Go for Playground

A day in the life of DPW’s busiest girl

So, just about all the staff members out here are equipped with radios. Anywhere you go, you hear the chatter: people calling for equipment, information… and Playground.

She’s got to be the busiest person out here, or at least it seems that way to me. Just for the fun of it, I shadowed DPW’s labor coordinator – slash transportation manager – slash resource allocator – slash logistics planner – slash go-to-girl extraordinaire. And let me tell you, it was an action-packed day.

We met at 9 am, and Playground’s first words were: “and it’s already begun.” The first three radio calls I heard were all for her. She chatted on comm as we boarded her golf cart and headed for the first meeting of the day – only to be stopped by someone with a radio issue that needed resolving.
Playground wrote a note on her arm (“Much better than a palm pilot, it’s my arm pilot”), and we took off.

After careening through the crowds at Center Camp – and taking out a few orange cones along the way – we arrived at the Cafe. I got the coffee while PG had an HR meeting. Then we zoomed over to the Ranger HQ for a little Rangers-DPW mediation. DPW? Up to no good last night? I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Luckily, Playground does, and you can check the next Piss Clear for a statement solidifying the Ranger/DPW alliance on playa.

Then it was off to visit my old friends at Lanceland to discuss power management. I missed the entire discussion, because I was standing in the sunlight drinking fruit juice and getting a Black Rock Electric t-shirt.

PG had a senior staff meeting shortly thereafter. I decided I’d done enough slacking off for one day, and delivered a package for her while she was tied up. She rewarded me with beer and the use of her golf cart.

It’s a tough life.

We were soon en route for the Commissary, to pick up some meal passes. Just being there reminded my stomach of food, but you know what? I don’t think Playground eats lunch, because we hopped right back in the golf cart and drove to the DPW depo for more mediation, radio allocation discussions, DPW fleet vehicle negotiations, and more and more. And every thirty seconds, PG was interrupted by someone calling her on the radio.

Here’s the amazing part: she’s happy. She’s in her element. All day long, as I stood in the background, people would lean toward me and say in hushed tones: “Playground is amazing. She’s an awesome person.” She’s smiling and relaxed all day, taking care of everyone’s needs and acting with decisiveness and authority. She has to work every day of the event, which might kill your humble narrator, but Playground is delighted and inspired. It’s a sight to see.

About the author: The Hun

The Hun, also known as J.H. Fearless, has been blogging for Burning Man (and many other outlets) since 2005, which is also the year she joined the BRC DPW on a whim that turned out to be a lifetime commitment. Since then she's won some awards for blogging, built her own creative business, and produced some of the Burning Blog's most popular stories and series. She co-created a grant-funded art piece, "Refoliation," in 2007, and stood next to it watching as the Man burned on Monday. She considers that, in many ways, to have been the symbolic end of Burning Man that was. The Hun lives in Reno with DPW Shade King, Quiet Earp. You may address her as "The Hun" or "Hun". If you call her "Honey" she reserves the right to cut you.

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