S.O.S.-Save Our Septic® Volume 24: A Cruise Ship’s Best friend
Synopsis: Not all messes can be cleaned up with products that are potentially hazardous.
Application: Mighty Mike® non toxic cleaners are the solution in situations that can’t be cleaned with hazardous chemicals
It was early on the final day of the big annual cruise line conference and trade show and Aerobe was enjoying her favorite harborside morning ritual. Eyes shut, she listened to the gentle lapping of waves as tenders were just beginning to bring conference attendees, many of them cruise line employees, from the huge ships visible on the horizon line.
The days of the conference had sped by in a blur—an actual blue silver and silver blur—as Aerobe dashed from exhibit hall to cruise ship. Since her seminar on the Bio-Microbics® and Scienco/FAST® environmentally friendly Mighty Mike® maintenance product line early in the conference, she had been besieged with requests to make “ship calls” to consult on specific cleaning challenges.
Suddenly her morning reverie came to an abrupt stop by a cacophony of dogs barking as the first tender approached the dock. Aerobe opened her eyes and saw a slight young woman with a blond mop of curls bouncing around her face clutching numerous leashes and attempting to lead her energetic charges down the ramp. Just when it seemed the dogs would drag her off balance and into the water, they stopped, their ears and heads tilted in Aerobe’s direction.
Aerobe glided inaudibly to where the dogs, now obediently still, were following her with their eyes. So was the girl holding the leashes. She asked Aerobe, “Did you make the dogs stop? And if the answer is yes, please teach me how to do that! I can handle dogs really well, except when they outnumber me thirty to one.”
Aerobe replied, “There’s nothing like a 40,000 hertz tone to stop dogs in their tracks. But it’s strictly a B.O.T talent, I’m afraid.”
“B.O.T.? Like ro-BOT?”
“Close! It stands for ‘Bio-Microbics® On-site Technician.’ I’m Aerobe, a wastewater treatment specialist. Did you bring these dogs from a cruise ship? I thought only service animals were permitted on cruises.”
“Hi, Aerobe, I’m Ellie. Yes, we were all on that ship,” she pointed to a small cruise ship in the lineup. “And you’re right about the dogs-on-board rule, generally speaking, but we specialize in canine cruises. A lot of folks are reluctant to leave their beloved dogs at home, so we created a cruise especially for dog owners. We cruise the coast, stopping in ports with dog parks for these guys and with points of interests for our guests to explore.“
“That’s pretty innovative,” Aerobe commented. “How are the cruises doing?”
With just the slightest hesitation Ellie replied, “Actually, we’re just launching this concept and it’s going pretty well. Clients are delighted to be able to bring their pooches and the dogs are proving to be natural travelers.”
The dogs began straining at their leashes.
“Uh-oh, these pups are eager to be on their way. Thanks, Aerobe, for stopping them from pulling me into the harbor. If you can’t teach me your dog-whispering technique, maybe you could teach me that smooth glide of yours.” She laughed and led the dogs away.
With a final glance to the horizon and the many ships that she could now call by name, as well as their captain and crew members, she floated to the Bio-Microbics® Scienco/FAST® booth where she’d demonstrate products, answer questions, and pose for the inevitable barrage of selfie requests before her one-on-one client consultation, scheduled later in the day.
Visitors to the booth were pleased and startled when Aerobe greeted them by name, whether she’d met them the previous evening or years before.
A voice boomed, “Aerobe, you’re back!”
“Ric Rodriguez! Good to see you! How’s that on-board wastewater system performing?”
Three years ago, Aerobe had helped Ric convert his family’s fleet of small fishing boats to include day and weekend excursion along the gulf ports. They’d upgraded to a MarineFAST® on-board system to treat waste from the galley and head.
Ric answered, “Never better. And those Mighty Mike products help us keep it that way.”
He pulled out his phone, “Here’s a photo of the Carmen, freshly scrubbed. Oh, while I have my phone out, mind if I get a selfie with you?” Aerobe leaned in with a smile.
She turned to the next person at the booth, a cruise line food and beverage manager, “Jessica, hi! Love the new uniform. Great color!”
Jessica smiled and said, “Thanks for the tip about Mighty Mike laundry detergent. It keeps this dark blue fabric looking like new. Could I possibly get a selfie, too?”
And so the day went: request for product information and demonstration, request for photo.
At one point, she received a text from Robust, her B.O.T. colleague who was currently helping a development company devise ways to control run-off during flash flood season in the normally dry Southwest.
He’d texted, “Are you working or just taking selfies? You’re blowing up the internet.”
She merely responded with a photo of the harbor, with cruise ships ghosting the horizon. “Here’s my view, desert dweller.”
Dog’s best friend
A quick look at her schedule showed that it was nearly time for her one-on-one client consultation. E. R. Forester, the sign-in read, from Sirius Excursions.
She was surprised to see a familiar figure waiting for her outside the office.
“Ellie!” Aerobe said, “Are you my five o’clock meeting? E. R. Forester?”
“I am! Eleanor Rinehart Forester, Program Director of Sirius Excursions. Sirius…Dog Star. Get it?”
Aerobe laughed and said, “So, what’s up? How can we help you?”
“Remember when I said the canine cruises were going well? They are, truly! And we have advanced bookings for upcoming cruises. Dog owners are a devoted bunch!”
“So the problem is …?” Aerobe prompted.
“We clean up scrupulously after the dogs—we really do! But some of the areas of the boat are starting to seem, well, a bit ‘doggy.’ You know, even the most diehard dog lover doesn’t want a stateroom or any part of the ship to smell like a kennel. But to make it even more urgent, our cruise investors will be here for an onsite inspection this coming week and everything has to be pristine! And naturally, we don’t want to use anything that would harm the dogs. Or the clients. Or the water. Or the ship!”
She abruptly sat down and looked plaintively at Aerobe. “Can you help?”
At that point, a tiny dog popped its head out of Ellie’s large tote. “Oh, Misty, I told you to stay down. Sorry, Aerobe, she goes everywhere with me. This is Misty, short for Optimistic.”
The dog cocked her head and gazed curiously at Aerobe, then began wagging her tail. Aerobe noticed the blond mop of curls atop the dog’s head and thought with amusement how much little Misty resembled her owner.
Aerobe smiled at the little dog and said to Ellie, “You need to meet Mighty Mike.”
“Oh, is he a B.O.T., too?”
“No, no, he’s a line of marine maintenance products, but it sometimes seems as though Mighty Mike is a super power. Let’s go to the exhibit hall and I’ll show you.”
The final day’s crowd was thinning, so Aerobe easily led Ellie to a demonstration screen. “I’ll give you brochures and info on them all, but here are highlights of the products that seem best for your situation.”
Aerobe started with Mighty Mike Multi-Purpose Cleaner, emphasizing its botanical and biodegradable properties, “It’s safe around all bodies of water and all bodies in general—even four-legged ones. You can use it as a general cleaner or as a spray for spot cleaning. And it’s approved for all food preparation surfaces. Our products and our Scienco® systems meet the standards of the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Federal Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) food processing requirements. The pups don’t care about that, but I’m sure you do!”
Ellie nodded enthusiastically and Aerobe thought she saw a similar movement from Misty. Aerobe patted the little dog’s head and continued.
“Mighty Mike Laundry Detergent is another botanical, so it’s safe for the environment and everything in it. It’s hypoallergenic. Use it on your stateroom and gallery linens, even the dogs’ blankets!
“But here’s the product that will really clear the air on the canine cruise ship: Mighty Mike Bond-SORB odor eliminator. It doesn’t cover up odors; it absorbs and neutralizes them! Yes, even doggie smells. You simply spray and odor’s gone.”
Ellie asked, “How soon do you think I can get these Mighty Mike products? I only have a week. . .”
Aerobe assured her, “I’ll give you the number for this area’s representative. I’ll email the office to let them know you’ll be calling. They’ll coordinate delivery so you can get what you need at your next port of call.”
Ellie was happily gathering up product sheets. “Thank you so much, Aerobe! I’m not kidding when I say the future of Sirius Excursions depends on this.”
Ellie left the exhibit hall with the final wave of conference attendees, all heading back to the tenders to take them to the cruise ships and ultimately, to their next destinations.
After her nonstop schedule at the cruise conference, Aerobe welcomed a return to her quiet desk to catch up on calls and emails. Colleagues teasingly asked why she didn’t come back with a tan. “Industrial strength sunscreen,” she explained.
Robust, newly arrived from the desert, dropped by Aerobe’s desk just as a huge bouquet of dogwood blossoms was delivered. She read the attached note aloud, “Sirius Excursions were green-lighted for the next year. We couldn’t have done it without you! Hope to see you aboard soon. Gratefully, Ellie Forester.”
“See you aboard?” Robust inquired, “Are you taking a cruise, Aerobe?”
“Actually,” Aerobe responded, “I’m thinking about getting a dog.”
“A dog? Really??”
Aerobe swiveled her computer screen for him to see the image of a little blue and silver robotic dog. A layer of blue “hair” surrounded its face and emphasized its big round eyes. “I just have to come up with the perfect name for him.”
Robust studied the image of the dog closely and the nearby reflection of Aerobe in the monitor. “Aerobe, has it occurred to you how much this little guy actually looks like—?”
Aerobe interrupted, “A Shih-Tzu? Yes, I did!”
Robust took another look at the little robot dog on the screen, then another long look at Aerobe, smiled, and wisely walked away without another word.
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