Well, I quit the Owl. Poorly managed and literally rotting in its foundations, the clientele became less and less frequent and more and more frightening. I jumped that drunken ship, with no regrets–except for the loss of discount beer.
Now, I spend my night cleaning a new off-campus student housing building (I won’t name names, because a full-fledged bitch fest is about to ensue and I don’t want to get fired quite yet). This particular set of student housing features absolutely nothing that makes it stand out from the rest, except for granite counter-tops. The promised hot-tub and pool have not arrived, and the exercise room is a sad huddle of one treadmill, one elliptical, and a weight set.
But to share a bed in this place with someone is $400 a month. To have your own room, apart from three others, is $550. To have your very own apartment, you’re shoveling out a whopping $750. Or wait–no–I should say, your parents are shoveling out that money, because no college kid can afford that kind of ridiculous rent in Logan.
Perhaps if one lived in Chicago, San Francisco, or even Denver, student housing rates like these would be more acceptable. But this is Logan, Utah. The price of living is supremely inexpensive, a reason many come to school here. I pay less than $200 a month in rent–granted, I live in a shithole–but isn’t that part of the college experience?
Wait, though; that’s not all. Did I mention that these kids can pay me, and my fellow janitors, to do their laundry? That’s right. They can hire us to do their fucking laundry–and clean their bedrooms should they not feel up to the task.
You can probably guess the kind of students this dazzling new institution attracts. Society’s finest athletes, cheerleaders, and southern belles wreak havoc on my clean floors and windows on a nightly basis. When the football team won the WAC tournament this weekend, madness ensued. I spend five hours on Sunday scrubbing blood off of the stairs because of a fight, and throwing away half-empty beer cans chucked aimlessly into the garbage bins. Another lucky co-worker got to scrub copious amounts of chunky orange and white puke off of the concrete and stairs in front of the lobby.
Bare, used condoms regularly litter the bottom of the trash cans. Soda lids are ripped up, and mingle with neon candy wrappers just dropped all over the floor. Trash bags are left out in the hall to fester because their owners can’t walk down the hall to the garbage deposit., where boxes and bags from uber-expensive retail shops are laying willy-nilly on top of moldy hamburger buns and rotting bananas.
These kids aren’t just college students having a good time. They’re behaving like sexually deprived animals in an alcohol-soaked sponge of a zoo, with absolutely no rhyme or reason dictating their behavior. Why should they act decently? They’re the cream of the popularity crop, the best and brightest, and they represent our college, goddammit! We’re lucky to have them.
Except for the select few, like me and my co-workers, who are left slogging through their disgusting shit on a daily basis. The worst part? They’re totally oblivious that someone is cleaning up after them.
I was taking out the garbage and bumped into a cute little brunette on the first floor, getting into the elevator. She said something to me, but over the din of my righteous dub-step, I couldn’t hear her. I popped out an earphone and asked her to repeat her statement.
“I saw you taking out the garbage a couple of days ago!” she said, and seemed very surprised.
I looked at her. Resisting a strong urge to say, “Yes, and it’s your turn tomorrow,” I just said, “That’s because it’s my job.”
“Huh,” she said, knotting her eyebrows and thinking carefully. Then, her face brightened and she smiled cheerily. “Well, at least it’s a job!” Her fuzzy boots and PINK jacket disappeared into the elevator. As soon as the door closed, a nasty string of expletives practically leaped from my mouth, cursing her cute little unemployed butt and the indulgent parents that allowed her to mix right in with all the other privileged ignoramuses that reside there.
The bottom line: three cheers if your parents can pay for your education and housing. Honestly, I wish mine could so I could focus more on school and less on finances. But paying inner-big-city rent dues, hiring someone to do your laundry, fucking football players in the hallway, and shopping at Tiffany’s & Co. is not part of a wholesome college experience… and from a self-admitted alcoholic who’s about to graduate, that’s saying a lot.