Archive for September, 2011
Everyone who has a blog has to whine about their stupid job once in a while. Yes, this got me fired once, Yes, it’s going to be boring, but I need to vent. Ok, it’s not actually the job that sucks, it’s the circumstance of the job. Job #2 is pretty cool. I like all the people who work there. It’s a good place to work– owned by cool people etc. It’s just that this one account I have to take care of has been eating my soul recently. It’s the one where I have to deal with the Harvard Business School chapel. You know, the Logan’s Run-esque pyramid of plants that should not see the light of day on this latitude. Yeah, all these:
Let me start by mentioning aphids. Tiny bugs in the family Aphidoidea, the little bastards eat plant leaves and multiply at alarming rates. They suck out the juices from leaves and secrete this sticky substance which romantically is called Honey Dew because ancient peoples thought it “fell” like dew. In reality, it’s just bug poop. It ranges from a light shiny coat of sticky sheen to where it looks like leaves have been dunked in Karo syrup. Certain kinds of mold thrive on this substance, which is why if you don’t catch the aphid infestation soon, mold will colonize the sticky leaves and turn them brown and fuzzy. Aphids are soft-bodied creatures and easy to squish. This is why, after having to prune the crap out of a bunch of trees, I spent the day with my arms covered in sticky goo and aphid corpses. However, the corpses were much preferable to the live aphids who kept crawling down my shirt because apparently my chest looks like a juicy false coffee plant. Even after I got home and took a shower, I still could feel phantom aphids scurrying all over my body. Ack.
The aphids only live on one tree, though. The more sinister parasite inhabiting this Eden of non-native plants is the spider mite. Luckily there are fewer of those. They just make webs that stick to you, but are easily brushed off. The evil colonist of the garden, the Conquistadors of the Class of 1959 Chapel are the mealy bugs. Normally mealy bugs are the size of a pin-prick. They are on a par with poppy seeds size-wise when they get big. Normally you can’t distinguish between individual bugs as they mass together and are white and fuzzy. A plant with mealy looks like it’s had little cotton balls glued to it. Harvard, always having to out-do everyone, boasts mealy bugs with an average size of a sesame seed. Not terribly huge, probably 10 times the size of the normal bug. However, much of the mealy found here are the size of grains of rice, which gets kind of gross, since the bugs are really sticky and also poop gooey stuff. There are several that I’ve come across that are the size of small pumpkin seeds– these are creepy! Luckily they don’t move fast, nor do they have a desire to crawl into my clothing.
However, the aphids were the not the least enjoyable part of my job. Note that the tiers of plants are hemmed in by cement slabs. Each one of these slabs is about 6″ wide and one has to walk on them in order to do any plant maintenance, lest he or she tread upon actual plants. I had to chop down orange trees with trunk about 4″ in diameter with clippers whilst balancing on a cement slab. Spending all day squatting on slabs made my knees ache like something fierce while my back similarly hurts. My right hand is nearly useless from grinding the cutters against the trees all day. Plus, orange trees have ginormous thorns, so my arms are all scraped up.
Oh yeah, the pond normally had koi in it, but due to budget constraints, the koi got laid off. Thus the mosquito larvae get to thrive in a totally predator-free environment, and thrive they do. My legs are all bitten up since I was the day’s lunch special.
Why am I whining? I should be grateful I have such a cool job. I should be happy that I’m not working in a coal mine or back at Dunkin’ Donuts endlessly explaining why there are only two toast settings “somewhat warm” and “on fire” while politely deflecting potential suitors who need coffee and a Green Card.
I’m whining because I’ve had a fever all week and spent two days languishing in bed watching Masterpiece Theatre over the innernets while sweating my balls off even though it is late September and really not that hot out. I still don’t feel 100% awesome yet and being achy all over while phantom insects inspect my bra is not really doing it for me today.
Ok. I feel better. Back to your regularly scheduled blog.