February 9, 2011
I sat down the other day with one of our Arena trainers, Ben Lane, to get a better idea about what he does, who he is, and why working with Shelby customers has made such an impact in his life. Within 30 minutes, I had already learned a lot about the Arena trainer, youth leader, French horn-player, puppeteer, and former EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). After working at Shelby for 14 years, Ben had a lot to say about his experiences and the people he has met along the way.
Back to the puppeteer thing… he has two puppets and their names are Sparky and Mark. His actual human son, Mark, was born after the puppet was named. I was told that his son holds some resentment thinking he was named after a puppet. Mark is a good name though, so… no harm, no foul.
Ben is a puppeteer for puppet ministry at his church, and if you aren’t too familiar, it is a more interactive way to teach younger audiences about the Bible. It can help connect with them in a totally different way than traditional teachings.
A fun thing to do while Ben is on the road for work is to find good restaurants with interesting foods. One thing that he found in Cedar Rapids, IA, called the Pony, is a giant sandwich that includes a large bun, meat, cheese, fries and gravy… all piled together (half is called the Horseshoe, which is all that Ben could stomach). Don’t you just love stuff like that? You have to have good food to make a fun road trip, right?
Ben said he has traveled all over the country and some into Canada to teach churches and non-profits more about Shelby’s software. He hosts an Arena training week in-house (in Memphis) about once a month and said he has made some great friends doing it. One week he had about 6 ladies in a class who joked around with him by sneaking out of the Training Room one day and blowing bubbles in class the next. He said things like that always make teaching more fun and it makes a week of learning a little easier for customers.
I asked Ben if he keeps in touch with a lot of people that he has met through training and he said that that is definitely one of his favorite things about his job. He told me about a trip that he and his family took recently to St. Louis, MO to see a customer that he had become good friends with. They went and saw a parade there, fully equipped with a four-story Schnuck’s shopping cart.
What fun things do you love about your job?