An Awkward Office

“Horrible Bosses” introduced the world to one of the best worst pick-up lines to ever come out of the movies. Brought to us courtesy of Jason Sudeikis, the line goes as follows: “I’d like to bend her over a barrel & show her the fifty states, if you know what I mean.”
       Pick-up lines aside, “Horrible Bosses” made me think about all the awkward interactions I’ve had with people in the workplace. The job position I’ve held for the past four years is in the summer, and I’m a music teacher at a Jewish summer camp (yeah, I know- how much more cliche can I get?). Add kids into any work equation and awkwardness will be multiplied by ten. Exhibit A: every Thursday, our camp has a all-ages shaving cream fight, and kids are provided with two handfuls of shaving cream to smear on anyone within arm’s reach. Despite their short arms, little kids have a surprisingly vicious range. Their range, for some reason, is also directly targeted at the most inappropriate areas possible. After a shaving cream fight, counselors emerge somewhat traumatized from the systemic spacial violation from kids who do not know better. This does, however, make for some hilarious pictures, none of which I can include due to copyright reasons (not really, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).
      Another awkward interaction present at Jewish summer camp is the whole professional standard thing. Many of the songs that I teach in the summer have some great hand & body motions- we surf, we swim, we do the twist, we do the hokey-pokey, and we make some really funny faces. With the kids, this is totally normal behavior, but whenever any adults that don’t work for the camp have to come into the music room to retrieve things, they usually stare at me like I have spontaneously sprouted an extra limb (and an unattractive limb at that) when they find me running around like a loon, emitting strange noises, or dancing like Elvis. This has led to some interesting conversations after the fact, some of which go like this: “Elyse, what song were you singing with the kids earlier? You were dancing like you were a squid that had been attacked by a radioactive laser beam.” I usually have no answer but have to smile and nod, and sometimes I will say, “I thought I was, in fact, emulating a spastic ostrich” and then let the hilarity ensue.
    The long & short of it is- work at a summer camp and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. And also you should probably go see “Horrible Bosses,” playing at Grafton next week.
~Elyse Krachman, Film Committee

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