A New Year

*Chirp, chirp*
Hear those crickets?  That's how quiet it's been around this blog for the past few days.  But it's not because there's nothing to write.  No sir.  In fact, life is moving at the pace of a Korean high-speed rail passenger train.  Crazy fast, that is.

Working at a university can be an exciting time. This time of year in particular because it's when all of the new students arrive an campus, move into their dorms, and begin an entirely new chapter of their lives that will most likely completely alter the course that their life is currently on. 

Remember going away to college? Being dropped off by your parents, left in a strange cinderblock room, surrounded by thousands of teenagers that all seemed so bubbly and outgoing and friendly when all you wanted to do was lay down in your cold dark room by yourself and sleep until it as over?  Oh.... maybe that was just me. 

Freshmen students are so funny.  "What's your major?" "Are you a freshman?"  Ha! Can you believe that used to be a pick-up line?  Classic... And that one little opening line could be the start of a friendship that lasts for the rest of your life.  Life is so crazy like that...

But anyway, I work at a university and that means that whenever August rolls around it means no vacations and working weekends.  This weekend was particularly taxing. After a full, five day week, including some later nights, I worked all day Saturday and then today from 6:50 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Oh yes... your eyes are not deceiving you - you did read that right.  I worked 13 and a half hours today with no formal breakfast, lunch, or dinner breaks.  While eating a danish I scanned through e-mails to make sure that nothing was imploding.  During my small lunch of a turkey sandwich I updated occupancy and capacity reports for our opening day stats.  While eating chicken fingers and french fries at dinner I looked up students who didn't check in to see if we had any other data on them.   My keyboard will probably be greasy for the rest of it's pitiful existance because of that decision.

And then tomorrow I turn around and do it all over again. 

It's tough, there's no doubting that.  But believe it or not, the thought of working all those hours is usually worse than the actuality of it.  Don't try to tell me that though - I won't believe you for a second.  Really though, the body does an amazing job of functioning on little sleep, and when you don't get your weekends off for a couple of weeks, Mondays don't seem so bad anymore, because - let's be honest - at this point who knows what day it actually it anyway?  What's important is to know what hours you have to work that day.  As long as you have that covered, you're golden.   When you're here and putting in the time, thirteen+ hours definitely still sucks, but you just do what you need to do, keep your mind from thinking about the hours, and suddenly - before you know it - it's over.  It would help if you have the next day off, but you don't, so you wake up bright and early once again and start all over.  You pretend that you didn't just work over 22 hours in two (weekend) days and believe it or not, that actually works (for me, at least.) 

And if I am to be honest, this year was as good as I could have hoped for.  Part of my job is meeting and speaking with disgruntled or unhappy parents.  That usually entails just listening to them explain why their situation is special and why they should be given special priority, and sometimes it's having them yell at me because they think we're idiots. 

But this year, I only had one really angry family like that.  And after years of being yelled at by 10 families all in one day, one family is a piece of cake.  I can handle one angry family.  And having one angry family means that I am finally at a place in my job where I know that I am doing things right.  There were no errors or mistakes made this year, and that makes me feel really damn good.  In fact, I consider one angry family a complete and utter success.

Because sometimes people are going to get angry whether you did something to wrong them or not.  In this case I think they just needed to vent, and if doing so to me made them feel a little better, then I guess I did my part.   And at the rate that the angry families have been decreasing over the past five years, next year just might be that golden year where the angry family number is zero.

Here's hoping.

So, over the next week or so I hope to pick back up on the vacation recap posts (becuase can you believe that I'm only about half-way through our trip!??!?), finish up some gardening posts as the gardening season starts to wind down and a handful of garden fresh recipes.  Don't give up on me!


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