January Shuffle 2.0

I did this a couple of weeks ago and I enjoyed it so much I thought I would do it again.  So here we go! Continue reading “January Shuffle 2.0”

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Reasons America & Delaware Are Still Great 2016 Edition

Many people in America today are facing an impossible choice.  We call this Election Day.  I am choosing to spend the day looking at all that is good about America and more specifically the state I live in, Delaware.  No matter what happens today, we can’t let anyone take away the spirit of what makes us Americans.  We have liberties we often take for granted.  Beyond the politics of it all, we all should want the best for each other, especially the children.  We have so much talent in this country.  Each mind is a unique and wonderful creation of beauty and grace. In Delaware, we have people doing things no one hears about, every single day. We have children who have so many gifts. We have stories of hope and inspiration. As a friend of mine said on Facebook the other day, we are more than this election.

The Star-Spangled Return Of Burger Girl For One Day Only

We have a guest article today by the infamous Burger Girl, all rested and recovered from Firefly.  She didn’t have the guts to go to Big Barrel the next weekend, but she did have a few words to say about her years at Firefly and how this relates to her other profession!

Four Years at Firefly: A Burger Girl Exclusive for Exceptional Delaware
 
At Firefly 2012, I was Bag Girl, working the so-called Sustainable Beats crew cleaning trash from concert fields and replacing full trash cans with empty bags for those concert-goers who understand the concept of throwing away garbage. My first shift included sets by John Legend, Bassnectar, and Jack White. The folks with whom I worked were, by and large, good people, willing to help out, many with prior festival volunteer experience. We had a system but no full-time, dedicated manager to oversee us. We worked in the rain, in the dark, in the mud, and in the heat of the sun. When one concert ended, we swept in, cleared the area of trash, and carried our bags out behind the fence to the dumpsters. Gray bags in regular, blue bags in recycling. We set up every shift thinking of the next shift, and everyone did. Empty bags for the next crew coming in, fully stocked glove boxes, completely clean fields. We lugged ice for the vendors and smiled at everyone, thanking them and telling them to have a great day. We helped each other out and worked as a team. I was among the youngest of the volunteers.
 
When Firefly 2013 rolled around, due to a recommendation from my prior year’s manager I was asked to transition to a new position as a “super volunteer”. I became Beer Girl, a team leader working with volunteers who assisted the alcohol vendors by restocking ice, carrying boxes of beer to the stands, and keeping the beer tent clean. Seeing artists like Delta Rae, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and A Silent Film was fun, and although I was pregnant, sleeping under the stars in a shared campsite was a really great experience. People were friendly and fun, and there was a really good vibe. However, to fill the super volunteer positions, folks from an outside group were brought in, and that was very difficult for several reasons, in my opinion. This was the first time I saw folks who just didn’t want to be there, doing what they were doing, and there was a lot of negativity. Most of them were well-educated folks in a business leaders program, but I ended up the one covering for the late arrivals and early departures, despite the fact that our hours and expectations were clearly stated. These leaders, by and large, lacked flexibility and adaptive skills, and they put themselves and their desires ahead of their job assignments. As for the volunteers, many were openly discussing skipping out on their shifts, signing in and immediately leaving, and even changing banks to avoid being charged the price of admission when it was discovered they had not worked their shifts. I was among the older age group of volunteers.
 
Firefly 2014 saw yet another change, as any individual could apply to be a super volunteer, regardless of their prior Firefly experience (or lack thereof). This year I was Battery Girl, managing individuals inside all the places where festival-goers could leave their electronic devices for a little while to get recharged. Despite a rough start, I eventually got my credentials for the VIP and Back of House areas and was able to make the rounds so all my team members had breaks, snacks, and whatever else they needed. As I walked the entire festival grounds continuously, I had the opportunity to see a large number of artists, but by far my favorite experiences were watching Weezer, Sir Sly (from the second row), Kongos, and The Airborne Toxic Event. This was the year the system began to break down, in my opinion. The super volunteers, or team leaders, weren’t circulating their areas to ensure their workers’ needs were met, or even that their workers were, in fact, working. As I walked the perimeter of the festival grounds, making sure the vendors had enough volunteers and that the volunteers had breaks, many (definitely not all, as some workers were outstanding) super volunteers sat in their tents. While I missed the massively-popular Foo Fighters concert so my team members could slip out for a little while each to see it while I worked their stations, some of my fellow team leaders compensated for the inactivity of their team members by requiring the volunteers to come to their tent and sign in every hour or so of their shift. We paid up front for our festival wristbands and were reimbursed the cost, sans deposit, upon completion of the festival shifts. I was again among the older age group of volunteers.
 
That brings us to Firefly 2015. The Glow Volunteer/Super Volunteer program was entirely discontinued and replaced by FestWorks and FestWorks CORE. FestWorks members were given shifts, most working fewer than 20 hours over the four-day festival, and they purchased a discounted wristband for festival access. FestWorks CORE members were told their hours would vary based on the position assigned, but that they could expect to work the entire festival and would therefore not need to purchase a wristband at all. Readers already know the adventures of Burger Girl, so let me just describe the stuff that DIDN’T get published, in keeping with what I’ve already said. Although I was invited to be a team leader, I was unable to commit to the required dates due to work obligations. Despite being “just another worker,” my tent manager pretty quickly came to realize that I had leadership skills, and though I was not in charge and did not act as though I was in charge, I tried to be a stabilizing force through shift changes, handling what issues I could and directing folks to the tent manager with anything I couldn’t address. There were many groups who came in and did work, some volunteer and some paid, and I would be remiss if I didn’t say that one group in particular, Choose Joy*, was awesome to work with. Despite the fact that FestWorks and CORE members were being paid to work, some still did not arrive on time for shifts, work the entire assigned shift, or (in some cases) show up for every shift. Among the FestWorks and CORE members, I was again among the older age group.
 
What does all this have to do with anything? What is the purpose of my even sharing this?
 
Folks, this is our future. This is the work ethic of our people. Americans came from all over to work Firefly, whether for free or for minimum wage, and over a four-year time frame I saw an increase in irresponsible behavior and poor work ethic combined with a decrease in average age. I saw a company forced to react to the lack of stability of the work force in increasingly-onerous ways, finally choosing to hire paid workers due (at least in part) to all the issues with the volunteer program. And it still wasn’t enough. Even being paid wasn’t enough for some folks to do the right thing.
 
You want to teach American youths “grit”? How about starting with teaching them responsibility. Teach them to look around and see what needs to get done. Teach them to see what needs to get done and to take it upon themselves to get it done. Teach them to value being on time and staying until the job is done, and to make sure the job is done right before clocking out.
 
In the National FFA Organization, there is a specific script used to open meetings and events. In this opening ceremony program, there is a line that says, “Without labor, neither knowledge nor wisdom can accomplish much.” To modify that phrase for my own purposes, without respect for the job, sticking to the job will not accomplish much. Educators cannot teach students to stick to a project if the students aren’t mentally there to engage. I believe the best answer to the challenges facing American education is a return to the “it takes a village” concept where the entire community accepts responsibility for the students and educators in the school, and in that way ensures that the system is successful.
 
*The Choose Joy group was founded to honor a young woman who died in a fire. This organization exists to help others impacted by fire, through charitable outreach that supports victims in burn units, homeless individuals and families, and others. Please look them up on Facebook for additional information.”

Burger Girl Could Have Met Snoop Dogg, But She Was Too Busy Updating Facebook….

The last day of Firefly is here (Thank God, cause I need to get back to writing about real stuff, LOL!) and Burger Girl could have met a celebrity, but alas, she blew her chance!  And she had a plan all worked out.  Not the most ingenious of plans…

This is the same celebrity Burger Girl had her brilliant Brady Bunch plan to get a picture with.  He apparently had something to say about the evacuation last night due to Tropical Storm Bill:

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We have a strategy: When Snoop’s transport goes by behind our stand tonight I’m gonna lie down in the road to stop them and we’ll get him to roll the window down and take a selfie with us. Stay tuned.  Also, I may need bail money.

Sounds reasonable…so how did it go?

Guys, this is serious. I think Snoop snuck by me when I was making pretzels. Or refilling pickles. Heck, maybe it was when I was fixing that fence that fell down. The point is, I never got the chance to take a selfie with him!  Omg while I was typing that his van drove by. And I didn’t even get a picture because I was too busy updating Facebook.

But it appears she had, ahem, fun hearing him in concert….

Snoop just mixed up California Girls and I Love Rock and Roll. That was entertaining!  Of course, the secondhand smoke may be making it seem slightly more entertaining than it actually is. Hard to say.

Okay, we are going to end this very bizarre set of articles, unless something really exciting happens here.  Thank you Burger Girl for your interest viewpoints about Firefly.  I will have one more Firefly article coming up, but Burger Girl won’t be making an appearance (sorry B.G.)!

Burger Girl Survived The Storm, She Is A-Ok! #Firefly2015

Miracle of miracles.  Burger Girl got out of the evacuation of 2015 safely, but we are all very concerned about one thing.  A commenter on my blog wrote the following:

I hope she remembered to turn off the grill.  Now I’m worried.

Yes, nothing raises the eyebrows more than thinking about 90,000 drunk and stoned festival attendees rushing from a huge field onto a bridge over a major highway.

We evacuated. People are still leaving. We are sitting in my car safe and sound. No worries! Thank you all for the love. Circuits are very overwhelmed with the large number of people trying to call loved ones.

Apparently Burger Girl and some other “campers” as she likes to call them (I call them “grillers”) were last seen wandering around the streets of Dover and wound up at… yes, another place with grills:

I brought my fellow campers to one of my favorite all-nite Dover places: Hollywood Diner.

You can take the grill away from the girl, but you can’t take the girl out of a grill.  But did she turn off the old one????

As the sun rises on a new day, and the already muddy Firefly turns into something that will be a lot of fun in pictures today, we must not forget what got us there in the first place.  Fathers.  If there were no fathers, we wouldn’t be able to do anything.  Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there.

Okay, shameless plug there.

I’m just glad Burger Girl thought of the important things as she was leaving:

On my way out I stopped to grab ice so we could chill our wine. This is what my friend texted me when i told her: “In the midst of a high risk evacuation massacre we know we can count on you!!! “

Ice.  Very important.  But did she turn off the grill?

She did manage to get some pictures before the grill abandonment last night:

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I wonder how much cleansing she got last night.  Cause we know Burger Girl got to her car pretty fast, along with several campers.  She was drinking heavily (the wine) and went out to eat (Hollywood Diner).  We shall find out today as the story concludes on the last day of Firefly 2015.  And the mud will fly!  And who is the woman in green?  Another burger flipper or one of the friendly cashiers?

Burger Girl Better Run Like The Wind Blows…Tropical Storm Bill Is Here!

The Dover Police have literally just told everyone, all 90,000 attendees and workers, and probably the bands, they need to evacuate the Firefly Music Festival due to Tropical Storm Bill coming their way.  As I sit here, in my nice air-conditioned, non-Delaware killer mosquito home, I do hope Burger Girl gets somewhere safe and very soon!

Things Are Getting Bad For Burger Girl Between Mud, Mosquitos and Crop Dusters…

Burger Girl is having a horrible, terrible, no good day.  It actually started last night with the band Chiddy Bang.

Today I learned Chiddy Bang wants us to make some f-ing nOIIIIse. That was irritating.

It sounds like someone is getting a case of the crankies!!!!  I’m sure she had a good nights sleep….

Nothing like half a dozen car alarms being your morning wake-up call. Frowny face!

Oh I forgot about the crop duster that’s been buzzing us this morning. Add that to my list of wake-up calls…

And we have this exclusive announcement from Burger Girl:

(expletive deleted) Dover mosquitoes I kid you not they bit me through my shirt and blanket and chair. On my back. How does that even happen?!?!?!

I like to call it a combination of summer, rain, and working 3 days in ptomaine tavern.  Burger Girl even sent pics (thanks for that B.G.!)

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Yikes!  I’m going to guess Firefly didn’t mention wearing white sneakers may not be the best idea!  I did ask Burger Girl if she brought any OFF bug spray, and she said yeah, That happened after I applied the OFF.  One of the guys said it’s like we used ON instead of OFF lol

Straying a bit away from the conversation at hand, I did ask Burger Girl if this guy came to visit her:

She said no, but she did see this:

She did get a shot of what appears to be a witch and a nun?????

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This actually brought back memories for me.  Not the witch and the nun, but the time I saw Imagine Dragons during the nice and not too hot day during the first Firefly back in 2012.  The one where the audience wasn’t 90,000.  Try to find me:

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Burger Girl is still in good spirits though, despite the mud bleach on her shoes, the special Delaware mosquitoes drilling into her sapping the remaining strength she has left, and the sheer fatigue of flipping burgers incessantly, non-stop, and trying to figure out if that is some new instrument or the sound of hamburger grease embedding itself into her very soul.

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But I do wonder about her utter disregard for company resources….

Me and my bff….the open refrigerator truck. We’re all too short to close the door…

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As they say, to be continued…

Tweets From The Grill: Burger Girl Vents At #Firefly 2015

Burger Girl has been a naughty girl.  She has been tweeting without telling me.  More shenanigans down at Firefly Music Festival courtesy of the one, the only…Burger Girl!

Whoa…wanna watch the language there Burger Girl?  This isn’t Nascar…

Sounds yummy… didn’t want to take any leftovers from the grill there Burger Girl?

Yeah, cause that’s gonna make the stink go away…all that does is mix it into something even more rank..

Yeah, that’s where I want to eat…

Never heard of that band Burger Girl…

Okay, now you’re just making up bands to sound all hip…

Yes, because having a previous foot condition must be a prerequisite for taking a job that requires you to stand on your feet for 51 hours…

Did you shut up and dance?  Now that’s a band I’ve heard of Burger Girl!

Tragedy Strikes Burger Girl At Firefly….

Burger Girl had something very bad happen on her 2nd work day at Firefly.  Before she even went to work, something happened to her home away from home:

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Yes, the walls came tumbling down.  This is not in reference to a John Mellancamp or Bastille song either.  They literally came down.  Burger Girl could only say “Apparently I’m a terrible engineer.  My wall fell…”  I worry about the workplace safety though.  But she could always blame it on the wind.  Oh yeah, that’s right, there is no wind today…

But the good news is Burger Girl does get to work at an awesome office.  Voted Best of Calcutta 2012, here is her work environment:

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Yes, I can see the appeal there Burger Girl…

She did reveal the “big thing” that happened yesterday:

RV got stuck in the mud yesterday in front of my car. The guy who got out to talk to the tow truck driver said “I’m not anti-society; I’m anti-stupid”. Says the guy who drove his RV into a muddy lot that was blocked off and where other cars had been stuck.

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Coming from the girl who agreed to work 51 hours in mud!  Didn’t really need the picture, cause the description made it look a lot worse.  All I see is some water and dirt.  Must be some funny stuff in the air on the other side of Route 1…

But she did brag about how “close” she was from The Lawn stage:

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I am so sure Burger Girl will get perfect pictures when the bands play.  Especially with 50,000 people standing in front of her…

But apparently she is having a lot of fun, even jesting with the Hipsters who come her way…

People keep asking for “chicken fingers”.  I keep telling them “chickens don’t have fingers”. Only drunk people appreciate me.

I wonder why…

I happened to be at the local grocery store this afternoon, and several of the Firefly attendees were in there.  Lots of bikinis and guys with their shirts off.  One was in the first aid section, buying everything in sight.  A worker at the store asked if she could help her, and she said “My friend’s foot hurts, so I’m just going to get everything to be on the safe side.

Yes, the brilliance continues in Dover, DE!

I can’t wait to hear more from Burger Girl on Day Two.  What other witty words will Burger Girl say next to the mass buyers of what has to be the best burgers ever made?  To be continued…