When we think of SafeRide we think of the van with two people in it that comes pick us up. But what about the person sitting back in the Campus Center taking the calls. He or she sits there alone until the people in the van come back. It gets lonely and frightening, almost to the point where you will do something you know you probably shouldn’t.
My fellow volunteer came in the office claiming she had a little friend with her that night. She soon wiggled her knees, put her hand up under her jacket and pulled out a creature. It looked like a long rat mixed with a meerkat. It was Fink, her pet ferret. He was cute on his little red leash. The driver was creeped out by him however.
It was my turn to stay at the hub and answer phones this week so it was only fair that Fink stayed with me.
For a little while, he fell asleep on the floor with his leash and old t-shirt. The phone calls began to pour in. One girl kept calling back.
“Hey is SafeRide on its way to the Dog yet or what,” asked the girl.
“Yes they left a little while ago they should almost be there,” I responded
I turned back to my computer to continue writing a story on Four Loko. Before I could even type three words the phone rings again.
“Yo, seriously where are you guys? It’s been like forever. I’m sick of waiting,” said the girl who wouldn’t give me her name.
“I am not sure where they are. They should be there soon. I am not in the van,” I said.
“Well they better get here soon,” she said.
Seriously? How ungrateful can you be. This is a free service that people volunteer to do. She eventually stopped calling, I’m guessing because they picked her up.
While being frustrated with that I was having problems with my story. I just blankly stared at my screen. Then the lights all shut off. Stupid censored lights. I get up to turn them on and I have to use the restroom. I am so glad there is one in the office because you are locked in there after 11. While using the facility, I hear a knocking. Great, they are back and I can’t let them in, I thought to myself. I rush out to let them in. No one is there.
Creepy. I hate being alone at night in a place like this with all of these windows everywhere just feeding your reflection back to you instead of a sight of the outside world.
Suddenly I began to feel little hands grabbing my ankles. Jumping up I realized Fink did a Houdini and got out of his harness. I just put him on my lap and continued my homework, ignoring how strange he smelled. It was a like urine and dog. He slept there for about an hour while I did homework. Luckily I was in a rolling chair so I didn’t wake him up when I had to get the phone.
Meanwhile, I had to answer several phone calls as it got later. I realized some people don’t know that the person who takes the call is not in the van.
“How far are you from (insert location),” and “What do you mean you’re not in the van,” were frequently asked questions throughout the night.
Soon my homework was complete and I still had an hour left. You can only do so much on Facebook. Besides my computer died so I couldn’t do much more online after Facebook.
Fink wakes up and gets restless. I assume it is because I was getting restless. Then I notice the custodian looking in. I try to keep Fink still, but the sound of her vacuum is making him mad. I just hold on to him until she moves away from the door. As soon as I put him down he begins to run in circles. I wonder what is wrong before I see him squatting underneath the desk I am sitting at. Great, guess I’ll clean it since I don’t know when the others will be back.
At least he did it on tile floor and not a rug. Of course once I have it all cleaned up and have him back asleep the other two come back. I notice it is after 2 a.m. at last. I hand off the ferret and go home. The Campus Center is scary at night. Sure I get (aside from getting) homework done, but I like being in the van better. It’s less of a mess.