Monday, February 29, 2016

another stress dream

I've been a bad blogger the last couple weeks. You can get a sense for how my February has been going from the dream I had this morning:

I stop by one of my big environmental sites (an extremely sensitive and public setting) and find that a strange drill rig is set up right on the front lawn. So I start asking people what's going on, and I find out that one of my subcontractors, which is a very high maintenance "we're the technical experts so we don't need to pay attention to any field direction" firm, has gone ahead and started a big drilling program without clearing it with me. They just called up the client and organized everything behind my back.

So I get mad. I start making phone calls, and I find out that the rogue subcontractor hasn't applied for any permits or utility clearance or anything, they just showed up with a drill rig and started poking holes. And they call the client to bolster their claim that everything is actually all my fault, and we get into a giant argument, and suddenly they have a field crew of, like, 60 people all making phone calls and arguing with me and the neighbors come over and start asking questions like, "who cut down all the trees in my yard? and "hey, who drove into my front door?" and I'm trying to yell over the din and nobody's paying me any attention.

Not really a great way to start the morning.

Friday, February 12, 2016

sharing a porta-potty

So my last post was about how having my period in the field wasn't a big deal. It's true that it's not anything that really slows me down. However...

...this is your last chance to avoid a gross discussion...

it is super awkward to be the only lady in the field team and to be sharing the porta-potty with a crowd of guys, the same way it's awkward that you know someone's system isn't agreeing with breakfast because they booked it to the porta-potty and spent quite a while there. Nobody hangs out in an aging porta-potty just to finish the article they're reading. Much as some people are inclined to bury the results of an unpleasant visit to the porta-potty with a pile of toilet paper, those results are usually obvious to the next person. And if you have a field crew of any size, those results get, ah, closer and closer to the toilet seat as the fieldwork goes on. You can't help but look - you need to make sure there isn't some sort of horrible critter nesting in or about to fly out of the seat.

And then everybody knows exactly when it's a heavy flow day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

fieldwork and your period

A recent post at Dynamic ecology referenced a long twitter discussion of menstruating in the field. What amused/horrified me was all the suggestions that we (the ladies) should just get an IUD or take a whole bunch of hormones or something to banish our periods altogether. What a strange overreaction.

I've been getting my period since I was 13, and it's really not a big deal. On days where I need them, I keep my feminine supplies and a couple of plastic baggies tucked in a pocket, and then I wrap the used item in a bunch of toilet paper, stuff it in a baggie, and dispose of it discretely in the trash. Sure, it's awkward to spend inordinate amount of time in the porta potty or communing with nature, but honestly, I've worked with a lot of guys who seem to have, uh, intestinal distress on a regular basis and everybody gets that sometimes you need to take a time out.

Menstrual cramps have been more of a problem for me than disposal or awkwardness about having to disappear much more often than usual. Luckily, I found out late in college that my cramps are directly related to poor diet, and I avoid them almost entirely most of the time. I will admit that I'm lucky that both my cramps and migraines respond readily to non-prescription medications (naproxen for cramps, excedrin with caffeine for migraines) as long as I take it as soon as symptoms hit, not once I'm doubled over with pain/nauseous.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

pizza politics

As I discussed a while back, I don't really eat lunch in the field. I'm fine with other people eating lunch, but I tend to work right through the work day.

With that said, I may still get irrationally annoyed if someone:

1. Orders a pizza without telling anyone or asking if anybody else wants to order

2. For pickup right before we head out on a four-hour drive

3. Eats the large, greasy pizza with lip-smacking gusto

4. Does not offer to share, and

4. Leaves the remaining half of the pizza in the cab of the truck for the rest of the drive

Seriously, if you're going to order something big and aromatic and then trap me in the truck with it, the least you can do is an offer to share a slice.