Sunday, April 10, 2016

Guardian Angels for Zookeepers?

I saw this article the other day discussing the signs that indicate your guardian angel is around (here's an example of one), and it made me laugh because in our field, I feel like all of these signs are so common-place.   Does this mean we have zillions of angels flying around us invisibly?  Does it mean that all of these signs indicate that they are desperately trying to get our attention, only to be callously ignored?

I believe in angles.

I'm gonna share some of these "signs" with you, and then propose that any angels trying to send us subliminal messages try some other methods that zookeepers would actually notice.

The Normal Guardian Angel Signs

1. Feathers

No zookeeper will notice a feather

Um, if an angel is trying to get our attention by leaving feathers, you're competing with a lot of other feathered-animals.  Unless this angel feather is like 5 feet long.

2. Scents 


They say suddenly smelling something good means an angel is nearby.  Look, if I smell something good at my job, it means one thing: some lucky guy or gal got to take a shower before their shift was over.

3. Babies/Pets

Do yourself a favor and NEVER google "creepy baby"

If a baby or an animal suddenly fixates on something invisible in the room, it may mean there's an angel standing there.  If an animal in a zoo or aquarium does this, it means your facility is haunted.  End of story.

4. Music

I can hear it in my dreams

Hearing angelic music suddenly is another sign....but there is no way the harkening of angel trumpets can be heard over the endless-loop of our zoo or aquarium's mind-numbing soundtracks. 

5. Coins

Throw pennies into an aquarium.  Throw plastic bags in the ocean.  What's the difference?

Find a penny on the ground?  It's probably from an angel.  Unless you work at a zoo or aquarium, then it's a guest who tried tossing something into one of the habitats to "make a wish", and now you are filled with murderous rage. 

6. Temperature Change

Our life in one meme.

A sudden temperature change indicates the presence of a guardian angel.  Or it means you work outside.

7. Feelings


Caring for animals means you have all the feels.  Ain't no heavenly being going to be able to infiltrate the emotional complexity of an animal care professional, especially not at work.

Zookeeper-Friendly Guardian Angel Signs

1. Really Unusual Scents 

Smell that surstromming?? It must be an angel!

Angels, if you want to get our attention, then suddenly flood our noses with the scent of flafel.  Or other smells we'd never encounter at work OR at home, such as gourmet food, or money

2. Food Prep Completed

I googled "glorious" and this is what I found.

If we come in and all of our buckets are made for the day, we'll know what's up*.  

3. $100 bills

Or a fifty.  Fifty's fine.

Pennies won't cut it.  We'll notice big bills, because no one's throwing those on the floor.

4. A Clean Staff Bathroom

Is this so much to ask?!?!?!?!?!??!??!

Not that we live in squalor or anything, but especially with marine mammal caretakers, our locker room/bathrooms are damp places with heaps of clothing and random bottles of shampoo everywhere. Our towels have holes in them and none of our socks match.  It smells like neoprene.  It'd be a sure sign of angelic activity if we walked into a lilac-scented, dry bathroom with all of our clothes neatly folded.  Also, I don't want to get too greedy, but a sauna and/or hot tub would be nice.

5. Perfect Temperature and Weather


I work indoors now (which is awesome after being outside for 10 years, can I just say), but it still gets cold.  Today, it sleeted (brrrrr).  So while it was definitely a million times better to WATCH sleet instead of work in it, I was chilled.  Temperature changes are not adequate paranormal signs.  Maintain a 78 degree day with absolutely perfect humidity, a dash of clouds in the sky, and no sunburn despite a sunny day?  That's a sign I'd pay attention to!

6. An Actual Angel

Come, my child.  Let us walk to the snack bar.

Sometimes, they may just need to come down and talk to us.  We're usually most approachable after we've eaten.  Trying us just before lunch time is a waste of time, because we wouldn't notice a volcano erupting ten feet away if we are on a mission for our lunch.

7. Free Food On A Really Bad Day


This I've actually experienced: random food that just appears from nowhere on a terrible day.  It might be bad weather, or something sad happening at work, or maybe the guests are all super crabby, but the appearance of food on those days is by far the best, most scientifically-sound evidence that angels exist.  

While I realize not everyone who reads this blog believes in angels, I'm just covering my bases.  If they DO exist, then surely we'll start to see some of those signs at our jobs, since we've probably been missing the typical ones.  But regardless of your personal beliefs, I think we can all agree that we have a lot of angels in our lives: the animals we are privileged enough to care for and know, and the amazing people with whom we get to share our life's passion.

One of many angels I know :D

* Which can also mean our commissary staff, less experienced trainers and/or volunteers are angelic

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