Come To A Financial Derangement

| Learning | September 3, 2013

(I handle phone calls for tuition fee payments for a university. Incoming calls often revolve around students ‘worrying’ if their payment brackets have been paid in full, and on time.)

Me: “You’re through to tuition and fees; this is [name]. How may I help you today?”

Student: “Yeah, I need tuition.”

Me: “Okay, are you looking to pay for your first installment?”

Student: “No. I want tuition. How do I get tuition?”

Me: “I’m sorry; I don’t think I understand your query?”

Student: “I need my next tuition payment now to pay for some stuff.”

(On very rare occasions, the university will grant advance payment to students but only the most extreme of circumstances.)

Me: “I see. To advance your next payment I will need to convince my supervisor that your request is of a dire nature.”

Student: “Okay.”

(There is a long pause.)

Me: “What is your dire situation?”

Student: “I spent it all.”

Me: “I beg your pardon?”

Student: “My first payment, I spent it all.”

(It is only one week into the first semester, and a standard payment bracket is at least $2,000.)

Me: “You… what?!”

Student: “Yeah. So I need more money, quick.”

Me: “Umm… I’m afraid that spending your loan all in one go does not qualify as an urgent requirement for advance payment. I’m sorry, but you will have to make do with what remaining cash you have, or seek part time employment.”

Student: “I told you I don’t have anything else! Just gimme some money from my next bracket and just say I needed it for a funeral or something!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I cannot and will not do that for you. That can be seen as fraud to the University, and I will lose my job. However I would like to help you with your current situation, if you let me transfer you to my Supervisor?”

Student: “Ooh, yes please!”

Me: “Hold please.”

(My supervisor has been listening in the whole time, and he is about as shocked as I am.)

Supervisor: “Okay, sir, before I can do anything to help you, I would just like you to tell me how it was at all possible for you to spend such a large amount of money, designed to last you for three months, in the space of one week.”

Student: “Well, I wanted Fresher’s week to go down really well. So I bought a massive bag of pot which cost me around $750, I then spent about $500 on installing a hot tub in my dormitory but that broke as I was testing it out and flooded the whole of the second floor. The rest of my money went to repairs and water damage.”

(My supervisor’s jaw is agape at this moment.)

Student: “So, can I have my money now?”

Supervisor: “Not a chance in h***. To be frank with you, it is entirely your fault you have put yourself in this position, and I genuinely hope that by some miracle you learn to value your money a bit more when the bracket comes in. Good day, sir.”

(My supervisor hangs up. Not long after the phone call, we find out that he has flunked out of his degree. His chosen subject? Financial Management.)

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