Friday, October 26, 2012

Crossover Extravaganza: Bad Shakespeare visits the Island of Misfit Toys

                  Hello everyone. I’m not Erin. I don’t play her on TV as far as I know. And I’m not really headed anywhere to the Midwest. I’m Michael Hock, also known as Bad Shakespeare. I’m an old, old… ok, maybe not that old… friend of Erin’s, who knew her way back in ye olde High School Days. Because she has a blog, and I have a blog, we figured it might be fun to switch things up a bit. I promise, I’ll keep the Shakespeare talk light. But it might be fun to share some of my adventures. Eh?
                  So, right now I’m working as a receptionist/problem-solver/Google replacement at George Mason University in their Economics Department. It is way off track of where I want to be in life, which is the guy that tells Scarlett Johansson that looks really good on her for a living. While I’m waiting for that ship to come in, I’d like to be a teacher. A high school English teacher to be exact. I actually came back to work here on campus, not just for the sweet, sweet campus food but also because George Mason will pay for most of my schooling. Of course they can’t pay for my student teaching, which was a major oversight on my part, but it got me out of the Government Contracting Job I had been working.
                  The worlds are… different to say the least. I mean, on the one hand, I am still supporting people. In the case of Government Contracting I was supporting people within the Federal Government, which meant my duties could range from fetching coffee to entering information into a computer to going to the Pentagon at any given moment for an important meeting. A word on the Pentagon: They have their own Virginia DMV. Can I tell you how awesome that is? I was in and out in like, two minutes. It’s like I was in heaven, I swear.
                  Moving on.
                  Anyway, it’s a lot different world being here in academia as opposed to the world of the Government. On the one hand, life is a LOT laid back. When I had my Government job, one tiny mistake could lead to weeks and weeks of agony. No matter how long it took to fix the mistake it always went like this:
                  1. Notice Mistake.
                  2. Everyone does their best not to get blamed for mistake.
                  3. Everyone tries to find the source of the mistake.
                  4. Everyone ensures that the source of said mistake gets traced back to them.
                  5. Random panicking.
                  6. Three hour long meeting on above steps.
                  7. New rules in place to help avoid future mistakes.
                  8. Another three hour meeting to discuss the new rules.
While all of this is going on, some lone contractor has corrected the mistake, probably in just a few minutes. Keep in mind that this is a condensed version. Living it is a special hell that I wouldn’t risk on anyone for any reason, unless they are the person that invented “Gangnam Style.” Meanwhile, working for a University is a little more… we’ll say lax. I really think that most of the people here aren’t quite sure what it is I do, other than answer the phones and order books for them.
                  I will say, ordering the books is a cool part of the job. I get to sort of see what everyone is using, and it’s really the only power I wield here. No matter what anyone says, they all want a little bit of power. This is my little corner of power. It’s not a lot. I don’t abuse it, unless someone is mean to me (then their order gets moved to the bottom of the pile. Imagine that.) Sometimes I just like to sit here and get drunk on my moderate amount of power. One day I may build a little throne of books and announce to passersby that Winter is coming.
                  But I do quite enjoy it. The low stress environment and the non-three hour daily commute has done wonders for me. I didn’t really realize it until I had to be reminded to bring my car in for its oil change as opposed to having to take it in every other month because I had somehow managed to burn through all of the oil in my hellish slog every day to and from work that this might be good for me if for no other reason than the increased sanity. (I also work a lot closer to home.) Because I work on a college campus there’s actually scenery outside, and cool places to walk. There’s always something interesting happening on campus, whether planned or just part of an acting class practicing you happen to stumble across. (That one guy’s Hamlet is a little to be desired.)
                  However, this is really one of those things we call a means to an end. I’m writing constantly (reminder: at the end of this I should shamelessly plug and I’m still taking classes to get to my secondary goal of teaching English. Of course, once I’m in front of a classroom I’ll slowly brainwash the kids, so once they graduate from college with their English degrees and take their positions of power, It’s just a matter of snapping my fingers and taking over the world, hopefully before the robots do.
                  Thank you for taking the time to read my little musings.  Erin will be back to her regularly scheduled posts that contain way less references to world domination and robots. But it’s nice stretching my legs and introducing the insanity elsewhere. When you get a chance, make sure you check out Bad Shakespeare. Because anyone can do good Shakespeare.

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