The only thing more awkward and embarrassing than being the new guy is actually doing something that makes it plainly apparent that you're the new guy.
Since I've gotten here, I've lived by those words with the same dedication and devotion that Marines live by their code; they've been my Bandon Dunes equivalent of "Unit - Core - G-d - Country." And thankfully, I've done a respectable job of upholding them, working hard to learn the ropes and prove my worth while simultaneously blending into the scenery.
Until this morning, that is.
As I've explained before, there are buses that shuttle caddies from the caddy shack to whichever course their guest is playing. Twenty minutes before your tee time, an announcement is made over the shack's public address system, detailing who needs to get on the bus and what course each person is going to. Because there are four possible courses (Bandon Dunes, Bandon Trails, Pacific Dunes, Old Macdonald) that are located in varying directions, there are commonly multiple shuttles waiting out front, and the overhead announcement denotes who is to get on which bus.
I was a little anxious about going out to caddy today, and I was closely watching the clock as it counted down to go-time. Well, when I heard the girl start to make the announcement, I immediately popped up and headed for the shuttle -- without paying much attention to which shuttle I was supposed to board.
Once you get on the bus, the drivers typically get on the radio and re-confirm to the office how many caddies they've got and to which course they're going. Sitting there, I heard the guy say, "Two to Bandon (Dunes)" -- when there were actually three of us on board, and I needed to go to Old Macdonald. This didn't stop him from starting to pull out of the lot, though, and as we approached the exit, I then heard the driver from the other shuttle say over the radio that she was missing one person, but she didn't know who.
That missing person was me -- and nobody knows who the hell I am.
Mercifully, we hadn't yet turned left onto the main road to go to Bandon (Old Macdonald is to the right), and I was able to hop out before too much damage was done. Of course, there was still the matter of the long run around the corner and the embarrassment of getting on the correct bus after I had so blatantly screwed up. Typically, there aren't more than three or four caddies on each shuttle, but for my walk of shame, there was not surprisingly a full house of seven or eight.
"Stellar listening skills," one person cracked.
On the bright side, maybe this blunder will help a few more people around here actually learn my name (the current approximate stands at three), although that can be a slippery slope, and I'm not of the opinion -- at least in this situation -- that any publicity is good publicity. With that in mind, I think it's best to keep doing what I've been doing, to remain rooted in my maxim that's gotten me to this point nearly unscathed.
After all, I'm a little scared to find out what they do for a Code Red around here.
I need to keep this brief, because it's currently 9:18 p.m., and I have to be up in seven hours and 32 minutes. I'll give you a minute to do the math...
(Waiting...getting a handful of Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies...)
For those who came up with 4:50 a.m., you are correct. I have to get up at 4:50 a.m. Tomorrow's first tee time is 7:10 a.m., and I have to check in with the office an hour before at 6:10 a.m. It takes me 30 minutes to drive to the resort, so that pushes it to 5:40 a.m. But I like to give myself a little bit of breathing room, so I need to be out the door at 5:35 a.m. I also don't like to rush in the morning, especially when it's so early and a few extra minutes are required to convince myself that, yes, I actually have to be awake at such a godforsaken hour, meaning I have to set my alarm for 4:50 a.m.
It's gonna be awesome.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let me also take care of this: I did not today -- and will not the rest of the week -- caddy for Matt Ginella, the Golf Channel writer and TV contributor who's graciously been acknowledging my tweets and blog posts. I had a feeling that this was going to be the case, ever since he told me that he'd requested through Caddy Services that I be in his group, not that I caddy for him specifically. In actuality, his "group" consists of 12 guys total, or three separate foursomes (the maximum number per group on a golf course). I was assigned to carry for one of his friends, and Bandon Dunes' policy is that, barring getting fired, you remain with the same guest for the entirety of their stay. And while we were in the same group as Matt in the morning, we were paired in a different foursome for the afternoon round.
Still, I did get to meet Matt and spend a little time talking to him, and he was as nice and cordial in person as he's been online. Without a doubt, it would've been great to loop for him through all seven of his scheduled rounds, but it just didn't work out that way, and that's completely fine. If nothing else, he can now put a face to my name, and I can spend the next few days away from the shack and its hideous TV selections.