My house is now a youth hostel.

Last Thursday, my sister's friend arrived for a week-long sojourn here. No big deal. But, a few weeks ago, one of the housing planners for The Maccabi Games coaxed my mother into housing some athletes from out of town. My mother said yes and advised that they get their act together before yelling at her. At first we weere going to host three Israeli scouts. Then the committe found out that we are kosher and gave us four girls from Kansas City who observe kashrut.

After volunteering four hours in my own sweaty warehouse on Sunday, I arrived home to make myself the tenth person in the house for the next 5 days or so. The girls were getting settled in downstairs. There are now eight girls and two guys in the house and all of our periods are going to be messed with after this.

Today marked the next step towards hostel-dom: laundry for the millions. Last night we pulled off feeding the many and mass transit without a hitch (the keys are paper and plastic tableware). We seem to be doing very well so far. The athletes have a crazy schedule of leaving around 6 AM and arriving back here at 9:30 PM. Once they return they disappear downstairs where their rooms are located and rise only for questions concerning the house or laundry. On Wednesday we plan to show them around at the biggest Confederate memorial around to make sure they know that rednecks do exist and that they are still very proud of this heritage. It provides free entertainment for the evening.

Otherwise, one of my workers walked out on me today when I didn't compromise on reimbursing him for a trip we took last Thursday. It was probably my fault and I should have just paid up and shut up because now I have two staff people, a 10K sq. ft. warehouse, and a fearsome amount of clothing to prepare for sale in less than two weeks. People really don't seem to understand that enough is enough. They walk through and gape, but are sure that there is room for their carload of crap. Then the president doesn't want to hold extra sale days. Honestly, maybe a third of the stuff will sell in two days due to line back-up, the dressing room, etc.

I had an unusual angel to save me from this predicament. One of the past co-prseidents came in to volunteer and took a look in the warehouse. She almost had an ulcer from looking at the volume. I readily believed her when she said, as a past chairman for the fundraiser, she had never seen so much stuff for one sale. The two of us then came to an understanding that The President's Ego Must Be Stroked Into Listening To What I Have Known For Weeks. Finally someone heard what I have been trying to say for awhile! Maybe I'm not living in the general reality, but my reality does have bearing on where I work, and if others are not ready to accept it, then they must prepare for a great failure (going bankrupt due to poor planning).

Speaking of which, the board voted to have a credit card machine after all. I congratulated them on accepting the job of running the credit card machine. Last sale we defaulted the accounts of people who were using debit cards because some volunteer input an extra zero. Lesson learned: we no longer accept debit cards.

My favorite volunteer showed up to rummage through the linens, crack jokes, and be very productive and helpful. I know her because her daughter and my sister are friends. She, too, has a grip on reality; unfortunately that doesn't count for beans around there. Of the other volunteers, the princess who "owns" housewares has not shown up in three weeks and, consequently, I went into overdrive to finish that craziness with the help of a few other volunteers.

What I have realized is that many of the people in charge over the years never see what goes on between their board meeting and the sale six months later. All they know is that the sale has been pulled off before and that, when they arrive for the opening day, everything will be just right. They don't know how; they just know. Well, I will pull this off in grand fashion, but there is going to be a rude awakening for them concerning the sad state of the organization.

In more important news, my parrot was very tired this morning because we spent too much time late at night on the computer in his room. I brought him home a prize pinecone for his chewing pleasure as a plea for forgiveness.