Life is Busting out ALL Over!


Posted on: April 3, 2009

I have had a pretty tough week. It’s knocked me into some kind of adrenaline-induced and resulting crash funk.

At work, the hardest part of the semester for me is over. I spent 11 hour days this week supporting and organizing different panels for our students. My panel? Pretty much almost a complete disaster. I was late to the game securing speakers for my students because I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and I haven’t been in the job long enough to know specific employers to come speak. The day of the panel, I was only sure of 1 person attending. I was planning on being the featured speaker if all else failed. In the end all my speakers showed up. I should have known marketing folks are always focused on the deadline. At 5pm, half an hour before it started, they were there. Then there are my students in the class I teach, whom I swear reading comprehension decreases with every text message and iPhone usage they do because they have NO ability to read directions. It’s on the fucking syllabus for a reason people, after I explain it EVERY WEEK. Yet they come crying to me, literally, because they missed 3 points because they didn’t read the directions. And crying is the pathway to my heart because I cave and then question my own authority.

Then there’s my personal life. I’ve been doing SO GOOD at moving on from the Ex, and starting to really heal. As in I could FEEL my heart healing, and actually getting excited about the future again. And then this week, I had feelings. Crappy feelings that I just didn’t want to feel. But I let myself. Figured I probably had pushed them away so much that my subconscious was getting her revenge. You can’t pretend I don’t exist, you bitch, she was probably laughing far off in some random part of my brain. The one that connects directly to my heart. And then I get into a car accident. Which for the first time, was not my fault. Some girl backed into me as I was waiting for the apartment gate to open. Nice crater in my passenger car door. I wasn’t hurt and I don’t have to pay for it, her insurance is on it, THANK GOD. But still. Didn’t really want to deal with it this week.

But my week is not over just yet. I’m back to work tomorrow because my director asked me severely last minute to help host a Parents Day for the college. (I honestly don’t know what it is with me and parents, I have spent almost too much time in higher education working with them. My future boyfriend(s?) should love me for this attribute).

Anyway, all day today I scrambled to organize students to help me tomorrow, rent fricking A/V equipment I need and have absolutely ZERO skills in understanding. I also had to get posters printed and mounted and as I’m working on my delegating skills, I had a student create a pretty rad poster – while I spent my time trying to find how the hell you get something printed on college campus in one day (I was so missing my agency days when my buds in production would do favors for me).

I lucked out and found the main copy center would help me out. Except the rad poster – used stock art without paying for it, had images that were too pixelated for the size I needed. And I had to start over. And it’s Friday. And I’m higher ed, so things work at snails pace, to say I was panicked over this thing I had no choice to do – on a SATURDAY – mandated to me by our Director, was an overstatement. Also, it was the very last thing I needed this week.

The Copy Center saved my ass. I’m seriously thinking about naming my first child _ _ Copy Center. I’m not kidding. I called over there and spoke to the Copy Center Guy, not knowing a THING about how it all worked, what I needed to do. The only thing I knew was the deadline I had to meet. I HATE not knowing procedures and placing demands on people without understanding their needs first. I had a lot of bosses like that and I at least try to understand what I need to do to help them first. My hands were tied and I had to demand and then redo everything and demand again.

Copy Center Guy was so calm and I probably spent hours on the phone with him today, and he seriously went above and beyond to help me out.

He also had a very nice voice on the phone. Not too much of a drawl but enough Texan to make it interesting. (No one here has southern accents, excuse me Texan accents, maybe because Austin is such a mix of people, mostly Californians – but not even the students do. Although they “Yes ma’am” alot, which is super polite and nice to hear).

They even stayed two hours past their closing time so I could pick up my stuff before I went home. Copy Center Guy called me after close and invited me to come by and look at it before they finished it to make sure I was happy with it. It was on my way to the car, so I did. And I secretly hoped that Copy Center Guy was cute to match his voice. And was also NOT a student of mine or of the undergraduate variety.

After getting lost for the umpteenth time since I’ve been on campus, I arrived. At this point it was 6pm – WELL past the time we all should have left to go home.  Copy Center Guy was waiting for me, holding the door open. He is an adult! His looks are as friendly and kind as his voice was on the phone. He has reddish hair but not obnoxiously so, almost blond, like he spends a lot of time out in the sun. Good teeth (I always check I don’t know why) and I’m not one who usually checks – not because I don’t think it’s important but I’ve just never been one who thought about it – but I checked. He had really kind eyes. The kind that when someone smiles, you don’t need to check their mouth to notice if they are.

He offered me water and let me sit down next to him while I waited. We chatted for a really long time. He asked about where I’d come from, since I had told him apologetically earlier in the day while making my demands I was sort of new and didn’t know what the hell I was doing. We discussed things I could still get away with, using the “But I’m NEW, I didn’t KNOW” excuse. We talked about Chicago, he mentioned he loved it, I said I missed it – which is the first time I’ve EVER said it outloud. We laughed and sort of bemoaned how annoying it is that our university/employer is good at every sport. He warned me about football season. We discussed Illinois basketball and how Michael Jordan’s son was on the team – and tried to figure out where his second son, who supposedly has the basketball talent, would play ball. We both agreed it would be Carolina.

And then just like that it was time to go. I picked up my very large posters and put them under my arm and had my keys in the other. And then he reached out his hand to shake as he told me how nice it was to meet me and to make sure I come back again. Somehow the handshake startled me, and I kind of squealed as clumsily passed my keys from my right hand to my left, which was holding the posters. But I managed to shake Copy Center guy’s hand without dropping anything.

It only occured to me as I walked to my car, that I had fucking FLIRTED. Without meaning to, or definitely meaning to, I’m not sure which. I do know, however, that I suddenly might have a need for a lot of posters.

(Unless he went home to his girlfriend or put his wedding ring he accidently forgot next to the sink, in which case I now know a short cut to getting shit done and am armed with more things I can get away with while I’m still “new”) Either way seems like a win for me!


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musings and panic attacks of a Chicago girl embarking on a new life in Texas. Only it's not always June and it's not in song.

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