October 20th, 2002

color cycle (slow)

Science Center Planetarium: Understaffed

What a day.

For those who don't know, I'm a volunteer at the St. Louis Science Center. I alternate between Saturday and Sunday regular volunteering- today was a regular Sunday day.

As if there's ever a normal day. In short, a gallery that's supposed to have a staff of eight had a staff of three. And I was part of it.

Let me tell you, when there are so few of you, you really have to bust your ass. There are no long breaks- one five-minute break is all I got.

It started off with half the exhibits broken down. Most were fixed by finding the correct unlabled switches, but I had to make handwritten "OUT OF ORDER" signs for the other two- you see, we ran out of the official signs.

I then worked as the only general floor assistant in a gallery designed for four of them. I managed, since we weren't too busy.

Then I had to run the Star Shuttle.

For two and a half hours.

The Star Shuttle is a glorified elevator. Running it involves giving a spiel about the Planetarium and then operating the thing every six minutes.

For two and a half hours.

There is nothing in this world that can describe how incredibly boring and yet taxing that job is. There are no adjectives for that level of pain, that level of exhaustion.

Oh well. At least nothing got stolen, killed, injured, or maimed.

But with luck, we will never, never, NEVER be that understaffed again.
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