Friday cannot come soon enough. This Friday, May 13, will be my last day of work, and I cannot be happier. After putting in as many hours at that place as I have, I'm more than overdue to move on to bigger and better things. It's not that it's a terrible restaurant, but more that my faculties are not being utilized to their fullest extent.
For example: We have one manager who treats us like children. He feels the need to break everything down into its simplest terms, and then work his way up from there. It's a helpful process when dealing with complicated issues, but time-consuming and wholly unnecessary when dealing with inherently simple issues, such as bringing a bottle of ketchup to a table. It's as if he doesn't trust us to perform even the simplest of tasks without a lengthy set of instructions and observations. It's a much different story on the road. Tour forces us to grow up, and become responsible adults. After all, there is no one watching over your shoulder, prompting you every step of the way. On tour, we are responsible for our own belongings. If they need to be out to the busses at least 30 minutes before departure, they'd better be out there, or else we must be prepared to face the consequences. There are friendly reminders and "time checks," of course, but there is no one looking over your shoulder to make sure that you actually get your things out to the bus in a timely manner. You are responsible for your own performance. Yes, there is an instructional staff that will give you guidance along the way, but you are ultimately responsible for yourself. The staff cannot play the horn for you, or march your drill. They can't put the notes in your head. It all comes down to individual accountability. The staff has trusted us with a product, and it is up to us to make it the best that it can possibly be. We need to maximize our faculties to maximize our output. If we can't play a certain part of the show, we need to figure out how to get it under our fingers. If we have a problem with time management, we need to take the necessary steps to remedy the issue. We need to be adults. It is our responsibility to look after our belongings, and pick up after ourselves. It is our responsibility to get along with others, and treat everyone with kindness and respect. In the end, it is up to us to make sure that our corps heads down the road in smooth fashion, both on and off the field. I can't wait to be treated like an adult again. By the way, I was accepted into the graduate program at George Mason University! Next year, if you're ever in the Washington, D.C., area, look me up! Lanah Kopplin is a third-year euphonium player in the Phantom Regiment, and previously spent a year with the Pioneer. Lanah recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin (she's a Milwaukee native) with a political science degree, and will age out in 2005.