Oly Lowlife 12-4-13

Frivolity Blotter

Date/Time: 10/18/2013, 07:30 Hours

Location: Sem II Coffee Shop, The Evergreen State College

Incident: Ye Cutters Be Warned

When a campus coffee shop offered free breakfast sandwiches for one year to the first fifty customers in line, thrifty Greeners showed up in droves. Beginning around 10 p.m. on the evening prior to the give-away, students began lining up at the coffee shop, ready to camp out in the cold in order to earn their free sandwiches.

Although camping on campus is a clear “habitat violation”, campus police services decided to selectively ignore the policy. Instead, the police “monitored the event”. As the opening hour approached, police estimated that approximately 150 people had gathered in the line.

Before the café doors could open however, a problem arose. Two students who had been waiting in line came up to police services officer and reported that a remorseless man had just cut in front of most of the line, positioning himself in the first thirty people or so. When people nearby in line informed the cutter of where the line actually ended he indicated that he would not be moving.

As the police services officer approached the accused cutter he quickly noted that he was dressed significantly different than the huddled masses. “He was in a light coat with jeans and a book bag. In contrast, the majority of people there were wrapped in blankets and bundled in skull caps and heavy coats.”

When the police services officer asked the man how long he had been in line, the man answered that, “he’d been there since midnight.” Unbeknownst to the cutter, the previous evening TESC police service officers had visited the line as it was first assembling and handed out tickets to the first fifty people in line. The tickets were handed out in order to prevent any shenanigans, like cutting. The tickets also came with the caveat that you had to stay in line the entire time in order for the pass to be valid. The ticket handout happened some time before midnight.

Asked to produce his ticket, the man claimed to have one, but said he could not find it. When asked to describe either of the police services officers who had handed the tickets out, the cutter was unable to do so. The cutter then admitted, to the shock of no one, that he in fact did NOT have a ticket.

At this point, the police services officer began giving the cutter a diverse and perfectly passively aggressive lesson in civility. The officer began by informing the offending man that, “his behavior was in direct conflict to the TESC social contract.” The officer then, “explained to him that he had the opportunity to exhibit civility toward his fellow classmates,” and, “encouraged him to show civility and go to the back of the line.” The officer then, “told him that by doing so he would be showing his community members that he valued their time the same as his. He would be showing civility because, through his polite and courteous behavior, he would not make them wait to get them in the café.”

Despite this ridiculously well worded attempt to get the cutter to give up his unearned spot in line, the man refused, saying repeatedly, “I don’t want this to be a big deal,” or, “I don’t want any trouble.” Regardless of the refusal, the officer tried one more time to reason with the cutter, telling him that, “he had the ability to make a good choice if only he would.”

Frustrated by the cutters steadfast refusal to be “civil”, the police services officer asked the man, “why he chose to lie about being in line since midnight, and being present when (the officers) passed out the tickets?” The man stated that, “he did not know why he lied, but did not want to be in trouble. He also stated that he thought that he was being considerate of his classmates by cutting in line.”

Due to the student’s lack of cooperation and repeated lies to a campus official, the police services officer decided to forward the incident to the campus grievance officer. Being relentlessly thorough, the officer added in the report, that “since the Student Code of Conduct compliments TESC’s social contract it should be addressed that his actions were in contravention to the Freedom and Civility section.” The codes were included verbatim in the report as well.

Standing firmly between an awkward rock and a leering hard place, the student requested that the officer, “not cause any problems, but refused to move to the back of the line.” Circumventing the issue, the officer went to the owner of the café and let them know about the tickets being handed out to the first fifty customers in line. The owner thanked the officer for the effort and noted that only customers with the tickets would be eligible for the free breakfast sandwich cache. Non-ticket holders would merely be eligible for regularly scheduled coffee/pastry service.

College is an environment for learning, and there are no rules mandating that those lessons must be learned within classroom walls. Unfortunately for the croissant craving college cutter, his lesson, absorbed in the most embarrassing of public formats, was learned by the vast majority of people in the hallways and playgrounds of preschool; nobody likes a cutter.

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