March 24, 2013

When You Can't Crack the Nuts, You Walk Away

When I was in 9th grade, we all had to take a test on our interests. We had to answer a series of questions, wait six weeks, and we were to receive results into what we might want to do with our lives.

One question stood out in particular. "Do you want to work with people" struck me hard and I quickly blacked the 'NO' circle with my sharpened number 2 pencil.

My interpretation of the question, was different from the meaning. I thought they meant 'do you want to work with the general public' of which I knew even at that age, I did not, but what they really meant was truly, 'do you want to work with people'.

So when I got the results, I got 'meat cutter', the most isolated job you can probably conjure up.

Whereas I like my steaks just freshly having quit kicking, cutting meat all day, isolated, in a cold room, was not something I had in mind. I suspect my analytical acumen was probably discounted by my also having to circle an F for female back in the late 70s.

I suspect.

Anyway, all I meant was I didn't want to work with the general public, something continually hammered home to me as I waited tables through college.

Don't get me wrong. I CAN do it. I just don't like to do it. My profession was perfect. I don't work with the general public, yet I work with people.

A buddy of mine from company X used to call it 'the womb'. We only worked with people of certain thought processes and of a certain intellect. And I'm not trying to be snobby... we just worked with like minded people. From mechanics, to secretaries, to assistants, to engineers, to senior management... we were in varying degrees, cut from the same cloth. Nobody worked on projects we worked on without already having fit some sort of mold to succeed... we're organized linear thinkers.

We laugh, but in reality, there isn't always a lot of emotion. Certain people gravitate to aerospace and certain people don't.

So it is always a wake up call for any of us when we have to work with the general public. It is a bit of a joke amongst us. We're a boring lot. We're mostly all in stable relationships, we have 2.5 kids, houses and probably a dog. Mostly we don't have any vices.

We're too boring for that.

But we laugh.

Usually at the messes we find ourselves in when we do find ourselves with the general public and struggle to assimilate.

We are often spectators.

Data gatherers.

Why this odd post? I have volunteered to assist in planning next year's band trip. I understand the nuances now. I know what bus company must be used, how bus drivers get comp'd at restaurants, permits need to be pulled for the buses in cities like Charleston (that was a crazy funny story), rest stops need to be planned for (most kids need to stop every couple hours), and so on.

I did a GREAT job planning this trip. The meals were good, the tours were fun, the bus drivers spectacular (that was an fortuitous accident), the hotel was spot on, and it went smoothly.

But this is the second year that I've gone and the second year I've had to contend with someone who needs to be medicated and is not. Last year it was an emotionally disturbed transvestite bus driver and her whacked out Jersey Mafia side kick.

This year it was a teacher that is absolutely bat sh-- crazy. I'm not going to post what happened, because even putting it out here violates my blogging, 'do no harm', credo.

But suffice it to say, I'm stunned by what occurred. I reported it to the proper channels and am now extricating myself from ever being in that type of situation again.

I can handle emotion. I can't handle inexplicable non-linear explosions.

I will help plan it. I will not attend. I cannot put myself in a situation again where I am stuck with someone like that in my space for a prolonged period of time.

So I will help plan. I will not go.

More on the trip later.

I'm still digesting all that occurred.

But... the trip really was fantastic. I need to go back to Charleston. There is so much to see and do. It may be my favorite city.

Posted by Boudicca at March 24, 2013 03:23 PM

I was just telling my husband we need to take a trip to Charleston sometime soon. I hear excellent things about that city. Glad you liked that part of the trip.

You're a better person than I am, I wouldn't want to plan or take part in a trip like that... I really am not that kind of people person.

Posted by: Teresa at March 24, 2013 03:58 PM

You should have thrown her under the bus.

Posted by: Angus of Jura at March 24, 2013 06:30 PM

Teresa- I spent a lot of time there in the early 90s. It's a great great town. Let me know if you go. I have some recommendations to add to any others you receive. Anyone who has been, will have favorites. It's that kind of place.

I'm not that kind of people person, either. Logistics I can handle. But there are too many variables with humans and that's not my strong suit.

Dad- Tempting... oh so very tempting. And I was in good with the bus drivers. I bet I could have gotten them to run over her and then back up...

Posted by: Bou at March 24, 2013 07:37 PM

If we ever get our boat, you know where you can spend a quiet sunset when you come to Chucktown!

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at March 24, 2013 08:14 PM

I cannot wait to hear about this... want to have breakfast this week or next?

Posted by: vwbug at March 25, 2013 05:55 AM

You have issues working with the "public"?

Check out .

Its mostly regular retail and claims service stories.

Posted by: The Thomas at March 25, 2013 09:51 AM

You have issues working with the "public"?

Check out not always right dot com.

Its mostly regular retail and claims service stories.

Posted by: The Thomas at March 25, 2013 09:51 AM

Agreed on It has a great sister site called too. There's a reason I love working with snakes at the zoo. They don't do the crazy crap humans do, are neater, quieter and are often much better company. As for meat cutters? It's the best job in our store. Nice cool room, good workers to talk with, better pay than elsewhere in the store, and you don't have to listen to overloud PA systems, sqwaky radios and screaming rugrats.

Posted by: George P at March 25, 2013 10:20 AM