Just Call Me Jessica…

For anyone who doesn’t already know, I work in the Registrar’s office of a college. Over the past several months, I have had cause to come into contact with a particular student that I will call…Will. (Because that’s actually his name.) He came in several months ago to request a transcript to give to a prospective employer, then a few weeks later to change his class schedule after he got the job. Whenever I deal with students (as opposed to colleagues), I make a point of being nice. Sometimes that backfires.

I’ve learned that there are certain people who just don’t get “nice”…or rather they get it, but choose to misinterpret it as “interest”. Will happens to be one of those people. Apparently in his mind the phrase “congratulations on the new job!” translates into “I want you so bad, my teeth hurt.” He’s somehow gotten it into his head that the only thing holding me back from jumping over the desk and having my wicked way with him is that he is a student and therefore off limits. So far that fact has saved me from having to endure anything more than his not-so-subtle allusions to a time when he will be finished with his program.

His damned program ends this Thursday.

I knew I was in trouble a couple of weeks ago when he caught me in the hall on my way out the door after work and insisted on walking me to my car. I tried to get out of it, but somehow, “no, I’m not leaving, I’m just going to the ladies room” didn’t quite fly when I had on my coat and was carrying my purse, lunch bag and car keys. I tried to reassure him that I was pretty sure I remembered where I’d left the car, and therefore didn’t need any help finding it, but it didn’t deter him. He muttered something about wanting to talk to me away from “prying eyes” and followed me out the door.

Will has this way of rambling endlessly when he talks. He uses a lot of words and talks in circles until I’m sure he must be dizzy, but he never really just comes out and says anything directly. As a result, I have so far been able to just pretend I don’t know what he is talking about when he makes his vague references to taking me out or spending time with me. When we get to my car, all I can think is “great, now he’s got the make and model of my car, and my plate number” when he says, “Hey, don’t I get a hug?” My response: “Uh, no.”

Flash forward to this past Thursday evening.

Thanks to layoffs and budgeting cutbacks, I occasionally have to spend an evening covering what I lovingly refer to as the “FFD.” The FD part stands for Front Desk, and I’ll leave it up to your imagination to fill in the first F. Thursday night I was working at the FFD when my buddy Will ambled by on a break from class.

He announced that he only had one more week left of class. (Because that’s something that I wouldn’t have already known, working in the Registrar’s office.) Still trying to be nice, I ask him what he’s going to do with all his newfound free time once he doesn’t have school every night anymore.

“Well…hopefully I’m gonna be spending some of that time with you,” he says.

Without so much as even thinking to ask if I have the slightest bit of interest, he starts rambling on about how he’s been interested for awhile, but he’s a student and that’s not allowed, so FOR MY SAKE he’s been biding his time until that’s no longer an issue. Don’t do me any favors, dude. Really.

“I’ve got your card, though,” he said (which he pilfered from me months ago when he came in to my office to request a transcript), “and after next week, I’m gonna call you up, and we’re gonna make our plans. We have to wait though, because you know how people talk, and I can hear it now, they’ll be saying, ‘I saw Will and Jessica at the Red Lobster at Arundel Mills…'” He was so engrossed in his (very specific) fantasy about the two of us at the Hanover Red Lobster, that he didn’t even hear my indignant, “Who the hell is Jessica?”

I mean really, I’m the love of your life, and you don’t even remember my name is Jennifer?

While he continued to ramble on and on, I opened up an email to my boss, and proceeded to let her know that I was going to need an extremely large raise this year. That done, Will was still talking, so I then sent an instant message to Matt, one of the Admissions Reps who was working that night: “OMG – SAVE ME!”

A minute later, Matt walked up to the front desk and made small talk until Will finally went back to class – or so I thought. A few minutes after Matt returned to his office, guess who came back to the front desk?

Round 2 went kind of like this:
Him: Are you working tomorrow? (Friday)
Me: Yes. I work every day. I live here. I have a cot in the back.
Him: Oh, I don’t have class tomorrow anyw…uh, you have a cot in the back?
Me: NO. Not really.
Him: Oh…because that would be…that would…the possibilities.
Me:. o O (Please tell me he’s not talking about sex. As if.)
Him: No, but not here. I used to be all about the wham, bam, thank you ma’am, but as I got older I learned that it’s all about the PROCESS. If I just wanted…well, there are places I can go – I know where to go – and get that like *that*, but it’s more about following the steps so that it means more than that.
Me: ……
Him: I mean, there’s got to be foreplay…
Me: OOOOOK, mister…isn’t it time you went back to class? I think your break is over!

This week is going to be soooo fun. Not.

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