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.
- 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!