Job Hazards

It's morning. I know this because my eyes are burning from not wanting to be open and my face is stinging from razor burn. I'm sitting in a computer lab, where I get paid to watch my fellow students. I am supposed to be here to offer assistance with software and hardware issues, but primarily I am here to make sure no one steals anything, and that those who're sleeping don't drool into the keyboards and get shocked (the smell of scorched undergrad is not conducive to learning).

Usually I enjoy - well, I don't mind - working in the labs. I basically get paid to do my homework, and if it's a high-traffic shift, I get to see all the pretty coeds coming and going; not a bad deal. Sometimes I even get to chat with these young ladies when they need help, and their adorable but futile attempts to be cogent are usually a healing salve to my tired heart, withered and blackened thing that it is.

Today however, I find them all simply too stupid to be charming.

My desk bears a large sign which reads, "Lab Assistant." My chest bears a badge which reads, "Lab Assistant." No amount of carefully styled hair and artfully applied makeup packed in whaletail-baring jeans could overcome my disgust when one girl walked up, leaned on the printer and asked, "Are you the lab assistant?"

I knew I should just nod and say, "Yes - can I help you?" - but at that moment, pure evil filled my heart.

"No. I'm just filling in for him."
"Oh - when will he be back?"
"Not sure. He was hurt pretty badly."
At this, she batted her well-tinted lashes and said, "Hurt?"
"Yeah. Sometimes toner cartridges are just volatile like that. He managed to duck most of the shrapnel, but he'll be out for a few days. I think the laptop he had in his backpack went up too."
She stared blankly, then said, "But..."
I waited as long as I possibly could without being rude, but when she failed to finish her sentence, I filled the silence in a consoling tone with, "I know - it's so sudden. But that's the chance we take to be IT rockstars. He knew the risks."

I almost held it together and kept a straight face as she stepped carefully away from the printer.

There is an optional training session for lab assistants today - the subject is, "Customer Service."

I should probably go to that...


Lil' Tattooed Girl said...

Wow I somethimes think no one could possibly be as stupid as they seem - and then I hear stories like this. I'm sorry you are having such a wonderful day. (:P)

Squid said...

That is awesome!

Oh man you have know idea of some of the kinds of stupid we stumble upon in the computer labs.

Flynn said...

That's a good one. I should record a few of my own IT frustrations, you know, for posterity 'n stuff.

My personal favorite was the PhD candidate who lost his dissertation because his computer crashed, irrecoverably destroying all of his research data... The kicker, he was studying memory loss.

Emily said...

sounds like a good form of entertainment for the doldrums of the labby life. :)

sassyshell said...

You are so amazingly cool. Thanks for the story!

WNG said...

That was quite possibly the best 'but you're pretty' moment I've heard in a long time. Sorry you had to deal with it, but thanks for sharing it! I'm going to be laughing about that one for a while...

Big Gay Jim said...

For the record, he was, in fact, in attendance at the Customer Service training. Heckling from the front row. Well, nobody SAT in the front row, but he was in the first occupied row at least. ;)

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