Thursday, March 16, 2006
Rantin' and Ravin'
I have been so busy this week! YUCK!
Josh sent me a certificate over email on Tuesday, I’m assuming, because I haven’t had time to answer any of his emails.
The last few days I have really been running around like a crazy woman. I’m surprised I’ve showered! PLUS I’ve taken 2 weeks off from going to the bar – so it seems like FOREVER!!!
As per the request of the Town of Castle Rock, I was required to take a test to practice landscape design in their city limits. Usually, they send you a little form, you fill it out, and voila! You are a Certified Landscape Professional in the Town of Castle Rock, Colorado.
But now – that little piece of paper isn’t good enough. Now you are required to spend and entire day taking not 1 but 2 exams, proving you can work in their city. So actually, now you give them 2 pieces of paper – and after 8 hours (don’t forget the drive), and $25 – you can now be allowed to actually WORK in their city. It wasn’t just designers wasting all this time – it was installers, maintenance, irrigation techs – the works. What a waste of a day.
And you wanna know what kind of schnacks they had? Peanuts and ‘Fun Size’ candy. Hello? I’m stuck in a room of 80 people, and you give me ‘Fun Size’? And who determines the size of ‘Fun’? Obviously a very very small person. I mean, C’MON!!!
I ended up going to this test with a couple other people from my office – actually anticipating seeing other people I might know. My anticipation rose as I climbed the metal stairs of their very modern “Town Hall” Annex. As I entered the city council room, my hopes that this day wouldn’t turn out to be a complete waste of my time were dashed by 2 things:
1) I didn’t recognize anyone there other than those I came with
2) I was supposed to take 2 all day tests sitting in uncomfortable plastic chairs that didn’t even have armrests?
My spirits sank as I signed in and grabbed my ‘packet’ and a handful of peanuts. I set up shop somewhat close to the front, as I have yet to acquire my ever-so-necessary glasses and lo – who is to sit in front of me for the next 6 hours – NO, not someone I know whom I haven’t seen in 5 years, but better! Some tall, smelly guy with a circle worn into the back pocket of his jeans!!! This guy looked at me with the same disgust as I looked at him – but for different reasons. To me, he was tall, smelly, and would NOT turn his 2-way off the whole time! He insisted on ‘working’ from this class by beeping away on his Nextel THE WHOLE TIME. I wonder what makes people believe they are ‘above the law’ so to speak, when the announcement, “PLEASE TURN ALL PHONES AND RADIOS OFF” is stated not once, twice, but MULTIPLE times. I mean, they obviously speak English, so what’s the problem? Who says any of the rest of the people there don’t have just as much to do as this guy? Does he think that OUR calls are not as critical as his? Does he think this request is SO unreasonable he has to revolt? UGH!!!! I could go on and on and tell you how he was the first to leave the class WAY too early – which led me to believe he had taken the test before – meaning he probably failed it the first time because he was constantly on his phone…….
He disliked me for other reasons. Mainly: I was a woman in a man’s world.
I try to explain to people what it’s like to struggle everyday in this industry. Since working at UFI, I’ve actually gotten somewhat of a break to what it used to be like when I worked in the field, just starting out. Women don’t know anything about landscaping, and all we DO know how to do is either working in a nursery, or designing. We have no other roles. We don’t KNOW what it’s like to haul rock, dig a ditch, and get FILTHY. We don’t swear, smoke, OR drink beer. We CERTAINLY don’t know Spanish, or recognize when our tits are the topic of conversation.
Fine. I do my small part to make way for strong women of my industry who are interested in construction. But I tell ya, it’s hard when you’re first starting out. I looked this guy straight in the eye, adjusted my boobs, and used the highest pitched voice I could muster without sounding too weird to my co-workers to do battle with this dude.
“Can you take off your hat, or move to the left just a little? Thank you! You’re so sweet!”. I almost made myself sick.
This is how I had learned to fight with these guys. I was being tough in different way. I wasn’t swearing, smoking, or picking my nose! My tactics were simple: Roughnecks don’t deny you anything when you’re PURPOSEFULLY being womanly. They deny you EVERYTHING if they think you are trying to be masculine. I would’ve balked at this thought 5 years ago – but it’s a hard road to learn. Some women got it, and some don’t. I honestly don’t know which I am. But as a result, and due to my co-workers and assorted men surrounding us – he looked around to how many people had heard me, and decided to move over.
As I sat back in my chair smiling, I strained to see the view screen past his ginormous heed – I realized my back was cramping. Not the type of cramping one would think would happen sitting in the most uncomfortable chairs on the face of the planet for 6 hours would cause – but a very specific cramping.
The cramping that accompanies a trip to the bathroom, valium and chocolate.
The dreaded PMS cramping had now turned into much more than just “PRE” anything. It was here, NOW.
“Oh sweet mother!!! What else can happen?” I cried to myself silently as I ate my peanuts. I ferverently looked around to see if I could make a quick escape to the bathroom. But of course, due to my 28 year old failing eyesight, I had to exit to the front of the room, in front of the speaker, view screen, and the panel of frowning women who worked for the city, whom of course gave me eye daggers telling me how rude I was being.
As I got back to my seat (repeating the entire event again as I came back) after all eyese were following me down the aisle, a ruckus (no, I will not describe the ruckus) occurred in the back. A ruckus which pulled all eyes from me to a guy laying on the ground. Apparently he passed out and fell out of his chair.
Heat? Exhaustion? What causes fainting spells? I wonder if he was really hung over and just didn’t like sitting in a stuffy room full of 80 landscape professionals learning the correct way to plant a shrub.
It certainly broke the afternoon up. But it didn’t get me out of taking those tests.
To sum up – I spent the whole day reviewing everything I already knew, taking tests, sitting in back of some smelling dude, waiting to pay my $25 for a couple scantron sheets telling The Town of Castle Rock that I’m okay to plant flowers.
I made up for it by buying a new purse at Target.
I can be masculine if I want!!! I’m not ALWAYS feminine! I played Play Station when I got home!!!