For the last 3 years I’ve spend the first couple of weeks before school starts working at the Graduate Student Information Center trying to help new students get oriented to campus. I enjoy the work, and hey, I get paid for something I enjoy.
Because of this, I’ve parked my bike in front of the GCC. Yesterday afternoon, while strolling past the GCC, I checked on my bike, to make sure that I could ride it into campus the next day, when I encountered this piece of pointless vandalism:
That’s right, someone took the time to snip all the rip ties on the back of my bike and “liberate” the basket/crate that I use to hold my books while I peddle around campus. Except they obviously didn’t want the crate (since it’s lying on the ground there). My bike is a piece of crap bike (hey it’s what you get for $25) that’s slowely rusting apart so I’m assuming that this wasn’t the bike thieves that took apart the (obviously much better) bike next to mine. Or maybe it was, however, my money is on someone bored, or drunk.
I wish I could say I was surprised at this weird event/vandalism, but from my experience here this is just par for the course. When I first got the bike, I found that if I used a thick, heavy plastic bag that was in any way nice (aka the bag I got from the bookstore when I bought my books) to cover my bike seat while it rained – people stole it. Especially if I parked the bike and covered the seat with the various bags I was “recycling” in front of Tressider. Even if I used a rubber band to secure it. While living on campus (I just had to move this year to Redwood City which is another story in and of itself), when I parked the bike in front of McFarland, my fellow residents would take the opportunity to throw their trash in the crate on the back of my bike, rather than in the trash can 3 feet away. Same thing happened when the bike was parked on campus.
The bike is just the tip of the “petty vandalism” iceberg. I can fondly recall laundry thrown on the ground in the laundry room when I was 5 minutes late. Dryers opened and left so that my time would run out without the clothes drying (the night before hubby had to get up early in the morning to drive to another state, I sat in the laundry room watching the dryer and missing the last couple of hours I had with him so his clothes would be clean, that was fun). Oh, and fire extinguishers discharged in the common areas when I lived in Rains.
The fact that I’m unsurprised at this particular act and expect random acts of suck at Stanford makes me wonder – living in a Redwood City, I expect this kind of behavior from anonymous strangers, but isn’t it sad that I do not expect better behavior from my fellow Stanford students? Isn’t it sad that I expect this kind of behavior from fellow students? Have I just been on the recieving end of stupidity from a few bad apples or does anonymity bring out the worst in people no matter who or where they are?
So, now that the school year’s starting, I would like to make a plea. When you get a really good idea to pull a prank that you think would be funny, think about being on the receiving end of that tipped over garbage can, that laundry on the floor, the several thousand dollar bill for scrubbing out the fountain in front of the library due to detergent being placed in it. If your drunk friend has a funny idea. Think about being on the receiving end before let him/her wander off to amuse themselves. If you’re in the laundry room and you’ve been waiting for 15 minutes for someone to remove their laundry from the washing machine – be considerate. Don’t throw the wet clothes on the floor, put them on the top of a dryer or something.
And whoever did this to my bike: you suck.