Sunday, March 13, 2011

Operation Breakfast Overload

On Wednesday morning at 8:30 I updated my Facebook status (you know, Facebook. The social network that tears people apart). Less than 48 hours later, this status had a 100+ comment thread, had provoked mass emailing, messages from the administration, two Facebook groups, an elaborate prank, secret leafleting of falsified satirical press releases, and a possibly altered election result. Thank you, untameable technology for two days of shocking entertainment.

Rewind to a few weeks ago . . .

My dear friend Annette has served as the student body president at the law school this year and has done a fantastic job doing whatever it is student government leaders are supposed to do (promising the "best year ever!" and then delivering, I suppose). Particularly, I have watched her answer email complaints, attend 245 meetings per day, and gracefully put out a new fire every hour, on the hour, for about ten months now, without breaking a sweat.

The 1Ls turned in a large writing assignment a few weeks ago, bright and early one Monday morning. For reasons still not clear to any of us, their writing professors emailed the 1L class, explaining that Annette and the rest of the SBA board members would provide the 1Ls with a congratulatory breakfast on that Monday morning. The problem: Annette never made this commitment, nor was she ever aware that the professors had made this promise on her behalf. Not a big deal, you might think; but evidently, it was to some because within hours of the breakfast disappointment, Annette had received complaint emails from members of the 1L class who apparently were on the brink of starvation and whose lives depended upon Annette feeding them. After an unsuccessful attempt to contact the professors responsible for the mix-up so that they could restore Annette's reputation as a non-flake, Annette communicated with the 1L class on her own and explained that there was a miscommunication and that she, in fact, had never made such a promise and certainly would have delivered had she done so.

This was not enough for at least one 1L, who continued to complain about the SBA's alleged failures; and these complaints culminated in an interesting campaign tactic earlier this week. This 1L (we'll call him "Home-boy") decided to run for student body president for his second year, a position typically occupied by a third year student. Home-boy was rude to Annette, continued his complaints about her, and then passed out his campaign flyers to everyone's carrels on Wednesday morning. The flyer read, "When [home-boy] promises breakfast, [home-boy] brings breakfast." A bit defensive of Annette and quite tired of the lack of appreciation for everything she has done for everyone, including home-boy, I responded with the following Facebook status update: "Eli is wondering whether a 1L's passive-aggressive attacks on Annette Thacker in his SBA campaign flyers is really going to be an effective approach. Particularly since it's well accepted that Thacker is likely the best president of anything anyone has ever seen (and that includes Pres. Palmer from 24)."

Feeling that I had done my Christian duty to defend my friend's honor, and truly not expecting anything to come of it, I went about my business. Then the madness ensued.

Several people asked around for the full story, commented on this post, and immediately jumped to the defense of Annette. In the meantime, another 1L composed a hilarious email that any 13 year old girl with a vendetta couldn't have done any better and spammed the entire 1L class, pleading with his peers to vote for home-boy and allow the four 2L candidates to split the vote among the upper classes so that the 1L class could "take control of the school." The administration responded to this by reminding everyone of the anti-spamming policy. But this was well beyond a ridiculous email by this point.

"Operation Breakfast Overload" was well on its way. Someone had the idea to fulfill the promise Annette never made by actually bringing home-boy breakfast. And a lot of it. On Thursday morning while I was at work in Salt Lake, the pictures came trickling in as several dozen of my light-hearted and creative classmates dropped off boxes of cereal, home-made muffins, pancakes, balloons, yogurt, and several other popular breakfast items, all at his carrel while home-boy sat in class. In the meantime, the 1L "spam" email had gone viral and had made it around the non-1L classes thirty or forty times, several campaign tactics were altered to draw more votes for the 2L candidates, and an all-out war had been waged on my Facebook page between unlikely combatants.

On Friday the civil war officially ended as a 2L candidate was named victor. I, of course, hope that home-boy doesn't have hard feelings and does recognize that the vast majority of the class intended no harm in what most definitely was a great overreaction to a campaign flyer that was probably intended to be not much more than a subtle joke. But overreaction is what law students do best. 

Most of us who didn't really ever have a dog in the fight, but still found the entire thing absolutely the most entertaining thing we had witnessed since 1996, wondered afterwards how so much activity could result from one half-joking status update on Facebook.

Gosh I'm going to miss high school.

~It Just Gets Stranger

1 comment:

  1. He had better appreciate the eighth of a box of Honey Nut Cheerios i gave him. I ate Raisin Bran this morning.