Thursday, January 8, 2015

The First Two Weeks on the Job

A general recommendation for life: try to avoid working a mix of 8 and 12 hour shifts 16 days in a row without a break. It is not an ideal recipe for sanity or health. That said, my initial working marathon has come to an end and I actually got my days off  (Wednesday and Thursday) this week. That worked out rather nicely since yesterday was Alison's birthday and I got to have the day off to spend with her.

This job is definitely different than anything I have done before, and is certainly calling for some significant adjustments, but it is also quite unique a huge blessing. Granted, there are times when I am sitting in a booth pushing buttons wondering why I wanted to do this, but there are also times when I get to be a part of some pretty interesting things. Here are a few highlights of my first two weeks on the job:

~Watching from the south lawn as the first family boarded and took off in Marine One

~Being approached by and petting "Bo," the first dog

~Being given a cup of presidential coffee by one of the White House Stewards

~Standing on Pennsylvania Avenue as the first real snow of the season fell on the White House, turning it into a winter wonderland

~Being approached by a man reporting as the 45th President of the United States

~Working with the president and other high-level dignitaries from Mexico, including standing at the front door of the house they were staying in as they came out to get in the vehicles to depart

There is also a lot of yelling at people to walk on the sidewalk (rather than in the middle of the road--I am amazed at how many people struggle to grasp why it is not a good idea to walk down the middle of the road), and trying to keep warm while standing outside in increasingly cold temperatures, but overall, its a rather interesting job.