Since I mentioned the Agriculture Canada job in my Day 2 report, I’ll throw in a story that very few people know about.
My first two co-op jobs were in technical support for Agriculture Canada (later the Canadian Food Inspection Agency). In the summer after my second work term, when I was making my switch from Engineering to Arts, they asked me to do a couple of things for the annual retreat, which was essentially a big party at the Nottawasaga Inn.
The first task was to produce a year-in-review video, which is easy nowadays, but was very difficult back then. It involved a very expensive copy of Adobe Premiere running on three computers, which I took from the office in Guelph to my house in Waterloo and ran constantly. Even rendering just a few minutes of video in the 90’s would require a computer to run pretty much all night, so I would set one going and then work on another one, grabbing a few moments of sleep when all three were processing.
And now, your smartphone will do that in a matter of seconds. Yep.
As the deadline approached, I worked harder and harder, and got almost no sleep. However, I got it done, and that leads into the second thing they asked, which was for me to come to the retreat and be their mascot. For this purpose, one of the staff made a costume for me, which was…a purple turtle. I have no idea who came up with the idea, or why it was purple, but it sounded fun so I agreed. Also, I had heard that it was a pretty awesome weekend-long party.
And then I went to the retreat, put on the costume, and became their comic relief, aided significantly by my lack of sleep. Honestly, I was delirious for pretty much the entire first day, which meant that I had no filters, and pretty much did or said whatever I thought would be amusing. Again, I don’t remember much, but seeing as they kept encouraging me, I guess I didn’t cross too many lines. Heck, they even thought I was funny during the volleyball tournament, when someone gave me a bullhorn and told me to be the colour commentator.
Hmm, that’s probably the reason that I’ll take any opportunity to crack jokes over a live microphone or bullhorn until someone takes it away from me.