Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Indoor Zookeeper

It's been almost six months since I moved to my new job in Baltimore.  This new job has provided me a lot of new experiences and I thought it was high time I shared some of those with you all.

The most significant change is.........

............I WORK INSIDE.

Cue the heavenly choral music

Some of you reading this are probably like, "Uh, so?"

But most of you are probably seething with envy.  If you're not, you're in your favorite season right now and can't possibly imagine taking care of animals indoors while the sun is shining gloriously.  Just wait until winter, when you're cold and wet and in a wetsuit and there is steam rising off of your body and your hair is frozen into actual ice and -

Sorry, I'm being mean.  I'm gloating a little bit.

Nice hat.

The truth is, I DO miss working outside.  It's really fun to be out in my favorite seasons (hot), get a killer tan, bleached blond hair, and just be at the mercy of ol' Mother Nature.*  But there are some massive cons to working outdoors...and some serious perks to my comfy, cozy situation now.  Today, I want to share these thoughts with all of you.

Reasons Why Working Inside Is Awesome

1. Weather? What Weather?

You're right, that's what I meant.

Listen, weather is great and everything.  But after 10 years of being dragged through rain, snow, water spouts, cold fronts and lightning-caused-wildfires, I'm perfectly happy working in my 75 degree Fahrenheit climate-controlled work environment, staring out at massive thunderstorms approaching or, eventually, snow falling from the sky. 

We all do

No longer do I have to wonder if my skin will slip off of my body because I've been in a drenched wetsuit, standing in the pouring rain with little to no shelter for 9 hours.  No longer do I have to wonder why I feel searing pain in my hands that I thought were numb with cold.  I no longer experience the sickening panic I felt every time I had to work outdoors with lightning striking all around me.  

You know what? Let's just do the dolphin show.  We'll be fine.

2. Insect Pals 

Do you see what I see?

Sorry, outdoor colleagues.  I know what you're dealing with.

Fire ants.



Yellow Jackets.

Fire ants invoke pure rage in me.  Mosquitos are annoying.  And yellow jackets are known triggers of psychotic breaks.   Noseeums were probably used as a form of torture during the Spanish Inquisition when pulling someone's arms off wasn't working.  

You know what the worst insect life I've encountered so far is? 

Fruit flies.  Yeah, those little friendly slow-flies that just want to break bread with you.  

Fruit Fly: Oh, hello human! Might I share that Krispy Kreme donut with you?
Me: But of course, because you won't drink my blood.

3. No More Sunburn


Especially lip sunburn, which for me was the seasonal sign that spring had sprung.  My lips, no matter how much sunscreen I put on them, would sizzle like a bratwurst and then cause me excruciating pain every time I had anything to, you know, eat. 

4. Thermoregulation

Look into her eyes

I haven't shivered uncontrollably since stepping foot into National Aquarium.  Oh, I'll get a chill every now and then.  But I've never stared at a dolphin habitat and thought, "It's okay, you can do this" as I steeled myself for misery and pain in freezing weather.

I haven't had sunscreeny sweat drip into my eyes and burn them out of my skull.  Why? Because I don't really need to sweat.  Because, you know, I'm inside.


An actual photo of me

EVERYTHING SMELLS SO GOOD INSIDE.  No Red Tide!  When I leave our amphitheater area, I walk into a public thoroughfare that smells like the glorious food sold in the cafe.  Pretzels, pizza, fries.  Oh my.  Outdoors, smells like this get diluted.  Indoors, they are right in my happy, happy face.

Reasons Why Working Outside Is Awesome

1. The Spirituality of The Outdoors

Well, you're dumb

Being outdoors is good for us.  It connects you to nature, which all of us could use.  I've seen wild dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, sharks, Northern right whale calves rolling in the surf.....being in nature is incredible.  There is nothing like it.  

2. Fresh Air For Everyone

The best work view ever

The smell of salty air, the ocean, or whatever the season's blooming flowers happen to be waft in the breeze.  It makes you feel good to be alive.   The animals, who have adapted (like us) to be outdoors, can be in their element.  

(But so can the noseeums).

3. I Don't Look As Old (For Now...)

That could've been me.

My hair is super blond.  My skin is tan.  I look 10 years younger, because you can't see my white hair or any of my skin's imperfections.  I love how I look when I've worked outside for a while.  Will I say that when I'm 40? Ehhhhh. 

So you see, there are obviously pros to both situations.  Most of what I've written is, per usual, slathered with a healthy dose of humor.  I actually think when it comes down to it, I prefer working outside (if only we could get the concentrated pizza smell to linger outside like it does inside....).  But there are a lot of reasons why I think it's a nice break to be indoors.  

What about you, fellow readers?  Tell me your biggest pros/cons of working in or outdoors!

* Who is basically a jerk

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