She Works Hard For The Boxset…

Written by TheBigN 

In yet another example of parallel of something in anime that reminds me of my life, memories of my part-time job surfaced watching Tama-chan go for broke during her first one in episode 8 of Bamboo Blade. In undergrad, I worked part-time as a computer lab operator for the main IT branch of Cornell. Like Tamaki, my job consisted of really just sitting around for a couple of hours a day; in my case, it involved waiting (not really) to provide basic Cornell computing help for people who needed it.  You know, knowing how the system worked (especially printing); help with printers, scanners, programs on the computers, OSes (not linux, thank goodness), etc; and keeping the labs nice, neat an. all that other good stuff.  That’s all I’ll say about what I had to do. And on a side note, Nomad Otto, who worked at a Cornell IT helpdesk for a while, has “fun”, definitely entertaining stories (about silly people) to tell. Hopefully we’re lucky enough to hear them one day and remember the precious memories they gave us.  Now back to this “regular” blog post.

They’re just moving around… TOUCHING STUFF! What if they have questions?  

I felt for Tamaki during her bout of nervousness on the job; as being a lab operator was my first-ever job, I shared the same initial feelings she had, and I felt the same way sometimes even with months of experience at the position. I don’t know why we (I’m being general here, BTW) tend to make new experiences more problematic than they actually are.  That fear of the unknown seems to be always lurking within ourselves, even when risk is severely minimized, and what you’re mostly afraid of usually turns out to be over blown. For me, I knew that there was very little chance that the lab itself would go to hell in a handbasket (computers exploding, goats and monkeys flying through the air, the teacher plastered to the wall…), but I couldn’t predict what the patrons would come to me about. Would I know what they were talking about? Could I fix whatever problems they had? Would I screw up in doing so? But most of all, could I perform in a way to make the users feel like they could come back there again and feel that things would be taken care of?

Of course there was also the “what if you have a crazy person/burglar/elitist” situation that ran through my head while working (thanks to some fun stories and my zealous imagination), and what was also present in Tama-chan’s mind.  But obviously that’s rare; for me, the worst that’s been stolen from the lab is a couple of sheets of printer paper (and a couple of files too, hur hur hur), and a disgruntled user or two that lost their theses by not being wise with saving and the like.  Having it not happen doesn’t prevent you from thinking that it will happen though (take some of our government’s recent decisions based on that concept, for example), but realizing that you don’t need to think about that possibility surely lifts that self-made burden of thought from ourselves. Tama-chan seemed to do that by questioning her actions and gathering up her confidence.  It kinda makes me feel sad that a freshman in high school has much more mental fortitude to do that then me as a junior at college (just have to remember that it’s not real), but it’s good to see that doubts happen even to people who seem to be sure of themselves.   It’s also good to imagine that you can quickly think up a badass plan you can execute for any random situation (reminds me of an xkcd comic, but too lazy to find it) to also calm your nerves. :3

An example of one of my worst nightmares while I worked.

After a while, I did realize that there was a really, really small chance that my worst-case scenarios [which usually ended up in being embarrassed or fired (sometimes both), but surpringly, never death, probably because I thought myself too luckily awesome to die] would ever occur. With that knowledge in tow, I could go at it (and at my homework) head on, being comfortable that even if I messed up, I could try again, get better at things, always attempt to learn more about what I have to do, and I would be okay. Well, at least inside the job, as how it affected time to do other things, my health, my sanity, etc was something else entirely. The problems then are time and choices, and it should be fun to see how Tamaki will have to deal with in the future.  Based on how great she is at kendo, and how tenacious she is as an otaku, I wouldn’t think she would have much difficulty with them.

So the take-home message(s): be confident in what you do, don’t worry unnecessarily, don’t run away from your part time job, “so you better treat her right, alright” surethisblogpostideahasprobablybeendonebeforebutohwellIthumbmynoseatcomplainers, our souls are still the same, and Bamboo Blade is awesome (especially the last minutes of episode 8). :3

Great protection against anything from crazy otaku to unruly patrons!

5 Responses to “She Works Hard For The Boxset…”

  1. 1 j.valdez December 1, 2007 at 10:18 am

    I never really was all that excited or nervous when working at part time jobs. It always felt like a means to an end, which was usually just getting some cash to spend on food, cloths, tuition, or what not.

    I’m going to have to make an effort to expand my viewing schedule. I haven’t even heard of this show. Did it come up in any of the fall meta blogging, I don’t recall?

  2. 2 nomadotto December 1, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    BigN: I don’t think the readers want to hear me bitch about the Cornell Community, but I should be able to get a post up in the near future about Hellsing. Also, when is your winter break? I have a fat stack of time in mid december and early january with nothing to do and I’m considering paying a visit to you and perhaps W.General and Seifer.

    j.valdez – Bamboo Blade was covered, but not heavily, mostly because it’s a slife-of-lifey comedy in a season already heavy with that kind of show and it doesn’t have any really strong selling points (other than that the manga was amusing). This said, I’m actually getting fairly tempted to start watching it…

  3. 3 Owen December 2, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Yeah, this episode captured the spirit of what I felt on working part-time for the first time. It wasn’t as gut-busting hilarious as the previous episodes, but considering how there was a lot of 1 on 1 Tama-chan moe fanservice (or what passes for it), it was fine.

  4. 4 Kabitzin December 3, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    Good thing no one had to get tased while you were there.

  5. 5 TheBigN December 3, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    j.valdez: There was a mention by Nomad in the what to watch post (I believe), and I noted it’s good quality cheese in another post recently. It’s a nice show with fun characters, and as an extra nudge for Nomad, the coach is voiced by Kamina. :3

    nomadotto: I’m interested (much fun would be had, I’m sure), but I’ll have to get back to you on the idea at the moment. Logistics, me BS-ing, and all that jazz. 😛 Break is December 18-January 7, if I recall correctly.

    Owen: For me, it worked because I understood how she felt, so obviously the episode would work for be better than others based on what you’ve seen me write about~

    Kabitzin: I remember that incident, and I think it was even Youtubed. Sucks for the student involved, and it makes me wonder about law enforcement a little… :/

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