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The Most Misnamed Virtue

That would be common sense. Which is precisely what seems to have been lacking in the Music Department this weekend.

Some background: One of our DMA piano students picks up extra cash by serving as accompanist to singers and other instrumentalists. He charges $50/hour and prefers to be paid in cash. Why he won't take a check, I don't know. Anyway, there was this student who bought an hour of his time and needed to pay him fifty clams, which is not small change for a college student. He asked her to slide the cash under the door of his "office," which is actually a public practice room that he squats in. But $50 in small bills won't fit underneath the door.

So what does this Einstein do? She wraps the money up. In notepaper. And leaves it for the accompanist on Saturday afternoon at the key desk. The key desk is a public access office. Much as we would like to keep the music building secure from vagrants, they get in anyway. It is staffed by a rotating crew of students. The door is open from 8 A.M. to 11 P.M. Nothing in that room is locked. The only reason it's a moderately secure storage area for percussion instruments is because a key desk checkout worker is always there.

Shock of all shocks, the accompanist's money mysteriously vanishes. I have the opening shift today, and so I'm sitting here at the key desk, happy as a clam, listening to Bernstein, when in storms our brainiac in high dudgeon. She asks me what happened to the cash and accuses me of stealing it, all in the same breath.

Um, no. You don't do that. If you're asking someone what became of money that you left in a public access room three days ago, you act polite, and you do not sling accusations of theft around. I don't have the money. It's not in my desk drawer. The facilities manager doesn't have it. Neither one of us are secret sleight-of-hand artists waiting for your accusations to reach fever pitch before we press the secret spring in our sleeves that will release the money into your hands. Had you been nice to me when you first walked into the key desk, I might have been sympathetic. But, you know, I don't take kindly to being accused of theft and asked for help in the same breath. Especially when your own stupidity got you into this mess.

I know you want to believe that people in the School of Music are nice and would never callously make off with $50 wrapped up in notepaper and left in a public area. For all I know, you're right. Maybe someone saw the notepaper and, assuming that it was a private note that hadn't been picked up, tossed it. That's the risk you run when you leave something at the key desk for someone. Consider that you've now paid $50 for a lesson in cash handling, suck up and pay your accompanist by putting cash into his hand, and don't you dare bring that attitude to the next person you want to help you.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
saadiira
Mar. 15th, 2005 07:35 pm (UTC)
*Nods.*
So There!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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