Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tuesday Tales from My Past: Working

Title:  That is not a water fountain

My career working at North Carolina State University started in
1969 in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.  I worked there until our daughter was born
in August of 1971.  At that time I applied for a 6 month maternity leave that turned into
5 years.  When she started kindergarten in 1976, I started looking for part time work.
I was pretty proud of how our daughter had turned out over the 5 years I was at home.
So as I began applying for part time jobs, imagine my surprise when I was repeatedly asked
what I had been doing for 5 years.  When I told them the reply was, "is that all"!.  I can hear you all saying WHAT!?  Well back then they could ask that.  Anyway, I found part time work and eventually full time work in private industry for 10 years. I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to go back to work at N. C. State University.
I decided if I was going to do it I better do it before I turned 40 in 1989. So I applied at NCSU and was called for an interview in the Chemistry Department in Inorganic and Organic Chemistry.  I'm happy to say I was offered the Chemistry job.  My first day was December 1, 1988, very early 7:30 am, I took my coffee pot to the water fountain to fill it up. When I turned the fountain on, evidently it triggered an alarm the labs.  About 5 students came running out of labs. They were all offering to HELP me I asked why. Then it was explained. It was not a water fountain it was an eye wash fountain used for quick wash in case of an accident. Here is a current day example.  However,  way back in 1988 they really did resemble water fountains.  As I recall the one I tried to use was porcelain not stainless steel.

 Granted it was a funny looking fountain and the place where the water came out had a funky eye shaped thingie on it.  LOL  We all got a great laugh out of it and I quickly met 5 of my new favorite grad students. There were some quite unusual odors in the organic lab. One in particularly smelled like tomato vines. Exactly how your hand smells when you pick fresh tomatoes. Anytime I came home with that odor on my clothes our first cat would run to the farthest corner of the house. Crazy fun times.  I was in Chemistry for ~5 years
then I transferred to Physics in 1992.

Ode to My Water Fountain 

Oh water fountain how I do love you...
Your water glistens in the night even when there is no light,
Your pump sends sweet, fresh water down to the bowl much to my delight...
Your water trickles, ripples and bubbles
enticing my inner beast...
Making me dream of lovely places to feast.
Oh water fountain thank you for service to me through out the day and night.
This is for mom just in case she needs a reminder of what a water fountain looks like


  1. Hari OM
    Well done Madi...such a reminder is never a bad thing! What a hilarious moment in memory HiC. What was nice was that all those students were paying attention!!! Hugs and whiskeries, YAM-aunty xxx

  2. well that's a story hahahahaha...maybe the saying: you eat with your eyes first counts for drinks too? and it got a special meaning that day LOL

  3. My goodness, you have a very smart mom.

  4. Your mom tells the bestest stories, Madi☺

  5. What a story! I love it......and I also love your "ode to a water fountain" to remind Mom what they ACTUALLY look like...I'm sure she will NEVER forget!

    Hugs, Angel Sam and Ted

  6. Madi, it does look like you love your water fountain.That is quite a story about Mom and her water fountain. You all have a great day.

  7. hahaha, that is funny! Madi, you are sweet to remind Mom about fountains.

    How was your chocolate?

  8. MOL that's a funny story!!!

    your guy Raz and The Florida Furkids

  9. Madi, don't let her fill the coffee pot from YOUR fountain.. MOL MOL... what a great story, and also a really good way to make new friends FAST...

  10. Hehe....well done Mom, the pawfect way to meet your fellow workers...with a laffs and a smile!!!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  11. Funny, Madi's Mom! Ida been scared to death! Madi, love that you love your water fountain! I see a fun box right there, too!

  12. OMD OMD what a WILD start to the new job... Did your mom say, "EYE guess that EYE made a slight error?" We LOVE your Ode to your water fountain, Madi. Hope your mom never decides to try making coffee with YOUR Water. Butt it WOULD be sort of fun seeing your DAD try to Shave using it. Just sayin.

  13. Your mom's story gave us a chuckle Madi!
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  14. Madi don't tell mom we are saying this cause she'll think she is queen of the castle but she is a smarty pants
    Lily & Edward

  15. Oh yes, they looked exactly like water fountains, only with two spigots instead of one! I would dearly love to have a water fountain for the kitties, but they were afraid of the cheapy old one we received as a gift years ago, and The Hubby doesn't think it would be worth the $$ to buy one that they'd ignore (or hate) now. So, I mix water into their food.

  16. Haha. Very funny. I could just see you standing there with alarms blaring and people coming out to look and stare and point. Or is that a bit much?

    Mara from Norway

  17. That is a funny story pretty Madi and I know that was one fancy fountain!

  18. My six-month maternity leave turned into several years and two children too. I went to work at the kids' school after that so I completely understand. I would have probably done the same thing with the eye wash fountain LOL!

  19. Love the water fountain story.
    Having spent couple of summers working in industrial laboratories when I was at high school, I somehow avoided falling for the favourite trick played on newcomers, and was never asked to go to the stores and ask for a 'long stand' (the storeman would disappear, return empty handed 20 minutes later and tell you you'd had your long stand...)
    Cheers! Gail.

  20. Set off an alarm.....how funny! Good thing there was an alarm. You might have had some funny-tasting coffee.

  21. That is a great tale about your Mom and the "water" fountain:) We have never heard of such a contraption, but we bet it came in very handy in emergencies. We think we would like a water fountain like yours.

    Woos - Lightning and Misty

  22. Ha roo roo roo -- that's something our mom would do!!!
    We think it's so cool that you have your own water fountain, Madi!
    Yours sincerely,
    Margaret Thatcher
    PS: Mom is doing ok -- it's just taking a LONG time for her and dad to shake this cold virus! They are both at the "hacking up a lung" stage, so it's moving right along!

  23. Ghostwriter has some of those kinds of eye wash fountains at the nursing home where she works. Thankfully, she's never had to use them.

    I had a water fountain like yours, Maddi, when I was a pup. I had a great time splashing all the water out of it. I still love to play in water!

    Oh, and raising kids is not nothing! It's hard work! Ghostwriter had to take time off from her career for a few years because the cost of four kids in daycare was way too much. Dad worked three jobs during that time, one full time and two part time. No wonder they're all tired out now!

  24. That's a great story. At least they all came to your "aid" and didn't assume someone else would help you "wash your eyes".

  25. TeeHeeHee...Thanks for the evening giggles!!
    Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo(an Mama)


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Life is short, spend it with those who make you laugh
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