Saturday, December 4, 2010

RA Shenanigan no. 1

Part of my job as an RA is to wander around the building looking for potential issues. I still find this amusing; it's as if the mystery gang decided to send Shaggy looking for ghosts. I'm more interested in locating interesting food smells than anything else, and if I were to find a problem, I'd probably shout "Yoinks!" and run away.

Through some fluke, I happened to be on duty the first day all of the first years were moved in. Now, I'm an old hand at this. This is my third year as an RA, and at least my second year as a jaded person. In contrast, the first years were entering, well, their first year at college, and most of them are still in their 18th year of joyful energy. So don't get me wrong; I like them, but they are not my people.

So no shit, there I was, wandering around looking for problems (i.e. interesting smells) when I saw my boss at the other end of the hall. Simultaneously, I smelled something like cotton candy. "Did you find it?," my boss asked me?

Gears slowly started creaking in my head. Find it... I thought to myself. Aha! The smell! He wants to know if I found the funny smell! I'm a good RA, yes I am, yes I am... "You mean the cotton candy smell?

FLASHBACK: Earlier this evening, I ask my boss where he left a form I needed to pick up. He replies in a text message. I look for the form, find it. End flashback.

The gears are now spinning, relatively smoothly, if reluctantly. Wait... He doesn't mean the smell. He didn't even smell it. Now if I find the cotton candy, I need to share. Jinkies.

"No, I meant the form I left out for you. But now that you mention it, yeah it does smell funny. Is that a hookah?"

My brain is running at full capacity. That is a hookah. He didn't notice it before, but now, I have brought it to his attention. There is no escape.

"That, or a cotton candy machine!," I replied, cheerfully. Please fall for this. I hate confrontations. He's not falling for this.

"You should go do something about this, Brendan. Enjoy!"

So there I was, first day of the year, knocking on a stranger's door with the fun task of telling him he was in trouble. Yoinks. Let's just call him Smoky, to protect his identity. Smoky opened the door, and I introduced myself. I then proceeded to tell him that smoking in his room is a policy violation, and that I will be documenting the situation FYI, that is the full extent of my power. Really. I 'document situations.' That's about it. This is about as severe as it sounds, and I thought it was over. But then Smoky decided he wanted to start bartering.

"Look, do you have to document this?" Smoky asked me as I was about to leave. I proceeded to explain that it wasn't a big issue, but yes, I had to document it. "Well, can you let me off because this is my first violation?" Smoky asked me, with begging eyes. Of course this is your first violation. You have been here 6 hours, how could it be anything else? I explained that I couldn't let him off the hook, especially since my boss saw me enter the room, and was expecting the incident report presently.

Now, I've made it clear that it is my responsibility to "document the situation" and that if I don't, I get in trouble. I've explained that it's not a big deal. But Smoky wasn't ready to give up just yet. He extends his final offer. "Well, what if, in exchange for not writing me up, you can come hang out in my room whenever you want?" You are so perceptive. That is why I became an RA; I want to hang out with freshmen and smoke in their rooms.

The best response is the same as the best medicine. I laughed in his face and wandered off to 'document the situation.'

1 comment:

  1. What an appropriate blog entry.. I've been thinking of applying for 2011-2012 RA position.
    Not sure if it helped all that much with my decision, though.. :c gah!