27 September, 2008

Big Spring Jam Weekend

Every fall Huntsville puts on a music festival called Big Spring Jam.  It is called a spring jam even though it happens in the fall because it takes place at Big Spring park, the place that has the drum circles.
Adtran was a sponsor this year, and they needed volunteers to man their booth.  It came with free admission to the shows on the day we worked.  I don’t really have much of a life outside of work, so I decided to volunteer.
On the day we were to have our meeting, last Thursday, I lost track of time debugging my program, and I missed the meeting.  I showed up right as the organizers were getting ready to leave.
They accepted my profuse apologies, gave me a t-shirt and a pass, and told me where to find the booth.  I don’t know a lot about the company, yet, but they didn’t mind.  All I would be doing is handing out free giveaways and answering any questions I could answer.  The fact that I was just a co-op was actually a good thing, because a lot of their new hires start out as co-ops while they are still in school. 
They also reminded me that I wasn’t ‘just a co-op’ but that I was a valuable member of the team.  It may just be toeing the party line, but it still made me feel good.
I volunteered for an extra night (Friday) because they needed one more person to work the late shift, and it gave me a chance to see Saving Abel and Shinedown Friday night.
I went and saw the bands.  I stayed back a ways so I didn’t have to mosh.  There was crowd surfing and other rock and roll antics, but I am too crotchety to get into a mosh pit any more.   But I worked my way up close enough to see the guitar work, which was quite impressive. 
I left a little before my shift so I could work my way back and stopped by a stage to watch a cover band who was singing some Blink 182 songs.  They got this little kid (12 or 13?) up on stage from the crowd to help them out in the last part of the All the Small Things and he rocked the house.   He even pointed the mic at the crowd so we could sing na na nana nana nanana.  It was awesome.
I showed up for my shift and introduced myself to everyone.  Then I got up front and started talking to the people that came by.  It was pretty fun.  We were handing out chapstick and flashlights and hand sanitizers.  Some people asked what they had to do with what we did.  Usually I said something banal like pointing out they were just giveaways, but sometimes I would quip that it was just too expensive to hand out computer equipment, and once I said the chapstick came in handy because we were always kissing up to AT&T.  That got a good laugh.
I answered a lot of questions from college students and other people who came up to talk.  I used to do stuff like this when I was a recruiter, but I hated that job.  This is a lot better, because I have absolutely no qualms with Adtran or what it does.  Also because there was absolutely no hard selling like they wanted me to do in recruiting.  I didn’t have to convince people they should join Adtran.  I just talked.
And you might not know this but I can run like the wind, because I am so deathly shy, but sometimes I can be very charming.  I think I was flirted with quite a bit, but I did not want to flirt back, not only because I was a representative of Adtran but also because I am still in a (long distance?) relationship with someone.  I hate long distance, but I still respect the boundaries, even though she thinks I don’t.
But it made me realize that the relationship really needed to evolve.  I’ve been lonely too long.
And Kenny Rogers singing in the background didn’t help.

Statistics are like women; mirrors of purest virtue and truth, or like whores to use as one pleases.
~Theodor Billroth
Every gambler knows that the secret to survive is
Knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep

The Gambler, Kenny Rogers

**Friday they had Styx, last night they had Kansas and .38 Special.  Tonight they have Loving Spoonful and Three Dog Night.  It’s like a time warp!   (But, sadly, no Meatloaf) 
(Cookies and milk to any who get the reference…)

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