It is strange…

 

It’s strange….. Jul 8, ’09 6:45 PM
for Mel ‘s network

….. to have co-workers again.

After being out of the workforce for nine years (omg!) except for brief stints in other volunteer organizations where I have had very few co-workers, it is very weird for me to work with 20 or more people every Saturday.

I wish you could join me for lunch break…. where my co-workers discuss their mommies and riding the bus to school when they were in middle school.  Two weeks ago, for the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, I found myself uttering the words, I graduated from high school the year you were born.  *gasp!  I am old.  I cope by sometimes napping through our lunch breaks, because old people nap a lot.

There are a few, ummmmm, unique people that I work with.  I try VERY hard to be patient with everyone.  Seeing as most of them are half my age, I try to imagine I am the Dumbledore to their Harry Potter, the Papa Smurf to their, errrrrr, younger smurf-ness.  But, ummm, it doesn’t work too well sometimes.

Take for example Kelsey.  She says things to me like, “If you need me I will be communing with my brethren…… the goats.”   Or, prefaces a sentence with “heavens to murgatroid!”  Errrrrrrrrrrrrr.  I am not so good at hiding my horror, so her little nuggets of info have become fewer, but she still provides me with at least one phrase per week that makes me want to poke her in the eye.

Then there is Lauren.  There are two Laurens that work with me, I call them Lauren and Angry Lauren.  Yes, to her face, I call her Angry Lauren.  She doesn’t like it much, but I do it anyway.  Angry Lauren doesn’t really like chickens, or pigs, or rabbits or ummmm… basically most farm animals.  She hates to be in the cow barn because she thinks it is mean how they are clipped into their stalls.  (Pretty much the only reason they are is because some of them are greedy and would walk around trying to steal food from other cows before eating their own.)  Every pen at the zoo is too small for her.  She hates half of the goats.  She doesn’t really like the horse and bull either…. the bull’s stall is too tiny and the horses are boring.  Last week she wore Christmas elf socks with neon pink tennis shoes.  She says things to me like, “chickens are stupid.”  I’ve never seen her smile.  She is a little ray of sunshine.  I am convinced before the summer is over she is going to sneak into the zoo and set all the animals free.

Next there is Fahran.  He drives the tractor ride, it transports zoo visitors from the grain elevator to the farm (it is about a 5 minute walk, so the ride is more for fun than anything)  He is Indian, and speaks with a thick accent, and also?  He sucks at driving a tractor.  The tractor stops in a kind of tunnel, the sort of carport thingey trucks would drive into to unload their grain.  Multiple times a day he scrapes the SH*T out of the tractor’s wagons going in and out of the tunnel and scares the sweet screaming begeezus out of scores of people.  He also doesn’t do stopping very well.  About 50% of the time he shakes and vibrates the hells out of the tractor whilst stopping.  I try to warn people to NOT STAND when riding Fahran’s tractor ride.  Kids don’t really like the car crash version of stopping.  As the tractor ride pulls away and the sound of metal scraping metal fills the air, I find myself mouthing, it’s going to be OK! to the innocent souls in the wagons.  I don’t think they believe me.  I see a lot of Fahran’s passengers WALK back from the farm, bless their hearts.

Then there is Stephanie.  She is 19 and LOVES Nancy Drew.  Like, in a totally NOT HEALTHY, stalker like obsession, social suicide kind of way.  Weekly she tries to convince me that I NEED to get a Nancy Drew computer game, even when I tell her I would rather stick a hot poker into my ear, she keeps trying to convince me.  Apparently they are “awesome!”  Nancy Drew just dropped her newest computer game a week or so ago.  Steph stayed up until midnight to purchase it online, when she couldn’t purchase it online she called the helpline where they helped her complete her purchase.  They also informed her she was the FIRST person to buy the game!  She couldn’t believe her luck!  She was all, WHAT ARE THE ODDS THAT I WAS THE FIRST PERSON?!?!?!?  I tried leaving it at, actually?  The odds are pretty good!  But she kept going on and on and ONNNNNNNNN and in a moment of weakness, I said, ummmmm…. Steph?  Did it ever occur to you that you were the first person because NO. ONE. ELSE. WANTS. THE. NEW. NANCY. DREW. COMPUTER. GAME?????  

This had not occurred to her.

I will pause briefly while you cry for her.

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Also?  She sneaks up to the break room MULTIPLE times a day to call her mom and tell her that she misses her.  Not just one time either, it’s two, three, or five times that she says it.  It’s like as soon as her mom drops her off at the zoo, she wants to go home again.  I think she just wants to play that new Nancy Drew computer game.

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