Category Archives: tourism

Are You For REAL?

Previously, living in Juneau, Alaska….my daily commutes to work were 15 minutes and literally….wait….let me count them….TEN lights.  Total miles traveled about 13.    And when I talk about the lights, we never use street names to identify the intersections.  We have the following:

Super Bear

McDonalds

Vanderbuilt

Hospital

Main Street

And my personal favorite, “You know the one by that weird overpass that was built for pedestrians, that nobody ever used and then that truck ran into….THAT light.”

I loved living in Alaska.  We just knew what we were talking about.

I’m thinking in Miami……

the people….

they have no common sense.

Honestly, I don’t mean to be mean and evil  I’m just making an observation.  As a newcomer.  What leads me to this conclusion?  Wait for it….

A few weeks ago a co-worker emailed me and said, “OMG I have something for your blog.”  I couldn’t wait to hear what the story was going to spill into my little fuzzy brain.

Imagine this.

You work for a giant corporation.  It’s a corporation that is an industry trendsetter – always steps ahead of the competition.  People WANT to work here.  Luckily as a manager, you have a position that has just come open and need to start interviewing.

Thus begins the process.  You line up the candidates and begin.

Now serving NUMBER ONE!

On day two you are running through the line up of interviews and begin the first phone interview of the day.

All goes well.  You’re feeling confident.  Soon you will have a new employee.  SWEET!

You dial up your next candidate.

Pleasantries are exchanged and the small talk comes to an end.  Time to get into the nitty gritty.  Anxiously, you begin to mow through your list of questions:

  • What is your background in analyzing the efficiency of 400 count Egyptian sheets compared to 743 count Grecian sheets?
  • Can you describe a time when you faced a monetary discrepancy between how many peanuts an elephant consumed in a week and the total number of fishnet pantyhose a Fright Night Corpse Bride went through in a Halloween weekend?
  • In your opinion,  do blondes really have more fun than brunettes?
  • Tell me about a time when you knew you had to argue your point to support the idea of Marco Polo not being as desirable as Fabio on the cover of instructional books on how to steam up the laundry room.

The interview is going exceptionally well.  The candidate’s answers are spot on.  You’re excited.  The candidate is excited.  THEN  you ask, “Why do you want to work with us?”

Watch out!  Open the flood gates.  Stand back!  The energy combined with bright sunlight and rays of happiness are literally blinding.  You think little blue birds are circling your head while whistling tunes of euphoria. These are signals of the candidate’s obvious perfection for being the right person for the job.

They launch themselves into the future with the appropriate answers, as if they were shot out of a cannon.  Except, this one was launched, sadly…without a crash helmet.

Oh how they go on about the grandiose wonderfulness of the company.  A leader of the industry.  Exploring areas even Mister Rogers didn’t venture into or Sesame Street for that matter.  Climbing mountains in leaps and bounds.  Success beyond the banks of Donald Trump.

It was as plain as plain yogurt.

This individual knew they were destined for greatness.

Destined to work for this cruise line.

The other thing that made the stars align, much like the first walk on the moon or when Elvis learned about his jaw dropping hip thrust (young Elvis – mind you) was the cruise line was so close to the candidate’s house.

“It’s perfect.  I live just a five minute drive from 87th Avenue.  I could walk to the corporate offices!”

Excuse me?  What?  Can you repeat what you just said?

“Certainly!  I live so close to your corporate offices, I can walk to them each day, which is ideal!  I’ll never be late.”

Right.  Okay.  And that address again was what?

“Well, I live just two blocks over from 87th, which is where your main office is located.  I mean, I totally expect I will be working in the corporate office.”

Note:  It’s okay.  Take a deep breath.  All together now.  Inhale deeply into the pit of your stomach and exhale very slowly.  Now.  Don’t you feel better?

Why?  Well, let’s continue the story….

After you calmly pick your head up off the keyboard and pry the “escape” button out of your third eyeball, you very calmly…..however with a slight edge in the tone of your voice…. no doubt from the grinding of your wooden teeth.  (You and GW go way back.)  You advise this nearly ideal candidate of their fatal flaw:

“Wow!  Great news that office is so close to you.  Our offices are actually located in the Port of Miami.  Specifically on Caribbean Drive.  The address you are referring to, is our competition.  That’s Carnival’s corporate office.”

Silence.

Please cue the cricket chorus.

Encore of the cricket chorus.

Lighters out to encourage yet ANOTHER encore of the cricket chorus.

As you pick your right eye tooth up off the floor you calmly advise the candidate, the interview they just completed was for Royal Caribbean Cruises NOT Carnival.

Have a good day.  Thanks for playing.

P.S.

No, you did not get the job.  Are you kidding me?

 

 

 

 

 

Pissing Me Off

I am having one of those days.

I’m pissed off at nothing and everything.

For now, just stay out of my way.

Please.

Which gives me good motivation to write about things that piss me off, no matter if I’m having a good day or not.  For some, fingernails going down a black board can send you to insanity.  That doesn’t bother me, but this does…..I started to pull together thoughts for this blog yesterday when we were at Home Depot.

I needed to purchase a new toilet seat and wanted to get in and out of the store.  Heading in I start towards the bathroom fixture area.  Down the aisle I go and I hear following me:

smack

smack

smack

smack.

I turn my head just enough to get a good peripheral look at the target.  Just shoot me. If you don’t know how to properly wear your shoes, I suggest duct taping them on.  (Can you get any lazier? Only if paired with your pajama pants.)  We’re in Home Depot, they have an entire aisle devoted to adhesives, certainly I could find something to help keep your damn shoes on your feet.

Smack.

Smack.

Smack.

Smack.

They were slip on shoes, worn like fucking flip flops.  If I don’t get away from you, I am going to beat you with your shoe.  She was walking around like some dazed and confused twenty something….wondering where the designer jean aisle was located.   Wrong store, you have to go to Seattle to find that aisle.  In the meanwhile she was dazzled by all the chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and certainly wondering to herself where the DJ was located.

Needless to say I hurried along, leaving my better half behind.  I don’t have time for this today.  Which leads me to when men don’t tie their hiking boots.  A completely different sound:

clomp

clomp

clomp

clomp.

Note: If you’re wearing the hiking boots for ankle support you are missing the mark.  In high school it may have been cool to wear those yellow construction boots with the laces undone, but that was the past.

Hey!

Welcome to the present!

You are impressing nobody but yourself.

The other thing that does me in every time I hear it are the shufflers.  You know what I’m talking about.  At least the smackers and clompers are some what picking up their feet.  Although, as history has proven, this is not always the case.  The shufflers aren’t doing anything but just that…shuffling.  Dragging their feet across the ground.

Oh, they’re so heavy, these feet of mine.

If you can’t keep the flip flops or slip on shoes on your feet and walk like a proper homo-sapien, I suggest you purchase different shoes.  Let me guess, when they showed you how to tie shoes in kindergarten you were out sick….well guess what?  Velcro.  Buy shoes with Velcro straps and do us all a favor.

The only thing worse than a flip flop shuffler is one wearing those idiotic Nike flip flops that look like shower shoes while wearing socks.  It’s snowing outside, invest in some boots or sneakers (with Velcro).  If it’s summer and you’re wearing socks with your flip flops, then I suggest you go see your doctor as it’s obvious you have a circulation issue in your extremities.

If there was any way for feet to look stupid….all of the above would be it.

After Home Depot, I had to exchange some glue at JoAnn’s Fabric.  One cashier working and about six people in line.  Sigh.  Another cashier comes up and says she can help the next person in line at the register to the left.

Done.

A third cashier comes up and walks up to me and says she can assist the next person (that would be ME) at the register to the right. Wouldn’t you know it the woman behind me thought she meant HER?!

Okay, I admit it…. I am short.  On a good day, I can stretch out to a 5’2.  Don’t think my height disadvantage means you are going to walk on me.  I will hip check you into the magazine rack.  Not to mention my sharp, pointy elbows can be weapons.  When necessary, I will bite your ankles, no doubt about it.

I immediately blocked Ms. I’m Next with my full featherweight division self and proceeded to exchange my glue.

Ms. I’m Next is a gum chewer.

Like a cow chewing it’s cud.

Or Mrs. Pickles licking her coochie.

It’s still there and I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself.  Keep it to yourself.  I am not a willing participant.  Christ.

Chew with your mouth closed.  I don’t care what you’re eating.  Nor do I need to see it.  My better half chews gum like he’s a lion with peanut butter stuck to the roof of his mouth.  Every time he starts I look at him and say the same thing:

“You’re killing me with the gum.”

Needless to say he knows to get rid of it.  Immediately.

Smart boy.

Last, but not least,  one thing that has baffled me for years….

My office has been in a building with public restroom on the same floor as our office.  It’s a restroom that quite a few tourists visit during the summer season.  The women’s room has three stalls.

I can understand if you have had to pee so bad your back teeth are floating.  When you finally hit the pot you let out a “whhhhewwwww.”  What a relief.  A near miss of an accident.  I’ve been there myself.  With a bladder the size of a lima bean, you can’t help but have to visit the Water Closet on a regular basis.  So I completely understand that concept.

What kills me is the obvious problem women are having with pulling pants up or down, tearing off toilet paper, wiping butts and putting on coats.  The sounds associated with those activities are unbelievable.  You would think they’re at the gym and told to do ten sets of leg presses with 200 pound weights.  Or they just missed seeing a baby in a stroller go by on the sidewalk.  Better yet they were told to hold their breath for as long as they could and it’s now coming out like a burst balloon.

You get a woman in each of those stalls and it’s like a 3 part harmony.  Good grief.

Once the summer season returns, I don’t even bother with the restroom on our floor, I go up one flight of stairs and use that one.  Not only is it quiet but thankfully…there’s never a paper towel stuck to the door handle, water left running in the sink or trash on the floor.

People, you’re exhausting me.  I think this could be a form of torture.

With that being said, I need to return the toilet seat to Home Depot – heaven help the poor soul who has to assist me.  Just let me do the exchange and be on my way.  After that, I’m stopping at Costco.  If I want two of those cheese samples today, you best just hand them over lady.

Trust me.

Back away from the cheese samples…and nobody will get hurt.

It’s Either This or That.

Most people, on their days off, prefer to escape and relax by enjoying the outdoors, shopping, being creative, cheering on their favorite sports team or who knows what.  It offers a break from reality and a chance to let go and be yourself.

If you want to dress up like a Storm Trooper and pretend your fighting the Empire – knock yourself out.

If you want to dress up like a Forest Fairy and save the dying Elm Trees – have at it.

If you want to pretend you are the next James Bond, looking for the drop at your local Starbucks – why not.

I, however, enjoy something completely different.  On Wednesdays this summer, instead of doing the obligatory household chores and warding off the evil empire of dust bunnies…I chose to work at Tracy’s King Crab Shack in Juneau, Alaska.

Located right on the docks, next to the parking garage and library…Tracy’s little crab shack  services thousands from May thru September.  Having known Tracy for years, I thought it would be fun to work one day a week for her.  I wasn’t wrong.  This is my second year as the beer wench…..and I love it!

There are two shacks….I’m in shack one.  I’ll take your order, your money and provide your beverages…beer, wine or soda.  Shack two cooks up your crab and brings it out to you.

 

How do I describe Alaskan King Crab?  Nom, nom, nom…..that pretty much covers it.

What’s on the menu?  King crab of course!  Her award winning crab bisque….

Yes, I did say award winning.  Her bisque won third place in the Rhode Island Chowder Cook Off and is the People’s Choice of Seattle and Anchorage.  HA!  Take that Food Network Iron Chefs!  I am of the mindset that you could just cover me in the bisque…I’d be content to lick it off myself.  It’s amazingly good.

There’s also silver dollar sized crab cakes.  Regular or coconut.  You could have Snow Crab, Dungeness (when in season), Alaskan prawns or scallops.  Each and every item is delicious.  You can’t go wrong.

What’s great about The Shack is the reputation.  People come from all over.  “Friends of ours from Belgium said we had to come here.”  Or “The Captain of the ship said this was a must have lunch.”  It’s fantastic.  Of course, you also never know what to expect…

I found it’s best to show up to work each Wednesday as frisky as a feline on premium catnip.  It came in especially handy when the husband, with his camera in hand, couldn’t stop looking at me while his wife was ordering.  Finally, he broke down and said:

“Do you mind if I take a picture of your chest?”

Sure!  I thrust my oranges out there and he snaps a photo of me.  Why?  Well, duh.  My shirt says, “Best Legs in Town!”  Of course, he wasn’t taking a picture of my legs was he?  Hummmm, weird.  Chalk that up to the strangest moment yet in life.

Tracy’s is so popular, we get HUGE lines.  I am talking enormous.  You would think the latest Tickle Me Elmo was being released at the shack – that’s how big the lines are.  If you don’t believe me, check out my photo below.   Yes, it’s definitely worth the wait. Someone could offer fortune telling services while folks wait in line to get to me….they could make a coke dealer’s bank roll in 30 minutes of searching the tourists’ future.

The beauty of a line, is it gives you ages to decide what you want to eat.  Would you like:

A King Crab leg?

Half a Snow Crab?

Dungeness – if in season?

Bucket of King Crab?

Bisque?

Crab cakes?

Scallops?

Prawns?

The menu, is very easy.  However, I’ll be damned if people don’t wait until they get up to me before they even look at the menu.  One of three things occurs when they reach the front of the line:

1.  They know exactly what they want and rattle it off like a Drill Sargent.

2.  They want to know what I recommend.

3.  They haven’t looked at anything and can’t make up their mind.

Those who are in the first group are fabulous.  Ring them in, get their beverage and off they go.  If ordering their meal was an Olympic event, they’d get gold.  No messing around.  Straight to the point.

Those who need recommendations come in two groups.  Those who, after hearing your recommendation say, “Perfect!  We’ll go with that.”  And the doubters.  You make your recommendation, based on their group size, how hungry they are and your gut instinct.

Their response?

“Is it good?”

Okay. Seriously?  I mean really?

I’m looking at you now out of the corner of my eye.  Did you just ask me for a recommendation and then ask if it was good?  No, I’m suggesting you eat crap. Are you kidding me?  Why ask for a recommendation and then doubt what I recommend?

Let’s take a moment here and ponder which one of us is the professional?

Uh, right.

I am…so listen up.

However, it is the third group of people that absolutely, positively, without a doubt, drive me insane.  I’m talking like crazy Norman from The Bates Motel….nuts.  These are the ones that cause me to drink, chew my nails, roll my eyes and curse silently under my breath.

“We just don’t know what to order.”

Alright.  Let’s do this.

You’ve been waiting in line for 15 minutes and you still don’t know what to order?  It’s a one page menu for crying out loud!  There’s fewer items on our menu than on a McDonald’s lunch special.

Well, I hope you’re hungry for crab, cause that’s what we’ve got!  (Note: It’s helpful when you can flip a little bit of shit their way as part of the ambiance.)  This declaration only leads to one question:

What kind of crab do you have?

We have King, Snow and Dungeness – explaining the differences between the three along the way.

Huh.  (Imagine far off gaze, as if I suggested marshmallows tasted like motor oil….really?)

I don’t know what to get.  What do you suggest?

And there’s a big speech I could bore you with about Combo Number 1 and Combo Number 2 – but I won’t do that.  Most people decide the Combo 1 is perfect for what they’re looking for and we’re off and running….god bless them.

Still, there’s others that are completely in a stupor.  These folks tend to travel in groups.  Which is probably smart as I don’t know how they’d survive otherwise.  The conversation usually goes something like this ….when dealing with a gaggle of clueless and bewildered diners:

“What do you recommend?”

Well, it depends on how hungry you are.  The number 1 combo is very popular, it’s like a sampler.  You get a King Crab leg, some bisque and 4 crab cakes.

“Does anything come with it?”

No, but you can order a side of rice or cole slaw.

“You have french fries?”

No, just rice or cole slaw.

“What about the bisque.  Anything come with that?”

A roll and butter.

“What kind of roll?”

A dinner roll.

“Anything else?”

No.  But you can order a side of rice or cole slaw.

“Ah huh.”

>> silence <<

“I can order a single King Crab Leg.  Is that the same as the King Crab Leg in the number 1 combo?”

Yep!  Same kind of leg.

“You just get extra stuff in the combo?”

Yep.

“Do you have chicken burgers?”

No.

“Anything other than crab?”

Well we have prawns and scallops.

“I don’t like seafood.”

Okay, well there’s a few other food options along the pier here that may interest you then.

A few weeks ago I had a group of four little ladies who were traveling together.  OMG.  Just shoot me.  This isn’t rocket science – it’s crab.  There’s like 12 options on the menu.  PICK ONE!

“What does the bisque come with?”

It comes with a roll.

“Nothing else?”

No.

“What about the crab cakes.  What do they come with?”

Just the cakes.  You can order rice or slaw on the side.

“Well if I get the crab leg, what comes with that?”

A roll.

“No fries or anything?”

No.

“But the combo comes with 1 King leg, bisque and cakes.  Does it come with anything else?”

No.

“Fries? Or anything?”

Still no.

“Well, if I order the bisque and the crab roll sandwich, what comes with that?”

A dinner roll.

“Oh.  Nothing else?”

No.

At this point I am taking a pencil and slowly carving out my third eyeball.  JUST PICK SOMETHING PEOPLE!  This isn’t rocket science.  It’s crab. What don’t you get?

Tracy’s

King

Crab

Shack

Then the topper are the ones that run you through the 1001 questions and then say,

“You know, I’ll just get a burger and fries.”

We don’t serve those.

“WHAT? You don’t sell burgers and fries?”

No.  It’s a crab shack.

“You mean you only serve seafood?  I don’t like seafood.”

Okay.

That’s it.

Put a fork in me.  I’m done.

I patiently ask  if they see a rock on the counter where they’re standing.  Of course, they don’t.  Oh, damn.  I’ve lost the rock I like to beat my head against.

NEXT!

How’s Your Weather?

Weather.

It’s a conversation starter.

It’s a conversation stopper.

It’s one of the top three easy, no brainer, small talk topics:

1.  Do you have any kids?

2.  What do you do for work?

3.  How’s your weather?

Wow.  Really?  Stand back – those are some heavy topics.

What is it with weather questions? Why do you care?  Are you comparing it to your current weather situation?  Whose is better?  Are you jealous or relieved?

Take Florida for example.  A good friend of mine tells me about her weather on occasion.  In case you didn’t know already, warning, spoiler alert: it’s not all beautiful blue skies and balmy breezes.  Florida is actually the entrance to Hell’s Kitchen!

Luckily no secret password, knock or handshake required.  No discrimination here!

Florida, like much of the east coast in the summer time, is sweltering hot to the point of becoming one with your clothing.  Melting into your skin like cotton candy on your hands at the carnival.   No, I didn’t mean for my butt to eat my shorts and underwear but my clothing is melting into my skin and apparently there’s nowhere else to go but up.

Thank you but no, I am not sporting the latest fashion craze as seen in Nordstrom’s recent Look Book collection –  thanks for insisting it could be – if the Look Book designer was living in a cave and only eating bad mushrooms, maybe it could be.  But it’s not.

Oddly enough,  every day people all across the state of Florida become one step closer to shaving their heads.  Why?  What else would you do with a head crowned with a spiky Brillo pad?  Thank you humidity.

At the opposite end of the country is Alaska.  I live in Juneau, Alaska.  One of two things occur when people think of Alaska.

1.  It’s a tropical climate because it’s located off the coast of California.

2. Obviously, it must be cold and snowing all the time because DUH – it’s Alaska!

Winters in Juneau must be equivalent to living in Antarctica.  Wrong.  We’re actually very similar to Seattle, the only difference is we know how to drive in snow.

And don’t even get me started on how we NEVER get a peep of national news coverage for our regularly occurring  hurricane force winter winds.  I’ve seen roofs ripped off and small children picked up off the sidewalk.  But then again, we are Alaskans.  We simply go on with our lives and deal with it.  We’d probably be embarrassed if someone made an issue out of it.

Working in tourism I get asked weather questions all the time.  These would be the times when asking about the weather pretty much stops the conversation from moving forward:

“Will it be a nice day in Juneau when we visit on _________ (insert any day of the year here)?”

“If we take the tour in the morning, will it be raining?”

“Would it be better to take the tour in the afternoon so it’s sunnier?”

“What time of day does it rain?”

“Do you think it’s going to rain that day?”

“Is it better to visit in June or July?”

People.

Please.

If I could answer these questions, I wouldn’t be working in this industry.  Instead I’d be hosting my own reality show, foretelling futures, predicting the next President and American Idol winner.  I mean seriously, does it say “All Knowing Weather Goddess” on my forehead?  Not as of the last time I checked.   Should that suddenly change, I’ll let you know.

Lastly, what the hell is wrong with weather forecasters?  Have they not heard the saying:

It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eyeball….then it’s hey…. free eyeball!

Going out into a hurricane (or any hellish weather) to document the monster storm is as intelligent as those people who leap into the tiger cage at the zoo.  Seemed like a good idea at the time.  Again, see the quote above.  Duh.

Are television stations so desperate for ratings they’ll risk employees’ lives and limbs to get good ratings?  And how many camera men, sound techs and reporters are cursing one another under their breath for thinking THIS was a great idea?  Oh, wait.  I just figured it out!  It’s the fine print of the employment contract:  other duties as assigned.

Talk about reality shows.  You’ve got weather people along the shoreline breakers, on hotel balconies, hanging onto door knobs outside a random retail shop or best yet, in the surf itself.  My favorites are the rebels that take on the storm like a wild, wild, west gun slinger.  Sauntering  Stumbling out into the middle of Main Street…doubled over, trying to gather the last bit of energy to prove their righteous, badass self to the rest of the world.

I don’t know about you, but my bet is on the Main Street Gunslinger.

He’s going down in 3 – 2 – 1.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner…..he’s gone done….rolling down the street like a tumble-weed.  Look at that.  Just won me $20.

Note to self, when the wind is ripping your pants off – go inside.

How Many Blonde Moments Can I Have In A Day?

Oddly enough, I remember the day as if it were yesterday.  The day in question occurred in the summer of 2004.

Now, why is it, I can remember this moment exactly, but if I were to be introduced to a  person in the next 5 minutes, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell I’d remember their name 2 minutes later?

I digress.  Let’s get back on track.

I was walking between two 40′ motor coaches, both running, at the cruise ship terminal in Juneau.  My brain said:

Self, you will never drive a bus.  Couldn’t do it.   No way.  Thank goodness.  I can’t imagine having to do THAT.

Little did I know, 8 months later I would be eating my words.  Lesson learned: never say never.  I learned to drive a 40′ coach.  All along, I kept thinking silently to myself:

Are these people crazy?  Me?  Drive a coach?  Really?  Have you seen my car?  It’s a Toyota Yaris – TWO DOOR!  It would fit in the luggage bay of one of these beasts!

Having me drive a 40′ coach is like having Gumby learning how to use a pogo-stick …. stretched out and bewildered.  Aspirin, need aspirin.

The one thing in training that resonates in my head is the mantra of “steer the rear.”  Whatever you do, you want to “steer the rear.”

To this day, I have no idea what that means.  I am too damn busy trying not to hit anything.  No, I haven’t hit anything – thank you.  I drive by feel.  Luckily it’s not the kind of feeling that creates dents, scrapes and costs money.  I go with the gut type of feeling.

Thank goodness I have a sturdy gut.   So far, it’s never been wrong.

Of course, if I could figure out the whole, “steer the rear” concept, I would probably be able to back a coach up without looking like a drunken snake.  That bus goes all over the place except where it’s supposed to go.  However, I can parallel park it if I had to.

Okay, in reality, I did it successfully a handful of times.  If I had to again, on command,  I’m 95% sure I could get the coach into the space.  Straight?  Maybe not.  But I’d get it into the space.

After a winter of not driving, time ran out and my number came up.  I had to drive last Monday to help out with tour transfers.  Yes.  Funny you should ask.  Of course I have a favorite bus.

Coach 213.  Lucky number 13.  She’s yellow.  The only yellow one in our fleet.  Do you really think I’d be driving the same exact thing as everyone else?  Not likely.  Duh.

My first day of driving this season can be summed up in one word:

Bewilderment.

Now, I’m not a blonde by any means.  My natural hair is mousey brown.  Currently my locks are dyed Snow White black.  Am I a Snow White?  Not a chance.  Could I play Snow White?  Only with the proper shoes.

My first blonde moment of the day began to roll along when I read my dispatch and noticed it said:

100 coaches fuel before the day starts.

200 coaches fuel after the day ends.

Alright then, well this is going to be an interesting start to the day.  In 7 years, I have not had the pleasure of fueling a coach.   I always figured the fuel fairy came every night and filled up the coaches.  You mean there’s no such thing as a fuel fairy?  Don’t tell me the fuel fairy ranks along the same blood lines as the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny.  How disappointing.  You can imagine my upset – similar to when a child learns there’s no Santa Claus.

It can’t be.  There must be an explanation.

I wander over to the maintenance shop and ask if our Fleet Director is around.  He’ll understand my predicament.  We affectionately refer to him as Little Buddy.  The mechanic says Little Buddy is around but hiding.  Well, that only means one thing – he’s working on an engine and is sitting inside the engine compartment.

I walk over to the next bus bay and lo and behold, there’s Little Buddy inside the engine compartment working away.  Without fan fare, I explain my situation, show him the dispatch and before I can utter the words, “Yeah, I’m not fueling….”  He says he’ll show me how.

Over the next few minutes I learn where the mechanics keep the fuel key, where the fuel tank is located and where to pull the coach up for fueling.  Luckily, since Little Buddy is only a few inches taller than me he agreed I don’t have to climb on top of the fuel tank to reset the meter.  Good thing because this isn’t Ladies Night at the Lucky Saloon and I’m not riding the mechanical bull in dress pants and heels.

Then the blonde moment hits.  I have to admit, out loud, to the Director of Fleet Maintenance, the brutally honest fact of:

I don’t know where the gas tank is on the coach.

If I thought about it, I’m certain I would have been able to narrow down it’s location.  However, with time being of the essence and hating to waste time, it was easier to admit I didn’t know and move on with the correct answer.

Oh, so THAT’S what is under that door.  Always wondered.  Never looked.  Huh.

Blonde moment #1 complete.

I walk back to my coach and finish preparing to take it out for the afternoon.  I ponder going to fuel now and avoiding the rush at the end of the day.  It was Little Buddy’s idea and a good one.  Ladies and gentlemen start your engines!

213 groans to life and together we contemplate the thought of fueling early.  More specifically, fueling while nobody else is around to watch.

I drive 213 over to the spot and park her.  I climb out, get the key and turn on the pump.  Thankfully she didn’t need much fuel and I’m able to get everything all squared away.

But wait, here come Blonde Moment #2.

Since they were working on a coach in front of me, I had two options.

1.  Back it up

2.  Go forward, angling the coach to go around the building.

I decided to try and go forward.  As Murphy’s Law would allow, I was either going to take the downspout off the corner of the wash bay OR put the coach in the ditch.  By this time Bon Jovi, our other mechanic, came out and was tryingh is best to direct me on steering.

Finally, I just looked at him.  He came over to my door and ever so politely – to avoid making me feel like an idiot (in case I wanted to continue down this painfully slow road of 2 inches forward, 1 inch back) asked if I would prefer if he just hopped in and moved the coach to a safe location.

Hell, YES!   I am a girlie girl and while I’m not afraid of loosing a nail (since I don’t have any to speak of) sometimes I just need help.  Most of the time I am not going to ask for help – so you better just jump in with both feet, roll up your sleeves and plan to get wet trying to rescue me from my idiot circumstances.

End of Blonde Moment #2.

I’m not even going to mention the time I got a company van stuck in a bank exit lane – and had to call the Director of Safety.  Yes.  That would be the first and last time I tried using their “handy” drive thru parking lot area.

As I approach my first duty of the day I say a silent prayer.  Please, don’t let there be any other buses in this lot.  If there are, let them be off to the side.  It’s my first out for the season, let this be an easy one.  Come on Goddess of Big Ass Coach Driving….big money….no whammies.

I pull into the lot, check the area to my left, where I have to back up and not like I expected anything different.  WHAM….a bus.  Smack in the middle of the space.  Really?  Like you couldn’t share the area?

Cheese Its.

Now I could have asked him to move over, but he was actively loading passengers.  I had to move my coach, for fear another one would come down the drive and be behind me.  There’d be no room for any of us to go anywhere at that point.

With a big exhale and contemplative chew of my bottom lip….I throw 213 into reverse and double beep.  Now, I’ve done this move 100 times.  Why this time is any different is because it’s my first time for the season and I’m nervous.  It’s ridiculous.

Enter, Blonde Moment #3.

Thank god things come in threes.  This meant I was arriving at the conclusion of my Blonde Moments.

To avoid hitting the neighboring coach and to avoid hitting the giant embankment on the other side.  I went forward and backwards so many times I was worried they were going to ask me to turn off the back up beeper.

By the time I got 213 parked, I was pitted out of my shirt and in desperate need of the restroom.  I only had one more duty and was delighted my day was coming to a quick conclusion.

I’m slightly anxious for my driving next week.  I know I’ll be needed, possibly Sunday but likely on Monday.  Perhaps I’ll get out my long blonde wig.  What?  You aren’t really surprised I have a blonde wig are you?  Truth be told, I have several.