Conversations by Candlelight: Sorry I’m Bad at My Job(s)

Every week, senior lacrosse player Sam Mathai exercises his vernacular targeting anything and anyone on campus.

You ever have those days where you aren’t funny? Where you really try to land some jokes but none of them work, and after two or three you wonder if people even like hanging out with you? If you ask my mother, my housemates, or most of my close friends, this describes me every day. Unfortunately, seeing as I write what is supposed to be a funny piece in the Catalyst every week, days like this are not only demoralizing, but also reflect poor job performance.

In addition to being bad at this job, I’m also mediocre at another job on campus, which is doing laundry for all the sports teams. If you think it is impossible to be bad at that job, you are mistaken. When you get a couple hundred peoples’ laundry all in one place, it’s easy to lose it a little bit. Would I be lying if I said I haven’t had a mental breakdown in the laundry room? Yes.

There are not a lot of outright benefits to being an athletic laundry technician, which is what we call it in the biz. Laundry is gross. Sports laundry is super gross. Folding towels is monotonous. On the other hand, it can be oddly therapeutic. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, I’m pretty sure the dryers are big enough to crawl inside and hide from the world. I’ve never tried it because, honestly, I find the thought of it kind of terrifying.

My boss in the equipment room is Bowen Bradshaw. A well-kept man, Bradshaw is the man in charge of all the sports equipment. He is a guardian, the dispenser of sports equipment-related justice. He is like Batman, without the utility belt. He moonlights as a basketball referee, much the same way Batman is a billionaire, playboy savant by day and a vigilante by night. He is clean, incredibly orderly, organized, and efficient. He doesn’t expect cleanliness; he demands it. He is exactly the opposite type of person you would want as a mother-in-law, but exactly the type of person you would want to make you look good on game day.

I’ve seen him remove stains that would have stumped even the wisest mothers. He is to a tough stain what CC students are to cheap alcohol and sensible fashion: a harbinger of their demise.

On a whim, I asked Bowen what he thought of CC student athletes, fully expecting him to tell me that we were entitled and that we smell bad, which, after doing laundry for several years, I can personally attest to. Instead, he only had positive things to say, which is surprising and ultimately a little boring. It’s so much more fun to exaggerate our collective flaws than to talk about how good we are, but Bradshawdid it anyway. Though I encouraged him to unload several months’ worth of anguish, he insisted that CC student athletes are incredibly polite and grateful to their sports staff, as compared to other schools. This, like I said, is boring, but important. We are given a lot here at CC, especially as student athletes. The facilities we have are incredible, as are the support staff. It’s nice to know that we are staying grounded. Sorry for not being so funny this time around …  it’s just one of those days.

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