Saturday, July 2, 2011

Things I Say at Work... Duty Phone Edition

Since I'll be heading to New Orleans for the ACUHO-I Annual Conference in a week, I thought it would be appropriate to share a post that my res life friends will appreciate!

I say lots of weird things at work and I try to take note or make the little comic panel after they happen so I have a little stockpile of funny things to post if I don't have a funny story to tell. I've only worked in the res life realm for a couple of years, so I just have to say: If you think THESE are funny, you need to talk to my colleagues. I guarantee they have better stories.

First, for those of you who aren't familiar with on-call schedules or duty phones, let me paint you a picture (aka draw you a crappy illustration in photoshop):
When the duty phone rings, it is undoubtedly 3AM (+/- an hour or two) and I am in a dead sleep. The person on the other end of the line is presumably awake, alert, and all jazzed up from responding to some sort of situation. I, on the other hand, consider myself lucky if I even hear the phone ring, in which case it takes me a few moments to recognize the sound and then that little sense of panic sets in. Once I answer, the other person usually starts rattling off what's going on, what they need me for, etc. I, of course, respond with a very professional, "Wait, what?" Then they explain again. Then I try to respond with some logical, University-approved response.

Needless to say, this is the perfect storm for funny/strange conversations. Here are just a few...
 My least favorite duty call is the 3AM update. If you're just updating me, couldn't you email me or call at a time when I might feasibly be awake?

Worse than that is the pointless update. I literally got a call from a new security officer once just to tell me he saw someone fall off a bike and he thought it was funny. No squad run. No injuries. Just hilarity, I guess. I don't appreciate undergoing heart palpitations for this kind of call.
Bet you haven't been asked to be a bat bagger at work. 

This was a legitimate call, and I clearly wasn't particularly helpful. An HR called to ask me to catch a bat in his hall. Some people don't do windows; I don't do germ-infested bats. Imagine a dozen first year women shrieking in the background and you've got an accurate picture. 

I just find it funny that anybody would think that they could call and make this request of me. Ask me what to do, perfectly natural. Tell me to bust out bat-catching skills? Sorry, buddy, they didn't cover that in grad school! I'll gladly tell you who to call instead!

*Note this story is often repeated, though the animals may change. Birds and squirrels are popular characters!

The return phone call. I see a missed call, I call back, this happens. Lesson learned? My staff is full of jerks. ;)
 I'll never understand why people pee anywhere but in toilets. 

Also, I'd like to take a moment to point out that the duty phone is a cell phone, but that my poor drawing skills made the cell phone look like a blob on my face. Do they even make phones that look like this anymore?

Bet you've never said this at work. Weird trying to explain different levels of PDA to a 20-yr-old. That's what I do as a student affairs administrator: I educate. :)

Like I said, I have friends who have much funnier stories than mine-- if you're looking to be entertained, call up an old RA and ask him/her to share their most ridiculous res life story. 

Happy July, everybody!