Sunday, November 1, 2009

Drown me in a chocolate river

posted Wed, 03 Nov 2004

I have learned some important lessons today.

If you are volunteering as an alumni representative at a college fair, when prospective students as you about test scores, smile and say, “We look at the whole person.”

That’s it. That’s all you say. Whatever you do, do not give a number.

And if a parent starts talking about your school’s sports program and you look at him blankly and tell him you really don’t follow Rice sports because it is just too heartbreaking, well, then it’s too late. If the parent talks about sports, you smile and say, “Yes! Rice sports! Neat!”

Because if you give a number, or express your honest views on Rice sports, a parent will post a letter on AOL and will write a letter to the president of the university and to the Board of Directors and to the Director of Admissions saying that you looked directly at his daughter and told her that she had no chance whatsoever of being admitted to Rice and don’t even bother to apply.

He will also accuse you of being nasty and condescending (not that you are not in certain cases, but you were not in this case) about the sports programs. Which you were not. You were confused and distracted.

Actually, the real lesson I learned today is not to volunteer at the college fair.

The second lesson I learned today is that if the project manager sets up a meeting for 7:00 a.m., you accept, even if it means you don’t get to swim that morning. You do not send an email to a colleague asking, “Is this a JOKE???!!!!!!!!! I’m getting out of the pool at 7:00 a.m. NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

That colleague, as well intentioned as he was, will send that note to your boss with the comment that perhaps they should reschedule the meeting because people might have other things going on at 7:00 a.m.

Then your boss, who will complain to you about said project manager and the hours he expects everyone to keep, will chew your butt out for not being flexible. You will ask him exactly what he considers a reasonable excuse for not attending a 7:00 a.m. meeting when said meeting is not an emergency and is being scheduled at 7:00 a.m. simply to be convenient for the project manager.

He cannot think of a single reason why someone should not attend a 7:00 a.m. meeting. Not one.

Oy.

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