Tuesday, September 30, 2008

RULES : Shit is Ad Hoc

I have a series of unwritten and wildly disorganized rules that I've made up and/or observed from my paltry life on this earth. Every so once and awhile, something will happen, some big event or somesuch, and I'll be reminded of one of these rules, and be like "Oh, I am so very sage and insightful and whatnot.". I'll also probably say, "I really should get around to writing this stuff down, I could really entertain my seven readers. Possibly dangerously."

Yes folks, these rules are so entertaining, they contain a shred of danger in them, like a bullfight or discussing The Baconator with a vegan.

Ok, now that I've set myself up for nothing but failure, let's begin this series of The Rules! or RULES! or, yeah, something appopriate.

Shit is Ad Hoc.

These rules aren't numbered or follow some hierarchy, they are kinda, well, they are kinda like this rule, ad hoc. So, this is the first of the unnumbered unhierarchiacal list.

Here's the thing. When you look at an organization, or a process, or what have you, one tends to think the whole kit and kaboodle is really highly organized with backup plans and training regimens, possibly a slogan. That's just not true. Shit is ad hoc.

I spent one summer working for this 2 week fair that takes place every year. I think my title was Safety Monitor or something odd like that. It was basically, Security But Only For Inanimate Things That Might Cause Harm To Others Not That It Would Or That Said Company Would Take Responsibility But There You Are. We got red jackets and walkie talkies and a clip on tie.

We looked OFFICIAL.

Looking official, means, if anyone is curious, being asked where the bathroom is as many times as is humanly possibly in an 8 hour shift.

An odd aside. There were Welcoming People, or Hospitality Engineers. I dunno, people who the guests were supposed to ask for things like the bathroom and where they can get cotton candy. But they wore green and purple golf shirts and they just looked like really cheerful kids who made awkward eye contact with strangers. Red jackets and walkie-talkies trumps that any day of the week.

Anyhoo. I'm sure people thought we knew where everything was. That, if given an opportunity, we could regale them with tales of the fair, returning presenters, and interesting factoids about where past winners of the annual Talent Show were (Vocalist of the Year, 1982, sang backup vocals for Tiffany, god's honest truth). There's probably not a small percentage of fair goers who thought that we could do CPR or could CALL one on our radios, and that, if the need arose, would be able to fill in for any ONE of carnies.

The truth is shocking.

We were given a radio, this is true, and a jacket, this is also true. That's it.

I only knew where the bathrooms were because I asked the Hospitality Brigade. I wouldn't know what the hell that booth was and what it was selling, even if I was standing in front of it in a very official manner for 8 hours. If you had a heart attack, I could yell in a highly panicked state into the radio, something to the effect of "I DON'T GET PAID ENOUGH MINIMUM WAGE TO DO THIS!". I could, maybe offer my jacket in condolence when the fair-goer died and the spouse was sobbing uncontrollably. I really didn't know what the fair was for or what the main attractions were. I'm sure the carnies reviled us for our lack of training and respect for the institution that is the Fair.

So, that's something to keep in mind. No matter how together things seems, no matter how institutional the setting is, no matter how fluffy the cotton candy, just remember : Shit is Ad Hoc.

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