What’s on YOUR bucket list?

August 25, 2017

I have no idea why “work at the state fair” was on my bucket list.  Who makes a bucket list like this?  Do I even understand what a bucket list is?  But it was definitely on the list, and now it’s checked off because I worked there today, Day 1 of 12.  And it was awesome.

72 degrees and sunny…breezy…beautiful, but even if it was raining and miserable it didn’t matter because I was inside an air conditioned booth.  I sat with a group of other friendly employees who were happy to be there, and we had our own pot of pretty decent coffee.  I am not sure how I scored such a great assignment, but I did my part too.  My shift started at 7:00 a.m. so I left home promptly at 5:50 for my 20 minute commute.  I drove up to the employee parking lot with my ID in hand, which got me a smile and a “that a girl” from the parking attendant.  Off to a good start.

I met JC on the employee shuttle.  She works at the lost kid building, and has done so for many years.  She was lovely.  She is just who I would want to talk to if I was a lost kid or if I lost my own kid.  Thank God for JC.

I found my way to the booth easily, mainly because I was dropped off right in front of it.  This works well with my inability to find things.  I went through the computer and ticket training and 45 seconds later, I was “ready” for my first customer.  Chris, Sarah, Xang and I became friends quickly and I plan to sit with them again next year.

There it is.  Now picture it with people lined all the way back.

Since filling out the online application in June, I have been mentally preparing myself for the “bee situation” because I am nervous around bees.  Or–frantic may be the word I’m looking for.  Whatever it is that makes you run away from them, frantically.  So I have been practicing NOT running away from them all summer but it didn’t even matter because I work INSIDE AN AIR CONDITIONED BOOTH WITH COFFEE!!!

Break time led to some decision-making:  mini donuts?  Cookies?  Cheese curds?  What should I eat first?  It’s all right there!  All the delicious fair food!  Maybe this is why a 12-day job at the fair was on my bucket list.  (I chose mini donuts today.  Perhaps cookies tomorrow.)

At the end of my shift, I walked outside and 5 minutes later I saw my best friend from 9th grade across the courtyard, the one who nurtured my love for the fair.  There she was, and I literally RAN over to her, which was big because I don’t run anymore.  If I could’ve picked any one person to run into today, I would’ve picked her.

After work, I texted with a couple friends who wondered if I was going through phone withdrawal.  “I’m done!” I said.  “1:20 is the new 2:30, plus I get paid until 2:30!”  Wow, do you get breaks?  Well…yes…I got breaks….more than one…and I left early.  Hmmm….let’s not forget what a big deal this is–I have 2 jobs and I overcame anxiety to show up for Day 1…for my 5 hour and 10 minute shift.

Some observations:

  • I’m confident I’m going back tomorrow for Day 2.  While some people may assume this goes without saying, there are others who would not be shocked if it was Day 1 and done.  Also, I may even go back for Year 2, especially if a year is enough time to forget how I will feel on Day 12.
  • 12 days is actually a lot of days, especially when they’re all in a row.
  • State Fair energy is amazing.  There is so much happiness packed into a small space, it is hard to match the experience.  Yes, it also means there are so many people packed into a small space, but many of them are delightful.
  • The food.  I love the food.

If you come to the fair, I hope I run into you too!  Arrive early….bring a lot of money….and enjoy your day at the Fair!


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  1. Such a great piece! And, how great ypu could overcome fear and anxiety (good inspiration for me) to do something which turned out to be rewarding. Happy MN Gettogether, 2017!

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