As much as we would like to give the impression that recruitment always goes smoothly, it rarely happens. Sure, we sit through countless hours at recruitment workshops where we learn what to say, how to act, when to breathe, and so on, but something always goes wrong. Here at TSM, we know recruitment always comes with a few bumps in the road–we’re here to tell you it’s okay. Oh, and we’re also willing to tell you some of our worst recruitment horror stories. Enjoy.
The first year I was an active member of my chapter, we changed the skit to one that featured a “club scene” using a strobe light. Tacky, right? Anyway, during my sophomore and junior years, I always had a really bad headache on skit night, but I figured it was just from the stress and craziness of recruitment week. However, my senior year, my headache got so painful during the skit that I got disoriented, misjudged the end of the stage, and fell off, knocking myself out cold on the way down. One ambulance ride and 10 stitches in my forehead later, I learned that I apparently have an allergic sensitivity to strobe lights. Guess my clubbing–and skit–days are over.
When I went through rush, I went to a house where I sat on a chair and the girl who was rushing me sat in front of me on her knees–very blow job-y now that I think of it. But essentially, the entire time she talked to me, she used my knees as a shelf, and her tig ol’ bitties were just sitting there resting on my knees like NBD.
During my junior year, recruitment week was going better than ever (at least that’s what the alumnae advising committee had told us). I’m sure they say that every year, but still, the week had been running very smoothly with tons of interest from the PNMs. But then, the very last night hit: pref night. We were all dressed in our classy evening wear (AKA little black dresses) and everyone was rushing to help prepare the room for the girls we hoped to join our lovely sorority. What we hadn’t realized until approximately 30 minutes before the first group of girls was set to arrive was that the ceiling was leaking water through a light fixture. We had problems with a leaky, second floor bathroom the week before, and campus services had “fixed” the problem a week prior to recruitment, but, as we all know, they really don’t give a shit about us. So, it was still leaking.
Being the grand repairmen we all are (#jokes) and having the fear of God that we’d be electrocuted if we touched the damn thing, we did exactly what any other sane person would do–covered it up. We didn’t want it to be too noticeable, so we emptied a clear, plastic bowl of pretzels and taped it to the ceiling around the light fixture. “DON’T LOOK UP,” our president warned us. We didn’t need anyone to notice the fishbowl hanging from the ceiling and freak out.
Despite all the panic, the first group of girls came and went rather easily without noticing our additional decoration. I think I can recall us even having time to empty the bowl in between the groups of girls. After Bid Day, we put in a work order for our leak, and I’m sure it had a sassy note from the president.
Once, when I asked a PNM why she wanted to join a sorority, she answered, without hesitation, that her cat died and she felt lonely. How do you even respond to that? The only other PNM I’ve experienced that could possibly beat her in the crazy category was a legacy our chapter dubbed “Crazy Eyes.” She had this look about her that just screamed “serial killer” and had the mannerisms to match. We had to cut her as soon as possible. Ugh.
Hands down, the most uncomfortable recruitment experience for me was during a discussion with an already visibly uncomfortable girl. Not to judge a book by its cover, but here’s a girl with a flannel shirt, jeans, and boots. Some would say she was “country.” I was in a sundress, heels, and had blown out hair, was trying to find some common ground to make small talk, and was coming up short in every conversational realm. I asked her what her hobbies outside of school were to try and open her up and that’s when I opened Pandora’s box. She went into talking about her competitive horseback riding competitions and how she owned horses and blah, blah, blah. Now, this would have been fine except for the fact that I hate–HATE–horses. I think they’re ugly, dumb, and resemble Sarah Jessica Parker too much for my liking. Upon hearing this, my pledge sister, Melissa, who was sitting next to me, burst into laughter, causing everyone in the room to stop talking at look at us. She then turned to the girl I was talking to and said, “yeah, she hates horses,” and proceeded to go back to her own conversation. Needless to say, I had to sit there and pretend to like horses and try to salvage what was left of this traumatic experience for this poor girl. Didn’t happen to see her at another recruitment event. Oops.
My story starts at one of those hell on Earth recruitment workshops, where you roll in clearly hungover (maybe still drunk). Your VP of recruitment and an adviser look way too eager for a Saturday morning after a mixer. We get to the topic of what to talk about with PNMs, and this was a topic that really intrigued one of our girls, Becks. A quick sidebar about Becks: she is one of the most hilarious people in the world, but I don’t think she knows HOW funny she really is. For instance, she’ll only describe things as “Bexy” or “Bexalicious” if she approves, and “not Bexy” if not. She’s not being ironic–she’s 100 percent serious. So, Becks was firing question after question, eventually asking, “Well, what happens if they bring up a topic you really don’t want to talk about?” Our adviser, probably nursing a headache from just being around so many hangovers at once, sighs and says, “Then you politely change subjects or you pass her to someone who is more comfortable speaking about it. Anyone else?” Becks, ignoring our adviser trying to change the subject, continues: “But what if I’m like, ‘Hey, how’s it going?’ and she’s all, “Oh, my grandma just died.’ HOW DO YOU RECOVER FROM THAT?” This leads to our entire chapter dying of laughter, because when would that ever happen?
Fast-forward to day two of recruitment. Everything is going smoothly and as expected. Becks is talking to a PNM, “Terri.” Terri was a little bit off, to say it nicely. She told Becks how she slept for three days straight because she felt like it, and she probably should’ve sought help because apparently that wasn’t normal. (UM. YOU THINK?) She said she was really looking forward to joining a sorority because she really loved being in a club for a little while in high school. Becks is going along with it, but then she asks something about her family. Terri, without flinching, mentions that her grandma had recently passed away, and that “although it was really sad, she was pretty old.” Everyone in hearing range starts laughing at the irony. Becks’s mouth drops open and she quickly tries to change subject, but Terri, undaunted, keeps bringing the subject back to her grandmother.
I don’t think the PNMs were five feet out the door before she yelled, “PLEASE TELL ME SOMEONE HEARD THE GRANDMA STORY. YOU ALL SAID IT WOULDN’T HAPPEN, AND OF COURSE IT HAPPENS TO ME!” We ended up dropping Terri, needless to say, but it’s a story my sisters still laugh about to this day.
– Hakuna Moscato