As a Libra, staff writer Mia would like to ask two things of the world: that someone always holds open the insanely heavy doors at this school for her, and that someone always documents her life with a camera, so that she can occasionally turn and slyly look into the camera, à la Fleabag. Especially when she does brilliantly dumb shit like this.

I do a lot of mortifying, ridiculous, clumsy things. But every once in awhile I do something so stupid that I impress myself. Example #1: when I am walking and really feeling myself, only to suddenly trip over nothing. Example #2: when I accidentally threw my Columbia ID down the garbage chute of John Jay 5.

It was just another absent-minded afternoon, and I decided to throw out the trash in all three of my overflowing bins–even though recycling is kind of dead in the American garbage industry and even though I was only doing this for the sweet illusion of doing chores and being responsible.

I held my bag of garbage in my right hand, and then picked up my phone and my ID–after more than 6 trips to the Hartley hospitality desk within the first 2 weeks of school, I’d finally trained myself to not lock myself out. All was well. The hallway was quiet and empty.

I approached the chute and since I had to turn the knob to open it, I shifted everything into one hand. And then, I let go of my garbage. Except something else fell too. Something made a clacking sound against the inside of the chute and then fluttered down into the abyss.

Upon realizing that it was my ID, I kind of just stood there in a trance. After a hot minute and some gentle internal yelling, I decided to go downstairs to the lobby. I ran into one of my floormates and I must have looked really dazed because she asked if everything was okay. I asked security and they told me to go to Harley hospitality. As I was about to do that, a friend came into the lobby and said I should just check the compactor room, since it must be in the basement!

So I went to the basement and timidly explained to a staff coming out of the compactor room the buffoonery I just committed. He led me into the compactor room and told his colleague that I had thrown in my ID by accident. I felt very awkward and sorry (As I should! I guess) as I watched him work the compactor and take out bags that were open where my ID could have fallen in. I even made a sad attempt of looking into and up the chute, only to see some of the ridiculous stuff people threw down.

Luckily, the compactor operator had a magical sixth sense and found my ID in what looks like someone’s shopping bag that they threw away. So thank you, whoever went shopping and decided to throw the bags down the chute instead of recycling. Your bag has sheltered the kernel of my existence and saved me from having to spend $2o on getting a new ID from Columbia.

Honestly, the only horrifying element in this horror story is my clumsiness. Throwing my phone or ID down the chute had always been one of my biggest fears, and on that fine day, it came true. (Murphy’s law, is that you?)

I can only speak about John Jay, but for anyone that wants to know, the compactor room is to the right of the stairs when you go down to the basement. As much as it is like the dimmer, less warm and gently-rumbling cousin of the laundry room, I sincerely hope that no one would have to go in there to find something they accidentally tossed. May we all hold on to the lovely people and things in our lives, and may only the things we are tired of flutter down the trash chute. (Is my ID the former or the latter? Oops)

CUID horror story via bwog staff