Don’t Try This At Home
October 25, 2009 § 3 Comments
This past week at work was our annual field review. Last year I went but I didn’t have to present anything for it so I spent the whole time wandering around being not much use to anyone. But this year I presented my first site for review. What happens is our main boss comes out and looks at the sites we have chosen to see if we did a good job or not. This can be stressful! I didn’t have to show anything until the last day so I was somewhat prepared for what to do by my boss and Nori, who went first. They both did a really good job and I got some experience looking around at and describing sites I had never been to before. And I saw some pretty neat stuff.
At that point it hadn’t really sunk in yet that I would be the one doing the presenting very soon. By Thursday morning, I was shaking in my boots in anticipation for the events that were to come later that day, when I would be the one in the spotlight.
We started off the morning at Quemado Lake, where we met some people who usually work in an office all day. It was the week of their leadership team meeting and they decided to go camping in the cold weather. (Believe it or not, New Mexico does get cold this time of year) Silly people. Even we stayed at a hotel. Anyway, we went up there because our bosses had to give a presentation telling them about what we do all day, because they have no idea. Honestly, I have no idea what they do all day either, but oh well.
Then it was time to show my site. I was nervous but I managed to explain things and answer questions with confidence (or at least what I thought was confidence). On the site itself I had described some things that were not quite right but I just tried to explain my reasoning the best I could and admit when I knew I had done something wrong and correct my documentation where appropriate.
We were able to have some fun times as well. It was a really great group of people, including all the usual suspects (the field soil scientists), the forest soil scientist and hydrologist (who are both awesome), the contract botanist from Arizona, and a couple student employees who came and went as time allowed. I sat on the porch of the hotel drinking tequila and beer with my bosses and heard stories about serial killers, and pigs feet, and run-ins with the law, plus much more. It’s great to hear from these people who have been in the business for so long because they have so much knowledge and experiences to share.
When we arrived back at the office on Friday afternoon and were taking out luggage to load back into our own vehicles, my boss told me I did a good job. He said, “I’ve seen some improvement, just keep trying to get better.” I told him I was really trying and he said “I can tell.” It was something I really needed to hear.
We also did some trundling. This is amusing. You should try it if you ever find yourself on a steep slope with many large boulders. Exciting times in the woods of New Mexico.