Archive | June 2015

Another Weekend & Procrastination

It’s Thursday, which means I am on my weekend.

Yesterday my friends Ben & Cindy moved away. They are driving to Michigan and they left me some of their odds and ends that they did not want to pack. So now I need to re-organize my closet. I didn’t have much in it before, but having a laundry basket and a bag full of misc stuff just sitting in my closet will drive me crazy sooner or later.

Yesterday we also got quite a few new employees in orientation for the gift shop. They are from Taiwan. Luckily they speak English very well, and seem very eager to learn everything. It was strange & sorta funny walking into the TV room last night, with a room full of kids laughing, talking and getting ready to play some game called “Put & Take”. I never heard of the game and did not stay and watch them play.

My roomie has been sick and took yesterday and today off from work. Her weekend officially starts tonight but she will now end up with a 4-day weekend. I hav already seen the schedule for the 4th of July weekend and I am scheduled to work 9am-8pm. Hope I can last through that crazy weekend.

I am trying to be quiet in the room so she can sleep. Not sure if I can clean out my closet without making noise. Seeing as we did not get the rain as predicted for today, maybe I should go down to Keystone and just walk around for awhile. I will be sooo glad when I can order stuff for my camera and get pictures of that little town. But that would mean not cleaning my closet. But we all have to be good at something, and I am terrific at procrastination. My ex used to say I lived in the “Land-of-Later”, meaning I can do anything…only I will do it later, sometimes later is months away.


Seasonal Workers

I guess I would say that it takes a special kind of person to adjust to living a seasonal work life. Most of the people I know (in real life or on sites like coolworks) move around to different locations 2-3 times a year. That can be great if there are alot of locations that you want to visit or if you don’t like snow. You find a job up North in the Summer then a different job down South during the Winter…unless you like to ski, then maybe you would want a Winter job up North. Changing jobs is not the hardest part of being a seasonal worker. Actually that can be fun, because you can be a cook for 1 season then work in a gift shop durng the next season and maybe be a ski instructor or work on a golf course during another season. You don’t have to worry about getting stuck in a rut for very long. You also get new co-workers every season too. So if you don’t click with someone, you can just count the days till you can move away from them.

The hardest part is “living” in employee housing. Actually at the moment, I don’t have much of a problem with it..(maybe I am used to it and just going with the flow for now) but my roomie is having a hard time adjusting to the sporadic wifi & phone service here. She wants to be able to keep in contact with her family at ALL times, and there are times when that ain’t possible. I only have a cheap tracfone that uses minutes for every text & call, so I hardly use it anyways.  Nobody here can watch youtube without interruptions & buffering either. That is also annoying for me, but I guess I can live a Summer without youtube. This is my roomie’s first season in this type of job, and I really doubt if she will last until the end of September when our season ends. As far as I know she has not heard back from her job interview in Rapid City.

One of my ex-coworkers from Grand Canyon, is now working at a resort in Idaho. I found a cook job available there now. It’s open all year long so I will check back with them later to see what’s open during the Winter. Anyways, he says the wifi works great there. According to that location, the housing is alot cheaper too. Ooh the list of places to check on for Winter jobs is getting long but it’s to early for places to know what they will need then, so I need to just learn to be patient and wait a couple months. Hmmmm, do I want to spend the Winter in a new snowy place with cheap, cheap rent or go to a warmer place with no snow (could only stay till the end of March because of the heat)…and no darn public transportation, or another unknown place. Ooh just thinking of all this can drive even me nuts.

Well I should just stop thinking and go to bed. Luckily my friend Cindy brought me 2 old pillows earlier this evening, so maybe with the 2 old pillows I already had I might be comfortable. I hope so because I am tired of waking up with a sore neck, shoulder & backache. The office people here really needs to invest in new pillows. I miss the pillows I had in Vegas, but with the luggage size restrictions on a plane I couldn’t bring them and I couldn’t afford to mail them.

Meals today were nothing to brag about. I was really disappointed at tonight’s dinner. I was looking forward to stuffed peppers all day until I started eating one. There was no flavor..way to bland, and the pepper was a bit over cooked. My roomie had swedish meatballs over bow-tie pasta but she said the pasta had to much butter..the butter was dripping all over her plate.

My Weekend

I have Thursday & Friday off again this week, so this is my new weekend for now. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day, which was a bit surprising after the heavy rain, lightening and then a hail storm the night before. So far today it’s another sun-shiny, bird-chirping day

Yesterday after breakfast, I went to check out the museum here. It’s the 1st time I have been to it. It’s pretty cool if you’re into history, politics, and sculptures. They also have a nice bookstore. Afterwards, I rode to Keystone with the shuttle driver. He had to get gas for our shuttle so I ran into the little country store to get chips. Yes I know chips ain’t good for you, but I had to be quick as the driver had a schedule to keep. I just needed something so I could get change to do laundry today.

I went back up to the employee dining room (EDR) for lunch. I had ham, sweet potato, peaches. and a small piece of chocolate cake…I won’t grab that cake again. it was toooo chocolaty, tooo rich & sweet. Just the peaches would have been enough. I wasn’t really hungry at dinner time, so I skipped it. But later I did have a tiny package of craisins & an orange while sitting in my dorm room. This morning seeing as I have the dorm room to myself (roomie went to visit family) I skipped breakfast and just had coffee & another orange in the room. We are not allowed to cook in our rooms. We are probably not supposed to use the coffee pot either, but I am glad that my roomie brought it.

Late last night, I happened to be downstairs with a group of the kids. Belle mentioned that she was a “National Park Brat”. Like the military brat who grows up moving from 1 military base to another, Belle grew up moving to different National Parks. Her parents worked in Zion, Crater Lake, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, and somewhere in South Carolina & Tennessee. I think she said that she will be going back to Death Valley when our jobs at Mt Rushmore is over for the season. Hmmm, I had thought about applying there again. (didn’t get the job before) If no other job appears to me, then I need to get more info from her about Death Valley.

Somehow I must of twisted my knee again yesterday, because last night it started hurting when I walked or just put pressure on that leg. Luckily I can walk better today,  so I can carry laundry downstairs.  The laundry room is downstairs near the community TV room. There is a bookshelf crammed with books, magazines & jigsaw puzzles. I grabbed a couple books to read 1. The Weird Sisters, by:Eleanor Brown 2. Whiskey Sour, by: J.A. Konrath & 3. Critical Conditions, by: Stephen White. I have lost sooo many books during all my traveling. I had bought a kindle in 2012, but it got stepped on and broke, then my tablet died on me while I was in Vegas a couple months ago. I could carry the whole bookcase in those electronic gadgets, which was easier to carry when traveling.books-1



Yesterday was my 1st payday here at Mt Rushmore. I arrived here late in the pay period so I only got 32.17 hours. We get paid every 2 weeks, so a normal pay period should be 80 hours. My check was actually more then I expected. Before I got here I was told that my room & board would be $98/week. Well either it’s actually a little less then that or just because I was not here for a whole week, they did not take out a whole weeks worth of room & board.

Anyways my room and board came to $70:  $20 for rent & $50 for meals. I was told that you pay for meals whether you eat them or not, but from now on I will keep track of how many meals I eat to see if it really see if the meal charge changes at all.

I had enough in my paycheck to pay Cindy back for my plane ticket. Now I have $20 left. With meals & rent taken care of, I only absolutely need to make sure I have enough change for laundry. Right now money for anything else is extra.  Ben & Cindy want to go out for dinner tomorrow night in Keystone for Ben’s birthday. So that dinner will be an extra. It seems almost silly to go out and pay for a dinner,”if” we will also be charged for a dinner at work that we won’t even be eating.

Ben & Cindy have changed their leave date. Then will be gone next Wednesday, at the end of the next pay period. They are moving to Michigan. I should have just over 80 hours on my next paycheck and hopefully the direct deposit kicks in, so I can shop on amazon. I want to get stuff for my camera before I take the trip to “Crazy Horse”. My camera accessories are the only thing I really wanted to make sure and buy this Summer.

We have an employee appreciation Day once a month here. This month it was yesterday. That means we got a special dinner last night and almost everything in the gift shop was 50% off. I did not need anything, so I did not buy anything. Sure there are some nice shirts & coffee mugs that I like but I need to remember that whatever I buy now, I will have to pack up later when this job ends in September, and I already know that I hate packing and lugging stuff around airports or bus stations.

My 1st Week in South Dakota

Wow, I have been here over a week now. Like every place there are some good & bad stuff about the location and there is good & bad points with this Summer job. The friends that got me this job have already put in their notice to leave. They will leave on July 6th. My roomie had a job interview in Rapid City on Friday, and sent me a message on facebook saying that it was great. I assume I will get more info later today when she returns to work.

Yesterday, I also found an ad in the paper for nurse’s aide training (CNA) in Rapid City & Sturgis, SD. I will call the number listed in the ad later to get more info. But the paper says that it’s a 2-week paid training. That’s better then the 6-9 weeks that I find in other states. Had a traveling nurse come through my register in the gift shop yesterday. I think she was on vacation between jobs at the moment. But now that’s something I used to want to do. Hmmm, could I really still do that?? I assume the benefits & housing would be better for traveling nurse’s then it is for seasonal worker’s.

Yesterday, I got a bit ticked off at 1 of the other cashiers but later learned that she is our manager’s niece and she is only 16 years old. Seeing as she is still a kid I guess I can learn to give her some slack. Most of the time I really like my job. Yesterday we had a children’s author in selling his books. The kids really seem to like him and his books, as we sold alot of them.

I will probably never get used to the schedule for mealtime or the shuttle. That’s the 2 negatives about working here. I guess I got used to working at the Grand Canyon and having their schedules. Even though I like my job now, I doubt I would come back to this location…just because of their scheduling for meals & shuttles.

We had ice cream for dessert on Friday, from what I hear that’s a Friday tradition. I took a small bowl of “Mint Chocolate Chip”. This week I start  work at 8:30, so I just have time for a bowl of cold cereal & banana for breakfast before I clock in.  But I am scheduled to get out at 5:00pm so I have a little more time for dinner before catching the shuttle back home.

Ooh, I must tell you, my favorite thing about this week. I went to watch a play at the “Black Hills Playhouse”. 1 of the recycling guys drove me and 1 of the international kids(from Thailand) there. The play was “To Kill A Mockingbird”. Now I had never read the book before this. Now I have read the Cliffnotes version online. The play was great, I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the ride there..most twisted road ever with cool-looking old-style wooden bridges. But it’s not a road I would want to travel on during the Winter.

Day Off: My box arrived

The small box that I mailed out to myself arrived today. So now I have my PJ’s..I had been wearing my gym pants to bed so far. But seeing as my roomie likes to have the windows open all night and a small fan going, I can snuggle up warmer under my blankets now.

The gym that was advertised in this location’s web page, is actually just a small dorm room with a treadmill, 1 step machine and some other piece of gym equipment. I must not of been to impressed because I can’t even remember what it was. I don’t really think many people use them. I am on my feet so much for work that I am to tired afterwards to bother with it anyways.

It’s a rainy foggy day outside. When I took the shuttle up for lunch today, I could not even see the president’s faces on the mountain. For lunch we had yummy veggie lasagna, some type of pulled pork over bow-tie noodles, potato wedges (I forget what meat went with those), oh I am soo thankful for the salad options & fruits. I think I saw meatloaf as an option for dinner tonight, but I ain’t going up to eat tonight because I don’t want to miss my trip to the Black Hills Playhouse. I get to see the final rehearsal for the play “To Kill A Mockingbird”. The playhouse is in Custer State Park, which is one of the places I wanted to see this Summer.

Unfortunately I won’t be taking the camera with me, so hopefully I can get back to that park after I buy accessories to go with the digital camera. Then I will be able to post pics of this place online. I will get back around midnight tonight, so it’s a good thing I have tomorrow off too. My roomie will be gone tonight to visit family and then she is off tomorrow, so she will be going up to Rapid City for a job interview. It will be interesting to see if she stays at Mt Rushmore for the whole season.

MoRuNow I got that picture from a google search, but it’s what you see (without the rain & fog) when you leave the gift shop and walk out towards the mountain.

1st Day of Work

I worked 9:00am-5:30pm. Rode the shuttle down to Keystone to pick up a couple co-workers first. I arrived a bit early, so I could grab a quick breakfast in the employee dining room. Just Raisin Bran, banana, applesauce & coffee.

Spent the day stocking shelves. Took inventory of what we needed in the gift shop then rode the elevator up & down to the warehouse trying to figure out where everything was. Had to get lots of coffee mugs, snow globes & kids stuffed toys. Seems as soon as I would stock a shelf then I had to go get more stuff to restock the same shelves.

There was an guy named Nick answering guests questions about working/carving the mountain. He is 94 years old and the only living person left out of all the guys who worked on carving the mountain. His favorite president was Lincoln.

After work I grabbed dinner. Chicken breast, salad, & apple crisp/apple crumble/apple brown betty…which ever name you call it. Its all the same to me. Then I took the shuttle back to the dorm. My calf muscles were killing me. It still hurts to walk this morning. I am not used to being on my feet walking so much lately. Hope I get used to it soon.