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Posts Tagged ‘Work-a-day’

Summer Showdown, Part 1

This is the first summer (or…the first time ever, rather) that I have worked here but not at my building.  We have two weeks of camps at my building and no cafeteria, so we have nothing for me to do there, basically.  That means that I am forced to get to work at another hall most of the summer.

My competitive streak makes me want to stack them against each other.

First, the history:

Larry^ holds many fond memories for me.  I spent a lot of time here when I was a resident, four thousand years ago, hanging out with friends in the lobby, Social Dance Liberation Front in the meeting room, eating at what was then one of the only places on campus where you could guarantee that you could get vegetarian food.  Good times.

Christmas* is that building that they had to destroy the Texas Pickup Cafe to build.  Rude.

Larry 1, Christmas 0.

Recent history:

Christmas has been my place of employ for the last eight years.  We have history.  I love Christmas.  Because we’re the best.

Larry is cool.  Larry has character.  Larry is…cool.  But it’s not home.

Larry 1, Christmas 1.

Hospitality:

Christmas is hospitable.  We like to make people feel welcome.  This year alone, my hall director has brought peanut butter cookies, breakfast burritos, cake, Ravelin, and multiple other treats.  Hospitality is important to me

Larry is at an admitted disadvantage.  I have years of memories of Christmas’s hospitality, and I have two days at Larry.  Already in those two days, though, I have been greeted by a welcome sign and a cupcake.  Observe and be jealous:

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Few things say, “Welcome!” to me like mocha buttercream.

But like I said, it’s a little early to really get a real comparison.

The score remains:  Larry 1, Christmas 1.

Related to welcome, appreciation:

Again, Larry is at a disadvantage, but this one is going to be hard to outdo.  Christmas LOVES me.  One year, the Hall Association seriously considered (i.e., it was one of the three finalist designs) making an acrostic of my name, which just so happens to match up with our hall’s abbreviation, as part of the year’s t-shirt.  This year, for staff appreciation week, the RAs wrote and sang us a song.  When I mention that I’m at another building on Facebook, at least one of the RAs will comment with thinly veiled panic, demanding to know why I’m not at Christmas and needing reassurance that I will be back there – where they claim I clearly belong – in the fall.

Larry seems to like me just fine.  The hall directors are awesome.  The staff seems great.  I’m sure that they will grow to like me as well as can be expected.  I’m not sure that two months is long enough to really LOVE me, though, so Christmas comes out ahead on this one.

Larry 1, Christmas 2.

Foot Traffic:

Christmas is pretty much out of the way over at the edge of campus.  No one comes to Christmas unless they have specific business at Christmas.  Larry is right in the middle of everything. And Larry has a cafeteria.  At Larry, you get to see everybody.  I like this so far, but I can see it being less appealing once we get camps and I have more work to do at the desk, the completion of which will take hours longer than it should when paired with the endless conversation that inevitably comes with a busy building.

Again, it’s an even trade.

Larry 1, Christmas 2.

Other traffic:

Traffic around Christmas  this time of the year is terrible.  We’re right by the coliseum where various schools (read:  every school in the entire universe…or metroplex) hold their graduation ceremonies.  Parking is a nightmare for a few weeks.  I am happy to be avoiding that.

Larry is under construction.  So I listen to construction noise all day here, then I go home and listen to three or four more hours of construction there.  How is this my life?  Why is it following me?  *cries; rocks in corner* The construction at Larry has done away with the two public restrooms in the lobby, so every time someone needs to use the restroom, I 1) tell them where to find it and 2) give them the access code, because the restrooms they’re using this summer are the ones on the resident wings that only the residents usually have access to use.  Either people will learn and adjust (i.e., learn the codes, follow the signs), or I will have this conversation a lot.

I’m sorry, Larry, but four weeks of graduation traffic as opposed to a forever of construction and related noise/inconvenience?  Christmas has this one.

Larry 1, Christmas 3.

So there you have it.  My first showdown between Larry and Christmas.  Christmas comes out ahead, but I have just been here two days, so I can admit that it’s a little unfair.  Also, I can admit that I don’t like change, so it’s possible that that is an underlying factor.

Ultimately, a day in another building is still a day with a job that is pretty fun and easy overall.

* and ^ – Name of building changed…because I’m a professional.  I mean, I did immediately email this link to the competing hall directors, because they enjoy this sort of thing, so it’s not like this is a secret.  Also, context clues make it really obvious to anyone who has ever spent any time on campus.  But still.  Random people/prospective students could read, and I could color their opinion, which I don’t want to do, because it’s based on my own personal bias, and they might actually love living at ^ more than *.  It could happen.

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“Happy Spook-tober!”

When I opened my desk drawer yesterday, this is the sight that greeted me.

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Well played, Stefanie.  Well played.

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Transition

Several times a year, my building is in transition, and it all seems to swirl around the desk.

This is one of those times.

Skills I have the opportunity to practice during transition times:

1.  Saying, “No, I don’t know where your supervisors are or where they’ve gone,” just as nicely the fiftieth time as I said it the first time.

2.  Answering the phone and sounding professional while clearly talking over a staff meeting/gathering, power tool, or vacuum cleaner.

3.  Taking countless breaks from getting the desk ready for opening day (i.e., my job) to have meaningless conversations with random people working in the building (see also: being nice, like I’m a human being who enjoys human interaction).

4.  Welcoming change.  Welcoming back old friends and making new ones.  This part is nice.  It’s one of my favorite things.

5.  Relinquishing control.  Of my surroundings, of my desk, of the noise level, of the smells wafting through the area – basically of everything I mother-hen throughout the year to make it a pleasant place to work and be.  This is good for me, I’m told.

6.  Explaining to concerned callers (always parents – never our actual customers) why, while I certainly understand their predicament, it is not dire enough to completely rework our schedule to better fit theirs.  Basically, I’m telling them “You are not special enough to be the exception,” but in a way that is as nice the 500th time as it was the first time.

Today’s thanks:

1.  I have two jobs, both of which I generally enjoy.

2.  I am making serious strides on the putting-the-apartment-together.

3.  I am addicted to Pinterest and have learned all sorts of new tricks that are making the apartment whimsical AND functional.

4.  Fresh peaches. *loves*

5.  It’s almost the weekend.

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