I am sure most of you are wondering how our first week went…so here goes:
If you read the previous post you will know all about our first day but to sum it up here it was a good day.
First I should tell you that Rick & Theresa are the show managers and our bosses. The carnival opened on Thursday at 3:00 so we reported at 2:45…fifteen minutes before carnival start time. We each got our uniform shirt and jacket and put them on. Not the most stylish of things. We found out that they check a jacket out to us for the season but we have to check it in and out each day. Every day we get a clean uniform shirt. I was going to say new BUT some of them have definitely seen better days. We check those in and out each day too.
The first day the carnival was open in Kelso, Thursday, we were only open for 3 hours. It was raining hard and so Rick closed us down at 6:00. It was a very slow day but a good day for Ron and I to get in practice on learning the procedure for selling tickets. Thursday morning, Ron’s plumbing skills came in handy as one of the showers in the condo trailers (where the single people live) was plugged. Ron pulled out some of his tools and fixed the clog. The guys in that condo were so excited to have two working showers. Michael made the comment “what do you know, we thought we were just getting ticket sellers and we got a plumber too.”
Friday we opened up at 1:00 and closed at 8:30 p.m. Ron made a whopper of a boo-b00 – he sold a ticket worth $88 when it should have been $8 BUT he caught it before it was given to a customer. The weather on Friday was mixed with rain and sun and gray clouds. Business was a little busier. During our 15 minute breaks we usually just hang out in the back of the ticket box. During our half hour lunch breaks we usually walk around and talk with others who are working. It felt good to both of us to put in a full day. We each bought a Funtastic Shows baseball cap – a necessary part of the uniform for those rainy days.
Saturday was our long day. We were open from noon to 10:00 p.m. The weather was beautiful – lots of sunshine. The great weather brought out many people. We saw lots of grandparents with their grandchildren, groups of teenager and moms and dads with their kids. The best part is seeing the excitement on the face of the little kids as they watch the rides go round and the anticipation on their faces, knowing they will be going on the rides soon. It was also fun to hear the shouts of glee when prizes were one at the game booths.
One of the games is to hit the hammer as hard as you can to see how strong you are. Children under the age of 12 always win at that game. It is so cute to see some of the little toddlers carrying these big plastic hammers which are twice as tall as the children. I hope to get some pictures on a sunny day soon.
Late Saturday afternoon, Theresa had me go in the office to learn how to do some stuff in there. I worked in the office for about an hour and a half. It was so good to be doing some familiar things like checking time cards and tallying numbers for different reports.
Sunday we were greeted with a dry day but it quickly turned to rain. I had a rough morning. I was feeling very homesick and missing our Northwood family and getting ready for church. I wondered what the bulletin looked like, missed the marching around the sanctuary with the palm branches singing Hosanna! Hosanna! and being home. I shed a few tears, got a couple of big hugs from Ron and then prayed for the Lord to take away my tears. Reminded myself that we are where we know the Lord is leading us and felt the peace of God come over me.
Ron worked the ticket box by himself for the 2 hours we were opened. Rick closed down due to no customers and lots of rain. I worked in the office for six hours. Theresa taught me some of the stuff to do for payroll – oh, the memories that brought back: frustration over not being able to read people’s writing, numbers not adding up and things missing from the time sheets. Theresa and I connected with stories of doing payroll and the joys (headaches) that come with that job. I also counted money, input stuff into the computer and other general office duties. It felt so good to be doing office stuff ~ I am definitely at home working in the office.
After Rick closed us down the for day, Ron did the tear down of the ticket box. That includes removing the computers from the ticket box to the main office, laying the chairs on the floor and securing everything inside. He also got the fun job of emptying the garbage. Kenny, the ride boss, then had Ron help with tearing down a couple of the rides. Boy do they get dirty doing the tear down. Ron needs to remember to take work clothes on closing days so he doesn’t ruin his “show clothes.” That’s what they call our uniforms. Kenny liked the work Ron did and so is going to have him help with the set up on Tuesday.
We are slowly getting to know some of the people and learning some of the jargon. Those who work in the games are called gamers. A few people have taken us under their wings. There is Marva, Roseanne and Diane (who Ron calls Michelle ~ why I don’t know, he just does and she just laughs about it). They are all gamers and have been with the carnival for multiple years. Marva and Rose are mother and daughter. Diane’s husband, Eric, will be joining us when we get moved to Lacey. Eric is also a gamer.
Michael, a ride man, has also welcomed us on board. He made sure on Wednesday night to get us set up with water and electricity. His actions definitely helped us to feel welcome. A couple of other guys, Sean and Albert, two brothers, are also ride men. They have also been encouraging to us. A few of the other ride men are Ricky, BJ, Thomas and Daniel. BJ and Thomas also are in charge of the uniform trailer. One of the requirements for being a ride man is that you also know how to service your ride.
One of the jobs that Ron picked up was shuttling people from the campsite to the lot (that’s where the carnival is at) and taking people to the store. It made us getting to work a breeze since Ron was driving. Sunday night we finished up with work and running people around about 9:00 p.m. All in all it was a good week. Tomorrow starts a whole new adventure for us as we tear down camp and move to a new location.
Thanks for your continued prayers for us as we settle into this new life ~ a life of working & traveling with the carnival.
Alice & Ron