Leaves More Room For The Ambitious People

, , , | Learning | July 30, 2020

I am an admission counselor for a university, which basically means I answer people’s questions and help them decide if they want to apply. I have this conversation way too often.

Me: “Hi. How can I help you today?”

Student: “I want to go to college.”

Me: “Awesome, you’ve come to the right place! What program are you interested in?”

Student: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Okay, what would you see yourself doing once you get this degree?”

Student: “I don’t know.”

Me: “May I ask why you want to get a degree if you’re unsure what you want to do with it?”

Student: “I just want a degree.”

I go over the basic spiel of tuition cost, term lengths, etc.

Me: “I am happy to send you this information in an email, as well, and my contact information will be in there, so feel free to give me a call if you have any further questions!”

Student: “Okay.”

Me: “Thank you for calling and have a great day!”

Student: “Okay.”

Cue them never answering my follow up calls or emails. And people wonder why admission counselors get burnt out so quickly.

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Any Excuse Not To Do Their Job

, , , | Working | July 28, 2020

I have a friend staying over from the US for about three weeks who has some mobility challenges. On short walks, she can use a cane, but whenever we really go out she will use her wheelchair.

One day, an unfortunate bump from the sidewalk pops the tire of one wheel. We try to fix it at my place, but between these things being incredibly tight fits and me having no specialised nor tools in US sizes, I call around to find a repair service.

We find one and make an appointment for two or three pm the next day. At about 2:45, we get a call. They can’t make it, because the scootmobile of an elderly person gave out in the middle of the road. Annoying for us, but totally fair to give that person priority. We get an appointment for the same time the next day.

Around 3:15, it’s pretty clear they aren’t going to be on time, so I give a call.

Operator: “Yes, our mechanic was at [Street], number eighteen, but nobody knew anything about a wheelchair so they moved on to the next appointment.”

Me: “I’m sorry, did you say number eighteen? I live at 118!”

Operator: “Ohhh. Well, let’s make an appointment for tomorrow, okay?”

The next day, they showed up reasonably close to on time and quickly had things fixed, so in the end, not too many days of my friend’s holiday were lost. But still, they had proven to be capable of calling me, yet when it looks like the address is wrong the protocol is to move on without offering information?

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One Is The Loneliest, Most Unhelpful Number

, , , , , , | Working | July 28, 2020

I am in a quiet, low-cost clothing store, walking the winding path made by impulse-item shelves to the registers, when a woman walks in the exit of the tills and plunks her stuff down in front of the man at the counter to do a return.

I stand, a bit annoyed, as another worker putters behind the long counter, seeming kind of bored, mainly holding up returned items and then laying them back down in the same spot, no note-making or other actions.

The return drags on and two other women come to line up behind me. After the three of us wait for about a minute, the woman behind the counter wanders to a till and says:

Salesperson: “I can help you here.”

Me: “Why couldn’t you help me a few minutes ago?”

Salesperson: “You were the only one in line.”

Me: “What? So?”

Salesperson: “They don’t like the line getting too long.”

Me: “So, you just left me standing there until more people came?”

Salesperson: “Well… you were the only one there.”

I walked out, leaving my basket on the counter.

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This Counselor Is Very Light On The Guidance Thing

, , , , , | Learning | July 27, 2020

I go to the guidance counselor’s office at my college, where I have made an appointment with my counselor. I want to touch base and see what classes I need to take next semester because the list of requirements is very cluttered and I want to make sure I am picking classes that will count toward my degree. 

I go into the counselor’s office and we begin to talk.

Me: “I wanted to take a look at what classes I need because there are so many options I want to ensure I’m actually meeting the criteria to graduate.”

The counselor takes out a sheet of paper with the exact information that is available online.

Counselor: “Well, here’s the list.”

Me: “I actually had trouble reading this list; that’s why I wanted to get help from you and help narrow it down.”

The counselor looks annoyed.

Counselor: “If you read it, why did you need an appointment? All the information is here.”

Me: “Right, but I’m struggling to pull out the important information, and I don’t want to waste a semester and a bunch of money on a class that won’t count.”

The counselor thrusts the list at me and stares pointedly.

Counselor: “It’s all right there. It says at the top. You’re an adult now; you need to be able to think for yourself. This is college; we can’t do everything for you.”

Me: “I understand that, and I’m not asking you to choose my classes, only to help me ensure I understand the criteria for each part.”

He took out another paper and handed that to me, as well. It was a “What major is right for me?” pamphlet. I said thank you and simply left. While he is right — I do need to make my own decisions — his complete lack of any interest in helping GUIDE a student, as his job title suggests, was unpleasant.

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His Excuses Are Almost As Bad As His Grades

, , , , , , , | Learning | July 26, 2020

When I was in high school in the 1970s I got “stuck” in a different math class than I should have been in because of scheduling issues with other classes I was taking. I was a sophomore but almost the whole rest of the class was seniors.

Many of the seniors were not hard-working, let alone among the brightest students, and so we had to submit homework or some assignment almost every day. The teacher was a no-nonsense guy who was tough but fair and I had had him for a previous class and liked him.

There was this one total loser dude in class who never, and I mean never, had his homework done. Every day he had a different excuse, yes, including that his dog ate it. The teacher quite obviously — to me, anyway — never bought any of the excuses, though the loser dude and his buddies seemed to feel he was pulling one over on the teacher.

After a while, the teacher would start class where we had assignments due with something like this:

“So, Mr. [Dude], what happened to your homework today?”

“Oh, uh, [Teacher], it, uh, got sucked out the window of the bus on the way to school.” 

He drove to school.

Dripping with sarcasm, the teacher would reply, “Oh, no, Mr. [Dude], how terrible.”

Then there would be snickering among [Dude] and his buddies.

I saw the teacher with [Dude]’s parents at the next parent conferences and they did not look happy.

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