Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Fire and Heat of Utah

I just recently moved to Utah, preparing early for some sort of graduate program attendance. One thing I was not excited for was the heat. Well, I didn't realize just how hot it would be for my Northwest-bred body. My lips are chapped all the time and the skin on my legs sometimes look subject to a drought. Plus, there is a plethora of spiders hanging around, scaring the essence of life out of me.

But, it's really not all that bad. I got a job as tech support, which is actually much better than I thought it would be. My brother works at the same company, so I applied because he sounded like he was happy working there and I'm all about a job that makes me happy. When I was told I'd be working tech support, I kind of started to fret. Like most kids of my generation, I know computers well enough to easily function on a daily basis. But, tech support? I was not that advanced.

When I got into the actual job, I got even more nervous, since some of my coworkers would spout mumbo jumbo about ip configuration and database preferences. I often asked the poor, unsuspecting people in the office about how to solve issues and I hoped and prayed I would conquer all this confusion on my part.

Good news, I got over it. I learned quite a bit; I got a lot of help; and I was able to handle most issues on my own. I learned what questions to ask, what sort of information to collect and now I'm feeling alright about the job part. But my favorite part isn't necessarily that I'm learning so much, it's the people.

I love my coworkers.

Maybe that seems weird because I've only been working there for maybe a month or so. But we really have a lot of fun while we're working. When you call tech support, you usually hear some professionally dull person on the other end saying, "how can I help you?" What you don't know is that sometimes, while that tech is waiting for something to load up, they will mute the phone so you can't hear them and turn to their coworker and be like, "let's order pizza." I do the best that I can to help each client, but my workplace doesn't stop you from having fun while you're working. We laugh and joke and tease all the time as we search through tickets, submit replacement orders and change preferences in the system. What's even better is when I have some sort of question, I can freely ask my coworkers to get a proper answer. We've been trying to plan a sort of chocolate milk drinking game to spice up the tech support life, but we have yet to actually put it in motion.

One thing about me that people may not know is that I love to share and help. I especially love to share food and feed people. When people say they're hungry, I say, "what can I get you?" I tend to get motherly at times and I'm often prone to making sure people are comfortable and happy. Need someone to pour your soul to? My door is always open. These coworkers of mine let me be the sharing self I am. When I bring food, they always want some of it. It doesn't matter if it's carrots or candy, they want a little bit. Now I can share to my heart's content. I rub their shoulders if they're overwhelmed and I make a food run after my shift for them. I love it. I just love it.

I also got a second job as a writer for a web design company. I write on simple topics, like, "How to Whiten Your Teeth with Baking Soda." I write everything from home and it's a nice, relaxed second job. I enjoy it quite a bit and I learn odd bits of useful information.

Now I'm living in a house my parents bought, acting as a house manager for renters in the house. My parents and I spent a couple weeks sprucing up the place by painting, wallpapering, gluing, repairing and basically having a good time. I do love it here. Of course, I'm still kind of establishing a life in Utah, but so far it's going well. I guess we'll see what happens.

I took a trip home to Washington a couple weeks ago and got to spend a week with my family. All my siblings were able to gather together and just have a bunch of fun like we always do. We fit in some radical Yahtzee, some serious tubing and a trip to my favorite beaches in the world: Northwestern beaches.

Whenever we play Yahtzee, we always seem to up the required Yahtzee reactions. While on our vacation in Hawaii in April, we were required to open the glass door of in the hotel room and scream Yahtzee to poor, unsuspecting people. This last family vacation we had together, we had to jump in my parents' pool when we got a Yahtzee. My mom actually had to jump in with all her clothes on (she was not prepared in that particular moment) and she totally hopped in like the hot mama she is.

We went tubing on the Columbia, which is always my favorite. Of course, I loved everything we did, but tubing is basically my only source of exercise. And if you say it isn't exercise, then go extreme water tubing and tell me how you feel the next day. As usual, I was the first to jump on the tube, since the river isn't exactly warm. Unfortunately, I really had no chance when I was paired up with my dad and my brothers, since I don't have the arm and leg muscles for real battle tubing and I don't have a manly weight to my advantage. I fell of quite a bit and got knocked around on the wakes, but I kept going for awhile. At some point, I fell off the tube and the lip of the tube cover caught on my upper lip, scraping across my gums and lip. When I popped up out of the water, my lip was numb, but I was alright. Well, I thought I was alright. I wasn't dying or anything. The boat came around and my dad took a look at me and yelled in his fatherly voice, "she's bleeding, stop the boat!" My sister snatched up the camera and took a picture and my mom handed me a water bottle to rinse my mouth out. There was no noticeable damage. Just a good picture and a small cut and blister on my gums and inner lip.

Going to the beach was nice for me. I think the beaches of the Northwest are just gorgeous. Maybe it's because I grew up appreciating them. I've seen Hawaiian beaches, California beaches and the beautiful beaches of Mexico, but Oregon beaches have a beauty all their own. It was a little chilly when we went, but that didn't really matter to me. I loved spending some time with my fabulous family in one of the most beautiful places on earth. It was just nice to be home with my favorite people. Hawaii was good to me and Utah seems like it'll be a great place, but the Northwest will always be my home.