I just work here…

One of the worst parts of my job are the endless meetings I have to go to. Sometimes, we even have a meeting to plan a meeting. Those are the worst. I really hate meetings, and I’ll do just about anything to get out of them.

calendarLuckily, I have a boss that truly understands my disdain for meetings and really allows me to express myself in that area. Finally, I feel like I have a boss that gets me.

Me: Do we really need to have a whole meeting about the handbook? I gave you an update on that a couple weeks ago before I went on vacation.

Boss: We need to get that handbook done ASAP, where are you on that.

Me: Like I said, I’m done with it except one part, the Student Conduct policy. Once I get that, I can just pop it in and it’s done.

Boss: So, why isn’t it done yet?

Me: Because I wasn’t the one writing it, I don’t know, I just work here…

Boss: (short pause, silence, then a gasp) Shit! I’m the one who was writing that huh?

Me: Is there really any way I can answer that question without pissing you the fuck off?

Boss: Oh shut up! God damn you can be a smart ass, but your’e timing is impeccable.

Me: You know, I really enjoy our banter and working relationship. It reminds me of home.

Boss: I’ll have the policy to you by the end of the week.

Another meeting averted!
excellent-mr-burns

 

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I am great in a crisis…

At the beginning of the academic year, my office was moved into the counseling center. The Campus Counseling Center is within the department I work in, so I am fully aware of the situations that arise throughout the semester. The highs, the lows, and the times when things get a little cray for students (usually around mid-terms and finals).

Part of my job is helping students know what their rights and responsibilities are, guiding them through policies, procedures, grievance processes, and advocating for their needs. So, students often wander into my office with questions, concerns, and just to chat. One day, while our front desk worker was on their lunch break (who usually handles the walk-ins) a student wandered into my office, took a seat, and asked: “So, how does this work?”

I was a bit perplexed, and asked what his problem was assuming that it was a possible grievance issue. About two minutes in, I realized his problems were a bit more severe and out of my range of expertise.

I awkwardly threw my hands in the air: “Oh, I’m not…I don’t…I mean, I’m a great listener, but…Oh God!” I collected myself and explained, “What I’m trying to say is I am not a licensed counselor.”

I promptly set up an appointment with someone that was much more qualified to assist. This moment also prompted me to try and label my office a bit more clearer.

This also made me realize that I am on the front lines now. At any moment a crisis could walk through the doors of the counseling center, and I may be the only one around to handle it. Counselors gave me some advice and how to handle walk-ins that seemed distressed and in full freak-out mode. I kept telling myself that I am GREAT in a crisis.

Some time later, the front desk person had the day off. The door opened, and I poked my head out of my office to see how I could assist the student.

Student: I need to see E (counselor) right away!

Me: She’s with a client right now, but let’s take a look at when she’s available next. You need to see her right away you said?

Student: Yes, I called her earlier and she said to come right down.

The student was red in the face, seemed out of breath. This is distress…This is it; This is happening right now, I thought.  I am GREAT in a crisis! Let’s do this!

Me: (Pause with a look of concern right before blurting out) Are you suicidal?

Things took a turn, the student is now donning a very puzzled somewhat disgusted look.

Student: Um…no…I just need to drop off these scantrons. E said she needed them today, so I ran down as fast as I could, so she would have them in time.

Me: Oh…well uhhh, why don’t you just take a seat, and she should be done with her client in about ten minutes or so…Aaaaand I’ve made things very awkward now, so I’m just gonna go back into my office…I’m just…gonna go…

I promptly returned to my office, slumped in my chair, and gave myself a nice hearty face-palm.

I am GREAT in a crisis…or someday will be…this day was just not my moment to shine.

It was a clear black night

Tonight was the night! The night of the big dance! I had agreed to be an “adult” presence at the “I Hate Valentines Day” dance. I generally have a pretty good time at these functions; it gives me a good chance to interact with the students in a more relaxed environment. The head of security had asked how much of a presence we wanted security to be at the dance to which I replied,

“If you got me that tazer I keep asking for, security wouldn’t even need to show…”

Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen, but it was worth a try. Now the only dilemma was whatever was I going to wear!?!?! Luckily, the students and a co-worker designed a shirt to help promote the dance and to serve as staff shirts for the dance. BRILLIANT!!!

One of the best things about these functions is watching all the different dance stylings the students showcase; I don’t even know that giving a vivid description in text form will do the particular couple I have in mind justice. You really had to be there. To give you an idea of the dramatistic approach they had: At one point I caught one of them grab a rose from the table and immediately pulled it up to her nose as she inhaled deeply, which lasted for what seemed like a solid two minutes, all as an expression of pure ecstasy and joy lit up her face. When she finally pulled the rose from her nose her eyes fluttered with pure content and she flailed her arms and hands as if she could not contain the overwhelming scent of decayed romance any longer. Now keep in mind the theme of the dance. The roses had been purchased last week and left to dry out and die to lend credence to the “I Hate Valentine’s” motto. This was easily the best moment of the evening for me and quite possibly the best moment of the semester thus far. She was my favorite.

Another highlight of the evening was when a co-worker and I realized there were little heart slips, so people could put in requests to the DJ…YUSSSSSS!!!

“we regulate any stealing of his property and we damn good too. But you can’t be any geek off the street, gotta be handy with the steel if you know what I mean, earn your keep! REGULATORS!!! MOUNT UP!”

Needless to say, the dance floor cleared and students were looking mighty befuddled. Yet, there was a group of guys who moseyed onto the dance floor; this was the first time these guys got up from their seats at any point in the night. So, see. Our song requests made them feel part of the dance too! I’m all bout creating an environment of inclusiveness. O.K. fine, my main goal was to re-live my earlier high school years and turn the dance into a 90s nostalgia dance party; it was unsuccessful. The DJ caught on as only a few of the many requests we put in were actually played. I’m still a little bummed out Montel Jordan’s This is How We Do It never came on.

Overall, a good time was had by the students and all except for the minor little altercation at the end of the night. The mystery of the plastic water bottle and the thrown hat. It really wasn’t a mystery, but these are things I should probably not discuss in the blog-o-sphere; at least until after the judicial hearing. Let’s just say, that tazer would have come in handy.

Office Talk: Freudian Slip?

I heart my jobby job for a plethora of reasons. The most recent being the conversation that took place between the Boss Lady and I after a departmental meeting today.

BL: Do you ever watch porn…(her face instantly begins turning beet red, and she proceeds to giggle)


UD: (with a perplexed look) That’s kind of a personal question…I don’t know that I’m comfortable answering that…
BL: Oh nooo! I meant to say PAWN Stars!!! I didn’t…I am so sorry! I…ugh this is so embarrassing; HR is going to have a field day with this. 
Hilarity ensues


Office Talk: Did someone order an apocalypse?

So, the world didn’t end…Hazzah!  I took some time off last week for my day of birth. I planned on going on a big camping and hiking extravaganza trip, but the weather didn’t cooperate. A sign of the impending rapture, I thought. So, I made the best of it and went back home. How did I prepare for the rapture…I built a fort in my living room and proceeded to play and watch hours upon hours of apocalyptic themed video games and movies.

The world didn’t end, but that doesn’t mean our troubles are over. Take the following email exchange that took place this morning when I returned to work.

So, zombie apocalypse pending, I am glad the world didn’t end. Also, I love my jobby job :).