Applebee’s and GW irrationality

While most of you spent your summers working at exciting and interesting internships or backpacking through Europe, I was working as a waitress at Applebee’s, serving chicken finger baskets and riblet platters to the good people of Evans, Ga.

I’ve been going to restaurants my entire life and I always meekly ordered off the menu. But this summer, I learned people basically just order whatever they want and expect the cook to submit to their will. I learned everyone is rude to his or her waitress and most people in Evans haven’t heard about that whole 15 percent thing.

I had a lady fake her death to avoid paying the bill (only $12 – I thought it was a bit excessive).

I had a man come in, order only water, sit for two hours and eventually pour the entire glass of water over his head.

Consequently, I decided around mid-August that everyone in my hometown is nuts, and I couldn’t wait to come back to the rational, sensible campus of The George Washington University.

Right.

I am still glad to be back, but in the first week, I have noticed some things that made me realize that maybe GW isn’t quite as sensible as I thought. One example – the installation of cable television.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I couldn’t be happier about it. But it seems to me that, with this installation, GW is abandoning its potential as both a high-ranked party school and an academic institution. The first days of school, did my roommate and I spend time getting ahead in our classes? No, we watched Home Alone 2, “Saved By the Bell” (several episodes), Weekend at Bernie’s and the Weather Channel.

We were fascinated by the channel that said simply “NASA” and we wondered when and if the “Welcome, New Students” channel would change.

And if a “Road Rules” marathon comes on, forget about going to Lulu’s. I’m not crazy.

Another seemingly less-than-rational thing is the timing of the Marvin Center renovations. No one was on campus for almost four months, but work didn’t begin until three days before classes started.

But don’t worry – the summer wasn’t wasted. The gate next to Gelman Library (Trustees’ Gate) is up and running. Apparently someone felt it was more important for us to have a gigantic gate than the ground floor of the Marvin Center. The University may have a perfectly rational explanation for this, but I have no idea what it is.

Besides these examples of irrational behavior on the part of administrators, students here are not much better. In fact, even I picked up certain odd traits after one year here. I’d forgotten about them, but they re-emerge as the year begins again.

Some have to do merely with being in college. Like the fact that no one will even think about going anywhere if free food is not involved (and I love how they practically throw free food at us during the first week of school).

Some of the odd traits, too, may just have to do with me. Such as putting on dirty socks. My roommate thinks that is really gross, but I don’t have a problem with it.

But GW students have many unique, bizarre behavior defects. One interesting example is elevator behavior. I guess you can’t really appreciate it unless you lived in Thurston Hall, an experience that honestly affects the way you ride in elevators forever. (And I mean more than just the constant fear the elevator is going to break, or the awkwardness of riding with someone whom you know well enough to talk to, but not well enough to have anything to say to.)

No, I mean the way you expect them to operate. I was visiting someone in a hospital this summer, and after scowling at a doctor who rode up only one floor, I found myself frantically mashing the “door close” button like a madwoman until I realized I wasn’t in Thurston and the elevator would probably close on its own.

That’s all I’ll point out to you right now – look around and you will notice more. But despite all this, I am thrilled to be back. Maybe everyone here is slightly crazy, but certainly no more than in Evans, Ga.

And at least here they give out free food.

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