I am in in the office for the first time all month! I never thought I could miss my cubicle, but sometimes the predictability of two and a half partial walls is all I want. My cold is subsiding, my bug bites are fading, and life almost feels normal for a week. It’s great to see the few coworkers that are also in this office this week. We trade stories and marvel at not having seen each other for over a month. Time between trips can often be rushed (depending on how long you actually have), but I tend to leave myself enough time to get just the smallest bit bored before heading back out. (And yes, McKayla Marony is on my desktop and she is very unimpressed with most things I do).
In the office, my first order of business is filing an expense report for my trip. Since I hoard rewards points, all my travel is on my personal credit card–which means I watch for reimbursements like a hawk. We also have to enter our visits into our system with notes that may be helpful for next year and submit evaluations for the college fairs we attended. As the college fair coordinator, I have another email inbox to monitor with routing forms and evaluations to keep track of (in addition to my own email inbox which always needs some clean up). Essentially, it looks like the Dunder Mifflin warehouse exploded on my desk.
With so few people in the office this time of year, it is common to have to cover a college fair for a colleague, be the counselor presenting to visitors during the day or be interviewing students while you are home. There is also a high probability of a sneak attack presentation or interview that someone needs to cover last minute. In (nerdy) exciting news, my coworker and I signed up to take the December 7th SAT as professional development. I need to start practicing my math skills. Does anyone have a scientific calculator I can borrow?
Being home also means you get to visit your ‘real life.’ The first night I get home, I typically drop my bag by the front door and just flop myself on my couch. My first day home I do laundry, throw things into a dry clean pile (to be dealt with never), and watch everything on my DVR. If this first day does not happen then things go wrong in my life. It is funny how much you can miss a restaurant after being gone for only a couple of weeks. I can’t tell you how badly I craved a chicken salad sandwich from Food Lab while in San Antonio. It is always a struggle to decide whether it is worth it to go to the grocery store for a week’s worth of food or make do with dinners out and what is left in my fridge (though most of it is an experiment in the growth of mold at this point).
It’s great to see people I know, but sometimes hard to muster up the energy to speak after weeks of speaking alllllll day. I think my favorite story from the road so far is from my last trip to Houston. I was watching a student fill out an inquiry card and, although I typically do not comment on someone’s name or where they live, I thought this student had flipped his first and last name on the card. I asked “So, is your first name really Cod?” He stopped, looked up at me, looked at the card and calmly said “Oh. No. I forgot the ‘y.’” His name is Cody.
I went to a pumpkin carving party last weekend (the pumpkin with paw prints is mine) and have various plans with friends; but, inevitably, they want to plan something for the following week–and I have to remind them that I leave again this weekend. I will come to campus to tailgate for a game (something I try to do at least once a year), before leaving again Sunday for my last big trip. I love the central coast and already have a couple coffee shops and restaurants I plan to visit (In & Out being the most obvious), but it is the only time I change cities and hotels almost every night. So I never feel settled. I’m happy to be home, but the sensation of being on vacation in my home city is getting old. At the same time, knowing my expensed meals at Whole Foods are soon coming to a close is devastating. All in all, this next week should go quickly and only one more trip to Texas will stand between me and being a permanent Los Angeles resident again!
By Sam Schreiber