People are able to relax in the Union, sometimes too much

Hama Bbela and Hama Bbela

We seldom put much thought into the buildings in which we spend our days. For my campus-dwelling friends, it’s probably your dorm. In my case, it’s the Bowen Thompson Student Union. I eat, study and, strangely enough, work there.

On any school day, the Union swells with people. It’s a place to socialize, study, shop and eat. In the daytime the number of people that walk in and out of the Union is hard to estimate, but it must be a lot. Often times, I find myself walking around the Union when I don’t have to be in the Union.

The middle of the Union is manned by organizations trying to get your attention for some cause or just get you to donate money. The first floor reminds me of an Eastern Bazaar. It just has this feel of so many things going on at once. You will find people talking, eating, laughing, screaming and crying all at the same time. The Union has all kinds of backgrounds and creeds rubbing shoulders, interacting or trying not to interact.

If you go to the free speech area just outside, you may be greeted by a group of students advocating something or, the one I love the most, a preacher dude trying to save our souls from the scorching fires of hell. The preacher dude clearly knows we think he is a psycho but continues his sermons.

The multifunctional nature of the Union makes it one of the best resources on campus.

This also makes it attract a range of people, from the ordinary to the absolutely weird.

Working in the Union exposes you to some facets of human nature that can be strange to some but painfully funny to me.

In the later hours of the day, the Union becomes the domain of custodial late shift workers like me. Even after 11 p.m. when only Zza’s is open, the Union doesn’t shut down or become a ghost town.

The Union is a living organism. At these late hours, it merely takes a nap and does things at a slower tempo. The computer lab is populated by everyone, from the serial procrastinator to the methodic and studious.

The TV lounge becomes home to a strange, middle-aged dude who sits by the Mac computer neatly tucked in the corner. I have no idea when he gets there or when he leaves. He usually looks like a cross between a meth head and a hobo; he seems like someone who is relatively comfortable being in the Union.

But his outstanding characteristics are only slowly coming to surface. As I stare intently at this odd man, something about him arrests my attention as I dust mop the front of the TV lounge.

He isn’t the first person to use that computer. It gets used by people who aren’t students because they don’t need a password. The TV lounge has an almost living room-like comfort. It’s not strange to see someone crashing there after a long night at the bar or pulling an all-night cram session.

Once during my time as a dust mop specialist, there was one individual who slept on the same couch in the TV lounge daily. To this day I believe this dude may have been homeless or was kicked out by his wife.

But the strange old man takes the comfort and warmth of the TV lounge to another level. As I get done dust mopping I find a girl walking toward me with a look that was a cross between utter disgust and shock. She asks me if I work in the Union, which I assumed would be obvious based on what I’m wearing. I tell her yes, and then she says the dude in the TV lounge using the Mac is acting strange.

I briskly walked to the TV lounge not knowing what to expect. Then I was arrested by this image of this man wearing a dark, pale green coat and camouflage bottoms.

The man’s face was hidden behind the screen and his hand was in his camouflage pants.

He had no qualms about doing this in public. He seemed to be behaving like he was in his own living room, just enjoying some pornographic material. I was a bit too afraid to approach the man, so I left the place and informed a colleague who informed the police. I heard this isn’t the first time this has happened in the Union.

For me, this points to just how comfortable the Union can make anyone. Yet despite how comfortable it is, people need to seriously be a bit considerate when it comes to enjoying some of their favorite elicit movies.

I have nothing against watching them, but masturbating in the TV lounge is just plain wrong and takes comfort to an uncomfortable level.

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