Horray Risky! Thank you for posting that!
And now, brought to you from a pizza joint wifi...it's...
The Final Wipe-Up Part A
(rough and incomplete edition)
"I don't know what you did differently this year, Robbi, but it's working."
Mike, the field operations manager of USS said this to me at the end of the Event this year. To be sure, I was overwhelmed with joy and relief at the time. it also caused me to reflect on what improvements I'd made this year that I believe profoundly worked. Pre-event, I commissioned the inestimable Gonzo Frothwood of the department of Over-Engineering to build me a Pottie PA for my PoopMobile. As the DOE saying goes, he did it the hard way the first time. It was a 1.5'x2' plywood box on the roof with two microphones made from Altoids cans. this worked famously. Not only did we get to repeatedly enjoy Bat out of hell CD by Meatloaf (forgetting to bring any other CD) but while driving thru the city it served to draw attention to the slogans painted on the car's windows and hood. I was also able to broadcast Pottie-PSA's while driving as well as general PSA's throughout the week. It saved a lot of effort on my part and got the message out effortlessly when the mood hit me. Of course I used the hand held Auditory Ass-salt Weapon (my bullhorn) when walking around the pottie-banks. The combination of the two made my job immeasurably more efficient. Next year, I vow to bring a CD of Wagner's Flight of the Valkyries. Desert Duck of Booby Bar fame loaned us several CD's mid-week, which helped the monotony. I deeply love Meatloaf, but I mean 4 days running is a bit much.
On Saturday morning Gonzo and I went to the DPW morning meeting. HazMatt had pre-event agreed that it would be a good idea to re-introduce myself to my department. Last year, Dr. Holderdown had informed me that many if not most of DPW not only didn't know who I am, but they didn't know my job exists. I felt this was a marketing problem. I need my department's support badly. So after a year of lat night rehearsing, and ants in my pants anxiety over what to say, I realized that being clear and succinct was the key. I knew I am an excellent communicator and I know public speaking and the subject matter backwards. I just needed faith in myself to do this. I just needed the old run-up that I've used for eleven years.
"Good morning beautiful people of DPW. My name is RobbiDobbs." I had decided on 4 points to my litany: Who I am, what I do, why, and ask for help. When I got sidetracked on how long I've been doing this job, Logan was good enough to bump me back. "What do you DO Robbi?" When I mentioned that I run the second largest art installation on the Playa - second after the roads - I got a "Hoo-yah!" from the audience. And it was that pride swell that carried me forward. I brought up the 30 yard container of shitty baby-wipes that was hauled out last year, and I got an "EEW!" You KNOW DPW people are intimate with how big that box is. And I asked them for help: It's a 4 hour shift, you get fed and you get a cool t-shirt that says "Thank you for giving a shit." That got some nods. HazMatt said later he was concerned that there wouldn't be enough meal tickets to accommodate his expected turnout. I knew it would be ok. As it was, I got exactly TWO people approach me after the meeting. One of them, TMI, ended up doing Man-watch, but she brought to me one of my best volunteers of the week - Joe-Know-Shit - he did his masters project on waste management and sewage. Of course we took him immediately to jotS Camp. When Steve - the general population field manager - approached us, Joe was all a-twitter: "Can I see the separator?" He was in love.
One of the first duties he did was to help Gonzo and I made The Map. Pre-event, I had decided that logistics management could be improved by covering the map given out at Greeters with contact paper for durability. Joe, Gonzo and I made this on Saturday morning in the Commissary parking lot, on the hood of my car. In the light breeze, it took all hands. The Map turned out to be absolutely invaluable. I will forever bring a roll of contact paper with me to make them. All week, I knew where I was going, what I was doing, who with, and what time of the day to do it.
Well, that's the beginning of the Final Wipe-up. More later when I have another wifi spot to loiter in.
Stay regular Campers,
Sometimes I just tickle myself.
13 years of doing the porta-potties wrong.