A Sharp Pain Whenever They Call

, , , , , | Learning | October 30, 2019

(I work with veterans attending school to utilize their education benefits. I call this student about paperwork needed to start his benefits. Throughout this call, I can hear a lot of background noise with the student occasionally being muffled.)

Student: “Hello?”

Me: “Hi, [Student]. This is [My Name] at [University]. is now a good time to talk?”

Student: “Uh, no, I’m at work. Can I give you a call back?”

Me: “No problem. I’ll send you an email about what I was going to discuss and my contact info will be included if you have any questions.”

Student: “Well, wait. Can you just tell me why you’re calling?”

Me: “I would have to verify your information first, starting with your student ID.”

(This is to adhere to FERPA regulations.)

Student: “Oh, I’m not sure if I remember that. Um… is it…”

(There are more loud noises in the background.)

Me: “Not quite. If you’re busy, I can still send an email to the account we have on file and I’ll include your student ID so you have it when you call back.”

(The student makes a few more attempts at the ID while it is clear he is trying to do his job and communicate with other people there before finally conceding he needs to call back later. Later, when the student follows up…)

Student: “Sorry about that call earlier. I’m a police officer and I was on a scene where a guy had just been stabbed. I was trying to help load him into an ambulance, but I didn’t want to miss your call if it was important.”

Me: *pause* “Oh, that’s not a problem; we’re able to take care of everything now.”

(Assisting a stabbing victim is a pretty good reason to ignore your school; in the future, please just hang up!)

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