Welcome to Round Two of the Larry^ vs. Christmas* Summer Showdown. I am going to start over – clean slate – with the scoring, because otherwise, it’s possible that it just might get ridiculous. And that’s how tournaments work – each game starts at zero. And this is a new day. And I’m too lazy to scroll back and look at where the score stands.
In the interest of fairness, I admit that most of the items in Summer Showdown Two follow a theme of argh-so-many-people, so it’s possible that this will be viewed as skewed by some readers.
I do not care. Crowds are really not my favorite.
This round starts with…
You know how, before, I said things like, “Being in a building with a cafeteria, I get to see EVERYBODY!” like it was a good thing? Well, now that I’ve slept, woken up, and remembered what my actual personality is, my reaction is more along the lines of, “OMG so many people and so much loud!” Don’t get me wrong, I like people. People are nice. I can rock a one-on-one conversation or a small group gathering. In fact, I’m rocking one right now (well, not RIGHT now. But just a few minutes ago, before I started typing). But when there are so many people that there’s no way I could possibly hope to interact with everyone, I get overwhelmed, and I just want to crawl under the desk and cry.
There’s no way to avoid it at Larry. There are going to be thousands of people swarming around. And part of it is that it’s summer, and the campers are intimidated by the students, and the students hate that the campers are here, making the lines that they feel are rightfully theirs longer than usual, and no one knows where the bathroom is, and so I have the same conversation 900 times an hour. So that’s not really a reflection on Larry as a whole, because all of that is temporary.
There aren’t usually drummers in the building, drumming on everything. And I’d be dealing with them at Christmas, too, because it’s near where they practice.
There aren’t usually teenage cheerleaders practicing their cheers in the lobby during their lunch break.
There aren’t usually coaches using their whistles in the building to get their campers’ attention…like this is a damn gym.
I am willing to believe that the building is usually full of people who actually belong here (sorry, campers, but…yeah) and thus who are a little more invested in making sure it is not a zoo, or at least who are less prone to travel in gargantuan packs (because you don’t take your friends to class with you).
But I imagine that the cafeteria still makes it inevitably crowded and louder, especially during typical meal times, than I like for it to be, even during the year. The reason that I suspect that this is true is that the other people who do work here during the year (various university personnel, most of whom I don’t know and who don’t know me) are so used to it that they think they’re doing me a favor when they hang out and talk about the weather or how busy I must be, so that I won’t get bored.
News flash, folks. I don’t often get bored. There’s always something to do or prepare. And if I’ve exhausted all things to do or prepare for work, there’s a cornucopia of things to read. I don’t need to be entertained. You’re thinking of boring people.
What I do need is for you not to yell at me so that I can hear your half of our mind-numbing conversation over the lunch rush. Ignore me. Please. I promise you won’t hurt my feelings.
The only upside to this is that I appreciate quiet even more than I already did. I went to Christmas to prepare for a camp there the other day, and it was so blissfully peaceful. It’s not always that way, but it’s that way more often than not.
Larry 0, Christmas 1.
Christmas has it. Larry doesn’t. As I am typing this, someone walking by just said, as if on cue, “Why is there no air conditioning here?” There is. You just can’t actually feel it, on account-a the so, so many people. It’s not Larry’s fault. It’s just the way air works. When you have 10,000 people coming in, and it’s
summer any time in Texas, it’s going to get hot and gross. There’s no way around it. Oh, wait. There is. It’s called being at Christmas, where leaving the door open is so rare that the alarm goes off if it’s left open too long, shaming the people holding it open into closing it immediately, preserving our nice 70-degree climate.
Larry 0, Christmas 2.
When you are one of the most established buildings on campus, you will have collected some things that make desk operations run more smoothly.
I covet these boxes so much. Do you know how much easier they have made check-ins and check-outs? Do you know how much more smoothly move-in day would run if we had some of our very own at Christmas? Dear Christmas HD of mine, can we get some of these things?!?!?!?! Because I NEED them!
I like office supplies. No. That’s too tame. I LUUUUUUUUUUURVEEEEEEE office supplies (say it out loud, just like that. Throw a purring noise in there. Now you’ve got it). And if these check-in boxes were a boy, I would marry them.
I also have benefited from seeing how Larry does things differently and weighing them against how we do them at Christmas. Most of the things we do, I’m keeping the same (Desk blog, Larry. Because it’s the 21st century. And we can check problems from afar during the weekend for training/disaster-avoidance purposes. And no one can alter someone else’s blog post. I’m just sayin’.). But it’s always good to see how things work at other places, because it will make me a stronger leader in my regular position. So I’m glad for this experience.
Larry 1, Christmas 2.
Junior High flashbacks
At Christmas, I know where things are, and even if I didn’t, its location has a normal name (i.e., 3rd floor north closet or CHR-375, if you want to cut right to the chase and not have to even bother knowing where north is). Everything at Larry has a quirky, community-building name, which is great…if you’re a part of said community and are going to stick around for awhile, thus inspiring you to actually learn it. I get it – I do – but I feel like the awkward adolescent who doesn’t really fit in with the cool kids. Even a map would be helpful, for those of us who are on the outside looking in, to know where (or what) the hell Sherwood is when the police officer from the information booth wants a quiet place to eat her lunch. But alas, having searched the S: drive over, I have run across no map. I so enjoy looking incompetent when people ask where something is. I need to have a shirt made that says, “I don’t usually work here. Don’t judge me.” or “I’m better at this job in my building” or just “For the love of God, I’m trying.”
Sorry, Larry. You’re too cool for me. Figuratively, of course. Literally speaking, it’s so freaking hot here.
Larry 1, Christmas 3.
The “I gotta be me!” factor (you know, because the rest of this has been super objective)
At Christmas, it is far less likely that, if I (allegedly) did something like roll my eyes and say, “White people!” with an exasperated sigh, there would be a tour of parents coming through to overhear me (it’s not directed at them, for the record. I would never. That’s would be terrible customer service. I toe the line, but I’m not THAT person.). And if there is a tour of parents coming through, I have a better vantage point at Christmas to see them coming and to adjust my speech accordingly.
Some people might argue that I could just curb such comments the entire time I’m behind the desk, but these people clearly don’t get my clever, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor that so endears me to everyone I meet.
Larry 1, Christmas 4.
Shout-out to Sarah
This summer could have been really terrible. I not only could have been forced into change (which, in case you missed the neon-sign-level-of-obviousness memo, I really detest), but also forced into a place that was a disaster with people I didn’t get along with (delightful as I am, it happens). I cannot confirm that that would have been the case anywhere else in the department – I don’t know of anyone who outwardly hates me – but it’s always a fear of mine. I recognize that I’m an acquired taste, and some people don’t want to make the effort. I am grateful that this has not been the case. Sarah (real props call for real names) has been especially welcoming, so much so that Larry gets another point, just for her. Everyone else is pretty cool, but Sarah goes out of her way, and I appreciate it.
Also, there’s a dog here that, when it’s (he? she? I don’t even know) not judging me, tolerates me enough to put up with me fishing paper clips out of its mouth.
So final tally for this round – Larry 2, Christmas 4
^ 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.