I have to admit, I have an odd high point from the Dark Odyssey WinterFire event this year.
I’m on the crew for Dark Odyssey. A position that gives me lots of work in a short amount of time but some excellent satisfaction in a job well done, a venue to play as much as I want, and a good chance for service.
This high point of my time came on the last day of the weekend. While the revelries of Sunday night had just wound down and the sun rose over a darkened DC skyline, my alarm went off, waking me for the tear down. I was told I’d end up driving one of the trucks, which brings much of the gear from the DC Hotel to the storage space where we hold Fusion. It’s not a terribly odd thing that I drive a large vehicle, after all, I have a commercial driver’s license and made my “living” at driving buses for a while. I’m comfortable with driving them even in the worst of conditions as I learned to drive 40′ vehicles on snow covered parking lots and roads. But to drive one of the trucks, well, that was special. I mean, this only happens once a year. And one of the drivers is always the crew leader, the other someone who has usually already done it. Or someone that is “not me”. But this year I got the call, thanks to someone else’s business trip.
So, I drove the truck. I didn’t back it into the bay, but I did end up pulling it out and after merely assaulting a garbage can (that can deserved it!!!) on my way out of the slip, the driving was uneventful.
But that’s not the high point. After all, it was a measure of trust I was given and I succeeded, but the high point is after we drove to the drop off. Due to staffing shortages (ask me if you are interested in hard work and DO crew!) I ended up getting to the storage area where we off load. Now, two trucks, two off load points. I had one. With one person. Normally, we have 4 or 5 people. One person packing the storage, one person unloading the truck and a crew between us. But this time, it was the two of us. And we unloaded almost all the truck ourselves. We were sent a couple other folks after we hit about 3/4 of the way in, but we were damn close to done. My partner in crime and I just grinded away on the truck, one piece, one box, one stripper pole, one crate, one futon at a time. Unload, drag, stack. Unload, drag, stack. Lather, rinse, repeat. And we got it done. I appreciated the help of the others once they showed, but I really think we emptied it ourselves.
And this is where it comes down. I get angry at time. I curse in private at people at the office who I end up doing their job for. I mutter. I stew. I dwell. And yet, here I was with 24′ of box truck to unload and it didn’t matter. We unloaded it. We did what we could with the two of us, we got it done.
And at the end of the unloading, I was speaking to “C” – my partner in crime with the truck unloading – and he complimented me on not getting upset over it. And his compliment made me realize that I had, for a time, transcended my anger. I didn’t get bent out of shape. Sure, I thought it would be nice to have some more help, but I knew that the other crew was up unloading the other truck and getting ready for “the lift”, which is a huge job. But I was content to unload, store, just get it done and smile.
A beautiful night as I watched the sunset over camp, storing all the things away until Fusion happens again, clear warm skies, a beautiful time, a good weekend, a rejuvenating weekend and I got complimented on my level headedness. And that let me know I’d had a good weekend and was far more relaxed than when I started. Thanks “C” for the compliment. And thanks to the crew for letting me get it done. And thanks for sending reinforcements at the end. It WAS heartening to have the extra help at the end, to know I wasn’t forgotten.
Crew is a special thing. I miss some of the people I usually see. We work hard together and we play hard together. But we are a family that gets the job done and then we all go of together and stuff our faces with chinese food. And we watch out for each other.
Of all the play, all the fun, all the joy I saw at camp, the notice of my being chill under the auspice of doing a huge effort with minimal help was one of the best things. I’m happy to have had the opportunity.
Thanks, all for a wonderful hotel “camp”.