Saturday, April 11, 2009

P&R 1.0

Unlike my little sister Keeley, most people don't get to experience having a reality show taped at their job. Let alone two jobs and two separate reality shows, seriously what are the odds? I will come back to that in a future post. The next best thing though to having a reality show taped at your job, is having a sitcom written about your job.

This Thursday was the premiere of Parks and Recreation on NBC. If for some odd reason you don't know, I happen to work in the Parks and Recreation field. Unfortunately the writers did not see the need to come asking us for our input on the show, but we have expressed many times in our office that someone should do a show about us. So, I have decided that each week after an episode of Parks and Recreation, I will do my own post about something exciting from the real front lines. (or at least when I have ideas)

On Wednesday I ventured over into Parks country. Little background. I work in the main office for the department, but we mostly handle the Recreation side of things. (I hate actually writing out Recreation instead of just Rec, but my boss told me that we all get a pay cut every time we just write Rec.) We have a pretty good relationship with the Parks side, but their offices are in another part of town, so we don't interact on a daily basis. However, whenever lots of man power is needed, they come to our rescue. So when we got an email forwarded saying that they needed all hands on deck I figured I would do my part to represent the Rec side (sorry Scott) .

Luckily Shellianne volunteered to join me, and boy did we have a fun time in store. The email had said that they needed help picking up rocks on the golf course driving range. Sounds exciting huh. When Shelli and I stared walking out to the range, the first thing we noticed was that everyone else was wearing gloves. Hmmm...should have thought of that. But it's just rocks we are picking up and I don't really like wearing gloves for things like that so we should be ok. One of the Parks guys came over and offered us some latex gloves. Well, we will look like dorks wearing blue plastic gloves while everyone else is wearing work gloves, but I'll put them in my pocket.

Little more background. 25 years ago they built the golf course partial on top of the old city dump. There were some areas, the driving range in particular, that had problems with the grass growing because there wasn't enough top soil over the land fill and the methane gas kills the grass.

There is a big project which is now on hold that will completely remodel and move portions of the golf course to accommodate a new shopping center. Boring political crap, but they had started the driving range, so needed to finish it. Part of the project was to bring in more top soil and raise up the level of the ground so that the grass would grow better. It is already working, but from what I heard digging in that area to put in new water lines was a pretty miserable job. When they would break into the ground you could physically see the methane gas leaving the ground, and I heard the smell was almost unbearable. Here is a picture of them digging one of the pipe lines.

Notice all the garbage in there? Yeah, 25 years doesn't really do much to garbage. So we line up across half of the range with a few mules and carts in front of us to throw the rocks in. We are going to walk up one side of the range, turn around and do the other side. So we start walking and they are yelling out, make sure you also pick up any garbage you see. Even though I had heard them talk about the garbage in the ground, I guess I didn't really put it together that some of that stuff got dug up during the construction, and made it's way to the surface.

Ok, time to put on the rubber gloves. It's kind of weird to see this brand new grass growing, and then random plastic bags growing up out of the ground also. Then we came to it. Tampon alley. Nicknamed that by the Parks crew because for some reason, in mostly one long strip, there is an overabundance of tampon applicators. I mean, one on the ground is really an overabundance, but this was ridiculous. Yeah there was lots of other random garbage, but it was all random. Plastic bag here, weird mesh strap here, piece of glass here, but nothing else had multiples except the tampon applicators. All pink plastic applicators. I picked up at least 20. Now how many people can say that about their jobs? Yes today I left the office for a break and spent an hour walking in the wind picking up rocks and tampon applicators.

I know this is TMI, but it did make me very glad that I personally use a brand that doesn't have applicators. And it did make me also feel really guilty about all the other plastic that I do throw away. I really wish recycling was easier to do around here. It's kind of disheartening to look at something that was thrown away at least 25 years ago, and it looks like it could have been dropped there yesterday.

My little bright spot of the day was when I went to pull up a piece of unknown plastic substance and out popped this piece of trash which had created a perfect little pot for grass, and one weed.

Sweet huh. I decided that this little gem needed to become my newest desk accessory. Bring a little green into my space. It's my new office buddy, I just need to think of a good name for him. About an hour after our exciting turn in the Parks field, we went and provided a "rest stop" for about 60 employees from Provo City and NuSkin who were participating in a walk for national start walking day or some crap like that. We had a very exciting team building activity which 6 people participated in, and passed out a walking scavenger hunt for people to fill out on the way back. Shelli and I put our heart and soul into creating that scavenger hunt. And I don't care what you say Mr. NuSkin employee, there is only one house with a tree house along that stretch of road. Being able to see a tree house through the block on another street is not "on Center Street" is it?

So that was just a glimpse of a few hours into the exciting world that is Parks and Recreation. I know, I know, sadly we currently are not hiring, but stay tuned, excitement is always just around the corner.


Britta said...

One of the things I love about Harrisburg is that they recycle. It makes me feel all warm and cozy looking at how much stuff we don't throw into the trash.

And what was that about a new shopping center? What could they possible put into East Bay that isn't already there?!

Kari said...

Uh, hello, you should know what is missing. Target!

Britta said...

I thought Target was going to Springville? I forget how awful life was when I had to drive 25 min to get to a Target - now that I have 2 within about 6 miles.

Andrea said...

Wow, I can honestly say that after the tampon story, I'm pretty happy that I don't work with you anymore. But I love the new desk accessory!

Shelbot said...

LOL. Such good times.

Tracie Bramhall said...

Now you are making me miss my job - stop it! I really miss the Parks guys making me laugh and doing the most random jobs. I wouldn't say picking up tampoons is causing me to miss my job but hey you got a good story out of it.

Maren said...

Uh...what is that little flower pot?? Have you identified what it used to be? Just curious.