Saturday, February 25, 2006

Zoologist Staff Meeting

This morning was our biweekly staff meeting. There is no set location for our meetings; they move around the zoo. Today we met on the benches in front of the polar bear exhibit, which is probably the furthest point from the koala enclosure. I have put in three requests for a golf cart, but Wendy in Maintenance made it clear that unless I am in management, 200 pounds overweight, or doing someone in management, I am not getting a golf cart. So, I walked to my meeting. The lazy petting zoo clique took the Skyfari.

I showed up a few minutes early so that I could get a seat, but the African safaris (a nickname for anyone who works in the northeast part of the zoo, i.e. the elephant crew, the giraffe crew, etc.) had taken up all of the benches. I saw one of the guys who actually works at the polar bear exhibit complaining to Rich, the park director, about how the host should always get a seat, but Rich shrugged it off, most likely because he spent 18 years as an African safari and will forever favor that group. I ended up standing in the back next to Leonard, a short bald man who jokes, a little too often, about how he wants his apartment to look like the naked mole rat terrarium. Leonard does not have a girlfriend.

The topic of today's meeting was "invisible cleanliness." Rich spoke about how to keep the animals' habitats clean without being seen by the guests. He said that you don't see people cleaning up after animals in the wild. I thought that was the stupidest thing I'd heard in a long time. Rich tries to be encouraging, but he relates everything back to how it is in nature. I once made the mistake of asking Rich a question about my health insurance. He started his response with, "You know there's no health insurance in nature." We have not spoken since.

Meetings are held at 6:15PM, 15 minutes after the park closes. During the summer, when the zoo stays open for Night Zoo, which lasts until 10:00PM, we have our meetings before the park opens. The meeting went long tonight, because we all sang Happy Birthday to Linda, the crowned eagle trainer, and then had cupcakes. I cut out as soon as the song ended so I could go look at an apartment in Normal Heights. My lease is up in a month and I would like to live closer to the zoo. Work might seem less like work if I could home for lunch. I'm thinking seriously of taking the apartment. The landlord doesn't allow pets, but honestly the last thing I need right now is an animal waiting for me at home.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

where is the funny? usually there is some funny.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous dithers said...

"anonymous" is actually Leonard, the imaginary bald fellow with a mole fetish.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

What about those annoying people at the front who want to take your picture? Do they actually work there? I feel like throwing their cameras into the albino Burmese Python cage. You know the one.

5:02 AM  

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