aren't you the representative?


it was just another good old day of feeling useless. my boss' kid got sick, a high fever or something, so she said, can you go to this meeting? actually, she asked my other boss to go to the meeting, but that boss was just like, hell no i'm not wasting my time at some stupid ass pointless meeting. so, i said, yeah, fine, i'll go, whatever. not like i'm doing anything anyway. the meeting was for the deans and directors of the law school, and there was no point in me being there at all. it was a bunch of older ladies and a couple of middle-aged men. we all sat around some tables, and the woman from the dean's department told us about events for the 2010-2011 school year.

the fat man next to me had a supersized mcdonald's cup. fuck's wrong with this guy, i wondered. i mean, i always think i'm gonna have a heart attack, and then i can't even imagine this obese dude drinking a giant coke at ten in the morning. an event sponsored by my department came up in the discussion, and one of the deans said that the timing for it seemed strange, since it takes place in the summer, and during the bar exams. and did i happen to know why that particular date was chosen? no, i said. the fat man said, but aren't you the representative? i answered, i'm just here to take notes. people laughed at that.

i don't know why administration hasn't caught onto us yet. i figure my boss makes like $40, and my other boss probably makes another $40, and i make $30, and they give us a budget of like, another $30, so that's about $140 a year, and i don't even know what we do, really. we had like one event on that calendar, and even that was questionable. who are we, and what do we do? nobody seems to be able to answer that. they pay me a schoolteacher's salary, and they asked me one question, and i couldn't even answer it. because i honestly didn't know. and my boss, the one who didn't want to come to the meeting, she doesn't even show up to work anymore. she just sends emails saying that she's working off campus, or else working from home. and because she has a law degree, some smarts, she gets away with it. me? forget about it. no one trusts an english major.

finally, after yet another day of doing nothing, evening came, and it was proctoring time. two minutes before the test, this girl in the front row asked if i was going to signal when it was time to type. i was like, what are you talking about? she said, there's a reading period for an hour, so will you tell us when to type? i said, sorry? she repeated herself and huffed. nevermind, she said, you don't know what i'm talking about! i agreed that i didn't, and i told her that the professor didn't write any specific instructions on his sheet. at that point, though, she had already stopped listening to me, the useless proctor.

i sat there, and i watched three episodes of band of brothers. i used to romanticize war and guns and explosions, but now i just romanticize having some sort of purpose, having an experience that is actually worth telling. no old man gathers his grandchildren around him and tells them about the time he was a proctor. the time he was an administrator at a university. gather 'round now, boys and girls. gather 'round now. did i ever tell you kids about the time i printed out contracts for summer interns, stapled them together, and then paper-clipped them in neat little stacks? boy, oh boy. that sure was a crazy time!

one time, after losing another game of basketball to some street urchins, my friend told me i had to move around more, set picks, fight picks, believe and all that. he said, if you're just standing around the court, then you're basically dead-weight.

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