Friday, September 07, 2007

Educational bureaucracy

I just spent about a half hour calling various departments at my school in order to find the answers to various burning questions, such as:

Where is Public Safety located so I can buy a parking permit?
What do I need to fill out tax forms for my Graduate Assistantship?
Do I need to get a new ID for the new school year?
How do I know if my loans have been processed since the website has been completely redesigned?

The girl I talked to (Kelly) at Public Safety gave me good directions, and the lady in the Human Resources office sounded kind of snooty but told me I just need my social security card and driver's license or my passport. The person who answered the general phone line sounded totally like a robot, so when she said, "College of St. Catherine," I paused and said, "Hello?" but she told me I just need a new sticker for my old ID, which is good, because I like the photo that's on it.

Lastly, the woman I talked to in financial aid was having a tough time talking, which I completely understood, and she commiserated with me about the website being different. Seriously, it now takes five separate log-ins to find out about Student Accounts information. Usability factor=extremely low.

So, I'll be off in about an hour to do my school housekeeping details, and I'm also planning to stop at Trader Joe's on the way for some cheap wine. Now, all I need is to find some lunch...

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