Life in a Dormant Volcano, p.3. Hello Boat Ops.

July 11, 2004

Pretty tired today. Worked 11 hours at the ticket booth on top of the hill above the dock. As could be expected, Xanterra was nicely chaotic, making me fend for myself for such things as a ride to work and any food the whole day. I was told by the head of the dock the van would pick me up a half hour later than it actually would. I hauled ass up the hill to the Rim Village to meet up with everyone before they left for the lake. Since I was late I missed breakfast, which wouldn’t have been so bad if I had brought up a lunch like nobody told me to do. I saw earlier that the boat people (as we call ourselves seemingly unaware of the Haitian refugees sharing the name) have lunches made for them in takeout containers, but no lunches today.

Work is pretty cool. Today I just sat in a shack selling tickets, but it was fun. Explaining to people the park and the boat tours. Helping them have fun, and relax. Nan is an older woman who is really engaging and seems smart and educated. She’s marrried to one of the captains and they both seem to be retired. Stacey is a sweet girl who is also incredibly overbearing. She talks over not just people, but everything that is going on in the vicinity. And nonstop. I cringe at the thought of Rabbit and her in a room together. She has a sticker on her car of a handicap symbol, with the little guy in the wheelchair smoking a massive joint. I don’t really get it … yet. She’s from a little town nearby, and is studying sociology. She’s smart enough, but uses double negatives constantly. Stefanie is a tomboyishly pretty blonde from Wisconsin. She seems sly and naive at the same time. I see her often at the pay phone at the camping store for long periods of time.

I think I’ll like the job, even though the bossman Dan gives me this look like he wants to kill me everytime I see him. Maybe I’m paranoid, because everyone seems to like him. Tomorrow I think I get to pump 200 gallons of fuel through pipes down an 800-foot drop to power the boats. I read a lot of my book today, and I found out that reading is perfectly acceptable at the ticket shack.

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