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A day in the life of

“How long would it take someone to walk across China?”

Lindsay Nicholson, junior, fumbled with the phone as she reached for her keyboard to look up the answer. After a few moments, she has the answer.

“Assuming the person can walk one mile in 15 minutes, and they walk for 12 hours each day, it would take approximately 70.83 days.”

That’s just one of the many facts Nicholson has looked up in the six months she’s worked at the University Fact Line.

Nicholson works four-hour shifts, three days a week and rotates weekends with others who work at the information desk, which is located at the information desk in the Union.

“I wanted to work at the information desk because I really like people and getting to interact with people,” Nicholson said. “I wanted to be at the center of campus.”

Many of the 30 or 40 phone calls the Fact Line receives each day are requests for phone numbers. She now knows numbers like the Bursar’s office and Registration and Records by memory.

Some of the requests for phone numbers are unusual though.

“There’s this one guy who calls from Arizona and asks us to look up Arizona phone numbers for him,” Nicholson said.

Sports scores and stats are other popular topics for questions, according to Nicholson.

“When there’s an important game going on, people call us to find out the score,” Nicholson said.

Some other types of phone calls pose problems.

“About one or two times a day there are questions that can’t be answered,” Nicholson said. “Sometimes it gets frustrating if I can’t answer a question.”

One of the few requests she can’t fulfill is for celebrity home addresses.

For others she doesn’t immediately know the answer to, she uses the Internet to look things up. She also calls other departments and offices for information.

“It’s mostly using the Internet and calling other people to find the answers,” Nicholson said. “If it takes longer than a few minutes, we put them on hold and check in periodically to let them know we’re still looking for the information.”

Most of the questions take just a few minutes to answer, so that gives Nicholson time to do some of her other duties at the information desk.

Nicholson helps students, staff and visitors at the University find where buildings are located or their lost items are.

With all the things she has to do, she still has time to say hi to friends who stop by the desk throughout the day.

Outside her work at the information desk and Fact Line, Nicholson is a member of a sorority, the Student Alumni Connection and the Student Affairs Association. She also works eight hours a week at Changing Times Hair and Tanning.

Many weekends her time is also split between work and her boyfriend, who goes to school at Miami University of Ohio. She goes to see him, and he comes to see her.

“It’s hard to balance work and seeing him because I work on the weekends,” Nicholson said.

Juggling working so much and school is sometimes difficult for Nicholson.

“It’s a matter of being organized,” Nicholson said. “I set aside time for homework and stick to that schedule.”

Even though getting the right balance is difficult, Nicholson’s favorite aspects of working at the information desk and answering the Fact Line phone is all the information she gets to learn and look up for people.

“I love working here because there’s such a variety of things,” Nicholson said. “I’ve learned so much random information and stuff about Bowling Green I wouldn’t have learned normally.”

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