This week though, I think I owe you guys not JUST a light-hearted entry, but one where I make myself look like a complete and utter moron.
|Cat "The Moron" Rust has a nice ring to it.|
Now before I get into the gory details, this is a disclaimer that um, I'm kind of immature in a joking way with people who share the same type of humor. Most of you who know me personally are probably saying some version of the phrase, "....and what else is new?", but some of you who either a) don't know me or b) think highly of me (I realize this is likely a scant few) may be shocked or possibly even offended by this story. That's your warning, and I hope you still want to be my friend.
|Think this is tasteless? Read on.|
Ahhhh. Here goes.
So I put in my notice at National Aquarium towards the end of September. It was sad, because I really enjoyed working there and it also signaled the end of my marine mammal career. Lots to process, to say the least. But everyone was super supportive of my new path.
My final weeks were filled with tying up loose ends, playing with lots of dolphins, and causing trouble with my coworkers. One of these coworkers is a fantastically sarcastic, hilarious person (who is herein referred to as Snarky McSnarkerson). Let me just give you a quick breakdown of this wonderful human being and the relationship I have with her.
On my first day on the job as lead trainer, I was sitting in the marine mammal office in the usual This Is My First Day On The Job Oh My God I Have Forgotten Everyone's Name Already And Also Where Are The Bathrooms whirlwind, when this tornado of a human being blasts through the door and says:
"THIS MOTHERF***** JUST THREW CHICKEN INTO THE HABITAT."
A small voice from an unseen place replies, "Um, Snarky McSnarkerson? This is Cat, our new lead."
Ms. McSnarkerson looks at me, color drained from her face and says something like, "Oh. Oh my god. I'm so sorry. BUT THIS KID JUST THREW CHICKEN INTO THE POOL."
I was already LOLing at this point, reassuring Snarky that it was seriously fine (no guests could hear her) as we all assembled to gate the dolphins out of the main habitat to retrieve the chicken. And so, the stage was set for my rapport with this sassy trainer.
Aside from sarcasm and talking in a variety of obnoxious accents, we shared another slightly more edgy activity that involved using the iPhone's message drawing feature to send uh, cartoonish representations of male genitalia to each other. Sometimes they wore hats. They almost always had faces, although once we made one into a palm tree. I'm pretty sure she made one into a Christmas tree at some point. But I digress.
These phallic images were sent liberally to one another, almost to the point where it was expected that we would exchange at least one image on a weekly basis. And so, this trend continued for the duration of my employment.
Precisely eight days before my last day, I was in the office taking care of some random stuff. Snarky was on her lunch break, probably eating some version of pizza and/or pretzels (she is also like 9 pounds, which just isn't fair), watching The Bachelor on her phone. You know, like you do. I decided that this was a perfect opportunity to send her a well drawn cartoon of a giant, fluorescent wiener. Like, huge. With a really cute little smiley face. I scribbled away, admired my work, and sent it into cyberspace where it was delivered to Snarky's phone.
I waited. The reception in the office was wonky at times, so I didn't expect an immediate response. But then seconds turned into a minute. Then two. Then three.
|Waiting waiting waiting|
Confused, I asked Ms. McSnarkerson if she'd gotten my text. She looked up from her phone and said, "I don't think so." She scrolled through her messages. "No."
"What?" I said. I looked down at my phone. The message had sent. And then.... "OH. OH GOD"
At this point, a few of the other trainers (equally awesome as Snarky, might I add) started paying attention to my blossoming panic attack. Because I hadn't sent the giant dick pic to Snarky.
I had sent it to my boss.
|Actual footage from the event|
There it was, in all its colorful, smiling glory. A cartoon penis, just sitting in my boss's text message window, without any explanation whatsoever. Just a friendly cartoon phallys from your quitter-employee, Cat.
I looked at my phone for what seemed like hours. I think I might have yelled incoherently until I was better able to express what was happening in actual language. My panic is reaching critical mass as I spew out every possibility that results in my boss NOT seeing the message:
"DO YOU THINK SHE SEES IT BECAUSE IT DOESN'T SAY SHE READ IT YET"
"DO YOU THINK MAYBE SHE EVEN HAS THIS FEATURE ON HER IPHONE BECAUSE MAYBE SHE CAN'T SEE IT BECAUSE MAYBE SHE DOESN'T HAVE THIS FEATURE ON HER PHONE"
"DO YOU THINK MAYBE THIS IS JUST A NIGHTMARE AND ALL OF YOU IN THIS OFFICE ARE JUST FIGMENTS OF MY IMAGINATION"
And then a little line of text popped up under the grinning appendage. "[Your boss] kept Digital Touch Message from you."
I actually fell to the floor and curled up in the fetal position as my coworkers laughed at my insanely mortifying mistake. I was doing something that hovered between sobbing, laughing, and pooping. I waited. And then I sent my boss a text to try to begin damage control.
And here is how the conversation went:
Luckily, she was super awesome about it. And later I found out she thought the photo was some kind of message regarding the penis present behavior I was working on with another amazing trainer. It just goes to show that in zookeeping, no body part is considered lewd (and you know what? It should be like that...right?).
Sigh. Please tell me some of you have similar stories.....