Monday, January 15, 2007

The Return of the Cranky Admissions Lady

So this is what my last week has been like.

After Blizzard #1 (at Christmas), Blizzard #2 (at New Years) and Snowstorm a week later (around the 6th) I hadn't been OUT OF MY FREAKING HOUSE FOR ALMOST A WEEK until a couple of days ago.

And that's only because I made the hubster "get his girl on" (that's an entirely different post) and drive me into town with his jacked-up tank to take me to the grocery store.

I had to get out of the house before the next snowstorm hit Saturday night and Sunday (we got about 8 additional inches).

It's not like we actually needed food. I was desperate for human (translation: mammals not related to me) contact.

Isn't that pathetic?

All I can say is that after another week without contact I'd be writing "All work and no play makes Attila a very dull girl" a zillion times on my blog and be looking for my ax.

After Snowstorm that followed Blizzard #2, we happened to get raging winds close to the "Dorothy hang on to your knickers!" scale.

Meaning that snow falling from the sky wasn't a problem. Blowing snow was. We've had drifts up to 7-8 feet.

Our county nobly promised to work around the clock to keep our roads clear. Bless them.


The winds brought sunshine and a little bit of a thaw. At about 9pm, the plows came through and piled over 3 feet of slush at the mouth of our rather steep driveway.

Which promptly froze overnight into a mass that will require a jackhammer to dislodge.

With the blown snow frosting the top, the pile looked deceptively benign.

Hubby dutifully pulled out "Monica"--his trusty snowblower--to clear the path. His first attempt put her out of commission after hitting solid ice.

Poor thing won't be giving blow-jobs any time in the near future until she gets her teeth fixed!

So instead of being able to get my car out and be independent, I've pretty much been stranded.

I had Hubby drive me around our neighborhood this morning so I could take some pictures, but unfortunately I couldn't talk him into getting out and standing next to the banks for some perspective. These drifts are around 5-6 feet tall. They don't look so big when you're riding high up in the seat of a tank!

Last week I wrote in Vicious Circles our worries about Big Kid and his health insurance. Even though we've applied for disability coverage, we are so fortunate that ex-hubby's insurance company has given him a waiver so that he'll be covered even by attending college only part-time.

All it took was some letters from his attending doctors and one from the disability support services at the college. Whew!

We picked out our classes and I registered for mine online.

Because the State of Colorado is apparently out of its drought cycle (El Nino or El Nina---who the heck knows!), it looks like we're in for a spring with heavy snowfall. There is NO way I'm going to be driving us down the mountain into the city in the middle of this crap. Big Kid and I are going to take a couple of classes online.

Went to sign the kid up, and BAM! He has a suspension. Not probation. A suspension. And nobody bothered to send him a letter or anything. We have a little over a week before registration is closed for the semester (our final day of last semester was December 10th) and NOW it shows up?

So I called the admissions office bright and early (at our closest campus which is "our" campus), home to the Cranky Admissions Lady and her minions. I wrote about her last summer in Feeling More Than a Little Annoyed and Revenge of the Cranky Admissions Lady.

What is this? I asked.

"It seems as if he has a financial aid suspension."

How can that be? He isn't eligible for financial aid. I paid his tuition in full myself on the phone at the beginning of last semester!

"Who are you?"

I'm his mother.

"Well I can't talk to you about this."

Why not? Could you talk to me if I said I was his girlfriend? You've talked to me for 5 minutes already!

"I need to talk to Big Kid."

So I told her to hold on and went and woke him up.

Without taking his morning meds or even having the benefit of a splash of cold water on his face, the kid is about as coherent as an iron doorstop.

I gave him the phone, and he confirmed his identity to the Cranky Admissions Lady. She yakked in his ear for a moment and he turned to me.

"Mom, did I get financial aid?"

No. He repeated this to her. And came back to me.

"Mom, are you sure I didn't get financial aid?"

Do I look like I'm not sure? Your dad actually burst into tears when he wrote the check for that particular credit card statement!

More yakking in his ear. He finally just said, "look, can you talk to my mom, or can I call you back?" and handed me the phone.

Ok, now that you have permission to talk to me, what in the heck is going on?

"Well he must have an academic suspension then. He is going to have to wait out a semester or appeal."

WTF? Wait out a semester? After everything we've gone through to keep his insurance?

Apparently he withdrew from his one withdrawal class a day after the deadline. So he has a technical F. As I said in my previous post, he failed another class and got a B in the third. eek.

How to fix this? He had to file an appeal.

He had to fill out a form, explain what happened, provide documentation (doctors, disability service) have an interview with his advisor and get him to sign off on it, get an interview with the Dean and get her to sign off on it, get them both to approve the classes he wants to take for spring semester, and come down physically to register. Can't do any of this by computer or phone.

All within a week or he's SOL.

This all had to be done at the college's main campus which is around 40 miles away down the mountain into the city. And I couldn't even get out of my freaking driveway.

Sooooo....I made about 10 phone calls until I could get the right person to fax the correct form to me. Had the kid fill it out. I called disability services and explained the situation. They recommended specific documentation about the kid's diagnoses and medication and agreed to back the kid up for the appeal. I called our doctor and he wrote a letter and faxed it to me.

I called the kid's advisor and explained the situation. He agreed to sign off and even did one better. I faxed him the form, he signed it, he walked it down to the Dean's office himself and talked her into signing it. They both signed off on the classes and he faxed it back to me (and kept the original on file).

Now we had to figure out how to get the Kid registered. I called the head of enrollment services and explained the situation. The kid's advisor brought her down the original paperwork in person, and the head released the hold online. We got him registered. Whew! Next time I get into town I'm going to bring these two cookies!

Now all I have to do is pay for the classes. No worries, I did that over the phone last semester.

So bright and early this morning, I called our "home" campus. And got the Cranky Admissions Lady again. I gave her the information, told her that the kid's appeal was successful and I wanted to pay our tuition over the phone.

"Well you can pay for your classes over the phone, but he has to come down and pay in person."

WHAT? Why?

"That's our policy. He has to do everything in person since he was suspended."

All holds have been released! He was even able to register online!

"Well I don't know how you managed THAT, but this is our policy."

So now I'm going to spend a couple of hours on the phone trying to go over her head.

Because if I have to find some way down the mountain to pay her in person after all this, I'm going to be carrying my ax and screaming "Redrum"!



Anonymous said...

I HATE talking to people like that! Girl, you are a force to be reckoned with! Doesn't sound like anyone can stop you....once your mind is set on something! I am impressed! Do you farm out your skills for those of us less organizationally talented?

Kevin Charnas said...

GOOD GOD, LADY!!! You need to be the President of something...holy cow.
I say that after you get EVERYTHING taken care of, you bring them lots and lots of cookies...with lots and lots of ExLax in them.

Rootietoot said...

Do you have any vodka? Chill it in that snow of yours. You deserve it.
Googly moogly...people like that make me want to cry. I bow to you patience and diplomacy. My stomach tied in a knot just reading about it.

Anonymous said...

Mothers are capable of moving heaven and earth for their kids. I've done it (god, so many times) and boy, you sure do it. And do it well.
Best of luck with the next stage in this drama. That woman should be very afraid of you.
And what wonderful news about the insurance coverage and part-time attendance.
But too bad about "Monica" being out of service! ;)

Anonymous said...

Uh hum!! Do I detect a slight spot of cabin fever??? Remember the shining sweetie. Just make sure you clean the wheels on your bike before riding it indoors!! ;0)

Anonymous said...

Your snowblower is named Monica?! That is AWESOME!!!!!!!

I agree with Kevin, you DO need to be President of something!!

That biach needs some cookies too--some Exlax cookies!

Anonymous said...

Your snowblower is named Monica?! That is AWESOME!!!!!!!

I agree with Kevin, you DO need to be President of something!!

That biach needs some cookies too--some Exlax cookies!

Anonymous said...

Oh that's so funny, I hadn't even read the rest of Kevin's comment.

"Great" minds...

Anonymous said...

I nearly died when I read that your snowblower is named Monica. I almost forgot to read the rest of the post.
Your tribulations with your son are quite a journey. I'm glad though you figured out the health insurance issue.

Anonymous said...

Your admissions lady makes me annoyed all over!!!
But gawd, you are so persistent and patient in dealing with all the bureaucracy!!!
Can I call you the next time I run into bureaucratic rubbish?

Brenda said...

Man I wish I had your patience and skills. I get so frustrated with folks like those that I lose my temper and don't make much headway.

Anonymous said...

Hi Attila,
OMG, what you’ve gone through to get your son registered for another semester of college gives new meaning to the words “red tape”. I applaud your tenacity under times of stress!

Your pictures of a “real winter” are fantastic; they make me shiver just looking at them. I hope you manage to escape for a few hours; it’s amazing what a change of scenery can do to preserve one’s sanity!

Anonymous said...

"This is our policy" has to be the most frustrating excuse for bureaucratic stupidity ever! That just means they have no tolerance for any actual logic or reasoning...cause they have a 'policy'! Grrrrr

However, your photos are awesome. And I love that you named your snowblower!!LOL

Anonymous said...

good grief, what a bunch of nonsense bullshit!! Gave me a headache just reading about the truly do deserve a medal woman...your patience and tenacity is more than admirable!

Special K said...

Who needs in-person human contact when over-the-phone contact is so heart-warming?

Holy shit, Attila, if I were in your shoes, I would have kicked the lungs out of something by now.

Anonymous said...

You know, power-tripping "big fish in little ponds" really piss me off.
I'm now looking for a quote, hold on a sec... ah. Here it is. From Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett:

"A bully, thought Susan. A very small, weak, very dull bully, who doesn't manage any real bullying because there's hardly anyone smaller than him, so he just makes everyone's lives just that little bit more difficult..."

Sounds like your admissions lady, doesn't it? I'd file a complaint.

Flawed And Disorderly said...

Loved your Shining references. Ha ha ha! Anyway, can't believe all that's going on there! We've been iced in for less than a week, and I already feel like looking for an ax! BTW, I'm getting my hubby addicted to your blog now. I knew this would crack him up!

carmachu said...

Ahh yes,petty tyrants. You have to love(to overthrow them).

After all that they STILL want you in person.....

*shakes head* You know, you make me SO glad I'm not in college anymore....

And stop hoggnig the snow....*grin*

abfh said...

LOL at Monica the snowblower!

And great job getting the insurance waiver and the part-time registration... it sounds like you actually found some helpful bureaucrats for a change, even if you had to deal with Cranky Admissions Lady again.

Hopefully you won't have to take an ax to her.

Anonymous said...

What a freakin' nightmare! Bureaucratic hoops like that usually have me in tears of frustration...

Strength, Attila, strength :)

Kim Ayres said...

Poor thing won't be giving blow-jobs any time in the near future until she gets her teeth fixed!

Now I have to clean off the coffee I sprayed over my computer...

Samantha said...

Oh God, the drama!

Anonymous said...

I totally relate.
You want to call our admissions office and whoop some ass for me? They lost my paperwork, but miraculously, I'm still signed up to be in class today! @@

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

Found your blog off another blog?
From Girlinherunderwear or Queen of Mayhem...

Just saying hello....

Claire said...

So what is the secret to having SO much patience?!! I spoke to a total ass on the phone the other day for barely five minutes and ended up swearing at him. I have zero tolerance for fools!

I'm glad you got it all sorted out though, now you can....chill :-D

Anonymous said...

Hi, I had to go back and read some prior posts to get up to speed.

I tutor a 17 year old (oh, who am I kidding..I'm the only teacher he has) who has severe emotional issues due to about a million factors. Nobody really ever understands why his mom has him homeschooled. They don't understand why he needs special attention and why he couldn't hack it in school and his needs probably don't even come close to what your son has gone through and is going through. We are making break feels GREAT!

On the other side Admissions Lady probably hears from thousands of moms a day whose sons aren't dissabled in any way. That's annoying to the Nth degree. I know this because I work for a nonprofit that gives out scholarships to rizing would not believe the number of mothers that call or hand deliver the applications and the obvious nature with which they have even filled the forms and done the essays for them. It's sad really, but it's true.

She is viewing you as one of those mothers/fathers. She really needs to be viewing you as the care provider for a special needs student. There must be some way she can mark you in his files so you don't have to keep going through this with her.

I've dropped classes late and had to take the F. So, just imagine that fun and exciting fate. Whooohooo! I feel for ya.

Anonymous said...

I just suggest you bypass all the redtape, take your ax and go kill the bitch. You'll feel much better later.