Rebel Alliance Flag

King of the Cafeteria

Rebel Alliance Flag

Last March, I had breakfast with an old friend. While our conversation rambled, we got onto the subject of our college lives and realized we’d both been resident assistants (RAs) at one point. Somehow, I got around to telling the following story.

All RAs at the University of North Texas were encouraged to customize their wings with a theme and related decorations. My wing (D300) at Bruce Hall was all freshman boys, and because all freshmen were required to live on-campus, some were there against their wishes.

At the time (1995) I was a massive Star Wars fan. So it was natural to dub the wing “The Rebel Alliance“, a name that has mostly stuck since then.

Bruce Hall was also home to the cafeteria that served itself, plus the McConnell Hall and College Inn dorms. Strangely enough, a majority of the cafeteria’s student staff ended up being my residents — serving food, cleaning dishes, busing tables, etc.

Whenever they saw me, they’d stop the serving line so they could fetch me fresh, piping hot servings directly from the kitchen. Say I was sitting at the table for breakfast and I finished off my bowl of Golden Grahams, one of them might come by & refill my bowl. And one year, they declared an “International Hairnet Day” and crowned me King of the Cafeteria.

So the ongoing joke was that I, Matthew McGarity, controlled the food supply for half the on-campus population, and that people had to be really nice to me lest I cut them off. In other words, I was the fucking Godfather.

After today’s breakfast, I went to work at my company’s satellite office. My co-worker Chuck provided me with a helpful printout showing the data model for the application we both utilize. “You can make a copy, if you want, or you can try to scan it,” he said. At this particular office, the scanner was a 3-in-1 printer/fax/scanner machine that was limited in functionality — it could scan to a USB drive, or it could output to your computer, but only if you had a particular client installed on your PC.

Either way, the install process was kludgy enough that Chuck was the only person in the office who bothered to install the PC client. So when people need to scan items, instead of installing the software, they’d just get him to do it.

So Chuck is to office scanning what I was to the Bruce Hall food supply.

Hail King Chuck!

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