Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Crisis Averted

Oh, today at work was a busy one. We had 8 people behind the counter. It started as soon as we opened the doors and kept up heavy until around 1 PM. I had a lady with a school group with 53 kids looking for their 10 o'clock tour at 10:15 am. She didn't know the name of the company that she had booked it with .She just had a woman's name and a phone number. I called the company that I thought had booked the tour, they didn't have her. So , I went out to talk with the other tour guide that it could possibly be with. He recognized the name & number that the woman had but he didn't have a school group booked.
The lady started to hyperventilate. She was insistant that she had indeed booked the tour-even though she didn't know the name of the company that she had booked it with. She was really upset and I thought she was going to cry . I assured her that this happens from time to time and not to worry , we would work something out. She just shouldn't let the kids see her get upset. They have no way of knowing something is wrong, they can just amuse themselves until this gets resolved. I was worried I might have to run a tour, and I am not prepared to do that.
The guy who works for the company that she thought she had booked it with started making phone calls. He had no one on staff to come in. So, rather than disappoint the kids, he called his rival tour company and they sent somebody over. In the meantime, I'm talking to the ladies' sister who is lost down near the Aquarium. She can't seem to get into , or stay , in the left lane to get to where we are, where her sister and niece are. I know driving is tough in Boston , but she's from New Hampshire, a left hand turn is still just a left hand turn. I'm talking her in to where we are. Then ,when she finally gets to the Common, she needs to know where to park. It's a right and a right from where we are. I tell her this information 4 times. She does not believe me. After getting her unlost, she still doesn't trust me. I'm from Boston after all and inherently evil.
One of the chaperones who has witnessed my extraordinary feat of customer service comes into the center and says "I saw what you did. This is for you . After all that , she didn't even say thank you !" and she handed me a $10.00 tip. Honestly, I didn't do it for the tip. The lady and her sister were in crisis mode and I knew I could get them through this .
It's amazing the little dramas that unfold all around us. My manager wondered where I was, but she knew I was helping a customer. It was a crazy day.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Life Is A Parade

I don't know if you've heard, but the Boston Celtics, my hometown major league basketball team won the championship . They had a "rolling rally" here in Boston. It's really a parade without the marching bands. A Sea of green, like St. Patrick's Day, but without the gay controversies. And , it just so happens, said rolling rally rolled right by my job. We closed for a couple of hours because we are not big enough to accomodate the plumbing needs of the thousands of young drunkards innundating our little tourist center. There were 20 porta-johns right next to our building. They could spew their puke in there. No , it's not pretty but neither is our little place of business awash in 2 inches of puke mixed with urine seasoned to taste with feces. No sir-ree, you can use the out houses, until the time is right.
My co-workers went out into the multitudes while I held down the fort inside. I opened a window and stood on a bench to watch the Celts go by. I made a couple of calls . I answered the phone. The weekend manager called in to check the progress of the the rally, because I assume he was trying to get to Copley Square before the team did. My big boss called wanting to know how things were going and a co-worker called to say she could see me at the window of the center on tv, where she was watching the festivities from home.
There were thousands of people out there. There was a SWAT Team truck set up near the street . There were cops on horses, bicycles and feet. There were Transit cops, Boston Police and Rangers. There were even a couple of Inspectional Services Cops on duty. There were tons of kids dressed in varying shades of green. Even the historical guides were wearing green and trying to conduct their tours. Pretty difficult , because you couldn't cross the street for a couple of hours. I never really thought about how most of the Freedom Trail is actually across the street . . .
It was very energetic and , fortunately , not too dangerous. Every one seemed to be on the same page, celebrating wise. We had a few tourists who had no idea what was going on and couldn't quite get their heads around the need for a parade for a basketball team. Some of them were pissed, but most were pretty good-natured about the whole thing.
There was a time , long time ago , when giants walked the earth. When guys named Bird, McCale, Chief and DJ showed the world how it was done. That 's the time in my life when I used to go to basketball games and followed what was going on . I was peripherally aware of this season's team. I knew that "Big Baby" was making a big difference to the Celts. Yes , I watched some of the final games , and I was pretty proud and impressed by the play.
I was at the last parade they had for the Celtics. I went with my friend Susan who was a really big fan. I even have pictures somewhere. Ohhh, it was long ago and so many pounds before this . .

Monday, June 16, 2008

Feeling Normal

Well , I feel like I'm getting closer to normal. I've almost repaid my sleep deficit. I went right home after work on Saturday and Sunday. My laundry is done. I've puttered. I could putter some more. Yesterday, it rained pretty hard until noontime and then it was overcast for the rest of the day. It's overcast today, but it the temperature is cool. Great sleeping weather. Honestly, I could go back to bed and sleep the rest of the day and not feel guilty at all. However, I have work to do.
Yesterday, I was pretty grumpy for the first part of the day. People being late drives me crazy. When we opened , it was just me and the weekend manager. He's pretty laid -back but it drives me crazy that week after week the same people are late just about the same time from week to week. There seems to be no interest in changing behaviour. I don't mind being the first in , but I can't open the center if there isn't someone else there. I think I'm just exhausted and I don't have enough "quiet time". That lack translates into cranky , crazy , lady. I need to get some stuff done, but the fatigue slows me down.
I'm ranting. I'm really pretty happy . I'm paying my bills, I've got clean clothes. I've got people who love me who I love . Can't complain. . . . . but that doesn't stop me !!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hard-Working "Actress"

So , I worked on the film starring Bruce Willis and Ving Rhames for the last 2 days. I am really tired and I have gone from exhausted , past second wind into slightly delireous/ possibly crazy. . . . No way do I want to get into bed. I'm gonna wander around the house and get nothing done, molest the cat and probably curl up into a ball and start crying & rocking for no reason in the corner of the dining room. I should get into bed, but I won't! I don't know why.
SO . ... yesterday , my call time was 5:30AM. Yeah. 5:30. A.M. I had to get up at 3:30 in order to leave by 4:30 to arrive on time. They were going alphabetically . There were poor souls who had to get there earlier than me ! There were about 300 of us. Most of us had a costume fitting last week and then , when we got there yesterday,they said there had been a change of plans and they needed different outfits. Fortunately for me, I had added a t-shirt under the jacket they had selected and I automatically brought extra shoes and a pair of socks. They gave me a crocheted vest and I was good to go . I had a lovely breakfast of 2 eggs over easy, bacon and wheat toast. My buddy Steve was there and a woman I have hung out with on movie sets before named Maureen. The 3 of us hung out most of the day. We didn't actually get onto to set until around 12:30 and then we broke for lunch.
Then , after lunch , we got a little more action , but really, we were just standing around all day. We got to see both lead actors, from a distance, but they were there. I got to hang out a bit with a comic named Chris Oake. He's always great to hang out with because he always has something funny to say about what we're witnessing. By the time I got to hanging out with Chris, my eye had started to run. It was killing me and it looked like I had snot goming out of that eye. It was so painful. It was allergies and I was not the only one to have that reaction. They wrapped us for the evening at 8PM. I gave a friend a ride to Cambridge, we got stuck behind an accident in the tunnel and I didn't get home until 9:30PM. I was tired and in pain and I couldn't go to bed until I checked my email to get my call time for today. I missed a great party at the Comedy Studio last night, but I was really in pain.
My call time for today was 7:30 AM. Not so bad. Getting up at 5:30 felt like I was sleeping in !I wore the other outfit they had selected at my fitting. I brought yesterday's outfit as well, just in case. I had a breakfast sandwich for my "Non-Deductible Breakfast". Today, there were only 52 of us. Much more manageable. The atmosphere was a lot different , too. Much more laid-back. Of course, today, we went right to set and they started using us right away. We were pretty active right up until lunch. My eyes were much more cooperative today.
I had been applying suncreen liberally all day. Of course, I forgot to apply any to my neck today. Don't know why I did it yesterday and not today, but I didn't. It's not such a good idea to get your neck sunburned at my age , but that 's what happened. We weren't used that much in the afternoon. Our holding area was a bus, they are air conditioned for our comfort but I found my bus to be very cold so, I got off the bus, and I sat on a chair in the shade. People are atrange. I was sitting by myself and before I knew it , there were 3 20 somethings hanging around me . It's like they figured I was the only person they hadn't talked with and it was now my turn. I was a little awed by how smart they were, MIT types, seriously , the girl had a degree in mechanical engineering. But ,of course, it devolved into a conversation about prematurely gray haired people , in depth and not very interesting and the Red Hat society. Don't know why they chose those topics, but , there you have it. It wasn't unpleasant, but it felt wierd. On a movie set , you can't get away from those kind of people.
They wrapped us at 7. Not such a bad day. I got home a little after 8. And . .. here I am . . . not sleeping.
I'm glad I was able to work on the film. Even just as a background performer, I love working on a movie and seeing how things get done (and , also, how some things don't get done ! ). Okay, now Im ready to lay down. Sleeping until 7 tomorrow morning is going to feel terribly decadent !

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A Planned Day Off

Since I worked last week, and gave up the Memorial Day Holiday to work in a parking lot in Walpole, my boss let me take today off. You know what I did ? Nothing- a load of laundry , read some magazines , napped , watched a little tv, but , basically , nothing. I didn't even shower. I may brush my teeth. I'm thinking about going downstairs and having that diet Mountain Dew I've had chilling in the fridge. But , nothing and it feels wonderful ! I don't feel guilty or anything.I never have a day off. Unfortunately , when I do have a day off, I don't want to do anything. I toyed with the idea of going for a walk , but decided against it.
Last weekend , I worked an event at the last minute . There was a major collegiate sporting event happening and I was stationed in a parking lot making sure everybody found their way to the shuttle buses. Even though I was sitting in my car most of the day, I got sun burned on my neck and one side of my face.
I went down to Marshfield and did stand-up on Thursday. Since it's usually the same cast of characters,it's a good place to do new material. I forgot most of it. It probably wasn't the best use of my time and gas. I'm glad I went but I really need to focus. Ah well . . .