1. We are used to non-traditional working hours. Need us to stay an hour extra? No biggie, considering we were used to being awoken at 3 in the goddamn morning to hold some freshman’s hair back as they puke in the public bathroom.
2. We aren’t afraid of difficult conversations. Ever have to approach two people about how their sex noises are disturbing a community? Ever talk to two roommates about setting mutually agreed upon masturbation policies? Yup, we’ve done all that. Think we’ll be nervous about approaching Doug from the cubicle over about investing in some deodorant?
3. We thoroughly understand the idea of “soft bargaining.” RAs typically have very little “actual” power and rely on either convincing people that we do, or that our path is the best for EVERYONE involved. We don’t need to “be the boss” or threaten someone’s job to get results.
4. Boy, we sure can handle emergency situations. We don’t freak out when the unexpected happens, we are basically conditioned to expect the most absurdly unexpected things possible. We adapt, we modify, we change tack and make sure everything turns out okay. We have seen our fair share of trashed bathrooms, falling apart buildings, and fights, to know how to perform when shit hits the fan. At the very least, we can keep a calm voice while dialing 9-1-1.
5. We care about respect, not popularity. We aren’t necessarily around to be everyone’s friend, but we want to be seen as consistent, fair, and principled. We aren’t going to be crying in the break room about how Karin from accounting doesn’t like us (probably).
6. So, yeah, you bet we can handle criticism. We’ve heard it all, from residents, bosses, co-workers, the list goes on and on. If it’s constructive we will use the feedback to make us better. If it’s nonsense, it won’t affect our work performance in the slightest.
7. And we also aren’t easily pushed around. We aren’t yes-people by any definition of the phrase. We have been hardened by many inebriated residents yelling at us about their lawyer dad who will sue EVERYONE because we wrote up his baby girl for throwing furniture down the stairs.
8. That being said, we know how to be polite — but direct — when handling problems. We aren’t afraid of telling a supervisor directly that we have a problem, but we will always do it with respect for the process.
9. Need someone to plan an event? Oh, let me tell you… We’ve planned dozens, maybe hundreds, of events, and those were programs we didn’t even think people would show up to! Give us a guaranteed audience and we will totally shine.
10. We can out multi-task anyone, any day. Ever try writing an essay, talking to a resident who is going through a breakup, doing rounds, and eating dinner in the same 30 minutes? We have.
11. We know how to work on a team, even when we don’t like the team. We got our motivation from our residents (and on bad days, from our compensation) so we know how to perform even while being upset.
12. We understand diversity, and what it really means to be inclusive. And yeah, we’ll call out Bob the night shift manager who tells blatantly racist jokes while clocking out in the morning.
13. But we know how to do it without just “being offended.” We ask leading questions, we try to have dialogues, and we try to actually solve problems. Cuz that was our job.
14. You need someone to summarize information? Maybe into some sort of resource to share with others? Which of our 3,450 bulletin boards should we use to demonstrate that we have that particular skill down pat??
15. We know how to prioritize. What is a right now problem? The building’s fire alarm. What is an ASAP problem? A huge roommate disagreement. What is an important, but less important problem? Our own homework lololololol.
16. But we get it all done. Why? Cuz we are the hardest, most badass workers you’ll ever see.