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Unfiltered Story #248387

, , | Unfiltered | November 27, 2021

I’m a college professor. Late on a Tuesday afternoon during finals, I receive an email from one of my advisees. The following email exchange occurs:
Student: Mrs [my name] I’m very sorry to bother you but I have a problem and I need to meet with you as soon as possible. I’m sorry but it’s very urgent.
Me: I could meet with you on Thursday morning between [times] or Thursday afternoon after [time], is that soon enough?
Student: yes, thank you!
[I expected maybe some info, so I wait a few minutes and then…]
Me: Could you tell me a little bit about the problem? I can look into it and maybe find a solution in the meantime.
Student: there are two problems. I received my tuition bill and it’s wrong, and I need you to fix it, and also my biology class isn’t listed on my bill.
[I look on his record to figure out what’s up with the bio class. I’m also really not sure why we’d wait two days to speak in person if that’s the whole problem]
Me: I can’t actually help with your bill, but I think the registrar can. As for your bio class, it looks like you’re not actually registered. The registrar can fix that. I recommended calling them asap.
Fast forward to Thursday morning. I hadn’t heard anything back from the student, so don’t know if they plan to come see me or not, but I’m in my office just in case. Student comes at the very beginning of the time window I said earlier.
Student: so here is my tuition bill, you can see it’s wrong here, here and here.
Me: [trying not to look because I don’t know if this is a privacy violation] Did you talk to the registrar like I suggested?
Student: I went there yesterday and asked for an updated bill. This is it.
Me: Well, I don’t know how the billing works. I would go back and ask for their help.
Student: but my bio class isn’t on there either.
Me [looks up their course records online]: yeah I’m not seeing it here. I don’t think you’re actually registered for it. We can try to add it, but if there’s some reason the system’s not letting you, we can’t bypass it, but the registrar can, or at least explain why. I would go back and ask about the bio class and your bill.
Student: you can’t fix it?
Me: no, I don’t know how, I’m sorry. But they have more information than I have access to, so I’m sure they can.

I find out later that it’s actually the bursar that can help with the billing error, but fortunately they are right next door to the registrar! I’m not sure why I, a lowly untenured professor, would be expected to fix a bill problem.

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