Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Being Proactive Sucks

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.
Me: (Growl)

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: Huh...
Cashier: $280.
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.


  1. Procrastinators of the world unite! I always hated this crap about school.. of course when I went, there was no email or internet. Al Gore hadn't invented it yet. ;) We used slate tablets to write

  2. Ugh. At least it's over, right?
    I love "wols"
    my computer at work is "wols" at times too...

  3. I usually swat down those fucking happy hummingbirds as soon as they show up. They seem cheerful but they're really harbringers of doom.

  4. It would be DANGEROUS if you and I hung out... this kinda stuff ALWAYS happens to me. Crap!

  5. "wols" = awesome
    your day = anti-awesome

  6. @ Holly: I think this is further evidence that just no good can come from getting it done early (that's what she said).

    Hey! Another Vinny C first.

    @ Meri: My computer at work & I are in perfect sync. On Mondays neither of us can get started until about an hour & a half into the morning.

    @ Keely: I thought there was a reason why their eyes were glowing red.

    @ Missy Nikki: It's quite possible our combined negative energies could cancel each other out & we'd both have good luck...

    Or the universe implodes. Whatev.

    @ dbs: And this is nothing compared to the time I had to fix the toilet at home. That was all kinds of wonderful right there.

  7. Sounds like what my husband is going through, but he has to deal with the VA. They pay too much, then ask for it back, then pay too little that we have to make up the difference and then send forms for reimbursement, it has got to be such a joke that OSU just registers hubby and deals with it later.

  8. NOW I see why you enrolled in Cynicism 101; I expect you'll be continuing with us next semester, yes?

  9. @ Nubian: Don't you just love bureaucracy? I have yet to find a better reason for alcohol.

    @ Dr. Cynicism: Of course I'll be there. I especially like that there are no forms to fill.

    I may sign up a bit late, though.

  10. Funny. Sometimes it feels like karma --- even when I do things in advance I still get screwed, by the universe.

  11. I hate forms, I hate them so much! and changes to procedeures, and all the rest. I swear it's their way of paying to as few people as possible. I go through what you've described every time I try to fill something out for school.

  12. @ Eric: If this is true, then I must have really done something to end up on karma's shit list.

    @ paulsifer42: I'd say that the schools are preparing students for the kind of run-arounds they'll be getting in the real world after they graduate, but that would imply that they are actually organized to begin with. I don't buy it.

  13. HELL YES! woohoo. my first blog award ever! I can't wait to rub it in the internet's face. I plan to give a speech so long I get played off stage by the band. WRAP IT UP! thanks vin.

  14. Sorry you had to deal with that. Beaurocracy Sucks. Glad you made it back before you lunch break was over! :)


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