Just Call Me “Eve.”
29 September, 2008 § 1 Comment
It sure is a good thing I know how to laugh at myself, otherwise I think being an admission counselor would cripple me with insecurity and self-deprecation. I mean, come on, how many other jobs require you to go so far outside your comfort zone in every way AND on as often a basis as admissions work? We don’t know where we’re going until we get there – – we don’t know what the people we will be meeting with will look like – – we don’t know how long our visits are going to take – – we don’t know what kind of questions we are going to have to field – – sometimes we don’t even know what we’re doing while we’re doing it!
All of that is to say, funniest moment of the week took place this past Thursday. It was my last day of fairs and high school visits while in Michigan before driving home on Friday, and needless to say, I was pumped. The previous week, I had confirmed a meeting time and location with a local youth pastor in the neutral grounds (o, the double entendres) of a coffee-shop nearby, and we were both equally enthusiastic about talking about Houghton. That in itself, by the way, was a refreshing change from the suspicion, hesitation or downright unfriendliness I often receive from church workers on the phone. Anyways, I digress.
It wasn’t until I had pushed down my turn-signal and was pulling into the crowded parking lot on the side of the 4-lane highway that I realized I had forgot several very vital details.
- Number One: I had no idea what this youth pastor looked like.
- Number Two: I had no way to get ahold of him because we had forgotten to exchange cell-phone numbers ahead of time.
- Number Three: I had written down the name of the coffee-shop in my Master Binder – – which was sitting on my desk back in the office. After some furious flipping of pages, the Apprentice Binder that had been a faithful presence at my side all week long only revealed a physical address for the shop.
Well, I thought, no worries… how big can one coffee-shop be, right? So I parked Gracie and walked with great confidence into Caribou Coffee, only to stop and gawk in bewilderment in the open doorway. This place was totally rocking the Houghton ratio with almost every available table being frequented by a member of the masculine persuasion and only one other female on site (besides my self, of course). So much for picking him out of a sea of females as I had hoped!
After lingering awkwardly in the doorway as long as possible with the bright blue Houghton folder clasped conspicuously in front of me, I came to grips with the fact that no one was rushing over to meet me. Self, I said, you know what to do next. So naturally I did what any self-respecting female would do in the same situation: I went over and sat by a table next to the wall. And waited. And waited. And waited so more. No way! I’m being stood up on a platonic work-date, I realized with some astonishment. It was clearly time to take matters in my own hands.
I surveyed the room casually, and began categorizing the various tables and their occupants in my mind. Too old – – too many tattoos – – could be a youth pastor – – uhoh, two-timing – – obviously a student – – aha! My eyes lit on a figure in the opposite corner of the room. That had to be him!
I walked across the coffee shop, stood at the stranger’s shoulder, and delicately cleared my throat. Why isn’t he turning around? I wondered. O. Headphones. That’ll do it every time. I reached out and tapped the guy on the shoulder, politely ignoring his startled jump.
“Hi!” I said with friendly enthusiasm. “Are you Adam, by any chance?”
“No…” returned the stranger with some hesitance before rushing to finish the sentence with an eager, “But I could be if you want me to be!”
(OK, so that last bit – – “I could be if you want me to be” – – didn’t ACTUALLY happen in so many words, but that’s sure as heck what his tone of voice expressed).
Anyways, after approaching one more stranger who didn’t turn out to be the elusive youth pastor after all, despite the promising signs of theological literature scattered around his jean-clad, young pastor-y looking self, I gave up and went to Barnes and Noble for the next hour to kill time before the NACCAP Fair that evening and to bolster my flagging sense of self-respect with the comforting titles of familiar, well-known and recognizable books.
Moral of the Story: Always get a cell-phone number when meeting a stranger, even if it is for work-purposes and there are no roses involved.