Monday, September 24, 2007

Day One: The Insanity Begins

Today marks the first day of classes at the university where I work.


Is it me, or does everyone go rat-shit insane just in time for the first day of classes? You'd think it was a full moon or a lunar eclipse or something.

Consider the following, please:

Exhibit A: Commute to work
Todd and I arose bright and early---well, maybe just early---today in order to get out and on the road early enough so that I would actually be on-time for once. Technically, my work day starts at 8:00am. I know, that SUCKETH. But I don't usually wander in until 8:30ish. Since I am salaried, not hourly, this isn't really a huge deal. But because today is the first day of classes, I really wanted to get here on time. I almost never take a real lunch hour anyway. Rather, I sit at my desk and cram pretzels down my throat while students wander about. To continue, we left the house at 7:27 am. It takes about 30 minutes to get from our driveway to my drop-off point at work. I was most pleased...for about 10 minutes. I'm not sure what happened, but suddenly we were stuck in the middle of I-95, barely moving. No exit in sight to take an alternate route. We turn on the radio and learn that there had just been a "multi-car accident" up ahead. Seven miles ahead. Yeah. So much for getting in on-time. I actually didn't end up walking in the door until 8:50 am. Swell.

Exhibit B: Student Iman Idiot
9:14 am
Me: This is Gina Waters
Iman Idiot: Um, hello? HELLO?
Me: Hello, this is Gina Waters
Iman Idiot: Oh, uh, yes, this is Iman Idiot. I met with you a few weeks ago and you helped me arrange my schedule of classes for the term?
Me: Yes?
Iman Idiot: OK, well, I don't have computer access and I can't get my schedule. I know I have 2 classes today, but I don't know where they are located.
Me: Ok, which classes are they?
Iman Idiot: I don't know. Can you look up my schedule for me? I know they are both in your department.
Me: Sure, what's your ID number?
Iman Idiot: I don't know.
Me: ...How about your social-security number?
Iman Idiot: Oh, ok it's XXXXXXXXX. My last name is I.D.I.O.T.
Me: Got it. Ok. You are scheduled for Yadda-Yadda at 10:00 in BLDG Q, Room 202. And at 12:00 you have Badda-Bing in Crap-ass Hall, 343.
Iman Idiot: ...Ok so, 202 in where?
Me: BLDG Q. And at 12:00 you are in Crap-ass 343.
Iman Idiot: I'm writing this down, BLDG Q, Room 202. And Crap-ass---what was it?
Me: 343.
Iman Idiot: Crap-ass 314.
Me: No. Crap-ass 343. Three. Four. Three.
Iman Idiot: Ok. 343. Thanks. So it's BLDG Q, Room 202 at 10 and Crap-ass 343 at 12?
Me: Yes, that's right.

And then my brain exploded.

Exhibit C: Department Head(case)
9:55 am
DH: Do you know the location for a CRSE 685? Whatshername from the Provost's Office just called me and said there are students wandering all over the place, in and out of their offices looking for the class.
Me: We offer no such class. We are offering a section of CRSE 285, meeting at 10:00---I assume this is the course they mean--- in the same building as the Provost's Office, MAIN 328B. It's the Honors section. [I snort under my breath]
DH: Oh? The Honors section? Distressing. Well can you call the Provost's Office and tell them that it's in MAIN 328B?
Me: ...Uh...I...
DH: I'll call.
Me: Why did they even call over here? We don't assign rooms for courses. And the office that does IS AROUND THE HALLWAY FROM THEM.
DH: I don't know. But they did, so we should tell them.
Me: And how many students were there "wandering" all over the place? The class only has 13 enrolled.
DH: [shrugs].

Now I have a migraine. I know exactly what happened. ONE dumb-ass student walked into their office looking for the room and they got their panties all twisted over it. GOD FORBID the Provost's Office has to, you know, HELP A STUDENT. JEEZ.

Exhibit D: Professor Mustbee A. Douchebag
10:16 am
Prof. Douchebag: Hey, did I get a package on Friday?
Me: No, I don't think so. Did you check your mailbox?
Prof. Douchebag: [Ignoring my question] Is there any way that you can call someone to see if it's on campus somewhere?
Me: it a big package? Like would it be coming through central receiving?
Prof. Douchebag: No. Well, I don't know. It's software for my computer, it should be about this big [gestures].
Me: Hmmm...well I doubt it's coming from central receiving. I can try to call someone in the mail room to see if it's there, but it's harder for them to keep track of small packages.
Prof. Douchebag: The place I ordered it from said they shipped it out on Thursday.
Me: ...Thursday? The Thursday that just passed? Well, this is only Monday, so...let's give it another day and if it doesn't show up, I'll see if I can track it down.
Prof. Douchebag: Oh...ok. [Not happy]

Professor leaves my office and goes to the receptionist, who hands over a package and says, "This just came for you." Professor yells out at me from the reception desk, "Oh never mind, here it is!"

Ok. First of all? Since you ordered software for it, I am assuming you know that there is a magical, wondrous device called a "computer." And since this package you ordered was shipped to you via UPS, it has something called a tracking number on it. This number allows you to use said computer to connect to the Internet and check the progress of your package from the shipper to you. No, seriously! It's AMAZING! AND---here's the really good part---you don't even have to know what that tracking number is! You just log into your fucking e-mail and click on the link in the software company's e-mail to you. You remember? The one in which they TOLD YOU that they shipped you the package? Yeah, that one. And it will take you right to that glorious tracking information page on the Internet. See? Isn't technology grand?

Second of all: Dude. Thursday? It's Monday at 10:00. COME ON. We're closed on the weekend and UPS doesn't even deliver on weekends.

Exhibit E: Student Dummerthana Bag O'Hammers
This is an actual email from a student who is attempting to double major in one of our departmental majors AND Education. EDUCATION. To wit:

I have spoken to Youhoo in ed. and to Soandso in the student service office and have
also got the signeture from the finiancal aid office, but when I went
to the billing office to get thier signeture and have the paperwork
filed the woman there told me that she could not sign it because she
did not understand how my course of study was being worked out. What
she wants is for you, Youhoo and Soandso in the student service office to send her
a course of study for me. I am sorry for any inconvience this causes
and thank you so much for all your help.

Dummerthana Bag O'Hammers

I don't even know where to begin. First, I guess I should pick up the remaining pieces of my brain off the floor and try to shove them back into my ears. There, that's a little better.

Since when does the BURSAR'S OFFICE determine if a student will meet all their coursework on time for two majors? Since when do they CARE? They collect money. PERIOD. That I and the education advisor have to submit course plans-of-study to the Bursar's Office is INSANE.

And...this I even need to write it?

Exhibit F: The Revenge of Iman Idiot
12:04 pm
Me: This is Gina Waters.
Iman Idiot: Hi, this is Iman Idiot again. Remember me?
Me: Yes.
Iman Idiot: Well, I'm over in Crap-ass 243 and there's no class here. In fact, 243 is an office and they don't know where I am supposed to go.
Me: It's Crap-ass 343. THREE. FOUR. THREE.
Iman Idiot: Oh. You said THREE 43?
Me: Yeah. Third floor, 343.
Iman Idiot: Ok, thanks.

3...2...1...KABOOM! Brain gone entirely.

Yeah, welcome to DAY ONE, ladies an gentlemen. Can you imagine what awaits me the REST of this week? For my life, still ahead, pity me.


Marsha said...

Oh man, I think my brain just exploded out of sympathy for yours.

Beth said...

Ah, man. You crack me up! Sure sounds insane to me. Can't wait to hear about day 2.

Katie J said...

You had me at Iman Idiot. I'm sorry to laugh, but you write it with such humor and that's without any brains! Hope the rest of your week is going better Gina.

Don't the hocqrs get you down. Go to the gmkygn and work out your frustrations. (I must have typed in the wrong letters, so I have 2 word verifications today!)