Summertime, and the weather is greasy.
Whew. I wish I could get away for the summer. In fact, I’m not the only one who wishes I’d get away from here for the summer (or the winter, or the fall, or the spring, for that matter). Maybe next year I’ll use that information to take up a collection so I can buy tickets, pay for lodging, etc. for somewhere cooler. Hey, that’s an idea!
Until then, I’m stuck with those of you brave (or poor, or masochistic, or cool-weather fearing) souls who’ve decided to tough out another long, hot South Florida summer.
So as a reward (or punishment, I suppose) for you, I’ve actually written an honest-to-goodness, bona fide column. Rather than a typical all e-mail copout.
Well, to be honest… I got very little e-mail this time. Seems as if the smart folks left town early this year. Or as Meir, Flamenco Editor Pro Tempore (or at least just for now) would say, “the early bird gets out of town for the summer and goes somewhere cooler.” Or is it, “The second mouse in the pool is the rotten egg?”
Who knows. More importantly, who cares?
A number of topics came to mind as I sat down to write this month’s–or summer’s–column. Mainly, I thought of things I could get away with as Marlene (Note: Marlene was the regular editor for Flamenco at the time this column was originally published) is away and she won’t see what I’ve written until it’s too late (nyah nyah!).
Then I thought, the ultimate would be to get away with writing nothing (hehehe). But I knew Marlene would probably come all the way back from Illinois, very irate, and looking to get even. And I couldn’t have that. I mean, the part about Marlene coming back from Illinois.
So I decided I’d write about something I know about, which means nothing. But I’ve already done that (see the November 2001 issue of Flamenco–at least I think it was the November 2001 issue [Note: we have not been able to locate this column]). Then I decided to write about something fun, a great way to while away a lazy, hazy, crazy summer afternoon: watching grass grow!
Haha, just kidding.
Okay, so here–without further ado, fanfare, stalling on my part, etc.–is my Official Column for the Summer 2002 Issue of Flamenco, brought to you by… er, I don’t have any sponsors yet for my column. Any volunteers?
College students are supposed to be smart, right? (Author’s note: yeah, yeah, I know, it’s the summer, and school and college are associated with the fall. But hey, it’s my column and I’ll write what I want to, write what I want to, write…).
Or so you’d think. But I worked at the registration office of the college I went to while I was a student there and let me tell you, I met some of the dumbest people while I worked there. Or perhaps they were simply lacking in some common sense. I don’t know. But I’d be embarrassed either to ask some of the questions I was asked, or respond the way some people responded to me while I worked at the registration office.
The “dumbest”–or as I remember how hard I had to fight back laughter, the funniest–incident happened right before registration for classes opened one year. Two weeks before registration opened, the college made the printed class listing booklet available to students, along with the earliest time they could register and a PIN number they could use to register by phone, if they chose.
The college had many students and a tight budget, so they wouldn’t just hand over the booklets to students. You had to pick up your registration information at the same time as the booklet, so they’d know you weren’t getting more than one booklet.
Because we had so many students, we had to organize how we handed out the booklets and registration info. So they were organized by student number–which in most cases was your social security number–and signs were hung from the ceiling in front of the registration office counter with a range of student numbers. Students were to line up according to the sign corresponding to their student number, and upon presenting an ID card, we’d give them their precious booklet and registration info.
A middle-aged lady came up to me at the counter one particularly busy evening and asked where she could pick up her registration info and class listing. I pointed up towards the signs and said, “Get in the line that corresponds to your student number, then when you get to the front, show the person there your ID and they’ll give it to you.”
“Okay,” she said.
The lady walked away. But not for long.
A few minutes later, I saw her come back and speak with another employee–I’ll call her Nancy. As I was busy helping another fellow student at the time, I couldn’t make out what she said to Nancy, but I saw Nancy point up at the signs hanging from the ceiling.
A few more minutes later, she came up to the counter, exasperated, asking to speak to a supervisor. I went to get my supervisor–whom I’ll simply call Maria here–to speak with the lady. In the meantime, Nancy also came up to the counter.
“Yes ma’am, how can I help you?” asked Maria.
“I was told to go upstairs twice to pick up my registration information,” burst the upset lady, “and that lady there,” she pointed to Nancy, “was rude about it, too!”
I had to run to the back of the office, where the lady could neither see nor hear my laughter. Tears streamed down my cheeks from laughing so hard.
Ten minutes later, when I had regained my composure, I explained to Maria that we had not directed the lady upstairs but rather had pointed at the signs hanging from the ceiling, where the student’s numbers were listed. She laughed too–something she rarely ever did.
I don’t know if that lady ever graduated from the college, but thanks to her, I somehow feel my degree from the college is a little tarnished. I often wonder if she voted in Palm Beach County during the last presidential election.