Saturday, 10 September 2011

Freeeee and happpppy!

I have relinquished my duty as a summer student director for this building, yeah!!

So my duty hours were weekdays 5.30 pm to 8.30 am and all day on weekends, and I worked alternate weeks with another student director. We were to attend to urgent matters like lock-outs and evacuation and flooded bathrooms etc. When there were upcoming maintenance like hot water outage or radiator works, we would send out mass emails and put up notices within the building. With the school year starting, we also dealt with check-ins.

There were fun things too - we organised a BBQ and an ice cream social for which I managed to get a store to sponsor 100 cups of the creamy stuff! We also had lunch with our bosses - their treat of course :p We had good response on our social events and everyone was happy. For this job, I didn't get paid but I got to stay here for free over the summer, which saved us some money.

Like all jobs, this job had its ills too. Some people missed reading the word "urgent". I mentioned the frustrating incident of the two chaps who called me at 3 am just to use the lounge. Another guy called on a Monday evening, claiming that the front desk was always closed and he had been waiting to get his parcel since Friday. When I went down and retrieved his parcel, it turned out to be a....bicep builder!! You urgently need to save your shrinking biceps hur??

And I was mistaken in not expecting stupidity from MBA students. This guy gave his keys to a friend who was going to come back after him so he ended up with no key, while this girl locked herself out of her room in only a towel. Twice. In the same week. At 7+ am.

For two weeks in July, we had a big group of visiting students from the Netherlands. One day, a twin room had an aircon issue over the weekend, and I had the most unpleasant encounter - hello, this isn't a hotel, and I'm not your maid! The usual residents were a lot nicer, yes, even though they may not understand the word "urgent".

But the most terrible thing - and most unexpected - had to do with "guanxi". In June, a graduating student asked me to open the apartment of this other student whom she knew had left so that her visiting parents could stay there for a couple of weeks. She did not want student affairs to know - why?! I felt quite bad for her parents too if they had to stay in a dirty room when they had to fly 14 hours to get here. And she had the cheek to ask me when all the interaction we had was an introduction. Anyway, I was at a loss - it wasn't that it could not be done. But I don't like to do sneaky things lor! How to reject nicely? In the end, after talking to Mum who happened to call, it was not a matter of nice or not; it was a matter of right or wrong. I told her to ask student affairs if she could rent an apartment.

Despite all my complaints, there were times when I enjoyed my work, when I met nice people, when I helped someone in genuine need. Like this chap who returned from a week-long trip at 4 am with his keys to find that maintenance had changed his lock! And the couple who found themselves in an apartment with a weird smell that couldn't be removed. Or the guy who smelled gas in his apartment. And today, a guy arrived at 7 am, waited in his roommate's room for a more decent time to call me for checking in - so nice right?

And through all the check-ins, I got to meet a lot of people, made a few friends, although at times, it was quite exasperating, like last night, I had eight check-ins in under four hours - I was barely changed and seated when I got the next call! And some people could not wait - they kept calling home and mobile, home and mobile while I was in the bathroom!

I've also learnt things about this building. Now I know the location of each of the 33 rooms on each floor, I know how to fix the stove for minor gas leaks, and - this is very important - I know that the five-second rule doesn't count here; carpets here have suffered floods from kitchen and toilet *.*

Being a student director, I also had a glimpse into the whole machinery behind our accommodation. It was, um, interesting *.* Suffice to say that I would be checking our bills very carefully and handling our own mail forwarding when we leave this building!

But now, I'm just basking in freedom :) Finally, I can sit through a meal without answering a call. Finally, I can sleep soundly without praying that I don't get a call in the middle of the night. Finally, I don't have to suffer the irritating ringtone from the duty phone!

And finally, Sito is coming home!! :) I have cleaned parts of the apartment so that he will return to a clean home in addition to a happy wife :) But actually our apartment is quite clean to begin with. (The guy who oversaw the radiator works couldn't help telling me so after going through more than 60 rooms!) He's probably flying over US airspace now.. Can't wait to see him again!

Update at 9.00 pm

Tamade, I rejoiced too early!! A few friends couldn't get the student director and called me instead! I don't mind helping my friends but I can't help feeling sour :(

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...