The road less travelled

The road less travelled

Monday, March 13, 2017

Strawberry Festival Parking Review

If you would have told us a year ago that we would be standing in a parking lot in Florida for 12 hours a day, with the Florida sun beating down on us, I would have told you. "You are bat crap crazy." But it turns out, we are the ones that are "bat crap crazy". We are the ones actually standing out there doing a thankless job. Live and learn.

It started with oriantation. That should have been the first sign. Talk about organized chaos. 50 people mingling around without direction. We finally filled out our paperwork and were told to show up on Thursday at the parking trailer. Great!
 "Uh, where is the parking trailer?"
"It's over there, just off of Seminole Lake road."
"Uh, where is Seminole Lake Road?"
"It's on the west end of the complex."
"Uh, which way is west?"
And so it was off to a flying start. They obviously assumed that we are familiar with this festival and the area around it.

Thursday was baptism by fire. We found the parking trailer to punch in. Most of the people that are doing the car parking look like they have just come from the homeless shelter. Seriously, I really think they did. Then there are just a handful of work campers. We went to our lot and met the lot supervisor Doug. Nice enough guy. Really talks a lot. He told us where to park the cars and said "go to it". Just like that we were professional car parkers.
Don't try this at home folks, we are trained professionals.

It is important to get them lined up right to maximize your space. You have to be on top of it or else they will park anywhere. I never thought of parking cars as rocket science. But apparently to some of our other co-workers it was. They needed to be re-trained daily. It took all of my patience and restraint from going up to them every day and shoving my flag up thier ass's.
11 days and I didn't get run over once.

We were fortunate to work with another couple who had common sense. Doug and Cheryl Palin.
Doug and Cheryl posing for Parking Life magazine.

 We met them briefly working at Amazon. We  worked with them for 12 hours a day for 11 days and really got to know them. That has always been a plus for this lifestyle. Meeting some nice people we will always keep in touch with and hopefully run into each other again down the road.
This is what a "happy lot" looks like.

After Thursday came the first full weekend of the festival. This thing is almost as large as a state fair. It got busy fast. That Sunday 981 cars came through our gate (Sorry, no spread sheet to go with those numbers). Our lot is not big enough to park all those cars so when we get full we send them to the next lot down the line. Common sense would say that you would close your gate then, right? Not here. What really makes it fun is that when the other lots are full they send them to us. Cars start circling in the lots and that does not make for happy drivers.
Lisa checking the line.

"Listen to me or I will wave my flag at you!"

Our little break room and porta potty.

People get angry and then take out their rage on the first person they see. Who do they see? Us. Not the parking lot managers, not the fair board, but us lowly little flag people. We have been bitched at countless times. Lisa was called "Booger lips" by one highly intelligent individual. She told him to treat people with respect, it wasn't our fault. I told one lady that I only get paid to wave the flag, so I waved it in her face. I think one guy wanted me to give him his 5 dollars back because we didn't have a spot for him. I told him to go back to the front gate and get it.
At the end of the day our feet were filthy. We threw away our socks.

Every morning was interesting. I would walk the lot and find out where all the dirty diapers and vomit piles where so that I wouldn't step in them. Fair goers are really classy people. A funny thing did happen with a diaper though. The vendors come in before the gates to the midway open. This one group always showed up in 4-5 vehicles. So I park the first one, step over to the next spot next to him and the second car comes in and runs over one of the dirty diapers. It explodes all over his buddies car. It was hilarious.

We were in blue lot. The next lot over was the red lot. Most of those people had no clue what was going on. They would just stand in the middle of the road and just flap their flags. You could have gotten one of those inflatable wacky guys to do the same job.
So many of them seemed sketchy to begin with. I guess 16 of them got fired for various reasons. Some for smoking pot while working. Some for drinking in their cars. Some for having sex in their cars while working. One guy on the last day got arrested for soliciting sex from young girls walking by.

This job was one of those things that we can say we did and won't do again. 11 twelve hour days is a long stretch to work. You can't leave for lunch, we did get breaks though. We couldn't even go inside to see the fair. Being out in the sun for that long is hard on a person. People bitching at you. The low pay. All in all it just would not be worth it. Like I said, Live and learn.

Two good things that did come out of the whole ordeal were, getting to know Doug and Cheryl better and we met some other friendly people that we may be working for in the future. Stay tuned to see how that pans out.
Could this be our next working opportunity?

18 comments:

  1. Thanks for the laugh! That was too funny! On to the next adventure.

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    1. It's all an adventure. some good and some not so good.

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  2. Well, now I can remove that experience from our bucket list. Does not sound nearly as fun now!

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    1. I forgot to mention the people that would drive their fancy cars to the festival and expect no one to park near them. Not going to happen. I saw tons of Lexus's, Jag's, Mercedes and I even saw two Massaratti's. It was fun. You should do it.

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  3. You nailed the highlights of our memorable Blue Lot experience Dino! Doug & I agree that working with you and Lisa made the situation bearable, and we even managed to have some fun!

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    1. It was fun working with you to. You said it best. It made it bearable.

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  4. Um, you know that you should not have told us about "Bugger Lips", right? I am not going to forget that one. And, it seems I was correct when I said Amazon is looking pretty good right now. :) Thanks for checking out the crappy jobs so the rest of us don't have to! Way to take one for the team!

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    1. Just call us the crash dummies of work camping.

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  5. Booger Lips ,or BL for short, I'll never forget the expression on Lisa's face telling me this ,laughed my ass off!!still cracking me up!!!����!!����

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  6. Can say with certainty we will never do that job :) When we went to the Pleasanton fairgrounds to 'buy the RV', we saw the flag person get hit by a jerk parking his car because he wasn't paying attention. Nope, KOA is working for us just fine at the moment :)

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    1. It is something that we can look back on and laugh now. Like Amazon after you leave.

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  7. Well at least it made for entertaining blog reading!

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    1. We think now we can do almost anything now.

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  8. Well this really puts gate guarding in an oil field in perspective. That really sucks and whoever says you can do anything for 11 days...boo to them. Appreciate the frank review and I totally trust your numbers. No spreadsheet required :)

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    1. It is one of those things we can look back on and laugh.

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  9. Enjoyed your sense of humorđź’• ROFLMAO

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