I've had several positions of employment in my life that cover various industries and vocations (i've been fired from a handful of those, all for the same reason - an inability to take orders from my supervisor). The jobs that i struggled in the most were those that had no social component to it, and instead left me isolated on my own either operating some tool or machine while performing some mundane, repetitive task. I require interaction. I thrive off the energy that occurs when you dance with someone conversationally. I need to be able to toss in a self-deprecating remark or be a complete smart ass while tackling a project, or i feel cold and inactive. I do best in a situation where i can serve as a mentor, a counselor and an expert of some kind.
I received my yearly appraisal for my performance at my job the other day. As i was sitting in my boss's office, listening to him laud my contributions and my dependability to always overachieve (his words exactly), i thought over the parade of stints i have undertaken. I've mostly enjoyed my periods of employment, some more than others, but one position stood out to me as the finest job i've ever held.
I put myself through college via a creatively assembled cocktail of student loans and work-study assignments. While my fellow students were busy pickling their livers with the trust funds dear ole Dad set up for them, i was shelving books, cleaning headphones and cataloguing rare copies of hand-written Sibelius compositions. I longed for a more fulfilling and fitting way for me to matriculate through my higher education. When i first learned of the position of Resident Advisor (or R.A. as it is commonly known in the States), it seemed like a glorified camp counselor which didn't at all ring any bells in me. But once i read past the job description and came upon the compensation details (free room and board), i was sold.
I was convinced that i needed to become an R.A. I finetuned every electrical impulse in my body to affectively adjust their frequency so that i would acquire a position as an R.A. Despite it being the job most competed for on campus, i was able to secure a role at the University's oldest and most prestigious dormitory. However, i learned that there was some flub in my paperwork, which delayed my hiring and in turn affected my floor assignment. Apparently, the least desired floor was the very bottom, also known as "The Pit", and since i was Johnny-come-lately, this was the one i got bumped to.
Me being me, i accepted my commission without question, but was intent on changing the historic image of the cellar dwellers. Before i even took residence, i instituted an immediate revocation of any nominal reference to "The Pit", and instead insisted people refer to the lowest floor as the "Garden Level". To my surprise, on the first day i moved my belongings into my spacious apartment, i discovered the single aspect about my duty that would dominate all else. Because of the potentially dicey security matter of the rooms being on the lowest floor, the administrators saw fit to make it exclusively male (this despite the fact that the rest of the residence hall was explictly co-ed) with the thought that no pervert would break through a window that had two guys nestled behind it. To provide the R.A. assigned to this detail with a well-rounded experience, the administrators jerry-rigged a portion of the building just above the 'garden level' (ten dorm rooms in all), making it the only female-only wing in the entire University housing system.
Now, i won't make false assertions that my time as an R.A. wasn't rift with diverse experiences that made the job completely fulfilling and worth it, because that would be false and misleading. However, having my own, secluded floor of young, freshmen girls where i could act as den leader, grand vizier and overall father figure is precisely the reason i held that post for two and a half years. I confess that every social program i designed, every media campaign i instituted, and every outreach i established was targeted at those ten girl-only dorm rooms, and only then did it sadly filter down to the 24 rooms below. Each of my girls received their own unique nicknames (I have a thing for giving people nicknames - the name you were given somehow isn't enough), whereas the same gesture was not extended to my Garden Level inhabitants. In fact, in two and a half years, i had well over 60 male residents, but i can't remember a single name of any of them. However, i can easily recall each and every nickname ever lent out to my female residents.
I won't say that hanky panky didn't occur between me and any of my girls (perhaps, unethically, far too much took place) but that's not what made that experience such a sweet spot in my library of experiences. I adored the young, uncertain, in need of trust, young lady who would knock on my always unlocked door to come chat with me about this homework assignment or that dickhead of an ex-boyfriend. What made this experience worthwhile wasn't that i screwed as many young women as conceivably possible, but that i was able to get closer - if just a few inches, and a over just a few minutes - to a bundle of feminine energy. Easily, my very favorite energy of all.