A Week in the life of the A.D.D.

I thought I would share with you the exciting life of the Animal Department Director (I know, boring, so if you want you click here to read Mikey’s last post – it has pretty pictures too). I cannot remember what I did on Monday- It must have been desk work, but it’s a blur that has been overrun by the rest of the week.

On Tuesday, I had an Operations meeting. This is a biweekly meeting with museum managers from different departments to discuss relevant issues affecting Museum operations. This week the highlights were construction issues affecting guests and school groups, as well as discussion why balloons and pets are bad for Museum animals. As soon as this ended, I met with our Facilities Director to review the thermostat operations for the HVAC units the heat and cool Carolina Wildlife and our support spaces.

Dr. Vanderford was here for Vet Rounds so I met with her. We had to euthanize two snakes- yes more sad news. (One snake had a large tumor and the other had fusions on his spine that made it difficult to move). I drove the samples to Raleigh to be studied and then came back and trained 3 of our education staff to handle the alligator. (You should sooooo click on the alligator link because baby pictures are the best!).

Before I knew it, Tuesday was over.

Wednesday started early, and it was the monthly Museum All-Staff meeting. I lead a training for staff on how to use fire extinguishers while the Fire Department from Fire Station #7 set up their portion of the training. After that I met with the CFO about money stuff, I did some more alligator training and then had a meeting of the Museum’s Emergency Coordinators. We talk about how to, well, coordinate emergencies, on grounds. We talked a lot about evacuation routes. The day ended with the Science Club from Rogers Herr middle school visiting for a behind the scene tour of the animal department and the exhibit development department.

Thursday’s highlights included meeting with Office of Public Affairs staff from the city of Durham.  They wanted to do a story/filming about the stumps that the city donated for the animals. I met with a summer intern to plan her summer projects and review requirements. I put anklets on our new blue jay and ordered a harness for him- he’ll be used for programs soon. The afternoon was 2.5 hours of meetings in a row: I met with Aaron, our new Lead Keeper of Operations (he replaced Kristen),  the animal department weekly meeting, and then Aaron, Marilyn and I met about new volunteers.  I met with the Foreman on the construction project about when to tear out the bathroom window, thermostat location and sink size. The day ended around 6:15 after another conversation with the CFO.

Everyday also included at least two conversations with Katy– she pops in to my office at least 2x each day, and I reciprocate. Conversations with Keepers and volunteers about, for example what cleaner to use in the muskrat exhibit, how much dog food is left, left over bear food amounts, Henry’s behavior, returning phone calls and emails, explaining Purim to the Kent and others, …the list goes on.

Today, Friday, started with writing this Blog post. I’ll meet with a chemical (cleaner) rep to discuss disinfectant options. Then I’ll meet with my boss and exhibit staff (Roy and Jennifer) to come up with a plan to make better access for keepers to the upper fence on the bear cliff. I’ll be in Saturday night out in Explore the Wild helping with a Girl Scout Overnight. Sunday I’ll pick up mulch and then come in to give a tour for students from the BOOST program and then a member only bear feed program.

Then, the week starts and it all begins again.

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