Friday, November 21, 2003

Students Can Piss Off

Finally, after a solid year and a half of my pushing for a change in the setup of the computer lab, it is finally going to happen—just as I am almost done working here. Isn’t it absolutely wonderful how logical decisions and changes take ages to progress through approval channels? It’s amazing how here in college they try to instill a solid idea of punctuality, yet once you see things operating in the real world you realize it’s all for naught.

Every class that I have taken, papers have a concrete due date (unless circumstances change where more time is obviously needed), tests are given on a certain day, presentations must be done when they are scheduled, and assignments are to be handed in on time. All of these have their reasons for exceptions or being changed, but that does not happen often. I know that when something is due, it damn well better be handed in at that time. It’s been ingrained into my system that I must obey schedules and I should get things accomplished in a timely manner—that’s just what you do.

Every day I come to work in the computer lab. Every day the computers still face away from me. I’ve asked over and over since the beginning of last year when they relocated my desk to change things so that they accommodated the lab worker. They always thought it was a good idea, but every day I showed up, nothing had changed. This year they started criticizing me for not being able to do my job correctly. In response, I then reiterated what I had for the last year, albeit a little firmer, to justify my position and finally something is being done. November 26th the computer lab will be restructured so that the computer screens actually face my desk so I can actually do my job. Amazingly enough, I will then be gone three weeks later. Thank you St. John’s Prep for your timely response to my request!

If I were to do my homework in the fashion that the prep school made changes to the computer lab, I’d still be working on my first paper from one of my classes that I took last year. I guess it just boggles my mind that it would take so long for something so small to be done.

I also have another wonderful tale about how much SJU cares for its students. Yesterday I wanted to get a check made out for something I ordered online. I went to student accounts, deposited some money and then asked if I could have a check made out.

“No, I can’t do that.”

“Why? Are you not able to print checks in the afternoon?” It was about 2:00 pm and I usually go there in the mornings, so I thought maybe they shut down the check printer in the afternoon. That would be a logical assumption since they couldn’t make me a check.

“No, it’s just really finicky and it might break if I try to print a check.”

“Well, can’t you just print my check and if it breaks then call to get it fixed? If it’s going to break, it’ll break eventually and you’ll have to get it fixed then anyhow.”

“No, Bonnie [the other student accounts worker] knows how to work it and she’s leaving now so I don’t want to risk breaking it and not having her here to fix it”

“She’s still here, though, so can’t you just try it and if it doesn’t work she can look at it quick before she goes?”

“No, she’s pretty busy. Come back tomorrow if you need a check.”

“Fine, thanks for your wonderful help. I really appreciate it.” It should be noted that this statement was fed through my sarcasm filter at 100%, so imagine me saying it in my most snide voice.

This isn’t the end of the story, however. I had to go to the business center to talk about some loan information and while I was there I asked if there was anywhere else I could get a check printed besides student accounts since they said the check printer was broken. Knowing that student accounts was still open, she called down there asking if she could get a check made out. Sure enough, they asked her how much and to whom.

“No, I didn’t need a check made out. I have a student here who needs one made………oh, really…..uh huh……ok, well I suppose I can do that. Richard, Don said that he didn’t want to make out a check so what you should do is go withdraw some cash and go have a money order made over at the post office.”

“Why? He said he’d make a check for you.”

“Yes, but he’s afraid it might break on him.”

“But that doesn’t change the fact he would print a check for you and not for me. Why should it make a difference who’s getting the check printed. Either it can be or it can’t be.”

“I’m sorry, maybe you can stop back down there and talk it over.”

“No thanks, I already tried to deal with them.”

Oh my goodness. They don’t give a flying fuck about students but as soon as someone who works there wants the same thing done they jump on it. I hate how the administration works here. I truly cannot stand it and I will definitely not miss trying to walk through the rivers of crap they make you wade through just to get the simplest things accomplished. I know that I’m going to enjoy giving a nice big one-fingered salute to every last administration worker here when I finally leave.

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