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[personal profile] pryder
I've been out here for most of two weeks now, and for me it's been a good experience. I'm seeing my time here as a kind of working retreat: I do some work (sometimes hard, sometimes not), keep to a more normal schedule than usual, get to spend time in this beautiful place, and as a bonus even get paid for it!

The first few days I was a "rounder", which means an all-around person who can get assigned to do whatever needs doing. That made packing difficult because I had to be prepared to do every job on the island, though some of it turned out to be unnecessary for my actual assignments. (I was never assigned to waitrae or kitchen crew.) My very first assignment was typing in data from conference evaluations; I also spent time cleaning the candle lanterns that are used for the evening walks to chapel, pulling weeds and clearing out hedges on the grounds crew, and spending a day bringing food to and cleaning the staff dining hall.

After that I was assigned to conference services. That means keeping the conference areas (the places where people have meetings) supplied with snacks and beverages, setting up furniture, and keeping them clean. In theory it could also involve A/V setup; so far the more senior people have done all of that but I have experience with that stuff so I can handle it if needed. (That might have been a deciding factor in being assigned to that job.)

There is usually plenty of food, though really popular items sometimes run out. (For example, yesterday at lunch we got a vaguely fajita-like dish with steak, a meat that us downstairs people rarely see, but it ran out halfway through lunch and the kitchen did not have any more because it had been made with leftover steak from the previous night's dinner for the conferees.) The cooking has gotten more erratic in recent days, probably because the kitchen and bakery have lost some experienced people. (Lots of staff people have been leaving because they are students and school is starting.) There have also been a couple of odd dishes that appear to be inspired by the kitchen's desire to use up food before season end.

I got a single room in the relatively quiet space in Gosport Heights. I'm told that they put most of the older Pelicans (ie, seasonal help) there, rather than in the noisier and more crowded space in Oceanic. The room has oddly slanted floors (the entire Gosport building is like that) but is otherwise pleasant.

Mostly people just accept me as Shirley. A couple have been curious and asked a few questions, but that isn't the norm. Life is good.

Susan came up this weekend to visit. She likes the island but finds the vagaries of the food and service harder to deal with than I do. I thought about that a bit... I find dysfunctional computer software utterly infuriating but I don't get mad at the vagaries of people nearly as quickly.

Date: 2011-09-11 03:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] negothick.livejournal.com
Thank you for the entertaining reports on this unusual job. I remember Gillian wanting to run something like this for pagans--I always thought that would be a great thing. Also, I thought of you when I saw a poster for Star Island at the Branford Congregational Church last night. The Branford Folk Music Society was presenting a Klezmer duo, which was a strange match with the surroundings.

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