Thursday, June 28, 2007

Being Social Shouldn't be so Hard...

Yesterday was a rough day. I had to put on a Tuesday Night Social, which, as it sounds, is a social put on every Tuesday Night by two RAs. It's just another program, but for some reason, they always seem to be more difficult and stressful than other programs. I attribute this to the following things:
1. There are always going to be people there. Always. Because it's so consistent, people can always go and expect there to be something. Hence, you want to please them.
2. Even though we as a hall staff are a team, there is still a sort of competitiveness when it comes to Tuesday Night Socials. Probably because we're all doing one, we want to have "the best one" and so we're all trying to one-up each other.

Mine was particularly taxing. My co-worker and I put on a social called "Party On!!!" with kebabs and party games. However, we just had a new move-in, with 300 new residents, and a portion of them will of course come, particularly since this is their first. Secondly, our budget was suddenly cut, so we could no longer get the kebabs we wanted. Instead, we had to make our own "desert kebabs" (fruit, marshmallows, etc.). I can tell you now, that upset quite a few people who were expecting what I wanted to give them: meat!

Now, we only learned of our lower budget after we had gone to several different places looking for kebabs. The owner of one place was a total jackass, and when we politely but firmly refused his $8-a-person price (totally outrageous), he said that his food was to good for us. The other shop owner was very nice, but it took us a while to come to any sort of agreement, mainly because we had a hard time understanding each other. However, we did eventually come to a price of $400. Then I get a phone call and am told our budget is now $150. I wanted to slam my head on a wall.

So then we had to go get food. Unfortunately, my co-worker kept putting it off until he eventually had to go by himself (I was on duty that particular night). What I did, though, was go and buy some party stuff. I went to a store which had paper, party stuff, and...ugh...novelties. The sad thing is, the novelties (from a squirting cigarette to fake vomit) were all familiar, as none of them had changed their packaging since I was a kid. An electronic whoopee cushion even said on the packaging "As seen on the Rosie O'Donnell Show." I guess the novelty industry has been stagnant lately (can't say I'm too sorry for it).

Anyhoo, I ended up buying a little piñata, a limbo set, and some blue and gold bead necklaces to act as "prizes" for games and such. Unfortuantely, the limbo set ended up sitting in the corner of the office, as it was painfully small (literally). Even on the easiest setting, the bar was below my waistline. So that was a no-go. But the piñata was a go-go. I filled the little burro with candy and beads, as I also did with the hollowed-out head of a Hello Kitty piñata that we found in the office.

Then, yesterday, I found out that my coworker hadn't bought marshmallows on his grocery trip. So I had to. And you know what? I was able to walk to and from the Safeway down the street (a 25 minute walk each way) and never once saw a bus going in my direction (there were plenty going the other way, though). So, I was already a bit exhausted when I had to start cutting up the fruits. And a little annoyed, too, because as I was working on getting our program ready, he was complaining about wanting coffee, and then he spent an hour - an hour - trying to make some homebrew coffee. In that time, he made a complete and total mess of the kitchen (like, there was liquid all over the counter and the floor), and when he was done, he poured in some cream that had curdled, and had to throw it away.

I showed him how to peel an orange in Mozambique (that is, you use a knife), but he preferred his messy hands method. Then he went to dinner while I continued doing work (I didn't eat a single meal on Tuesday, for the record), and then we had a meeting at 6:30.

Now, we used to have meetings at 7pm, but they tend to run about 2 hours (a fair deal longer than our 45 minute CKC meetings), and the powers that be wanted to give enough prep time to those holding the social, so they moved the meetings back a half-hour. The result? Meetings now last 2 hours and 30 minutes, mostly spent by people bickering about unimportant details. At 8:30 (when my co-worker and I were to set up everything), we had to schedule duty. I ended up leaving my building mates to make it without me, which in turn led to confusion later. But the social needed setting up and the quickly-oxidizing apples and bananas (ooples and banoonoos?) still needed to be cut. Thank God all my other coworkers helped out.

Yes, set up was hellish, and yes, I was completely worried that things were going to fall apart at every moment. But I relegated people to work at different games, and got everything together, and you know what, it turned out all right. In fact, it turned out pretty good.

I used my favored bat for the piñata, and people seemed to have a lot of fun with it. Then one of my coworkers took a swing and the bat came out of his hands, flying to the side. Everyone thought it was hilarious, except for one of my now-former boss who was attending (the previously mentioned Y'rhhf), who said, "Yeah, that's not okay." Even though I didn't like the movie, I was really reminded of the boss in Office Space. Still, I think the piñata was a brilliant idea, and I would totally do it again.

But after the piñata was done with, I finally knew things were good. Why? Four words:
"Do the Limbo Dance"

This song is one of my all-time guilty pleasures, mostly because of the person who sings it - David Hasselhoff. Yes, the overacting ham of the world, David Hasselhoff. Don't believe me? Here, watch the music video:

However, despite (or due to) the fact that its cheesier than Parcheesi, I can't help but love it. I don't know why, but it always brings my spirits up. And I don't think I'm the only one. Every single person I've shown this song to can't not like it. Then, when I explain that it's the Hoff, they're shocked.

Now, I had a group of near 100 college students from all around the world, possibly jaded, and reared up on hip hop and maybe some J- and Europop. Yet, when I put this song on for our own limbo dance, people...loved it. Seriously, I was putting it on the speakers as a joke, and people loved it. People were actually dancing to it. At that point, I knew that I was king.

(Quick aside: I have this unrealistic plan to hack into the United States sound system and play this song in the middle of the State of the Union address. My hope is that all the Congresspeople would start dancing to it [though, realistically, they'd probably all duck and cover].)

The rest of the social was smooth sailing, and I even got a few compliments for it. Then, at 11pm, it was quiet hours, and we had to clean up. By 11:30, the coworker who I planned with had gone off to bed, but I was still plugging away, cleaning the kitchen and the main office. Then I saw that some unfinished posters for a program I was holding Wednesday night (Board Game Night), and decided to finish those. I ended up working until 2am (though, to be fair, I was dancing to my iPod music (including the Limbo song) during some of that time. That made 13 straight hours of all work and no play (and no food).

But I didn't turn out too dull; just tired and relieved that it was all over. I probably would have had this entry up sooner, but I've been so busy (story of my summer life, eh?) that I had to wait until late at night to write it. So, now if you ever attend a Tuesday Night Social, you'll know the hard work that was put into it.

...Oh, you wanted to know about my cryptic message yesterday? Well, I'll explain it a bit more tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

"ahhh, Good times!"


Anonymous said...

you know, the hoff is a great man. It's not for nothing that the limbo dance is great, the hoff gives it his own special touch. Is there any greater music video than hooked on a feeling? No, no there isn't.