Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Silliness and Frustration on the Academic Front

Sorry I've been AWOL.

It's the first week of school for all of us! Except for Hubby, of course.

He's had to deal with corn dogs and chicken nuggets for dinner for a couple of nights, but he's a real champ!

Or too scared to complain.

Either way, it's all good.

So our first week of classes are done (Big Kid and I go Mondays and Wednesdays).

I'm pooped.

Not from the classes. They're delightful and I'm really enjoying them. Everyone is full of enthusiasm, and it's been great meeting new people. Lots of moms like me coming back into college, and the kids are so friendly!

It's the administrative BS that's driving me nuts.

I wrote back in my posts
Feeling More Than a Little Annoyed and Revenge of the Cranky Admissions Lady, about trying to get my proper legal name and address into their overburdened and archaic system.

Today I went to the admissions office to get the last snafu corrected during a period that I had off and Big Kid was in class.

I waited until classes were in full swing so I wouldn't be number 20 in line. I was number 5, which was a blessing, because incredibly, there was only 1 person staffing.

3 stations, 2 closed, 1 person to help.

At 10am.

During the first week of classes.

I have a sneaking suspicion that a few weeks from now, when the add/drop period has ended and there is absolutely nothing going on, that all 3 of those stations will be fully staffed all damn day.

I'll report back.

When it was my turn, I explained that somehow, my name was listed as Attila S. Mom. My middle name isn't S. It's never been S. Where in the world did they come up with S.?

Can I see your student ID Card?

"I don't have one. I need to get this fixed first."

You have to get your ID immediately.

"I realize that. But I need to get this fixed first (Hey Buddy, I could get the ID with my incorrect info, but it will cost me 10 bucks to get a replacement!)."

I need the info off your ID card.

"You can't look me up off my social security number? Or my assigned student number?"

We're in the process of changing our system from the city-wide system to the state-wide system. Your student ID card assigns you a whole new number.

"Ok, so....I'm no longer listed under my social or previous student number that was assigned to me a mere month ago?"

You are, but it will take longer on the computer to look up your info.

Well BFD!! I've patiently waited for in line so you could deal with everybody else's problems! Sh*t or get off the pot already!

Gak. It took 5 minutes and it was done. Whoopdedo! Big hardship for him. He didn't even break a sweat!

I, of course, sucked up shamelessly and thanked him profusely.

I'm learning the dance.

Big Kid had an afternoon class that meets only on Wednesdays, is about 2 3/4 hours long and today was his first day.

I decided that since I was in the city and didn't have any homework to do on campus, I'd run over to Walmart and get the guys their fall supply of undies and socks.

A half-hour into Big Kid's class time, I'm tooling around Wally World, comparing prices and styles on Hanes and Fruit of the Looms.

My cell rings.

Mom! I need help! I went to room 201 for my class, but my class isn't there! It's an English class! I talked to the instructor, and she didn't know where my class is!

"Is there a note on the door?"


"Ok, take your schedule and go to admissions or information and ask them to help you. Then call me back!"

Another half-hour later, I bought all the necessities, got back in my car, thought about stopping somewhere to get a nice ice cold soda (it was 93 degrees today) and my phone rang again.

Mom! Can you come get me? The admissions guy has the same schedule that I have, and they don't know where my class is!

So I picked the kid up and we went home.

As soon as we got there, I got on the horn and called the college.

This was the surreal conversation with Enrollment Services and Scheduling, and I am NOT freaking kidding you!

I explained the situation about son being registered for the class, and not finding it at the room 201 that was on his schedule, and how the school computer system apparently still said that the class was being held in room 201.

And why weren't there 20+ displaced students waiting outside the door?

Me: Could you please give me Professor XXX's office phone number and email address?

Dork on the phone: Did you say the class was still in session?

Me: Yes, I think there's still about 20 minutes left of it.

Dork on the phone: S
ince class is in session, Professor XXX probably won't be answering his phone.

Me: (Uh DUH!) I realize this, but we need to contact him to explain why Big Kid wasn't in class (since not showing up the first day is grounds for being dropped).

Dork on the phone:
Why don't I just give you the room number so he can go to the rest of the class?

Me: Well, considering that there is now about 15 minutes of class left, and it will take us 45 minutes to get back there, I think the class will be over. But we DO need the professor's phone and email address.

Dork on the phone gave it to us.

Me: By the way, what IS the correct room number?

Dork on the phone:
Hang on a minute.

Came back.

Dork on the phone:
It's room 201.

No sh*t!

I gave the professor's office number to the Kid to call and leave a message.

He called it and the number was disconnected.

So he called the college MAIN switchboard number and asked for the Professor by name. Got his voicemail, and left a message.

I was so stressed out and practically in tears when Hubby came home. We have our in-the-city class schedule worked out precisely to fit in with Little Guy's.

Hubby had a different perspective.

I don't know if I mentioned this before, but Big Kid is registered in the CSI program. He's interested in being a crime-scene photographer.

This particular class (other than the general academic stuff he has to take for his degree) is the first class that involves the program.

So was this a test?

Was he supposed to follow bread crumbs and deduce where his class would be?

If so, I'm going to break my foot off in somebody's butt.


Thanks, Friends, for checking in and I promise, I'll catch up shortly!

Best to you all....


An update: After talking to no less than 4 bodies, I finally found out what happened.

Number One son went to room 201, except it's now really room 204.

Apparently this semester they added (?) 3 rooms on one end of the hall or something and it bumped the room numbers up.

They just haven't actually changed the room numbers yet. It should be fixed immediately.



KL said...

Don't you just love the academia world? I too constantly deal with the maroons who think they are in charge of the entire University! I have found that it isn't always easier to get what you want with honey rather than vinegar. Some of them are so sour, they just sour any honey anyways!

Annie Drogynous said...

It's really amazing how clueless these college employees are. You expect them to know what they're doing and they just can't get with the program.

So??? What happened?!?!

Sven said...

Believe me, the admissions people aren't any better here. When I stopped by the local community college to apply for a refresher last spring I fould that they work on a whole different system of time than the rest of the world. Posted hours are 8:00am - 4:30pm. I rushed from work to get there in time only to find myself standing outside a completely dark admissions at 4:25. Nary a person in sight.

Later when I went to pick up my grades, because apparently they don't out grades anymore, they couldn't find me in the computer system because I told her my first name was Michael and they had listed me as Mike.

Perhaps some of those folks would do well to take advantage of their employers services.

Deb said...

What a huge pain in the butt! I would seriously break my foot off in the dean of admissions butt, call him and ask him why you are having to go through all this bullshit and let the shit trickle downhill to the dumbasses who gave you the run around!

Miss Keeks said...

Wow. These people are horrible! Hopefully it'll get better once you both are in. What a nightmare. However--I'm really glad that the classes are good!

DD said...

I just found your blog recently, and I wanted to say that I feel your pain. I'm new to the staff of a university, and it's just as bad on this side. I had no idea. I have to deal with lots of departments, and let me tell you, I get the runaround just as much now as I did when I was a student. Drives me crazy.

I swear this is true: I actually got reprimanded last week for getting *too much* work done. I was asked to slow it down AND not advertise how productive I was, because we wouldn't want to ruin our lack-of-prompt-service image, you know. My boss spends hours doing all this fake PR about how busy our dept is...we're not busy, he just won't LET us work any harder. It's absolutely insane.

So on behalf of the minority of us college staffers who DO want to provide good service, I am sorry.

I'll stop hogging your comments now. :)

Kim Ayres said...

Every school, university, council office and doctor's practice I've ever been to has, at one time or another, failed to find my notes until I've suggested someone might have filed them in the female section.

I once got an appointment for a cervical smear. I turned up just to see what would happen. Although I received an apology, I'm sure one nurse just thought I needed HRT.

DutchBitch said...

Well F*ck It! Great isn't it? Going (back) to college... Enough to make your eyes go bloodshot within a few days...

I work at a University Medical Center and we have students at the dept for training... The STUDENT registry office keeps turning them away and telling them that the registration and administration of STUDENTS is not their task... * blank stare *

Brenda said...

I'm stunned, I know now that my whole screwed up life is due to my never learning "the dance"! I learn something new here every time I visit. Thankee!

You've got the patience of a saint young lady.

michele said...

Oh cheese wiz! I can't believe that! Or - well actually I can since there's only a week left and I have no idea whether my son is early bird, late bird, who his teacher is, or what his room number is. At this point, I just know what school and that he's in first grade.

Samantha said...

WTF?! I remember when I was in college they let us out for a cigerette break (I was in the Bad Girl class and they let us smoke)and when we went back, the class had moved to a differnt classroom. Isn't college about information?!

abfh said...

When I was in college, I had a recurring nightmare about disappearing classes that everyone could find except me. It's scary to find out that this really DOES happen in real life!

Pendullum said...

and this place is going to 'teach you something...
I have a funny you are going to be teaching a few lessons yourself...
andwe are going to be there every step of the way!!!

Moggy said...

You couldn't make it up, could you?! Amazing! Good luck with it all, and don't let the ba****ds grind you down. And time for me to learn 'the dance'.

Ruth Dynamite said...

Give 'em hell!

carmachu said...

Thats just SO stupid. The couldnt be bothered to put up a few signs in the hallway? WTF?

Welcome to the dumbass world of college, where results dont count...

Stinkypaw said...

Don't you just love dealing with morons like that?

Wouldn't it just feel great to (once in a while) be allowed to slap one of them? It would feel sooooo good... I'm sure of it!

Hope things will fall into a "normal" routine for all of you!

shirley said...

Oh nooo, what the hell is wrong with that school?? :( Poo on them!

Kevin Charnas said... ANYONE have any common sense left? ANYONE?
I really need to stop having false hope, huh?

Mr. Fabulous said...

I could eat corn dogs and chicken nuggets every day. I would never complain.

Sheila said...

They need to send the whole of this administration to college - Good Luck Attila!

Rootietoot said...

My parents are retired professors. I've lived in university enviroments my entire life. It seems to me faculty and staff have no incentive to do well, because it's so damn hard to fire them For every 10 lazy, irritating staff you have 1 who actually does all the work. It's a true wonder that anyone ever learns anything there.

Jod{i} said...

Surreal just sounds too nice! Maybe they are out on pluto and the whole demotion thing got to them?
THat is just weird...and this is college? Scares me to even think of going back to graduate school...eeeeks...

Anywho, I think its great that you are taking classes and it will all work out!
And a huge thanks!

Me said...

What the heck????
This school sounds staffed full of strange aggravating annoying sitcom characters?
Maybe hubby is right...maybe it was a test.
Attila - i hope hubby gives you lots of back and foot massages this weekend. you deserve it!

Me said...

They are the same everywhere! Everywhere!!!
Attila, here's to a good and restful weekend!