Saturday, January 22, 2011

Glass, China and Reputation

Dear Baruch College,

Again and again and again, you’ve proven yourself to be the school I love to hate, and yesterday was no exception.  On my way home from an appointment across town, I stopped in at the computer lab in the library building to print the syllabus and first reading assignment of the new semester, which begins for me on Thursday, February 3rd.  I figured that now would be an especially good time to get a jump on the reading.

The computer lab was nearly empty, and before too long I’d logged in, located the articles I needed, and sent each one to the printer.  The trouble began, though, when I attempted to log in at the printer station to retrieve them.  After entering my username and password (the very same ones I'd used to access the articles in the first place), I received a message that said something along these lines:
The system cannot locate you in the database.
If this problem persists, contact the Administrator.
Ever the optimist, I tried several times, even moving to a different printer and attempting yet again, all to no avail.  In a last ditch effort to get a hard copy of the reading assignment, I stopped in at the HelpDesk office where the following conversation ensued:
HelpDesk Techie:  Help you?

Me:  Yes, the system won’t let me print.

Techie:  Are you enrolled in the winter session?

Me:  No…..

Techie:  Spring semester officially begins next Friday.  You’ll be able to print then.

Me:  Even though the professor’s already posted the syllabus and reading assignments for the first class?...

Technie:  Next Friday…

Me, dripping with disdain and sarcasm:  Great…thanks.
And so I trekked home where, ironically enough, I found this blast email from the registrar’s office:
Dear Student:

Welcome back to the Spring semester!

Please note these very important details before the start of the term:

1)      Classes begin on Friday, January 28. If you wish to withdraw at 100% refund, you need to do so by the end of the day on Thursday, January 27.

2)      If you want to drop/add classes starting Friday, you need to use the REPLACE button to avoid incurring charges.

3)      Check your classroom assignments again, some have changed.

4)      Make sure your tuition bill has been paid!
Baruch, I believe your registrar forgot one other very important detail:
5)  Even if your professor has posted reading assignments on Blackboard, you will not be able to print them until Friday, January 28th, the first day of the spring semester.
Thanks, Baruch, for yet again upholding the reputation you have, from my perspective, so justly earned.  As Ben Franklin so rightly quipped:  “Glass, china, and reputation are easily cracked, and never mended well.”

See you soon,

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