Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hillary's Office: (Likely) An On-Going Saga

This week, I am the only person in my office.  Summer is slowly trafficked anyway, with normally just five or six staff on and faculty that trickles in and out, but this week is especially bleak.  I am holding down the Natural Science (NS) office by my lonesome, with only my awesome IT guy, Jeff as a comrade.  Without much to do, I spend my days reading junk-food news stories, writing on my blog, and reading my book.

Today, I received an email from a faculty member, we'll call her Annette, called "check something for me?"  It read:


I wonder if you could do me a big favor and check something for me in my office. A student has passed his Division I and I want to make sure I have the right student before I write his evaluation on the HUB.

In my office there are little piles of stuff on the floor under the pictures on the wall opposite the desk. Closest to the window I think (so to the right with your back to the desk) are two Division I folders I believe. If you open them they will say "Division I" somewhere.  I need to know the name of the male student - I think it's [male student]. Thanks a lot. There is also one for [totally different and, for this task, inconsequential female student] I think.
"Close to the window I think (so to the right with your back to the desk)."  There is only one wall with windows in her office.  I'm still debating if she's normally casts out explicitly obvious directions or if she thinks I'm a blockhead.  Probably both.
The kind of seltzer we had
and the same bottle we used...
I have had some interesting encounters with Annette before.  Once, at school meeting, she opened a bottle of seltzer without any abandon and, as seltzer does, it exploded all over the counter.  I sort of sighed, but was busy setting up the food and working around people who apparently had been starved for days, given that they couldn't wait for me to finish setting up the table, so I didn't really take notice.  If there's no point in crying over spilled milk then there's really no point in crying over spilled bubbly water.  

Annette approached me at the table.  She said, "Just to let you know, there's seltzer spilled all over the sink.  You should probably open them up next time before people get here."  Flabbergasted, yet ultimately amused, I stared agog at her thinking, If I don't have time to set up before the ravenous masses crowd the table, how am I going to have time to open all the seltzer bottles before the droughty dozen arrive?  And, besides which, aren't we adults?  Annette then proceeded to fix herself lunch and sit down without making any motion to clean up her mess.  As is my way, I huffily cleaned up the seltzer, cursing things under my breath about classism.  I guess people with Ph.D's don't know how to open carbonated beverages properly.  Or work a paper towel dispenser.  Go figure.

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