I don’t know how I did it, but I survived a 3-year-long career as a Resident Assistant. I got out alive with a degree and some seriously crazy memories. Last week I spread some Thanksgiving cheer and this week I’ve stumbled upon a whole heap of trouble. Literally. This is my crazy RA life and yes, these are all true stories!
I don’t think I need to remind you that I had horrible luck as an RA, but just in case you forgot, here’s more proof! The issue with bad luck is that you never know when it’s going to strike. Not every moment was as obviously insane as opening my window and finding a riot outside. Sometimes, the most ridiculous situations were really gigantic mountains disguised as tiny little molehills. And sometimes, they involved kittens.
My problem was that not only did I always find myself in a new predicament, I dragged others down with me.
I Smell Trouble
It was the middle of the week, and I was on duty. The end of the year was fast approaching, and I had a thick stack of flyers about closing that needed to be hung in the residence halls. Lucky for me, my Resident Director offered to accompany me on rounds and help. Unlucky for her, things were going to get really bad, really quick.
After a half-hour of extra bonding time and making our way through every building problem-free, we came down the stairs and walked through the door to the last hallway on our journey. And that was when the strong smell of a scented candle filled the air, coming from a suite that had just gotten in trouble for having prohibited items only weeks before. (Note: candles were not allowed on campus, let alone burning ones!)
We walked down the hall and she called Public Safety, just for good measure – burning candles usually meant that someone was smoking inside. We waited for them to arrive, but after several minutes went by and they didn’t show, we decided to go knock on the door and handle it ourselves.
We heard movement in the suite when we knocked and announced ourselves, but nobody answered.
We knocked again.
Finally one of the girls in the suite answered the door and let us in. We glanced around and saw the candles that had just been frantically put out. My RD began to tell her that we had noticed the candles from outside and that we would have to confiscate them. Another girl heard us talking and popped out of her room. And then…
Out sauntered a cat.
School policy clearly states that the only pets allowed in the residence halls are “non meat-eating fish.” Whoops.
Did I mention I’m horribly allergic to cats?
I looked at my RD in a panic. “I’m really allergic to cats,” I whispered to her.
The illegal feline made a B-line for me, purring all the way.
What the Cat Dragged…Out
My RD didn’t want me to have a reaction to our new furry frenemy and asked me to step outside and wait for her. Public Safety finally arrived and went inside. I sat patiently on the floor in the hallway for what felt like ages.
What happened next, I only witnessed in snippets.
First, one of the Public Safety officers stepped back out into the hallway and called the police department.
They had found drugs in one of the bedrooms.
He stepped back inside. Several minutes went by before anything happened. Then, my RD came outside. She looked frazzled and told me we not only had a second cat to deal with, but a lot of stuff to confiscate.
“I’ll bring all the stuff out into the hallway. Can you bring them down to my office?”
“Of course,” I told her. She handed me her key.
“You might want to get a rolling chair from downstairs first,” she advised.
I took the elevator to the first floor,snatched a chair from the study room and headed back up. Awaiting me outside the suite’s door, was a heap of prohibited items – multiple toaster ovens and microwaves, candles, Christmas lights, alcohol bottles (none of the girls were 21 yet!) and more. This was no molehill – it took me four trips to get everything downstairs.
On my last trip back up, I was joined in the elevator by two police officers.
“Nights like this make you love your job, huh?” I joked.
“You’re the RA that called?” they asked.
“Unfortunately!” I said. They laughed.
While Public Safety and the police officers handled the drug issue, we still had to handle that little prroblem.
We had to wait while the girls called a friend who lived off campus to take both cats and all their feline paraphernalia to his house, and they were none too happy with us. And finally, when the cats were gone and the job was done, I realized what time it was.
The whole ordeal took nearly two hours and it was already midnight, which could only mean one thing: no, it wasn’t bed time. It was time for my last set of rounds.
When I finally finished my walk-through of all the buildings, I plopped down on my bed.
Suddenly, I felt a sneeze coming on. Then another, and another, and…well, need I say more?