Thursday, June 23, 2011

Well, THAT'S not supposed to happen...

...was the mantra at work today. 
The day started with a group asking me "When does the Hospital open?" (meaning an exhibit) I was standing there, not in costume, but clearly carrying it with me, with a confused look on my face. I gave the best reply I could think of "Uh... All the exhibits open at 10..." Why one would open earlier than the others is beyond me.
I was in a cooking site today, making pinwheel cookies, which are basically chocolate and vanilla swirl cookies.

Like these. Credit
Anyways, you make them by making regular cookie dough, then halving it and adding melted chocolate to one half, then layering and rolling. (On a side note, I've FINALLY perfect the art of creaming butter for cookie dough without an electric beater. It involves a lot of elbow grease.) Note that you must melt the chocolate. I had a very nice saucepan that was entirely metal, but would work perfectly. I smartly covered my hands when touching the saucepan, and once it was melted, poured the chocolate on the dough and left it to talk for a minute or two.
This is where the trouble starts. I then put my hands in to mix the chocolate with the cookie dough, the chocolate still being boiling hot. I burned myself HARD on that damn chocolate. Right now, my pinky is still blistered. Anyways, I screamed and practically threw another interpreter out of my way in my attempt to get my finger in the pail of cold water in the corner (no taps, remember). Fortunately, this interpreter stayed in my site while I ran my finger under cold water for a bit. When I went looking for a band-aid, i discovered that my first aid kit was missing (a problem in and of itself) and didn't have one. I resorted to mixing with one hand (the chocolate had cooled) and holding the bowl with the other while my pinky was in cold water. Eventually some of the character interpreters (vignette actors) got me a band-aid, and things were generally well with my finger after that.
While I was dealing with my finger, a call went out on the radio (which the other interpreter happened to have since she was technically a tour guide today) to security that a dumpster was on fire near one of the houses. We're not talking a little smoke, this thing was in flames. No one's sure what happened, but we did call the fire department into the Park.
On less dangerous notes, there was a school group that was required to go to the Church and either sing or hear a song sung. Fortunately for my friend in the Church, they chose to sing. in perfect harmony. From memory. It was gorgeous.
I have a few school group stories that I'm planning on sharing, but that will have to wait for another day.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rain rain, go awa- Orrrr not.

It's been pouring buckets ever since I came home from Germany. Not fair. It's June. I'm supposed to be tanning after work, not finding more sweaters because I'm freezing. Plus, no one wants to walk around the Park with it's dirt (now mud) roads and wooden (read FUCKING DANGEROUS) boardwalks. It's just not fun. Especially for the women who for some reason decide that they are going to wear their nice dress and heels to walk around in all day. I will never understand that. I've seen them many times, and they're usually complaining about how their feet hurt. No shit Sherlock, you decided to wear heels to walk around some called Heritage PARK, which is not the same as a mall, ie NOT PAVED. I'm glad I wear ropers for work, although they cursed me today.
Note the above mention of our "fucking dangerous" boardwalks. I was walking back from my lunch break when out from under me go my feet. I landed hard on my right leg and couldn't get up for a minute or two. In pouring rain. While sitting on my ass on wet boardwalk. Not fun. Took almost the whole afternoon to get my skirt to dry out. Not that I was doing anything important. My shortbread cookies were done, and I had exactly two groups of 4 visit me in the 3 1/2 hours left in the day. I just sat around and played with my phone I MEAN read and knitted. Yeah.
I also worked at the Pharmacy this evening. Nothing of any terrible excitement happened, except that frontstore kept trying to send calls back to us after we'd closed. Apparently some guy yelled at one of the cashiers "I need my patches and you're supposed to be open until 10!!" Which is total bullshit, we've closed at 9 for the entire 2 years that I've been at the store. Too bad, so bad, we close at 9 and I don't pick up the phone after that. Once I explained that to frontstore, they stopped picking up the phone too. Lovely ladies tonight!
The same thing happened to me last week. A woman walked in at 5 minutes to 9, with a prescription for her son. He had a name that I knew meant trouble. His mother almost never actually comes into the pharmacy, she usually gets deliveries, which explains the next insanity. Anyways, she comes in with an Rx for an antibiotic and a medication that helps with bedwetting (called DDAVP)  for her son. Unfortunately, DDAVP is not a common one for us to fill, so we don't have any in stock, and I've already sent the order, so we'd have to FastPharm (urgent same-day delivery) it the next day. To a normal person, that would be acceptable, seeing as we're almost closed, but to this woman it's an utter outrage. How DARE we not have drugs in stock?! She's also apparently never heard of sending an order for medications (how they get to the pharmacy otherwise is beyond me) and can't believe that we close at 9. Clearly, she 
a) has not physically walked into the store in 2 years 
b) didn't read the big signs posted in 3 different places at the entrance noting that we close at 9 and
c) has never actually wondered where her prescriptions come from.
All of this culminated in me getting yelled at over something that was 80% her fault. She whined about having to move her prescription to another pharmacy, because apparently it HAD to be done that night. Look, your kid is 9. Yes it sucks that he still wets the bed, but at the same time, put up with it for one more night if you hate moving pharmacies so much. She also tried to argue with me about what time we closed. I pointed out that the phone is usually ringing off the hook, but is totally silent because it automatically gets rerouted to the answering system after 9pm. She argued that no one was calling at this hour.
And why would that be ma'am? "Because it's 9pm! Everyone's home and done their work and errands!" Ma'am, I'd like to be doing that right now too, seeing as we're closed.
She didn't liked that and stormed off to another pharmacy up the hill.
Was I a bit rude? Probably, but at the same time, she's preventing me from going home after having gotten up at 730am to help up around the house in the morning (my mom is recovering from surgery) then driven for half an hour across town to one job, worked for 7 hours, then driving back across town in rush hour traffic (took me over an hour to get to work that day) and then working on my feet for another three hours with bitchy customers, bitchy front store and a tired brain and body. So, goodbye, come back tomorrow, I don't feel like dealing with your shit anymore.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Historically Inaccurate Amusments

I doubt I've mentioned it here, but I freaking love my jobs. Right now especially working at the Park. It's school tour time, which means that we get an insane amount of schoolkids in for about 3 or 4 hours, then the Park is dead. (we open at 10, and most of the kids have to leave for school by 130-2) That means that you can have a nice relaxing afternoon, or if you're in the Settlement (an area separated from most of the Park) you can sit with everyone else outside your site waiting for people to come by. Yesterday I was working in the cooking site down there, Livingston House, and everyone managed to come to the house on break at the same time. Not planned, it just happened. Then my two supervisors (called Lead Hands) walked in at the same time and I had about 6 people sitting in the room, all laughing and joking and just enjoying each other's company. I absolutely adore days like that. They just make everything worthwhile, all the annoying questions from the kids, the kids who don't listen to what you tell them, the adults who have to pick every corner of your brain. Right now I have a couple of fantastic bosses, one who is just filling in and the other who is essentially training the other. They're both around my age, so we all get along.
We have one story from one of my cowokers who filled in as an LH last year about our scheduler who is about 180 years old and sometimes freaking insane. She told my friend to sit at the desk because she needed a "soda cracker break." I shit you not, that's exactly what she said. She takes soda cracker breaks and stares at the break board because someone apparently always does it wrong (even though all sites are covered!) So she eats her soda crackers and blinks rapidly while staring at the board, trying to figure out what's wrong with it. Of course, she changes it, and no one is there to see the changes she makes, but it makes her happy, and you have to keep the old people happy, right?
There will certainly be more Park stories to follow, I'm simply too tired to put up some of the better ones today.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Back to the Grind

(Double post today because the other one was a saved draft that I needed to edit.)
Yesterday was my first day back at work at both jobs. At the Park it was School Patrol Day, where all the school patrollers in Calgary get to have a day celebrating them. (School Patrollers are grade 5/6s who guard crosswalks and make sure kids can get home safely.) That means 7000 kids in the Park during the day... It is a rather painful experience. I was in a site called The Rectory, which was the home of the rector or minister of the Anglican Church in a town. I stood in the kitchen because I could put a chain up and keep some distance if I needed to from the kids. Well, I had one girl who told me my clothes were ugly (I wear a mint green floor-length skirt and a flower patterned blouse - rather nice actually!) and was chased out by her friends who told her how rude she was. 
I had another girl, closer to 11 or 12, ask me about washing dishes in 1910. I explained that we would wash them by collecting water, heating it on the stove and washing in basins. She replied "yeah and I know I just came from Dominican and the ladies were washing clothes in the river so I understand why they had rivers in the old days now." (Internal monologue: Ummm... What. The. What?!) External voice: "Um, we didn't build the rivers... They were there before."   The girl: "Really? Ohhh..." I was tempted to go into an explanation about why most cities exist on rivers but I think it would have just flown over her head. The chaperone in the room (not her mother, but someone else's mother) didn't actually know how to react, so she just walked away.
It was also my first day back at the pharmacy, and was a rather nice night. Things were slow and I didn't have and difficult patients. I had one understanding regular when I called her 3 times after getting the cost of her order wrong... Then I got into a discussion with my PM about pharmacy history and the practice in other countries. As I told my dad when I got home, only I could go to work at my pharmacy and come home with a book on history. My PM gave me a book called "A History of Pharmacy in Alberta" because I enjoy history of my work. It's actually quite dry and a poor historical reference, but it's interesting that someone took the time to do the work and put everything together. 

The Sequel - Returns!

I'm back from Germany! The trip was more than wonderful. I had a fantastic time, and I spent time with some great people. That being said, I had a falling out with a friend whose reactions I'm still confused by. Essentially, he whined that I wasn't treating him fairly (reasonable) because I treated him like he was younger. He's a year younger than me and has been living in Germany for 6 months and basically just did another year of high school. I've just finished 2 years of university. Um, duh, you are younger, and yes I am going to be more mature, that's the way growing up works. No matter who did what after our fight and subsequent separation, I just left him alone until I sent him a message about getting his banking info so I could transfer the money I owe him. The answer was reasonable, then he asked about the hostel I stayed in while I was in Hamburg. I had an awesome place in Hamburg and told him so. His reply? "Oh, well I found a couple places in St Pauli and one right off the Reeperbahn." Umm, okay, good for you? I"m not in Hamburg anymore. "I'm going to see other friends and family anyways." Uh... What? Why did you ask for my opinion, then just try and slam me? Remember when we had that conversation about maturity?
Onto more interesting topics, my hostel in Hamburg! I had initially booked for Friday and Sunday because there were NO places Saturday night. I paid extra and booked an all female dorm. On my arrival, I explained the situation and the guy checking me in explained that there had been a few cancellations, so I could stay all three nights in the same room! And for 5 Euros, I could have breakfast each morning. Good deal! So first night is pretty uneventful. I went to a party and got back at 3am... and somehow lost my key card. *facepalm* Fortunately, the front desk is staffed 24/7 and the guy was nice enough to let me into my room, but couldn't give me a card. I had to pay 5 Euro the next morning for a replacement, but I deserved it. The second night something changed in my room. Suddenly of the 8 beds in the room, I was the only one who stayed from the previous night and the other 7 were filled with teenagers within a year or two of my age (around 16-18 I'd say) and coed. Now, I don't mind coed dorms, but I paid for all-female. So, I head down to the desk, calmly explain the situation and was told that there had been a minor mix up, but to compensate for the extra I'd paid, they would give me free late checkout (until 1pm). I can't praise the staff enough for the kindness and understanding I was constantly shown. Now THAT is customer service. 
I enjoyed going over and seeing a lot of my family that I don't see very often. My brother is currently living in Berlin, and I hadn't seen him in about 6 months, and I missed him very much. I also rediscovered an adoration for Bavarian culture and German history. With any luck/motivation, I may begin doing historical posts similar to Dr. Grumpy. Seeing as the name of this blog is "Historically" I feel that I should do more historical posts.