how do you know you can’t be wrong*

I forgot to register for classes this summer.  Just… forgot.   Now, that’s largely because all I take are research hours, which doesn’t mean much of anything – I just sign up for them, and keep on doing what I’m doing.  But seriously, I’ve been at school here for…  7 years?  Undergrad and grad school…  You would think I have this down by now.  So, a couple of weeks ago, my major professor asked about it and I got that palpable “uh-oh” feeling…  Thing is, I have to be registered for classes right now in order to graduate in the fall.  The day we remembered?  was the last day of registration for the short term at the end of the summer.  And I didn’t get clearance until it was juuuust too late to register.  It was like some geeky sitcom, and instead of finding out my love interest had gotten on the plane only moments before I showed up…   you know, it was an online registration system giving me the finger.

So, to fix everything, I had to start the process of late-add – basically running around campus, getting signatures on a little sheet of paper that says I’m not full of shit.  Wouldn’t be a big deal, if our campus weren’t enormous and parking such an impossibility.  Oh, and it’s about 98 degrees out because it’s JULY.  So, biking sounds just lovely.  First I go from my office (south campus) to the grad school (downtown) to get the late-add form.  While at the grad school, I get reamed out by the receptionist for getting the form from them, rather than from my program coordinator.  Nevermind that my program is interdepartmental, and we don’t have a program coordinator.  Also nevermind that this wouldn’t be my fault regardless, you bitch.  Right, so then I take my little form all over creation for the signatures – to my major prof and to the department head ( back on south campus), and then to the dean of the grad school (back downtown).  Thinking I’m done, I go to drop the form off at the registrar (north campus), who rudely queries if I have my proof of payment.  Wtf?  I have a tuition waiver, I say!  She doesn’t care, gives no indication what she is talking about, or why, merely saying I should go to the bursar (downtown).

So I reluctantly trek back out into the heat, with my stupid little form, over to the bursar’s office.  Man, that place is wretched – the interior is depressing, and it’s filled with little cubes and surly women who hate their jobs.  No, seriously – HATE.  I walk in and proceed to the nearest occupied desk, and this angry woman gives me an eat-shit-and-die look.  I start to ask whom I should speak with, and she cuts me off and just says “No.”  There was a tacit “you stupid bitch” at before the period.  I apologize and proceed to the next desk, where a marginally less surly woman tells me to go get on line.  What line?  Oh, the one at the other end of the building, where there isn’t actually a line, or any signage, or any other indication that of queueing?  OBVIOUSLY!

I head back there, where a woman snatches my form without so much as a hello, typity types some shit into her computer, and thrusts the form back to me.  “Go wait back there,” she grunts, without even glancing at me.  Oooookay…  I go sit.  Eventually another grumpy lady comes out and takes my form, again, without a word.  She comes back and tells me to go pay for it.  What?  Where?  Here is my credit card?  “Nooo no” she says, “on the computer.”  What computer?  Why are you all complete nut jobs?  She points impatiently towards a dark corner, where, it turns out, there is an ancient computer in safe mode.  I go to my student account and pay for the magical charges that have appeared, without any description.  Perhaps I just paid for her car insurance!  Or bought her a pony!  There is no telling.  I go back to my seat.

After 10 minutes or so, she trundles out again with a little receipt for me to sign.  I ask what I paid for, exactly, and she tells me – matriculation, $100 “special charge” (because we are in a recession.  seriously.), and $50 late fee – awesome.  She says she waived my fees, obviously I wanted that, right?  No health center, or gym?  Fortunately she guessed right, there.  So I sign the little receipt, and am told to wait.  OK!  Hurray, something new.  After another 10 minutes or so she comes back and makes me sign a sheet that actually itemizes things and confirms payments and that my fees were waived – basically all the information that would have been useful at the onset.  I sign it, get my own copy, get my form back, and am sent back to the registrar….

Where there is a line.  When I am the next person, the only woman working comes out to say next – and literally, mid-word, stops and starts chatting to the person behind me in line, an old family friend.  They talk for 5 minutes or so before I interupt, and ask if she just wants to skip me – because I’m standing there all awkwardly while they catch up, half in and half out of her office.  She sends me down to someone else, who takes my proof of payment, my little form, clicks some buttons on his computer, and says “You’re all set!”   Thank god!

…………..except then, at 5:30pm yesterday, I get an email that says my schedule is canceled due to non-payment!  And I will need to pay $150 fee to get reinstated!  And their offices are closed, so suck it Susie!   I called them this morning, got reamed out by some bitch who couldn’t conceive that their high-tech (hah) system had somehow screwed me over, talked to her manager who immediately fixed the problem, and then scoured my room for chocolate because JESUS that was such a colossal waste of time and energy and I feel like my brain died just a little bit.


*Long & Lazy River, Nellie McKay

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