All About Participating in the Pottie Project

No matter your skills or interests, there's a way for you to participate in the creation and manifestation of Black Rock City, both at the event and year-round.

2007 Final Wipe-up

Postby robbidobbs » Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:00 am

AntiM wrote:So, if I decided to do mid-cleaning restocks of a single bank, roughly how much paper would I need to bring? I mean, Hushville is usually across from a bank, and we are usually on the streetside by the potties. Couldn't be that hard to help out, especially if I enlist my campmates.
And I feel guilty for not doing my usual Sunday Monday potty bank clean-up, but we forgot the gloves, the big trash bags, and the grabber.


Don't worry about it. I appreciate any help you can give. And it's about 2 sacks per day that I can supply you with. It's just a matter of finding each other next year to get in on this. Thank you.

and now...

The 2007 Final Wipe-up

It was a fascinating year for shit this year Campers. You can all congratulate yourself helping make potty awareness an integral part of our culture. We still have a long way to go to cure the baby-wipe scurge, but we're making progress. I was helped and supported every day in so many ways. I had a wonderful village and camp to come home to, I had a reasonably steady stream of volunteers, the blinky lights on the open playa banks were a smash hit, and I learned some valuable life lessons.

I arrived on playa at 4:30pm thursday. It was a smooth entry due to preparations successfully implemented by my boss HazMatt. It's so nice to have a great boss. He gives me a long leash and supports me every time I ask, and with good humor and professionalism. I spent the rest of the day setting up camp and sorting through my stuff to get the signs started in the morning. I checked in with DPW Depot, and then to JotS Camp. The porta-pottie vendor is United Site Services, but the site where all the action is (trucks, the Separator, storage bladders, etc) is commonly referred to as JotS Camp, after the original name Johnny on the Spot. JotS got purchased by USS last year pre-event. They were geared up and ready to go. Friday I started puting up signs by myself, asking random participants for help when they jumped out of the Temples of Smell. This was exhausting, and on Saturday, some of my campmates arrived, so I got help from the beautiful and talented Box Burner. Nogganoodle then volunteered to help for the afternoon, and we kept going. Dirt-storm #1 hit, and we persevered for the rest of the day. On Sunday, Box Burner stepped up again, not yet throughly burned out by me apparently, and Dirt Storm #2 hit, forcing us to stop the vehicle 3 times. That afternoon, I caught up with Motskyroonmatic and we finished (or so we thought). On monday I discovered there were banks missed, so I dealt with them as they came apparent.

Monday was spent getting into the rhythm of the Playa, and it sure settled in nicely. By tuesday I was feeling a bit anxious, like I'd worked myself out of a job. I discovered a conspicuous lack of potty-PSA's on the radio, and after talking to the driver who was responsible for climbing into the separator when it jammed (2x thus far) I was going to get this shit on the air. I went to BMIR PSA box, wrote and recorded a 30 second baby-wipe PSA, and they put it in high rotation. That night I was ecstatic, and blurted it out at the Booby Bar once I got off work: They put ME on HIGH ROTATION. Now that's what I'm talking about.

I was having a terrific time just replenishing the tp and connecting with the camps that help replenish. I'd go up to the bank and say:
Thank you all for participating in the largest art installation on the playa, the porta potties. It is 3400 cubic yards, and they're not only beautiful, they're functional. And it's 100% participatory. So we need to treat it with respect and love and not put trash or baby wipes in them. Baby wipes are jacking up the separator. I'm now going to toilet paper this art installation, and all you beautiful people who are currently excreting in the Temples of Smell could you look to your left and when you pop out tell me how many rolls would be helpful. I'm seeking volunteers to help. Thank you for participating.
And people would come and we'd get it done in minutes.

Those camps that have LOS to the johns are ideal for keeping a store of tp at, and they're glad to help. The Porta-potty Pigs were just delightful again this year. They set up a cardtable with tp, wet-wipes, trash bag and lotion. It's a great chick magnet, I must say. These guys have been best friends for 45 years, since high school. Wow. The Lovely Naked Boy also jumped in to help, and together they ruled the 4:00 bank. The LNB had also volunteered to help take down the signs. Gawd, I love this town.

On tuesday afternoon, I was coming down with dehydration sickness. It was either sit the fuck down and drink a gallon of Playa Punch or get the needle, and THAT will never happen to me again. So at 2:30pm tuesday I took myself off shift to hydrate and rest in the shade at my camp. I hung out at Pee Funnel Camp across the street for a while. I love doing PSA's on megaphone for Zoe as I'm a big fan of her work. I was just coming back from there when MozyBonz presented me with his Igloo to fill. I was not going to fail this mission, no matter what. Then the Igloo tipped and spilled the remaining contents of Gaterade on my mattress and bedding in the back of my car. So I had another mission. I went to Berlin, refilled the Igloo, Box Burner carried (!) it back to camp, and I watched my mattress dry on the bike rack at Berlin. I told them, I'm sitting here until this dries and I drink this gallon of beverage. Yay.

For the rest of the day I bounced between Berlin, 3:00 Medical and the cute little mini-Sanctuary there. What a lovely place to spend one's re-hydration detail at. By the time I went to sleep that night, I had put away 2.5 gallons of beverage, and utilizing Zoe's art project, filled a gallon jug. Hah. I had great energy on Wednesday, enough to tackle the shit storm to come.

I was out on Poop Patrol with the Beautiful and Talented Red, and had just finished lunch when I was stopped by Mike the Manager. He told me that one of his guys was cleaning a unit when the tube got clogged with trash, exploded, and lacerated his neck, getting raw sewage in his open wound. He was immediately taken to Medical, and that's all we know. Red filled me in about the details of Septic Shock.
Fucking Shit!
All systems came on-line.

I immediately did the Bitch Stomp to Cafe, marched up to the Stage Manager, and asked for a microphone. He asked why, I told him the story. Fucking Shit! And he points my attention to 200 people grunting and gesturing in unison. He told me that I'd be competing with the Monkey Chant, and if I could wait until 3:00, he'd get me on. I then went to BMIR radio station next door and asked the Station Manager to put me on the air. He said why. I told him the story. Fucking Shit! And he escorts me into the box and I'm interrupting Dr Howl's show. The good doctor introduces me as "Ranger RobbiDobbs". An honest mistake, as he'd been introduced to me originally thus. Dr Howl's jaw dropped when I told the story into the mic. It was so good to see him again.

After this, I went to the PSA box to get recorded. They gave me paper, pen and since there was a line, to wait until I was called. I was outside on the comfy couch, writing the story script, when the Station Manager came over and asked why I wasn't recording. There's a line. Bullshit. We go in. He tells the nice radio lady inside that I'm to be recorded right now because I'm busy. Done and done. I go back to the Cafe, and sit on the stage drinking gifted chai with Red. There's a couple guys who we chat with while waiting. The Monkey Chant finally breaks up, and I get waived at. The Stage Manager turns off all other sound equipment and turns the volume of my mic up to 11. I have 1500 burner's rapt attention.

Hello. My name is RobbiDobbs. I'm DPW, and the liason between the porta-potty vendor Johnny on the Sp-- er, United Site Services and the participants, and I replenish the toilet paper between cleanings.

(I have to stop talking from the applause)
(no shit)

and I have something very important to tell you. This is very serious. Someone's been hurt.

...and I tell the story.

1500 jaws dropped. I implored them to tell everyone, that we cannot afford another injury. Thank you for participating. I get off the stage.

For the rest of the day I'm dragging Red around, and she's encouraging me to drink water. I attack this town, every time I see a cluster of people, I let them have it with the megaphone or talk to them. I stop by Our Lady of Schlongs and tell them the story. I just love those guys. I blow off tp'ing and focus on replenishing my LOS camps. At 6:30pm that evening, I was out at JotS Camp picking up a couple cases of tp, when I spoke to one of the employees. I asked how the injured guy was. Oh, he's resting in the office.

What a huge relief. It was like all that stress of full overdrive melted off me. I turned to my assistant, and said: I am so off shift. Let's get drunk.

Off we go, and for the rest of the week I feel bullet-proof, even after hearing about the separator going down 10 times, and the most recent time for the whole day and it took 2 guys to dismantle it to get it unjammed. I'm good at rumor mongering, and it was hillarious to hear the stories how they filtered back. Mike told me how this chick ran up to him and asked if it was true that one of his guys died because of trash. His response: Yes, he's dead, now don't put trash in the toilets. We were ticked with the tremendous power of rumor in getting a point across.

The DPW Parade went off without a hitch, the Man burned early, DPW was the hero this year, and we had 3 dirt storms.

The new Poop Mobile did very well. The Tacoma is still missed, but what I gained from the Camry station weapon was billboard space and cruise control (yay). On Saturday I met up with Box Burner and the Glorious Colonel Killbuck (naked) and he drew pictures on my windows with glass chalk I'd brought. I later added verbage: Poop Patrol No baby-wipes No trash in the pots. No baby wipes in the pots. I don't care how stoned you are. And If you must hover, lift the * seat. The bed in the back worked great too, and successfully locked out most of the Thump.

At the end of the week, I found Mike in the office. Oh, nice. Air conditioning. He's happy about us, we survived another year, and he knows we made a serious effort. I hope he gets a Macerator next year. Then maybe I'll work myself out of a job. Nah.

One of the lessons learned this year was a better understanding of how people perceive me. It's not personal they don't want to talk to me, It's because they'd rather not have a repeat of the last time we talked. Funny, people in this culture would rather talk about anything else but shit. I intentionally go into shock-value vivid detail sometimes to inspire motivation. I'm also indefatiguable at recruiting volunteers. I have to be. Funny how every volunteer goes in with fear and trepidation, and immediately gets into it and enjoys it. It's finding that Foot in the Door. For Box Burner it was a shower, for Nogganoodle, it was salad. Everyone has a price. MGT was one recruit I got from DPW, he needed a break from the bike project. He was damn good, and later recruited others for me. It would be nice if word got around that working for me is really a good gig: you get fed, clothed, bathed, and maybe get your nipples polished (long story) if you want to. The t-shirts "Thank you for giving a shit" were a bit hit, and the scarves were tremendously useful.

I also realized that I have the strangest job in DPW. Where usually it's strickly physical, my job is almost purely psychological. Where Shade is the most physically demanding, my job is the least. It can get nuts at times though, which is why I only ask a 4 hour shift, but leave whenever you want to. This year I figured out my shift: 7am to 7:30pm. But ask anyone, I never stop working. This is my art. It can feel alienating, but the gratitude is well worth it. It's exhausting and exhilarating. I love my job. People tell me I have a shitty job, but I created it, and honestly, there isn't anything I enjoy more than to discuss the Digestive System of the Man. Ok, I do enjoy discussing sex, politics and philosophy too.

I took the signs down on Monday, interspersing this with harrassing people for DPW Cleanup Donations and monitoring burn platforms. Tuesday I left and we enjoyed intermittent dirt storms all day. It was lovely.

This year was terrific in so many ways. Thank you all for your support and help. I honestly couldn't do it without you. And if you see me getting emotional, just tell me to drink water.
Sometimes I just tickle myself.
14 years of doing the porta-potties wrong.
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Changing the world one asshole at a time!
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Postby AntiM » Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:27 am

Don't worry about it. I appreciate any help you can give. And it's about 2 sacks per day that I can supply you with. It's just a matter of finding each other next year to get in on this. Thank you.


The last two years, Hushville has been right across from the potty bank, and our village placer has out us right across from the potties both times because we do not object. If things hold true, which they may well not, should be easy to find me. With ten+ people in my camp, the potties near Hushville would get done. Heck, I could probably get a lot of the village in on it.
we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .
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Re: 2007 Final Wipe-up

Postby fierysage » Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:33 am

[quote="robbidobbs"][quote="AntiM"]
The DPW Parade went off without a hitch, the Man burned early, DPW was the hero this year, and we had 3 dirt storms. quote]

thank you so much for all you did! the porta potties were the best I had seen them! and the 4:00 and D/E potties were fantastic with the help from the porta-potty camps around (and yes, naked vince was hilarious and good potty entertainment!)

i hope you were there on Saturday at DPW when we got to "Armada attack" you all! Sounds like you have done a great service and that you do it with style, love and truly sick enjoyment! Being a nurse, I quite enjoy discussions about shit and berating people (with a mega-phone) about being responsible and sensible. I think I'd enjoy a shift with you next year :)

namaste',

charis/SaSS
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Postby robbidobbs » Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:06 pm

AntiM wrote:The last two years, Hushville has been right across from the potty bank, and our village placer has out us right across from the potties both times because we do not object. If things hold true, which they may well not, should be easy to find me. With ten+ people in my camp, the potties near Hushville would get done. Heck, I could probably get a lot of the village in on it.


Cool. I need to hook up with you and make arrangements. That section did need coverage. I can't remember anything in the chaos of playa-life, so shake me by the shoulders if you see me next year.
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Re: 2007 Final Wipe-up

Postby robbidobbs » Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:09 pm

fierysage wrote:Being a nurse, I quite enjoy discussions about shit and berating people (with a mega-phone) about being responsible and sensible. I think I'd enjoy a shift with you next year


Absolutely. I specifically requested from Playa Info this year a volunteer that was "hell on wheels on the megaphone". You're so hired.
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BB Sue

Postby robbidobbs » Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:22 pm

Thank you BB Sue, for being there for me. You were truly my emotional support when I needed it the most.

Thank you.
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Postby bigbluedoggy » Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:19 pm

Hi Robby,
I just started another thread about the guy getting injured before I read this one... oops. I am glad to read that he was ok after all. and I guess it was Wednesday not Friday (I worked at the Cafe a couple of times). I would like to thank you for all of your efforts on the playa to keep our potties under control. And just because you want to talk shit, you can come talk to me anytime! I don't mind at all!! Thanks again!!!

Woof!
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Postby robbidobbs » Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:19 pm

Thank you Xta for being one of the first to adopt a potty bank. You should consider a job with DPW.
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Postby robbidobbs » Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:15 am

bigbluedoggy wrote:I just started another thread about the guy getting injured before I read this one... oops. I am glad to read that he was ok after all. and I guess it was Wednesday not Friday (I worked at the Cafe a couple of times). I would like to thank you for all of your efforts on the playa to keep our potties under control. And just because you want to talk shit, you can come talk to me anytime! I don't mind at all!! Thanks again!!! Woof!


You're quite welcome. I appreciate your enthusiasm.
As I said in the Final Wipe-up, Mike the Manager and I have been just tickled watching how the initial statement got morphed. I do like to keep tabs on all rumor-mill stories, just so it doesn't get out of hand. If you see any potty related threads, rumors, whatnot, anywhere on the internet, let me know here. It's like my job to be the liason between the participants and JotS/USS, and I try to keep the poopulation informed.
Sometimes I just tickle myself.
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Postby AntiM » Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:29 am

What I posted on the Hushville yahoo group:

I'll tell you why women were peeing on the playa during exodus. The
one porto I did hit, wow, what a mess. The paper and crap was all the
way up over the edge of the seat. Either it had never been pumped, or
someone dumped their own toilet/greywater into it, filling it to the
top. I managed to pee on the pisshit hummock, but it was my worst,
most revolting porto nightmare come true. And I'm very casual about
portos!

Ick.
we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .
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Postby robbidobbs » Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:38 am

The potties for Exodus were HAMMERED, and I have no doubt that people dumped their graywater in them on the way out. I have one suggestion for next year: The Pee Funnel. I used it preferencially throughout the week, and even during the DPW Parade when we were out in open playa. Fill a bottle, cap it, good to go.
Sometimes I just tickle myself.
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Postby AntiM » Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:48 am

Yeah, but I'd packed mine. You'd think I'd have learned by now.

Ah, pee bottles and truckstops, memories, memories.
we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .
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Postby unjonharley » Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:14 am

Great job this year robdob, as always you did us all proud..


p.s. my wild kitty has moved into the house and regrown most of it s hair.. took a slipper on the butt to break the biting thing.. he has a strong purrrr..
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Postby robbidobbs » Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:43 pm

unjonharley wrote:Great job this year robdob, as always you did us all proud..

p.s. my wild kitty has moved into the house and regrown most of it s hair.. took a slipper on the butt to break the biting thing.. he has a strong purrrr..


Thank you unjon.
Good Kitty! Big purry kitty! Yay!

Now about the Final Wipe-up. There were several revisions made, but one definitely deserves re-posting here:

Let's all give a round of applause for the troopingest
trooper of all my volunteers: Box Burner, who put out
11 hours of focused work regardless of weather
conditions. And it was his 2nd year!

Take care and have fun, for every day is an opportunity to find joy in your life.
Sometimes I just tickle myself.
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Postby Box Burner » Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:14 am

Awww...shit, Robbi. It was fun.

(kicks toe in the dirt)

I wanna spend some time with you next year too! :D
Dance in the heart of chaos. . . . .

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- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --- Σωκράτης

.
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Postby Lassen Forge » Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:39 am

I gotta stick it in here (No, not baby wipes) that Box Burner is one of the most dynamic awesome burniest people I have had the honor to meet. If anyone needed a hand, he was always there up to his armpits to help out. (in the case of Jots, it explains the bue forearms, but I digress...)

He is a "soft spoken" man with a big heart and a bigger sense of enthusiasm than a lot I've seen out there, and he is deeply cherished by all who are fortunate to cross his path.

))Smooch(( and a bottle of the privat reserve Baltika #9 your way...

bb
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Postby robbidobbs » Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:14 pm

News update: I'm gearing up to move to Sonora. I will be available for a few weeks, but will be off-line most of the time as of tuesday.
Sometimes I just tickle myself.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:33 am

Congradulations.
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Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri


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Postby robbidobbs » Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:42 pm

Thanks Fishy.
I just found out that I'll be driving the entire trip in the rain. Yay.
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Postby robbidobbs » Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:04 pm

Howdy Campers,
I'm going to just post my idea right here, cause it just looks like a nice, safe place to dump it.

Before leaving from Klamath (15 degrees? that's just wrong) Falls, I got it in my head to try to get a job at a porta-potty company. The one there was too small, and for a girl, you had to be in a relationship with one of the supervisors, or had gone to high school with someone there, or are a stripper from Cowgirls, etc, to get a job at it. So that was out. I came here to Sonora (within driving distance to everywhere) California to look further into this prospect.

Every time I think about this idea, I get excited. Not in any weird way, but in a pragmatic way. There will ALWAYS be shit, and I don't want to drive a computer anymore (although I will for CDF if they want me). Shit is incredibly lucrative, and the guys are delightful and unusually lucid. I am fascinated with the process, as I've been involved with it every year since Dec 2000. I don't find anything gross about this industry, and I want to get on the inside.

So I'm putting it out there: what advice do you have to meta morph me into OFFICE GODDESS of SHIT? Learning spanish and/or accounting is out, but I'm wondering if I need to know construction, or something else that's outside of my purview.

I knew you'd understand.
Sometimes I just tickle myself.
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Postby GREENPENIS » Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:27 pm

Howdy RD,
Not really sure on any advice for getting your foot in the door, but
I thought you would appreciate this article about Red Rose.
http://www.redrosesanitation.com/news.html

BTW, did ya ever get your toyota up and running ?
I think the last time we saw you was Sunday shortly
after it after wouldn't start for you.
I'm taking Viagra and drinking prune juice - I don't know if I'm coming or going.
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Postby Box Burner » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:05 pm

Hi robbi!

I would say that basic warehouse skills (driving a forklift) and simple plumbing as well as basic waste processing and sanitation knowledge. I have never looked for that type of work though so that is just my guess.
Dance in the heart of chaos. . . . .

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.
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Postby mdmf007 » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:33 pm

Robbi - I commend your poop passion, the best way to ensure your poop career in addition to the ather tips woul be to get a class B CDL, and a tank endorsement. HAZWOPER card couldnt hurt. You can do all three in less than a week - that would make you very attractive to any sanitation company.
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Postby ibdave » Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:16 pm

robbidobbs,

Why don't you look up the fine guys at United site service's.( jots)

I'm sure you made a Great Impression on them the past few years.. They are all over the USA... I can see you being a super area manager.. Some nice $$ from the few that I have talked to in the past......
I was Born OK the 1st Time....

Don't bring defaultia to Burning Man, take Burning Man to defaultia...... graidawg
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:06 pm

You might want to pm PK. She interviewed with them in 06. Dispatch, I think it was. Anyway, her impressions ect, might be helpful after you make the initial contact.
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri


Get a Taint, you pathetic cur!
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:47 am

Hi Robbidobbs!
I hope your move went well and that settling in has been good.
I think you would be fantastic at dispatch or mamagement. I think that job would give you that "putting fires/shitstorms out" mode that you excell at so well on playa. I too think it would be a good idea to get your CDL and Hazmat so that when the shit really hits the fan you would just jump in a rig and take care of it. I find that being able to do all the jobs on my crew really helps keep production going when people call in sick or whatever.

Edit-Yay for less please and thank you!
Black Rock City Welding and Repair. The Night Time Warming Station.

Card Carrying Member BRCCP.

When you pass the 4th "bridge out!" sign; the flaming death is all yours.-Knowmad-
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Postby robbidobbs » Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:32 pm

GREENPENIS wrote:BTW, did ya ever get your toyota up and running ?

Yes, it wasn't in "park".
I looked up Red Rose, and think I'll pump them for information.

Thank you everyone for your input. I don't know how I can get warehouse experience at this time of my life, but truck license and HAZWOP cert is certainly do-able. Just in case of course, as my back really can't handle the physical labor of running a truck f/t, but I could imagine that one may need to be moved from point A of the lot to point B.

I've posted a resume on the USS site already. They probably won't be hiring until Feb at the earliest is my impression from researching the industry. Here's how I'm marketing myself: Willing to relocate to Reno or San Jose. Eligible to get Class A license with Hazmat and HAZWOP certification if necessary. Have 5 years GSA Schedule experience as well as extensive phone and computer expertise. Proven ability to handle stress and crisis management. Excel at co-worker motivation.

I'll check in with PK, I'd forgotten that she interviewed with them last year.

mfmf007: Do you have any recommendations? I found several in Modesto

Motsky: The move went well, it took 13.5 hours, and since I don't pay rent, I can take my time, research the job, and enjoy the woods.

My cat took the move very well. He's very happy out here in the oak forest, but he has to stay inside at night because of coyotes.

Happy Hogswatch!
Sometimes I just tickle myself.
14 years of doing the porta-potties wrong.
FB Group: Burning Man Porta-potties
Changing the world one asshole at a time!
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Postby mdmf007 » Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:15 pm

Hazwoper cert can be done online at many different places for may different rates.

Ill pm you a link to some sites, and a listing of schedules.

later - and good luck
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Postby robbidobbs » Sun Dec 30, 2007 9:27 pm

$275
I'll put it on the cover letter that I'm happy to get it if necessary.
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Postby robbidobbs » Fri Jan 04, 2008 1:14 pm

Yesterday I got the name and fax number of the hiring manager for the customer service call center for USS, it's in San Jose. They handle all calls for the USS 800#. I am SOOOOOO qualified for this job, so I'm hopping from one foot to the other. It's still the middle of the fucking winter, so I'm not busting my ass to apply, just getting the cover letter and so forth done. HAZWOP won't be necessary for this position. I'll just work my way up within the company. If I get it though, I'll need housing in San Jose that will accommodate my cat. That's a stressor there. I just wish it was Reno where their customer service site is. I also hope that my BM experience is a plus, possibly neutral, but not a negative.
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