Thursday, September 30, 2010

Before, During & After

Greetings Everyone

Just a quick note to share some pictures of us before, during and after our time with the carnival. Hope you enjoy this pictorial look of us.

This is us Spring 2010 just days before we headed off to join the carnival.

Alice selling tickets in Lacey, WA

And Ron in the comfort of his seat in the ticket box in Lacey,WA

Us in Portland, OR for the two day Hispanic Festival

Us after a long weekend in Graham, WA for the Pierce County Fair. Click on the picture to see the sign we had made declaring us the "Wandering Workentins." We are finally beginning to look like true carnies!

Ron sporting his "do rag" - all the guys wear them for tear down. Notice any thing new?

Here's a better picture of his new tatoo (and his first and last one too!).

I wanted one to, all the gals have them. I got mine where it only shows when I want it to. Would love to have gotten purple ones but pink will do.

And here we are the first night of tear down. We, along with Dani, Tom, Danelle and Kerry shared a delightful dinner at Olive Garden to celebrate we finished the season with a bang. Dani, Danelle and I were the Customer Service workers for the Big Puyallup Fair. Was told we did a fantastic job!

Hope you enjoyed this glimpse of us during the past six months. I will be posting more in the next few days - pictures, thoughts, and happenings of our time with the carnival in 2010.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Carnival is Done!

The carnival is done for the season! I have one day of tear down and Ron has a week or so. Was told tonight by Ron B. and Rob R. that this was the smoothest Puyallup Fair in Customer Service they have ever seen. Usually the Customer Service people quit on them. Best compliment I could have been given.

I have lots of blog posts that I want to do about the carnival along with some pictures. It may take me a couple of weeks to get them all done ~ hope you can be patient with me. My schedule for the week is:

Monday ~ tear down & clean the blue unit and white unit show offices, catalog all the scan guns. In the evening, Ron & I, Danell & Tom along with Dani & Kerry are going to Olive Garden for an end of season dinner. Danell, Dani and I were the Customer Service workers for the Puyallup. Danell did a great job giving breaks and allowing us to get off early a few times. Though the 17 days went fine, yesterday all three of us were ready to walk ~ I think the tiredness settled in, we were missing our families and tired of hearing complaints BUT we stuck with it and made it to the end!

Tuesday ~ Sandra and Gerald are making the drive from Blaine to Puyallup to pick me up for a few days in Blaine. While in Blaine I will pick up our Suburban, get a few things from the storage unit, see Jamie, Suzanne and OPAL!, hopefully sleep in one morning, have coffee with Dee and just plain relax, ending with a doctor's appointment on Friday and then returning to Puyallup.

Ron will be doing tear down each day. Have been told it should take about a week to get everything down. Over 70 rides need to be taken down.

Ron has agreed to be interviewed (by me) for a future blog. What I need from you are questions ~ what do you want to know from Ron about our season with the carnival? Post a comment, send me an email or post on my wall on Facebook. I hope you have lots of questions for him. I think it will be interesting to hear his take on things.

I know this has been short but it is time to go to bed. 7:30 will be here before I know it.

Talk to you all again soon.

Love, Alice

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Morning Thoughts

Good morning on our next to last Sunday at the carnival.

We have had a long and busy week ~ Ron had Wednesday off but spent two and half hours at the laundromat doing 4 loads of laundry. Now we each have enough white t-shirts to make it through the 26th. After that I don't think either of us will be wearing a white shirt for quite a while :)

What we are doing? Ron is one of the circle supervisors in Sillyville (Kiddie Land). He gets to wear a radio! He has to make sure each of his rides has enough operators, that operators get their breaks and lunches, troubleshoots problems before they become big problems and walk around a lot! Pat, the head guy over Sillyville said he was going to knock another 20 lbs off Ron by the end of the Puyallup. You go Pat! Dr. Moore will be so happy. Ron has to be there at 8:30 on the weekends and 9:30 Monday thru Friday. He gets off each night somewhere around 11:00/11:30.

I am at the Customer Service window in the Majors. I am right across from the Matterhorn (with lots of blue lights, ride operators asking the customers if they want to go faster ~ which they in turn yell YES!) next door to the Jumping (these big circles with seats in them that go up and out, has loud music and many multi flashing colored lights) and across from Sinbad (my favorite ride! Hope I get the chance to go on it again before the Puyallup is over. It is a giant magic carpet that goes sideways and then up in the air in huge circles). I will try to get pictures of them at night one night this next week. I have had a couple of afternoons where I got off at 5:00 or 6:00 and one day I didn't have to go in till 4:00. That was when we had 4 customer service workers. Jaylene had to go off to school so now we are three: Dani 1 and Dani 2, they both work in Sillyville and me. Dani 1 is the breaker. So for the next week I will be opening every day which really isn't that bad. Monday thru Friday we don't open till noon so I don't have to be there till 11:30. Every third night I will get off early (between 7:30 & 9:00).

Work is busy and tiring but never dull and we only have 7 days to go after today. Plus of course tear down for Ron. The week Ron is doing tear down I am going to sneak home for a few days to pick up the Suburban, grab a few things from the storage unit, SEE OPAL, Jamie & Suzanne, hopefully sleep in ~ well as late as I can at Gerald & Sandra's, have a cup of java with my mail lady and hopefully see a few friends and then heading to the doctor's (nothings wrong - just need to check in so I can get my prescriptions refilled) before heading back to Puyallup to meet back up with Ron. I will let you know where and when I will be at in Blaine.

Have had a few characters at the Customer Service window: "my bracelet fell off. Well where is your receipt? Ummm I didn't get one....Ummm that doesn't work for me ~ no receipt, no new bracelet." That is one trick they like to pull so they can get a bracelet for free.

One lost little boy ~ AJ. What a cutie. He is 3. We reunited him with his momma and papa and cute baby sister after only about 10 minutes. Found out the parents were a bit frantic as he had been gone for over 30 minutes. Walked from Sillyville down to the Sinbad by himself before a kind citizen found him sobbing and brought him to me. Made me think of Christopher and what would he have done if he gotten separated from Brandon or Danalyn. A good reminder to parents ~ teach your children as soon as they can talk your name, your full name. And next time you are in a big crowd put your name and cell number on a sticker in the center of the little one's back so you can be found quickly.

We have had many cell phones, wallets, credit cards and even a few drivers licenses turned into the lost and found. Most have not been reunited with their owners ~ secure your belongings before going on bouncy, flying rides!

I have found a good place to get a taco salad here at the fair. Pancho's under the grandstand. $6.28 for a great chicken taco salad, the ground beef one not so good. I will be splurging next weekend and getting an elephant ear, some corn on the cob, and of course a fair burger! I am hoping Ron and I can have some time off together - I think that will happen Wednesday - he has off all day and I get off early in the evening ~ so that we can share an Earthquake burger. I have heard they are scrumptious.

One issue we have developed is a leak in the window of our bedroom on MY side of the bed. It has rained hard here for a few nights...and the rain water just flows in through the top of the window, down the window and onto the floor. We have bath towels drying in the bathroom, over the passenger chair and of course one on the floor on my side of the bed. Of course I never know how wet it will be in the morning - it's a surprise every day! Hopefully it will not be raining on Wednesday and Ron can reseal it.

Prayer Request ~

Rob has asked us to return next year. We have not given him our decision as we would like to sit down with him for a few minutes to discuss a few things ~ like what will we be doing? who will we be working for? compensation? We are asking for prayer that God will give us clear direction and a peace in our hearts as we plan for next year.

Also, we are still looking for work for this winter. I will be back at Northwood as secretary sometime in October. But that is not enough for us to live on. Work for this winter is also dependent on our decision for next year. I think you get the picture.

Well I hate to cut this off but the timer just went off and I need to finish getting ready for work and walk over to the fairgrounds. I will catch up with more news soon.

Love and miss you all! Alice

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thanks to Kimberly I now know how to import my pictures with a watermark on them.

This is Debbie in our Blue Unit Show office. We were the team while Theresa was away getting treatment and surgery.

This is Eric at the Derby game. He and Diane hate to get their pictures taken. We took his and her pictures from the hole in the ticket box while we were at the Hispanic Festival in Portland.

And this is Diane in front of the Pop 1 game. We were pretty sneaky weren't we.

This is Tommy making a face. He left us after we finished in Hillsboro, OR. He is now going to school in Tacoma. We will him lots of luck.

And this is Michail. He is quite a character and also works with Diane and Eric.

This is Mike Presler relaxing outside of our motor home while we were in Portland. The bone yard was at the Funtastic Shows lot in Portland.

This is the covered bridge in Portland. Ron and I found it via Maggie, our GPS system.

This is Ron holding a sign about men and BBQ's. I think if you click on it, it will get bigger but I am not sure. This was taken Saturday at Lakefaire in Olympia when we didn't have to go to work till 5:00 that day.

That's all for now. I was just so excited that I figured out how to do a watermark that I had to do it with some more pictures.


Some Much Awaited Pictures

Here are a few random photos. I am trying to figure out how to put a watermark on my pictures. But so far no luck in figuring it out.

This is Kollin waving to us as she was heading out to go to the store. Kollin and her sweetie, Ruben, are one of the couples we have had share a meal with us. They both work in the Ride Department.

This picture of us was taken towards the end of July when we were in Portland for the Hispanic Festival. We were goofing off with our camera.

This is us in front of our Yellow Sub (also known as the ticket box). Isn't Ron looking good after losing 30 lbs?

This is a picture of my hair after Kollin fixed it. She does a great job doing French braids. She asked me if I wanted it tight. I said sure and the next thing I knew my eyebrows were almost above my forehead :)

This is a sign we had made while in Graham for the Pierce Co. Fair. We think this is a good statement of our new motto.

Here is a picture of the Super Loops at night. No way will you find me on this one.

And introducing the newest member of our family: CB Jr. Isn't he the cutest little thing. He never gets out of his bed, doesn't bark at strangers, doesn't cry or even make messes in our motor home and doesn't ask to be let out in the middle of the night.

He likes his bed right where Charlie Brown liked to sleep when we were watching TV.

Guess that's all from here. I still can't figure out how to get to Picassa to upload pictures to my blog so can't figure out how to get a watermark on them.

Talk to you all soon.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Almost Done in Salem

Whew! What a week it has been here in Salem. I am done here in Salem but Ron is busy working tear down as I write. His first job of the night was to tear down the ticket boxes. There were 7 in total. That means 18 monitors, printers, scanners need to be put away. Some go to the White Unit, some to the Blue Unit and the rest to the Red Unit. They will be tucked away till next season as we don't use these while in Puyallup. They have their own monitors, printers and scanners. I am sure he will also be doing garbage detail in those ticket boxes because the sellers just don't seem to know they can empty the garbage. After Ron is done with all the ticket boxes he will see where Brian or Kenny want him next. Ron is kinda hoping they say they don't need him for any other tear down so he can come back to the motor home and get a few hours sleep before we head to Puyallup.

I guess I should reflect on how the past 10 days have been here in Salem for the Oregon State Fair.

One change this spot was that Rob was gone to New York for a week and then Puyallup to get things ready for our arrival on Tuesday and opening day on Friday, September 10th. My boss this spot has really been 4 ~ Kevin, Rick, Ron Jr, and Mr. B. Each told me at different times that I did a good job. I was told by Rob on the phone on Saturday that our time in Eugene was the best Customer Service they have had their in a long time. Only had two nasty customers ~ I blogged about them under "Musings from the Customer Service Window."

In speaking with Rob he had had no complaints about my work here in Salem. Made me feel good as I had a few rough days. Once being accused of doing something that I had not done and the person would not listen to my side of the story and twice when an employee said something about me that was not true. Those three incidents made me ready to leave after this spot. After a lengthy discussion with Ron, many prayers sent up on my behalf, an email to Rob followed by a phone call with Rob things began to look up. Since Saturday, when things kinda came to a head, things have gone much better. I also believe it will help to be back working directly with Rob as my supervisor. I was encouraged by my conversation with Rob. One of the things Rob said on the phone was that we do a good job, we work well with the bosses and fellow employees and he did not want us to leave as he needed us in Puyallup. Just the things I needed to hear after dealing with the person causing problems.

Customer service interactions went fairly well. We did have one lady who got slightly injured who came up to the CS window. Both Ron Jr and I dealt with the situation and we thought she left with good feelings. Later we found comments from her on Facebook/Oregon State Fair page that said she was treated rudely by the person in Customer Service. I was thankful that Ron Jr was at the window when I interacted with her. He had me document what had happened and how I handled the situation just in case something further comes up with her. I had a few lost children. One little girl, about 6, made it from the Dinosaur exhibit all the way to the midway (quite the distance) and we had to call the Oregon State Police to come take her and reunite her with her parents. We also had a 9 yr old girl come from the Les Schwab area where the magic show was held make it to the midway where a customer found her crying alligator tears saying she could not find her mom & dad. After calling her parents (she knew their cell phone number) they were also happily reunited. Our last lost children were two little ones 7 & 5 who got separated from their dad. They started out in Kiddie Land and ended up at the CS window. They were happily reunited with him after about 20 minutes. For awhile there I thought maybe I was going to get me a few more grandchildren. Am very thankful that with the help of the Oregon State Police all of them were reunited back to their families.

Had a few scams tried to be pulled on me. One was someone selling used tickets as new ones ~ we are able to pull up every transaction for each ticket card sold. Found out who the person was selling the cards and they were dealt with by the supervisor. Also had a little boy, about 11 years old, who tried to tell me his wristband would not work. Funny thing, I scanned the wristband and found out it had been sold for the Tuesday night special and we were having the Wednesday night special at the time. I said to him, "I think you tried to scam me for a new ride bracelet when actually the one you have on is from last night. I think you were lying to me. Now what would your mom say if I called her on the phone and told her what you were doing?" His reply, "I don't think she would like it." At that he stepped down from the CS window and went on his merry way. We alerted the ride supervisors to make sure the ride operators were scanning the bracelets because people were trying to use the ones from last night. Also reminded them that the color of the stamp was different for Wednesday night from Tuesday nights special.

All in all, customer service went fine this week.

Ron and I did get to have an afternoon and evening off together. We walked around the fair, borrowed Wendy's car so we could go do laundry and then we went to Applebee's for dinner. It was nice to get away from the crowds of the carnival for an evening. While looking around the fair we bought a couple of Christmas presents. I told Kevin the next day, that we spent too much money and maybe it is not a good thing for us to have time off together.

Our time off was on Thursday. On Friday morning Claudia called me and asked if I wanted her to do my laundry ~ told her thanks but it was done. Maybe while we are in Puyallup she can do it for us. She only works part-time for Kevin & Johnny and since we only get one or maybe two days off in Puyallup (we have a 16 day run there) and so she said she would be happy to do our laundry when she goes to do hers, her daughter's and her boyfriends. I am so blessed by some of the friends we have made here.

One issue we had here in Salem was that we decided to upgrade our Verizon wireless card to a MiFi card. What a hassle that was for us. Bought it Thursday, tried to hook it up Thursday night. Could not get it to connect. Spent 2 hours on the phone Friday morning with Tech Support. They could not figure out what was going on. Spent another hour on the phone with them Saturday morning. Still no connection. Finally Ron got on the phone with them, spoke firmly and finally got connected to a supervisor AFTER the person speaking to him on the phone hung up on him. The supervisor told us to take the MiFi card back to the Verizon kiosk where we bought it and get another one. So on Saturday night I spent another 48 minutes on the phone with John and we were successfully able to get the wireless connected. I was never so happy as there were a few things I needed to do on the computer and needed the internet to do it.

I paid a couple of bills that needed to be paid and then I sent off our resumes (that I did up on Friday night after working 11 1/2 hours) and a letter for a position selling Christmas trees in the San Francisco Bay Area. That position would start on 11/27 and go to 12/24. We are hoping to hear from Kevin tomorrow or Wednesday. Would appreciate prayers as we search for and apply for winter work. I am also working on applications for next years holiday season with Dollywood in Tennessee. We are trusting the Lord and know he knows what we need to be doing and where we should land next. We just want to open and willing to go where He wants us to go.

All in all our time here in Salem has gone well. What would life be without a few bumps in the road. Well I just realized it is now officially Tuesday morning so I had better close this post for now. Need to ready the inside of the motor home and get a few hours of sleep so I am ready to drive to Puyallup tomorrow.

The plan for Tuesday is that we will go to Costco for gas and groceries and then head North on I5. We will be stopping in the Portland area to see Melissa, Kyle and Kambree (Brandon's friends from college days) and have lunch together. Then I will be taking the wheel and driving us to Puyallup. Ron plans on sleeping while I drive. We will then get settled into the bone yard at the fair grounds and then get ready for work on Wednesday morning. Not sure what time I have to report, will find that out tomorrow evening when I connect with Rob once we are in Puyallup.

Set up in Puyallup will be Wednesday and Thursday with opening day on Friday, September 10th.

Guess that's all for now...thanks for stopping by and reading about us. Don't forget to leave a note. We love to hear who is reading about our travels/work/life with the carnival. Will have another blog post for you in the next couple of days.

Prayer Requests ~
1. For safety on the road as we drive to Puyallup tomorrow (really today).
2. For set up in Puyallup to go well.
3. For the issues that I had last week truly to be in the past and that my attitude will continue to be one of graciousness flavored with lots of positive thoughts.

Take care.

Alice & Ron

PS...Almost forgot to mention the newest member of our family. CB Jr, joined us last Saturday. As many of you know, we had to get rid of Charlie Brown to come work for the carnival. Well, last Saturday while walking through the fairgrounds with Claudia I found the cutest little puppy just looking for a home. He looks very similar to CB (that's how come he is known as CB Jr.) I paid $10 for him. He is the cutest little thing. If you watch him long enough you can even see him breathe. CB Jr was waiting for Ron to come home from work. He slept in his little bed right on the printer near where Charlie Brown liked to perch. Ron did not notice him till Sunday morning after we played the hot/cold game. I will get a picture of him in the next couple of days and post them for you. Right now he is snuggled in his little bed on the chair behind the passenger seat. He is such a good little puppy. He never cries, whines or jump on people.

PSS ~ can you figure out what kind of puppy he is?

Am hoping to be able to post pictures Wednesday or Thursday once we are done with set up in Puyallup.

Love you all!