When I was in college, I worked on campus during the school year as a desk aide. Desk aides had a pretty cushy job: we sat at the front desk of the dorm and enforced the school’s sign-in policy. It wasn’t brain surgery, and a lot of students were annoyed by the process, but it helped ensure some level of security. Plus it gave a bunch of us minimum wage jobs that didn’t require cars.

During my freshman year, I was a regular desk aide, working alongside a staff of similarly clueless freshman. For the remaining three years, I was a head desk aide, leading a staff of 6 or 7 people in the dorm I lived in. It was a good gig, and I had good staffs, for the most part. I had to fire people two different times for showing up to the desk drunk (and not just “kinda drunk,” but “way drunk”). Another time, I had a desk aide whose personal vendetta against me drove her to complain to my boss (who was also my girlfriend) about the way I did my job… fellow MWC students will remember Ms. K. Beara well.

There are two highlights to my desk aide career, though. The first happened one weekend morning when I was sitting the first shift of the day. Only a few doors down from the front desk, a girl was having relations with her boyfriend. Very loud relations. For a very long time. I was subject to every moan, scream, and “Oh God!” for a good portion of my shift. Oddly, a couple years later I came back to the same dorm to visit some friends. As I was standing in the hallway talking to the desk aide, the floor’s RA (who, apparently, had a penchant for rough sex) was going at it full gear with her boyfriend. If this wasn’t bad enough, it was Parents’ Weekend and a father was covering his son’s ears while waiting in the common area across the hall from Nympho RA.

The high point, though, came during my sophomore year. The end of the second semester was approaching and I had to apply for a job during my junior year. I did interviews at three or four separate dorms for their head desk aide position. One of them was at Ball Hall, the upperclass, all-female dorm. The three interviewers looked a bit surprised when I came for the interview that day, but they went ahead and interviewed me like they did every other candidate. The main question they were interested in, though, was “Why do you want to be a head desk aide… at Ball Hall?”

My answer involved something about liking the fact it was a quiet hall and that the community seemed tight-knit. I don’t believe that I said anything about Ball Hall “having a lot of hot chicks.” We discussed what would happen if I were hired. Clearly, I wouldn’t be allowed to live in Ball Hall, but I would probably be housed in the adjacent Madison Hall or Custis Hall instead.

I wasn’t offered the position at Ball Hall. However, I was given a little inside information: I placed third out of four candidates for the HDA position, meaning I beat out at least one person with a distinct advantage since birth. Not bad. And perhaps I was a trend setter. That next year, South Hall (the only all male hall on campus) had a female Head Resident living there.

I, on the other hand, accepted an offer at Madison Hall with my significant other as my boss. The rest, as they say, is desk aide history.