Monday, October 18, 2010

Creative ideas

I want to remember the things that I loved at the zoo so that one day maybe I will be creative and figure out how to make some money off of it. I love training animals but I also love giving people advice and information about animals. On my last day at the zoo I had two different people ask for advice in subjects that I had no idea I was an "expert" in until I started talking to them and realized they had no idea about any of it. 

One of them was just a random woman and her daughter walking through the zoo that had just bought a guinea pig. They wanted to know who they could talk to because they had a few questions. I said that I guessed they could ask me because I was in charge of some guinea pigs that live off exhibit. I was thinking that I would have no clue about whatever specialized question they were about to ask. However, they really had no idea about any facet of animal care, much less guinea pig care. They were SO grateful and excited and full of so many questions that I had always just taken for granted that I knew and understood. I would love to help more people like that!

The other question was from another zoo. Someone had come to visit our zoo and then returned to work at their zoo and said that their porcupines looked obese compared to ours. I had to take that phone call because I was the only porcupine trainer that was at the zoo that day. I never would have said I would take the call otherwise, thinking I wasn't knowledgeable enough. I was nervous because I was talking to another zoo and I thought that no way would I know the answers and that I would look stupid to these other experts. It was all super simple (or so it seemed to me) questions and answers and I had no problem sharing my knowledge. 

:) Those are just little things that made me happy and I hope to keep in my life somehow. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Last day

So today was the last day of working at the zoo. I didn't feel as sad as I thought that I would. I actually was ok and didn't feel so bad leaving. I said good bye to my animals but mostly I wanted to leave just like it was a normal day and not get emotional. I tried to get lots of pictures off of the computers and bring them home with me. I am going to miss Domino, Zamir and Larry the most. 

I am excited to start my new career tomorrow. I think first days are even worse than interviews so I can't wait for tomorrow and this whole week to be over. This time next week I will be snoozing! I still am excited to start something new though! 

Tomorrow I will start a new challenge with all of it's let-downs and excitements as well. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Moving on

So I have to write about this to get it all out. Once I write about it I will probably not think about it again.

I told my co-workers yesterday that I was leaving the zoo. I saw some shocked faces and some sad faces. Afterward, everyone came up individually to talk to me about where I was going. When you make a big decision like this you always wonder if it is the right thing. I love animals and I thought that I wanted to work with them forever and have a career in the zoo field.

However, when I had two different people come up to me and whisper:
"pssssst... Brittany!" 
"If your new company has any openings, will you let me know?"

I knew that I had made the right decision. These people have been there 2-3 years and obviously aren't as happy as they pretend to be.

I feel that for a career in the zoo field you have to give up your life. I was willing to do this and gave up my life for one whole year. One whole year of never having a weekend off and working from 7 am- 7:30 pm every single Saturday. I might even have been willing to give my life up for another year or two. When you really look at the situation though you realize that this won't be just a year or two. You may give up twenty years of your life before you ever reach the position of supervisor. Even then you don't get weekends off. You might get one weekend day off. Also, there is no guarantee that you will become a supervisor! If I had given up twenty years of my life to work at the zoo and then was passed up for the supervisor position I would have been devistated.

Even though it is hard, I know that the best thing is for me to get out of the field. Learn something new. Build new skills and new contacts. You never know what might come along and you never know how the zoo might come back into your life years down the road because of the new skills that you have to offer.

I will always love the animals. That goes without saying. I am in the process of obtaining as many animal paintings and pictures of them as I can. Luckily, I can always go back and visit if I just can't stand not seeing them any more. I am also looking for my own pets.

My new adventure right now is buying office clothes. It is fun!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A glimpse of my day

Here are two of the animals I work with at the zoo.
This is Freeday. He is an Indian Runner Duck.

This is Cody. He is a North American Porcupine. I train him on a few different behaviors.

Aren't they cute?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New hair cut

I got a new hair cut today and the lady thought that I was still in high school. This was even after we had discussed how I work at the zoo. So, in one blow she knocked down me and my career. I guess I should be happy that she thinks I'm still in high school and one day I will probably miss getting comments like that. Right now though, it is like "No! I graduated from college about two years ago now thank you very much." Then, after I told her that I indeed had a college degree she goes "So what are you doing now?" Um HELLO!! We just discussed that I work at the zoo. I said "Well, the zoo IS my full time career". She just didn't get it.

Also, when I go and get my hair cut, people always comment on how healthy my hair is. The shampoo lady commented on it and then so did the stylist. Then, in the next breath they both try to sell me all of these crazy products that I "should" be using. I always want to say, "Didn't you just tell me how healthy my hair is? Did you ever consider that could be because I DON'T use millions of products on it?"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

6 Months in..

My new job is going quite well. I have now been there a little over six months. I have been trained in most of the areas and have to wait to get a rabies shot to be trained in the rest. I have just finished learning to make all of the diets for everything in our section. I quite enjoy this part actually.

My favorite parts of my job is getting to do animal training. I have three animals that I am currently training. A two year old nigerian dwarf goat named Domino, a four year old miniature zebu steer named Zamir, and an adult North American Porcupine named Kendall. It is what makes my job worth while every day.

I now live in Houston with a roommate that I have known since middle school. Everything kinda worked out and she got a job about the same time that I was looking for a place. We live in a good location and with traffic I am about 20 minutes from the zoo. Much better than the previous 45 I was driving.

The only thing I still desire from this job is a little bit more mental stimulation. I would like to be able to perform research projects or write papers about the animals or something of that nature. I need to find a way to incorporate that into my job. All in all, a career as a zoo keeper is very fulfilling for me!

Friday, September 18, 2009

New job!

So I DID finally get a job!! One that I really, really wanted and am very excited about. I know that it will be a lot of hard work and I may wish I could move up quicker than I will actually get to, but I am very excited.

I had to go through two phone interviews as well as a "working interview" which was very scary. If I can do that, I can do anything! I had to go work with the other keepers for almost an entire day. I really liked all of them though and enjoyed the work. So now, it is looking for somewhere to live. I have had an offer to stay with some...friends of friends in a very nice house on a lake so I think I may take them up on that for at least a month while I try to discover where it will be safe to live in Houston. I can't wait to have my own place though and cook my own food. Someday.

I finally will have income of my own at least!

I am going out tonight and then headed to CStat for the Aggie football game tomorrow! This will be the last one I will go to for a while since I will begin working weekends when I start in about a week. On sunday I am going to drive around Houston and check out places to live. Life is still stressful but something finally went right!