Let’s briefly talk about professionalism and courtesy, shall we?

Last Thursday, I attended a short informational session. It was one of the half-hour-long Career Development Center (CDC) sessions titled “Interviewing 101,” about one of the quintessential interview questions: “Tell me about a time when …”

Now, let me back this up with the fact that I’ve been to a number of CDC-hosted events during my time here and I’ve had few to no issues with the programs, locations or times. I’ve always arrived a little early, since being the one straggler who arrives five minutes late and out of breath, causing some of the attendees to turn heads, isn’t the best feeling.

Arriving early gives me a bit of time to sign in, pick up any handouts and chat with people I recognize. Additionally, any necessary paperwork, equipment and the like is usually set up for the event, most likely 15 minutes to a half hour prior.

This past Thursday afternoon was nothing out of the ordinary. My afternoon English classes, including a midterm, went off without a hitch and I managed to discuss independent study stuff with my mentoring professor before making my way down to the radio station, as per usual. I grabbed a notebook and a pen out of my bag while dropping the rest of my accoutrements in the office for temporary safekeeping.

My watch was ticking closer and closer to 4:30 as I took to the enclosed stairwell, taking the steps up two at a time. Up past the New University Union Food Court and up past the bank I went, coming out right by the meeting rooms. They were both unoccupied and darkened, but that probably can’t be said for the room that overlooked the Spine, as the light of a nearly summer-like day was still streaming in.

Slightly perplexed, I looked around and moseyed over to the door into New University Union room 325. Opening it, I found two other students, both waiting in the darkened room for the same event that I was looking to attend. By that time, it was 4:30. I waited around for a few minutes, but nobody else showed, so I departed, still confused and a little annoyed, and went about the rest of my day.

I didn’t know what happened. The information I had copied down from a handout I picked up wasn’t wrong. The announcement in that day’s B-Line didn’t say anything about a cancellation or postponement, only that the event was still scheduled. But when I showed up in that dark room to find no CDC slideshow on the projector or CDC rep signing people in, something just didn’t seem right.

When you go to a CDC event, regardless of the event type, you expect a courteous and professional atmosphere, do you not? It is a CDC event, after all. If an event is cancelled or postponed, an email is usually sent out earlier in the day.

But with this program, there was nothing. No emails were sent or received. No CDC rep was waiting with their presentation and handouts set up. Isn’t a handful of people waiting in a darkened room for a program that isn’t even set up to start egg on the face of the person who was going to be leading the program, if not the organization?

Maybe it was just a small hiccup or mistake. They do happen. But during my years here, I’ve come to expect more professionalism and courtesy from the CDC than what I found on Thursday.