Thursday, February 2, 2012

I AM the Law

So there I was, sitting in a classroom at the State Department of Natural Resources, sweating profusely and wondering what had just happened.  Before I left work, I was warned one thing:  don't write in his test booklets.  As soon as I walked into the classroom, I was informed one thing:  don't write in my test booklet.  The first question on the exam was: "If I write on this test booklet I can expect to a) fail b) fail c) fail or d) all of the above" (The answer is obviously b).  How did this happen?  I wondered, as my day started playing back in slow motion in my head.

The day started like every day starts: with a giant, 24 oz cup of Wawa coffee.  You really cannot beat their current $1 any cup promotion.  Except that you could if you were motivated enough to make your own, which I am not.  I drove into work with the expectation of another interesting day working the brewery. Little did I know what was in store.

I sat down at my desk and had time to shoot off three or four emails when my phone rang.  It was Tom from  They had received the press release that I sent them five minutes ago, and wanted permission to run with it.  Tom seemed like the type of person I would be friends with in real life, so of course I said yes, never anticipating just how awesome things could end up.  He called me three hours later to tell me that he had just published the release.  IT. WAS. AMAZING.

It was right after breakfast that I started to feel sick.  Sadly, that meant that my rubber booting was cut short for the day.  I helped Walter clean R2Hop2 in a total mind haze.  But he gave up on trying to teach me anything when I asked him for help attaching a hose.  He said he knew I must be dying if I would ask for help.  The remainder of the work day was spent inventorying t-shirts.

One of my favorites, Chris, upon hearing about the Lauter Tun competition, decided to throw his hat into the ring.  He claims that 8 minutes is ridiculously high and he can do it in 5.  Upon hearing Chris's boast, Dan announced he could do it in 4.  And that was where the competition began. I made the decision to rename the Lauter Tun after whomever cleans it the fastest.  Off the record, I am kind of hoping it is Dan, because his last name would work perfectly in my renaming efforts.  Also, when he pokes his head out of the kettles he reminds me of a prairie dog of hope.

Chris began cleaning within two minutes of the challenge.  He has an interesting approach that I had not seen yet -- rather than using a squeegee, he uses a shovel.  He is then able to use the shovel to keep grain from going back to where he had cleaned, by using it as another wall.  Chris cleaned the Lauter Tun in 4.5 minutes yesterday, but his attempt was disqualified on a technicality.

At the end of the day, I found myself in alcohol training/server certification class.  It was two and a half hours of nonstop fun.  Seriously, if you are looking for something to do in Dover, I recommend this above any other place I have been (i.e., Olive Garden. I don't get out much).

The class starts with this fellow, a former police officer, informing you that if you write in his test booklet, he will fail you.  He then proceeded to give an overview of the course: one hour discussing the signs and effects of intoxication;  one hour discussing the law.  Honestly, the class was a great refresher. When you are dealing with people that drink all day long, it is nice to be reminded that as far as the law is concerned "you are the law"(direct quote from the officer.  Last thing anyone should ever tell me.  POWER TRIP) and the only thing keeping them from abusing a controlled substance.  I plan on using my knowledge to citizen's arrest the next person who tries to get over-served in our sample room.

One of the most interesting things I learned from the class was that Delaware has some very strange laws.  It is against the law for anyone under the age of 21 to enter and remain in a liquor store.  Reasonable enough.  Then it gets tricksy. An 18-year old is legally permitted to work in a liquor store, though they are restricted to stocking shelves, price labeling, and carrying packages to cars. Ummmm?  Let me break this down, if an 18-year old walks into a liquor store for an interview and he can be arrested because he is not 21.  But the minute they hire him, he is allowed to be there.  Great job there, Delaware.

The class ended with a 40-question exam.  Not going to lie, I was a little excited.  I have not had the opportunity to take an exam since I thought it might be fun to re-take chemistry (second biggest life mistake). The instructor hands us the exam and once again reminds us that writing on it will cause him to fail us.

I took the sheet on which the answers were recorded and placed it next to the exam.  I looked at the first question:

When the exam was completed, I stood in line to wait for him to grade the paper.  The girl in front of me handed her answer sheet and the exam.  YES! He did not flip through the exam, he just placed it on the ground.  I was now jittery and nervous, like someone who was on a long car trip who just realized that they ate Taco Bell for dinner the night before and didn't know where every single rest stop and bathroom on the route was.  It was my turn. I swear I was bright red.  And sweating.  I had no intention of turning myself in today. In the back of my head I just prayed that he would not decide to open my exam book.  He checked my test, handed me my server card, and I RAN out of there, before he could change his mind.
My Future

I am well aware that people from all over are reading this.  And there is a chance that the wonderful, amazing instructor who administered the test may read this someday.  If that is the case, I was just kidding.  Also, I have made 30 copies of my card, so good luck taking it away from me now.

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