It's my last end of semester exam today but I just had an experience that I had to document somewhere so I could refer to it in case I needed evidence someday. I just came from school. I used my lunch hour to get next semester's registration organized. I'll admit that I can be a bit of a procrastinator at times. For the last two semesters I've had to pay late fees along with my registration because I missed the deadline.
Not this time.
This time I was going to be proactive. I was going to be organized and do it right and everything would be perfect.
Boy, was I wrong...
Let's start at the top, shall we:
I go online and print all of the required documents in the office so I could get processed more quickly. I strut confidently from work to my school which is only a ten-minute brisk walk away. The air is crisp. It's bright but not too sunny. As I walk, happy little humming birds dance around my head. It's just that perfect.
I get to school, no line. Excellent. I walk up to the counter and ask for the GATE form (we fill this out so the government will pay the bulk of our tuition - a total lifesaver). The girl at the counter asks me for my forms (the ones I printed in advance). I proudly present said forms, filled with pride because, yes, I was proactive.
Me: Here they are (voice all sunshiny).
Girl at Counter: Do you have your student email?
Me: (Chest puffed, fists on hips, looking off into the distance - the ceiling needs dusting) Why, I most certainly do. Got it when they first came out. (Even further evidence of my overflowing proactiveness.)
Girl at Counter: Did you print it?
Me: (I look down at her) Print what?
Girl at Counter: Your email.
Me: No... Why?
Girl at Counter: That's one of the documents you have to produce.
Me: (Chest quickly deflating): Since when?
Girl at Counter: It's our requirement for this coming semester.
Me: I didn't know that. Did you guys give some kind of announcement?
Girl at Counter: (Shrugs) You need...
Me: (Chest returned to normal size) Yeah, yeah, yeah. I can't get the GATE form or pay my registration fee until I bring it. I.know.
Girl at Counter: You can use the computers upstairs.
I shuffle across the lobby to the elevator to get to the third floor. At this point I'm in totally the opposite mood than when I started. It isn't only because my attempt at efficiency had been thwarted, but also because the school's computer system is wols (so slow I had to spell "slow" backwards).
On the third floor I find a free system. I log on and, OHMYGAWD, it takes FIVE MINUTES just for the little log-in dialogue box to come up:
Slow-Ass PC: Your password has expired. You must change before proceeding.
Why, of course it has. I'd expect nothing less at this point.
TWENTY minutes later (which was basically made up of me pacing, banging my head against a nearby wall, swearing silently and crying a little), I'm printing my email info and, CRAP, I only have access to the printer on the second floor.
Hell no, I ain't going through this shit again! I send two prints and stay logged-in on the third floor slow-ass PC while I run down the stairs to the second floor to check the printer. I find both copies waiting for me in the printer. YES! Something went right. I run back up the stairs third. I log off (which went quickly, mercifully) and head back down to the lobby.
Me: Here (not so sunshiny this time around).
Girl at Counter: Thanks. Here is your GATE form.
Me: Thanks (grumble)
I fill the form, take my copy and proceed to the cashier to pay my $75 (TT) registration fee. I hand my forms to the cashier.
Cashier: That will be $280 (TT)
Me: It went up? Since when?
Cashier: That is the fee, sir. (Her tone clearly was saying, "Not my damn problem. I didn't raise the fees Now hurry up and pay so I can get back to my Twilight book.")
I paid. I decided it was best to just get it over with before I came back and realized there were even more forms and fees required the next time. By this time, counter-girl had made herself scarce so I wasn't able to thank her properly for the head's up. Counter-guy had taken her place.
Me: The fees went up?
Guy at Counter: Yes, sir.
Me: It would have been nice if they announced something like that.
Guy at Counter: (Shrugs - They've been trained well) I guess.
I leave. Thoroughly defeated I trudged back to the office. At least, I managed to make it back to work just as my lunch hour ended. Next time I have to do this, I won't make the mistake of being optimistic.