I am now *more than* halfway through my summer. Eeck! Time is going by so fast – it’s crazy to think I only have about 8 weekends left. Instead of trickling in, the people here are going to start disappearing out, on to their next job or school or the next thing in life. While I love this place and the people here, I am excited to go to Ecola this fall, and for all of the adventures and learning that awaits me there!

Since I’ve passed the halfway mark, I thought I would share with you – *dun dun dun duhhhhh!* – A Day in the Life of  a Busser!

I took my camera with me to work Thursday and snapped a few pictures. Let me describe to you my day.

Let’s start with the alarm clock, shall we. That shrill, annoying alarm clock… going off at 6 o’clock in the morning.

I am blessed with the ability to immediately sit straight up in bed when my alarm goes off – like I was hit with electricity, and the grogginess comes later. So I turn off my alarm quickly, which is important when there are 3 people within 10 feet of me, sleeping soundly.

6:14 am – Hair brushed. Teeth brushed. Nametag – belt – non-slip shoes – khakis… check, check, check. Ready for work!

Taking pictures of myself in the mirror makes me feel like on of those people on Facebook, ick! But it’s essential to show you just how awake.. and lively.. I look.

I left 3 snoring roommates behind and tromped to work.

6:21 am – Down the pathway

Through the woods and across the 'bridge', past the C store

Through the woods and across the ‘bridge’, past the C store

The sky was beautiful, pearly shades of light blue to lightest blue. And I’m not waxing poetic here – it really did remind me of a pearl.

As I walk past the lodge to the back door, I can already hear the sounds of the kitchen awaking through the high windows. Since we close everything down at 11 and open it back up again at 6, the restaurant kitchen only gets about 7 hours of darkness and quiet… then the ice machine, the ovens, the dishwasher, all are back to constant use.

6:25 am – I pause outside the door before going inside. The mountains are like my mother. They always look beautiful. 😉

Clocking In

There are few people meandering through the kitchen – they are still wearing their coats and their eyes are not quite focused. We do not talk. Blurgh.

My co-busser Ben shows up and we make sure everything’s ready.

6:44 am – The Trapper Grill

All ready for coffee-guzzling people

Then to breakfast! The only days I am actually awake and at the EDR early enough to have breakfast are days that I work early, or days that I go on a long hike. Or days that I wake up before 9… oh wait, those days don’t exist! 😉

6:55 am – Breakfast. Pretty much the same thing everyday.

Ben and I had to gulp down our breakfast to get back to the restaurant by 7am. The tables slowly trickled in – mainly couples – and we kept the coffee brewed and the maple syrups filled. Cleaned and set the tables.

During the slow hours there was a bit of “wrestling” between the servers. The practical joke in the kitchen is to grab someone’s nametag as you’re walking by. The nametags are magnetic, so the magnet on the inside drops to the bottom of the person’s tucked-in shirt and they glare at you as they work it up and reattach their nametag. This particular day there was a war between Ben and Jared the server as to how many times they could knock off each other’s nametag (sneakily.) The score ended 7-4.

After 11 o’clock, our famous “Signal Mountain of Nachos” began to appear on the tables, and I headed to lunch.

The sun was now high and the morning shadows were completely gone.

11:56 am – Kayaks heading out from the marina


11:59 am – Baked ziti, grapefruit, and some strawberries I saved from the night before

After eating I went by the marina to sit in the sun, eyes closed, for a while. Probably a mistake as that and my full belly simply made me tired. Everytime I come back to work after lunch (3 more hours to go), I feel as though all my energy has been draaainnned from my body!

12:26 pm – Whistle Pig by the dumpsters

Back to work.  The deck is now open, as well as the bar, so the atmosphere is much busier. Everyone knows we are in the last stretch.

One of my tasks. Carrying these two 6 gallon buckets, full of ice, up a flight of stairs.

We did have a bit of excitement around 2 o’clock. There were two moose that showed up in the grass right below the deck, then meandered their way into the lake, where they stood and contentedly gazed at their admirers. No one I was working with had ever seen a moose walk through Signal like that, so close to our buildings!

1:52 pm – Moose(s!)

Everyone gravitated to the windows to take pictures and exclaim, leaving all of the tables in the restaurant empty. Ben and I stood and examined the restaurant, and could not tell for sure which tables were permanently vacated. Mike, my manager, told me “don’t buss any tables, Sarah.”

Sure, no problem! 😀 Can I remember that command the next day I work? Sorry, Mike told me not to buss any tables… 😉

2:06 pm – visitors to our marina

The moose closed down the business in the marina for a while, too. No one dared to take boats in or out, as the moose were right smack dab in the middle of everything.

So that was a bit of unexpected excitement.

We were fortunate in that no one was seated near closing time (2:30pm), so we were able to clean up and leave a bit after 3pm. The day was warm, sunny, and now all mine! It was the start of my weekend.

3:21 pm – back to the dorms

My roommates and I went to dinner, where the EDR staff rocked our socks off! BBQ chicken, beans, some sort of grated & cooked potatoes, and cornbread. Eat a bit of everything in every spoonful & it was delicious. 🙂

Unfortunately from this point on in the day, I forgot to carry my camera around with me. I did, however, take a picture of dinner with my roommate’s phone…

*picture coming soon* 😉

After dinner, I came back to the dorm room and talked with my roomie Alissa about teeth and whatnot for a while, then we went to the marina to lie on the lakeshore with other roomie Anna.

The sun was incredibly warm, and the clouds drifting above the mountains were dramatically gorgeous. We shared childhood stories, mainly about injuries, and Anna emphatically stated for about the tenth time that she never wanted to grow up, and always wanted to act like a child. (One of her favorite books is Peter Pan, if that gives you any insight into her character 😉 ) It was about then that she started throwing rocks at me, and putting them down the back of my tank top. I responded by splashing her, and before we knew it we were both in the lake having a full out splashing war!

We were both soaked and laughing hard when we stopped, and came dripping wet back to the shore. Where I discovered that my cell phone had been in the pocket of my shorts. As I’m typing this it is now (hopefully) recovering, inside of a ziploc bag filled with rice.  My second phone out of two phones owned with the dot turned red, I am proud to admit.

After we laid on the shore for a while longer, futilely waiting for the sun to dry our clothes, we made our way up the hill to the EDR and enjoyed the dessert we had not eaten earlier – some sort of fluffy orange cake with an inch thick, airy frosting. It made me think of Esther’s famous orange marmalade cake from the Mitford books, and how Father Tim had cut and eaten a thick, cold slice… and then had to go to the ER since he had diabetes. Except none of us went to the ER, we just had happy sighs and smiles.

We all came back to the room, where we changed into dry clothes and spent the rest of the evening lounging and reading books.

Good day, or what??

Don’t be afraid to snatch nametags off of your co-worker’s shirt, to splash your roommate, to enjoy that sugary goodness, to keep your distance from moose, and to get that little dot on the back of your phone – RED. 🙂

…I hope my cell phone will work again….