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And the award goes to....?

Here's the background information. I work in a residence hall as a resident assistant. I assist the residents. However, this story isn't about the residents; it is about the staff that I worked with and cared so much about.

By Sid MarkPublished 6 months ago 4 min read
just for fun

Here's the background information. I work in a residence hall as a resident assistant. I assist the residents. However, this story isn't about the residents; it is about the staff that I worked with and cared so much about. Throughout the year we are trained to respect others, use appropriate and uplifting language, be cheery, pleasant, and helpful, and most importantly remain politically correct in all situations. Diversity training is essential. So it was to my surprise that I was awarded with the "Ratchet Residents of the Year Award" at the end of the year awards banquet.

Background about my residents. I had a floor of freshman college residents from all backgrounds of life, just looking to make friends and have fun. No harm in that right? Wrong. Yes, they made their share of mistakes and they paid for them as well. They were a bit overly-social at times and they were greatly persecuted by my staff for it. They weren't criticized to their faces, but instead to mine. I would bear the grunt of all things negative that happened on my floor. I was a first year RA with a co-RA who was a first year as well. The problem with us wasn't that we lacked experience, but the fact that, looking back, I had no real support from my co. I would do half of his bulletin boards, I'd be early to our events and set up and develop most of the plans, I would drive him anyplace he needed to go without asking for a cent of gas money or anything in return (GAS ISN'T CHEAP). He refused to write up any of our residents or even confront our residents over issues. Not a good thing. He pushed me to do it. I broke up many a party, a few fights, dealt with being frightened in the restroom, and the list goes on. But nobody credited me with that. I got the "Ratchet Residents" award. My residents were recognized before me, the actual staff member. I felt belittled.

Definition of "RATCHET"- Someone or a situation that is or acts:


out of pocket

or just plain unnecessary

A very negative term for negative circumstances. Rarely ever used in a good way. I've never heard it used positively.

(a word that most of my staff didn't even know until they developed relationships with the few black people on our staff. It's a slang word primarily used in urban situations. Most of the staff was very suburban. Double it was like being stabbed with your own knife.)

Background on the remainder of the staff: On the staff, not too many people had vehicles or were willing to use them. Bittersweetly, I was blessed to have a vehicle in a close location on campus. I was very often asked for rides and errands and I never asked for anything in return. I like to help people.

Some car situations I encountered:

1. Being asked to drive for hours early in the morning to pick up pasta for an event, and retrieve 2 rice cookers from various locations that the address was unknown.

2. Being asked to pick up someone from clear across town at 12:00am because they missed the bus. They were more concerned with not being invited to a Plucker's dinner that I was on my way to after picking them up than gratitude or gas money.

3. At 8 am, taking a coworker to the dmv to pick up a license. I had a class a 11. I don't wake up until 10/10:30. I didn't ask for gas money.

4. Being told that a coworker needs to go pick up a toy and when the car was retrieved and waiting for a few minutes being told by phone that I didn't have to.

4. Being called only to drop a co-worker downtown to meet up with a friend in dense traffic.

5. The list continues...

I even swallowed my pride to get on good terms with a coworker that I disliked, to make life better. At the end of the year she threatened to snitch on everybody who went to a party if she got in trouble for an unrelated incident pertaining to her job efficiency.

At the end of the year, all my good deed were overlooked. All of my good times and cheerful manners were surpassed by my residents. There's more to living this story than you can read. It wasn't an isolated incident, it was building up over a period of 10 months. So ten months of reliability, kindness, and sociability were reduced down to an award for "Ratchet Residents."

fact or fiction

About the Creator

Sid Mark

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