Excuse For A Picture

I’ve just been wanting to share this picture. That’s all. This entry is just an excuse to do that. I’ve spent most of my work day being ridiculous and making mistakes of such stupidity that my co-workers have been nice enough to just laugh at me instead of shoot me in the head. It feels like everyone else is super competent at stuff like making Access files, while I’m all, “Wait, how do you import that? Can I put a pretty color here, will it make a difference in the double-entry? Do ALL the field names have to be defined?” I don’t like doing stuff I don’t understand, so I sneakily look at Carl’s webcam sometimes and pretend like I’m writing big important emails or debugging something.

But that’s okay. I know they didn’t hire me for my Office 2000 skills or anything, but for my ability to make everyone else feel better when I call the same person twice in two weeks and innocently administer the same hour-long interview (“I thought he sounded familiar!”), or when I go to the copy center five wings away from our office instead of the one right downstairs, and get lost in four different ways, two going there and two coming back. Everyone else likes it when they can hear me falling up the stairs on my way in every morning. If it’s an especially good day, I’ll do it while I’m carrying some hot cereal from the downstairs cafeteria. That always brings everyone up. And since I’m a sucker for an audience, it brings me up too.

It’s the first day of school around here, although not for the university, which is on the quarter system and doesn’t start for another couple of weeks. This means the return of boisterous teens on the Metro buses again. This morning when I went in there was this fourth grade (I think) kid and his grandfather (I think) on his way to his first day of school. The bus was late, and the kid looked at his watch and said, “This doesn’t look good!” in this really sweet and funny Southern drawl. His grandfather made bug eyes at him and said, “You don’t want to be late for Mrs. Somethingsomething’s class! Ohhhhhh, no! She’ll give you a big red checkmark the very first day!”

For the rest of the ride the kid sat very quietly, with his eyes wide open, holding onto the seat railing, looking straight ahead. I coudl see how nervous he was, how he was concentrating on finding his class and where he would sit and who he would sit next too, and how he hoped the other kids wouldn’t think his lunch was weird. I thought about brand new books and the unreal feeling of being back in a classroom after a whole summer. I remember picking out my outfit for my first day at grad school, feeling the same fear and excitement and what-have-I-got-myself-into feelings. One thing about going to school is that every year you have undeniable proof that you’re really growing up, you’re really advancing in life. It’s all laid out. It’s much harder when you’re working. I don’t think I’m working at my grade level, over at my job. Technically I am the most educated of everyone I work with…so why can’t I put together a stupid Access file? Why can’t I read a campus map? Does this make me really smart or really dumb?

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