When we last heard from me, I was staggering home drunk after a bar night at Domhuset with Louise.. The effects of which I surely felt the next morning when I woke with a raging hangover and no desire what so ever to go to school. But eh, being the responsible, young man that I am, I sucked it up, rolled out of bed at 8 and went on down to uni for my 9 AM class. To say that the 7 hour school day was a drag would be a major understatement. I spent most of it wishing I were dead and hoping that nothing more would happen in the student house case so that I wouldn’t have to play the responsible adult or put my cognitive powers to good use.
As it turned out, stuff did happen, but it was only in the form of an email from the mayor summoning me to a emergency meeting at city hall the next day in order to draw up a plan for saving the house. This was in every aspect a good piece of news. Not only did it give me time to sober up before handling the situation, it also meant that, following the whole media thing, a lot of force was now being put behind saving the student house which made me feel pretty good, all things considered.
As could probably be imagined, I didn’t sleep much Monday night. I mean, not only is a meeting with the mayor, various city council representatives and the who is who of local business life and educational institutions a pretty big thing for someone as little and humble as good, ol’ Johan, it was also my last chance to secure a deal with these nice people, since the decision of whether or not to close down the house would have to be made some 48 hours later.
So, with little sleep, no breakfast but a bloodstream shocked full of coffee, a jittering Johan made his way to City Hall on Tuesday morning. I’d love to say I strode in with great confidence, marched into the meeting room and demanded to be heard.. But since I had trouble just locating the proper entrance, that’d be a lie. As it turns out, city hall apparently has about five different entrances, give or take, so I spent some time just walking around trying to decide just which would be the right door to take. After a while, my decision was made for me by a courier who walked right up to the main entrance package in hand and all which made me go “Fuck it, I’m more important than that, I’ll take that door as well!” So, I strode in and my troubles were far from over. Not being used to city hall and lacking a receptionist of sorts to ask for directions.. Or a proper floor plan for that matter, I spent a couple of minutes walking around, feeling utterly confused.. Until I was saved – by none other than the mayor himself.
See, as I stand there looking confused, I suddenly see him coming in (from an entrance less important than the one I’d just taken), and I go “Hey, I know him!” and in my usual do or die attitude, I walk up, extend my hand and go “Good morning, my name is Johan Johansen, chairman of the Student House, I believe we have a meeting in five minutes and I’m fucking lost!” or words to that extent.. Luckily, Mr Mayor turned out to be a really great, friendly guy and quickly led the way to a meeting room where most of the other big wigs had already gathered. Despite the serious nature of the meeting, the mood was nicely relaxed and it quickly turned out that I needn’t have been so nervous about everything.
As for the meeting itself, it was a complete success, more so than I could’ve ever hoped for. Apparently getting the media and mayor involved payed off because it didn’t take us much more than half an hour to reach an agreement.. And what an agreement it was. Everybody stretched a bit farther than they’d originally done and by the end of the meeting, the various schools pledged to donate DKK 210,000 a year over a two year period to go towards paying a 20 hour/wk manager for the student house. Even more importantly, a local businessman drew up a plan to spend the money by using forces within his own organization to solve the issues.. Woot!
I left the meeting feeling absolutely ecstatic, in one of my last moves as manager, I’d managed to help save the house that I’ve more or less lived for for the last couple of years and I’d like to think that I’d scored a pretty good deal in the process. All in all, it was all pretty surprising and overwhelming for me. But apparently not so for Tina and Louise who were bemused by my ecstatic text messages, having apparently known all along that I was awesome enough to get the deal home.. Oh well, I thank them for their trust in me, and was surely glad that I didn’t have to let them down.. Or the rest of the student body in Kolding for that matter.
So, generally, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were days of relief (and exam projects), culminating in a highly anticipated meeting at the Student House on Thursday where I got to present our efforts in front of about 50 people and a couple of local journalists. All of whom, except one, seemed pretty happy with the results which, in return made me happy, as it allowed me to resign from my position in the house on that very meeting with a strange sense of accomplishment and a little hint of weirdness. I mean, sure, I’ve been meaning to back out of the project for a long, long time and have gradually lowered my involvement in the house over the past couple of months.. But still, it’s something I’ve been doing for two years now and have spent a lot of time and effort on, so it still feels rather odd.. One thing’s for certain, I’m gonna have a hell of a lot of more free time on my hands now.