Fun Work Can Kill
This almost killed me. Not Bee, but the event. When I volunteered to work the show and I got the schedule which showed 12 hour shifts with a 15 minute break, I figured it was a mistake. Who works 12 hours on their feet with only 15 minutes to eat and use the restroom? Well I can tell you who does - people who work the show.
It was equal parts awful and awesome. There really is nothing like interacting with people who are passionate about the product your company makes. And I'm not talking mildly interested or enthusiastic - I am talking 'turn it up to 11' levels of interest. There were a lot of collectors there, and I'm sure a fair share of them were resellers on eBay (these were exclusives after all) but there were plenty of people who just loved the brands. I got CHEWED OUT by a guy because we had sold out of the action figure he wanted. Seriously. You have no idea how pissed off that guy was - but hey, it's that passion that makes our company successful, so more power to you, Admiral Thrawn loving guy.
But here's the thing - it really did almost kill me. I have worked a desk job for the last 28 years. I'm, shall we say, buoyant. If we were in a boat in the North Sea and it sank, I'd definitely live longer than you because I have more insulation. I'm out of shape. And I was completely unprepared for what it means to work on your feet for 12 hours. I even had on comfortable shoes, but comfortable shoes when you are carrying too much weight is like working with a backpack full of weights on. It wears you down far faster than you can imagine, good shoes or no. Easily the most physically taxing thing I've done in the last 20 years.
At the airport, getting ready to head off to another city for more meetings, the guy who runs the event for our company came over to me. A woman, some young teenaged kid's mom, had found him and thanked him. She wanted him to pass on to the woman who was directing people up to the register that she had helped her autistic son, who was panicking that he wouldn't get the exclusive he wanted. This woman gave him a note to say thank you, that the interaction had made a big difference to her boy and she hoped he would pass the message on to me. Made my day. Made the show for me really. So I'm going to work to lose a few pounds so I don't have quite the same near-death experience and if I'm offered the chance, I will do it again next year. Maybe I will even wear a costume...