As some of you may or may not know, I applied to be an OA at the end of my second semester freshman year, and I began the job the summer before my sophomore year at OSU. It has quickly become one of my favorite things I have done during my time at OSU, and I love the people I’ve become close to through my job. Most of the times with this position, it feels like a stretch to even call it a job, but over the past semester, it feels like the odd events are stacking up, so I thought I would share some of the more interesting events that have made me wonder at times if I am in fact being paid enough to do this job.
The first story of interest happened around Thanksgiving. As an OA, I had to stay on campus to work the desk because my dorm was open over break for the international students and anyone who didn’t want to or couldn’t make it home for the holiday. So, it was the night before Thanksgiving and I was working late into the night, but as it was Thanksgiving break and there were maybe 3 people total in the building, I ran into no issues while at work. So, the second person came to work their shift into the early morning, and I reported that nothing had happened while I was there, and I expected nothing more to happen while she was there. So, I returned to the desk the next afternoon to work again and the same girl who was on shift the night before was still at the desk, and so I joked around, saying “So, how boring was it? Nothing happened, right?” Lol, I wish.
She had to call the cops.
Here’s how the night went down, that led to the cops being called….
Apparently, a resident had come to the front desk, and said that there was another resident sitting between the doors, passed out. Upon trying to be aroused from his sleep, it was determined he was unresponsive, and so the paramedics and cops were called. Once they arrived, they were able to wake up the resident, and then the cops asked if they could search the resident, to which he responded “Yeah man, go ahead, I don’t even have anything on me,”
Well, this turned out to not be true, as he was carrying drugs in his pocket.
“Are these yours?” the cop asked. Without stuttering, the student responded,
“Oh, yeah they are, but I mean you can have some if you like,” he was arrested and taken off campus. At least he was in the spirit of giving, I guess?
The second story happened, I believe, shortly after everyone had arrived back from Thanksgiving break. I arrived at work one night, and there was a printed out picture of a kid caught from a security camera of another dorm. Taylor, shocker, does not have any form of a security camera anywhere, so I guess we’re lucky we had a picture of the person we were supposed to look out for from another dorm in the area. The story goes that the kid in the picture, who they believed to be 10 or 11, was going around to the north campus dorms and stealing wallets and IDs off of the front desks while no one was looking. I don’t know exactly how he was pulling this off, because in my dorm we keep ID’s that we have to collect from residents when they check out our supplies and lost wallets in tiny bins right in front of us and I almost never have my back turned from them, unless I am getting a package or cooking supplies or a board game or key for a resident, so maybe this is how he was doing it. Regardless, this is the crime he was supposedly committing, and the north campus dorms were on alert.
The last place I expected him to come was to Taylor, but alas I came back one night for a shift after the RA’s got off their shift, and when I showed up, my boss told me I could take down the security photo of the kid,
“Oh did they get him?” I asked,
“Where was he?”
He had come to Taylor, looking to steal some wallets, and it had happened 20 minutes before I had showed up. The RA’s had called the cops and they took him away. I personally hope that the kid is okay, because I feel like as a 10 year old he would not have come up with the idea to steal the wallets on his own, so I feel like the living situation he was coming from was probably not the best and he was with people who didn’t care about him or his well-being. Hopefully he got some help.
These next two stories happened all within one week, and all during weekend 3-5 AM shifts. The weirdest things happen during these early hour shifts, and sometimes they can really make you wonder about the sanity of yourself and others.
So, it was a Sunday morning, and it was 4 am. The lobby was quiet, as we would suspect at 4 am, when, through the piercing silence, the sharp ring of the phone cut through the lobby. After nearly jumping out of my skin, and getting my heart rate back under control, I picked up the phone and greeted the person on the other side. He said he was a resident and needed let into the building because he had left his buckID in the building. As procedure would dictate we buzzed him in and then asked him to come to the front desk to verify his information and room number. He gave us his last name, and after searching through our file cabinet of papers that held the information of all of our residents, we began to realize his last name wasn’t in there. He kept insisting that he just needed to go to the 12th floor to get his phone charger. Our computer was being really slow because at 3 in the morning it sometimes refuses to work, so we kept trying to hold him at the desk to figure out where he lived. It was always possible that his papers weren’t in the filing cabinet because it is hard to keep track of them and sometimes the Resident Managers take them out to look at them for one reason or another. Regardless, we couldn’t find him, and we began to get suspicious of the kid, wondering who he was, and why he seemed to be acting to shifty. He wasn’t being rude, but he felt like he was in a major rush to get away from us, and he seemed very distracted. Once we had booted up our computer and put in his last name into the system, two people under that name came up. We asked him again for his information. Home Address: wrong. Dot number: wrong. Phone number: wrong. Every answer he was giving us was wrong, and we were really sketched out at this point. There wasn’t much we could do, because we didn’t want to leave the desk or antagonize the kid, but our system finally loaded all of his details, and it turned out he was giving us the correct information for the other kid in the system who had his last name, even though he was giving us the first name of a kid who lived in Newark, but it turned out that the kid we were talking to actually lived in Baker Hall, which is a solid 20 minute walk away from Taylor. We didn’t find this out until he had started backing away from the desk and then he darted to the elevators, and we called after him “dude, you live in Baker Hall!” and that was when he dashed onto the elevator and disappeared. Obviously, we couldn’t go after him because we didn’t want to leave the desk or leave one person alone at the desk, so we followed policy and called the RA on call, and they said they would file a report. That was the end of the incident, and I don’t know who that kid was or where he went, but it’s completely possible I was talking to a ghost that night.
Gotta love the 5 am shift.
This final story happened during a thursday morning 3-5 am shift. Surprisingly, the problem did not come from a frat boy participating in “thirsty thursday”. It was around 4 am, and I was working with another girl, and we were both struggling to stay awake. I was reaching that point where my head was nodding off, when…BANG BANG BANG!! We have a window behind the front desk, and outside was the man who over the past few weeks has started bringing us a single copy of the Wall Street Journal. One copy. One single copy. While it is a bit suspicious, we had never had a problem with him before, until this morning. He was POUNDING on the window behind the desk and showing us that he had the newspaper to bring us. Even though we recognized him, that’s no way to act at 4 am so we weren’t going to let him in. Also, every other time he had brought the paper, he had always been able to swipe in or he would call our front desk to be buzzed in. When he walked into the building and stood between the two sets of doors, we figured this is what he would do. Nope. BANG, BANG, BANG!! He again was pounding on our front doors, and he added in the additional flare of fully yanking on our doors, trying to get in. Thoroughly scared for our lives, my co-worker and I huddled back away from the door in fear until he finally left. I’m not sure why he was acting like that, but needless to say, that morning we didn’t get our Wall Street Journal copy.
Well, that’s all the stories from my job that I felt were exceptionally weird and maybe terrifying, but I love my job, and I love all of the fun we have behind the desk and through it all I would say these experiences and the 3 am bonding has brought us all so close together that I can definitely say it is worth it.
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