Mercy and Grace

Monday, February 18, 2013

"Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may find mercy and grace in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).

My job, funny as it may be, can be really difficult sometimes.  You may recall my Caps for Sale post from a few months back, which described just a few of the more humorous aspects of my job on any given day.  Locksmith, electrician, fire responder?  No problem.  Seriously, if I have to take charge of one more residence hall fire in my bathrobe, I am going to have to buy a cuter one.  Can't let the fire fighters see me wearing (or not wearing) the same thing all the time.  I realized recently that I have absolutely no reaction to incredibly awkward and sometimes embarrassing medical situations anymore, since it's just another part of the job.  Obviously, I can't share the stories.  You probably don't want to know anyways.  But it's not unheard of for me to both work the pediatric ER night shift and diagnose students for the doctor on call.  Sometimes the nurses put me to work for them.  Just add emergency medical responder to that list of hats I wear.  Not a lot phases me anymore.

This last week was a hard week though.  In the midst of my final semester of classes and preparing a dissertation proposal, I was also in charge of a major conference on campus this weekend.  Lots of details to coordinate and staff to coach.  Alumnae speakers to communicate with and food to be ordered.  A member of a very prominent political family was in attendance.  215 students registered to attend the big event.  Turned my "part time" (which, let's be honest, it never is) job upside down and put me in a major overtime situation.  Katie is tired people.  And I am good at my job, and it was a fantastic conference, but the event planning details of student affairs aren't really what I love so much, so I was so looking forward to last night's post-conference celebration to arrive.  I may or may not have been sitting in my bed eating takeout Mexican food and watching the Downton Abbey season finale.  Of course, that just left me more depressed and exhausted than I could have imagined, but that's really a different story.  (But really, WHY???  Also, please note that I tend to have unhealthy relationships with television characters like Matthew Crawley and Pacey Witter and the cast of Las Vegas.)

And while it's not my favorite, I'm pretty darn good at wearing the event planner hat.  Of all my many student affairs responsibilities, it's the one I have the most experience in being awesome.  But this job is great at throwing curve balls, and they typically occur while I am the lucky chosen one in possession of the on-call phone.  It's when my many hats really come into play, as well as when I most want to sell those caps.  The medical/hospital stuff doesn't really even phase me anymore.  This week was a new one though, when I got called on duty to deliver news that a student's relative had passed away.  Without sharing too many details, I had to be the one to show up at this poor girl's door and tell her the worst news.  It was awful.  I was just really praying that I wouldn't also start sobbing while still in her residence hall room.  I did hold it together and sat with her for about an hour, but just add pastor/grief counselor to the list.  When you work in this field, you have to be prepared for any possible situation that probably won't occur.

So conference is over and I'm counting down every last on-call night left in my career here.  After a "celebration" of Downton Abbey and then Safe Haven today, I might need a little counseling of my own.  Or maybe just one more day off...

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