It felt a little weird to be off from work today. It was a previous scheduled day off and my being in the office wouldn’t have changed a thing from what occurred, but it isn’t often that you lose a colleague and it gets picked up by the AP.
I love my job, but I haven’t been in it long enough to form any kind of special bond with the living collection other than I think I’m an accepted part of the fabric. I have a great appreciation and a tremendous amount of respect for those folks who work directly with the animals. It’s a tough job under the best of circumstances and when an animal gets sick, these guys are rock stars.
Our friend Buki was a favorite with visitors and staff. She had a playful manner and a sense of fun that put everybody at ease. A case in point, I occasionally am pressed into service in a spokesperson role, which is no big deal, I’m fairly comfortable in that role. That is kind of ironic as school oral reports were always moment of fear. In any case, early last summer, I came down with Bell’s Palsy. I’ve since beat it back, but for a time the right side of my face was frozen in a bit of scowl. That is kind of handy when you have teenage daughters, not so much when you are representing your institution.
Anywho, when the terrific public relations coordinator is out, I get the call. She was away for a live shot on one of the local morning shows. The day before my boss told me nobody could see anything from my affliction. While that was nice to hear, it didn’t stop my worry. I’m irish, it’s how I roll.
The butterflies only amplified when the reporter asked me to face to the right (my afflicted side). I knew my talking points and whatnot, but I was having a tough time concentrating on my answers thinking that I must have looked, I dunno, scary or something. Trying to remember myself, I think I sounded nervous the first time out despite the reporter’s kind words. I should mention that Buki was sniffing around a little behind us while we were talking. I think mostly to see who had the jelly beans, an occasional treat. The initial segment finished and I felt a breeze behind me. I don’t know if she sneezed, exhaled or just sighed at the silly visitors, but whatever it was, I like to think the old show business pro was telling me to chill.
So I did. The rest was easy
Thanks, friend 🙂