get bullied a lot. It’s wonderful that I don’t have to worry about that at Spirit!

My bosses, Paul, Peter and Kathie were all wonderful as well. I couldn’t ask for three better people to work for! My favorite boss related memory from this summer happened last week. I had to take a two-day First Aid course as a mandatory requirement for the Early Childhood Education program at CONA which starts next week! Yikes!! Anyway, part of the course was a test on the second day. I needed to get 75% or higher in order to pass and receive my certification. Last Thursday, while I was on my break, Peter helped me study! I really appreciated that. We focused on severe bleeding and how to bandage different types of wounds and other injuries. My favorite part of our study session was when Peter practiced bandaging my head!

This summer, I spent the majority of my time working with the unsung heroes of Spirit of NL, those who set up the dining room. Meg, Alex, Matt, James, Sarah and all the others work their butts off so you can have a fancy table to sit at during the show! They have to plot out the room and figure out where all the tables should go and which party should sit where then they put tablecloths on each table and set them all! I feel that they don’t get acknowledged as much and kind of fly under the radar and aren’t as appreciated by our patrons, so I’d like to take a minute to thank you all for what you do!

I was always flat out when I helped them. I had a million jobs to do and I loved it! I polished the silverware, folded napkins, helped set the tables, refilled the sugars, replaced the tea lights, filled all the water jugs and tended to the partridge in the pear tree! Lol! Work was never boring, which is one of the things I loved most about the job. There was always something to do and I enjoyed doing what I was doing! It didn’t feel like work at all! I liked folding the napkins and polishing the silverware best. I found both of those tasks relaxing.

Today, as I said was my last day. It was a hard day. I wasn’t ready to say my goodbyes!! I cherished every second I spent with everyone today. I got the most wonderful surprise from everyone this evening. It was really warm in the dining room, so I sat in the bar awhile to have a drink of water and a little break. I noticed that literally everyone in the building had suddenly gathered in the Screech Room. I wondered what was going on. I went up to Naomi and said “What’s up? Is there a staff meeting now? Am I supposed to be in here too?” She said no, this meeting wasn’t for me. Then Peter chimed in saying that people wearing berets weren’t allowed in this meeting! Little rascal! I had on my favorite purple beret! In spite, I took it off. Everyone laughed. Then Peter said, “ok, there’s no purple allowed in this meeting!” I was head to toe in purple (it’s my favorite color)! Aside from my beret, I had on a purple necklace and a purple dress I inherited from my nan. In that moment, I was thinking “Gee, they really don’t want me in here. Something’s up.” Kathie the CEO and Bridget the accountant soon entered the screech room and all of a sudden Peter began playing the piano. Everyone started singing “For She’s A Jolly Good Fellow” and at first, I thought, “Is it Bridget’s Birthday?” then I realized, “Wait a minute, this is my last day. Holy cow, it’s for me!” The second I made that realization, I started crying. It was so nice of them to throw me a surprise goodbye party! The entire building stopped what they were doing to wish me well, sing me a song and say goodbye. That meant so much to me! I was very touched. I entered the Screech Room and saw on the table there was a piece of screech cake with a candle, a gift bag, and a card. I thought it was so sweet of them to give me those things! I blew out the candle on the piece of screech cake they gave me and read their goodbye card. I came very close to crying again! Their words were all so thoughtful and beautiful! My Spirit family is the absolute best! I tell you, they are all angels that are very good at keeping their wings hidden.

Another highlight of my last day was giving a special gift to Peter, Paul, and Kathie. Last summer, they implemented the Masonic Temple Restoration Fund because their building, the Masonic Temple is 118 years old and is starting to deteriorate. It’s in dire need of repairing. Because Spirit and the Masonic Temple mean so much to me, I knew I wanted to do something to help them with this endeavor. I started selling my paintings to raise money for them! I decided today to give them their first check. In a year, I managed to raise $161!!! I was so proud when I handed the check to Peter, Paul and Kathie. It had only been a year and I already had raised so much! Knowing that every penny would be going back to my Spirit family and help to make my 2nd home beautiful again made my heart overflow with happiness! Long live the Masonic Temple and Spirit of Newfoundland! If you would like to buy a painting and help me help the Masonic Temple, please visit my Facebook page!

The end of the day was the hardest! Though I knew I had to because mom was outside waiting, I didn’t want to leave! There were a lot of tearful goodbyes. As I walked down the steps of the Masonic Temple, I turned, looked back at it, said “I’ll miss you!” and blew it a kiss.

I miss everyone already and can’t wait to come back to Spirit in November to celebrate my Birthday by seeing the Christmas show! Don’t have too much fun without me guys!

Leah