Category: Staff


It’s Not Easy Getting A Diploma

| ON, Canada | Lazy/Unhelpful, Staff

(At my graduation ceremony I walk up to the front and am given the paper tube with my diploma in it, except that when I open it there is no diploma. Just a note saying ‘Please see the Registrar.’ I go to the Registrar’s office.)

Registrar: “You owe us $35.16. You need to pay this before we will give you your diploma.”

Me: “No, I don’t. I have paid up exactly.”

Registrar: “Go talk to the accounting department.”

Accounting Department: “We owe you $12.50.”

Me: “No, you don’t. I have paid up exactly.”

Accounting Department: “Go to [Name] building. Go to the basement and talk to the lady at the last desk on the left.”

Lady At The Last Desk On The Left: “We are even. Take this note to the Registrar and he will give you your diploma.”

(I go back to the Registrar’s building and ask to see him. On entering his office I give him the note. He swivels in his fancy chair at his fancy desk, rummages around in a cardboard box on the floor, and hands me my diploma.)

Me: “Thank you very much.”


Hoping To File This Problem Away

| London, England, UK | Lazy/Unhelpful, Staff, Technology

(In the UK, students aged 16-18 have a choice between a number of forms of higher education, but they have to stay in full-time education until the end of the academic year in which they turn 18. I chose to move schools and attend sixth form, which is equivalent of years 12 and 13 or grades 11 and 12 in the USA. In this, I’m in the ICT suite doing some homework with a new friend a few days into the first term.)

Friend: “What the—? There’s someone else’s work on my login!”

Me: “Really? How do you know?”

Friend: “It’s got my name on it, [Initial][Surname], but it says year seven and it’s clearly a year seven kid’s work. How did it get on there?”

Me: “We still have 45 minutes until next class. Why don’t we go to the technician and ask?”

(When we get to the technician’s office my friend explains the problem, and he logs into her account to see for himself. After a minute or two of clicking between her account and what look like class lists, he comes out with this gem.)

Technician: “Oh, it looks like one of the new year-sevens has the same first initial and surname as you, so the system thought you were the same person and they got access to your account…” *he stops talking and doesn’t look like he’s going to say any more*

Friend: “So what are you going to do about it? I haven’t got anything important on there now but I don’t feel comfortable with a strange kid having access to my A-level work in the future.”

Technician: “Can’t you just make separate folders for your stuff and share the account? It’s kind of hard to make two accounts when people have the same name.”

Friend: “What the h***? No! I don’t want a random 11-year old able to access my A-level work. What if he decides to mess about with it? It could ruin my grade! Make a new account for him!”

Technician: “Jeez, all right, girly. Calm down. I’ll do it before lunch.”

(Two days passed, and my friend could still see evidence of the year seven using her account to save his work, so we hunted him down and explained the situation. Being confronted by two sixteen-year-olds must have been a bit weird for him but he agreed to keep his school work in a folder on the account files and not mess with her work. After nearly three weeks of multiple visits to the technician’s office and not finding him there, we finally managed to track him down one morning and forced him to create a new account for the kid right in front of us. Our form tutor (a teacher who takes attendance at the start of each day, like homeroom in the USA) was annoyed we were late that morning until we explained the situation. He promised to talk to the head of ICT about it for us, and from then on whenever the technician saw us he scurried away like a frightened mouse!)


A Respectful Lesson In Disrespect

| Boston, MA, USA | Bad Behavior, Staff

(My physics class often gets off track, for better or for worse. This is one of the stories that our teacher tells us. It is important to note that ‘bombed’ is a term in restaurants for being packed or very busy.)

Teacher: “So, this was when I managed a restaurant. We were bombed one night and I was helping some waitresses clean up and the custodian walked through the door. I took my arm and swept everything off the table I was cleaning onto the floor.”

Classmate #1: “Why?!”

Teacher: “Because it was his job to clean it up. Anyway, I did that, and his eyes bulged out of his head and the veins on his neck and head popped out and he started pointing at me and almost charging. I thought he was gonna go for my throat.”

Classmate #2: “So what did you do?!”

Teacher: “I went to another table, took my arm, and swept everything off that one, too!”

(He did tell us it was disrespectful later.)


Conspire Against Attire

| Australia | Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful, Staff

(I have graduated with an honours degree and I am picking up my robes on the day of the graduation. My friend, who is also an honours graduate, is in line just before me. I approach the counter and provide my student ID.)

Lady At Desk: “Okay… Bachelor’s degree in [subject]?”

Me: “No, honours degree.”

Lady At Desk: *types something* “Okay, proceed to the robe fitting.”

(I move to the next station. As I’m getting fitted with my robes, I notice my friend getting fitted with his hood and leaving. After he has left, I approach the man fitting the hoods and he goes to put a bachelor’s hood on me.)

Me: “No, I need the hood for honours.”

Man: “They’re the same.”

Me: “No, they’re not; please give me the honours hood!”

Man: “They’re the same!”

(This goes back and forth for a bit before I leave, feeling upset and defeated. My parents meet me outside, see that I have the wrong hood and insist I go back and complain. Upon returning…)

Me: “Hi, I’ve been given the wrong hood; can you please give me the honours hood instead of bachelor’s?”

Lady At Desk: “Our systems tell us you need the bachelor’s hood.”

Me: “But I’m an honours student – not bachelor’s!”

Lady At Desk: “I’m sorry, I can’t help you.”

Me: “Can I speak to someone else?”

(I ended up speaking to another staff member, who was very helpful and called the graduate centre to confirm I needed the honours hood. I ended up graduating in the correct attire. Upon speaking to some of the other honours graduates, there was another who experienced the same problem!)


You’re All Sixes And Sevens

| USA | Ignoring/Inattentive, Staff

(In my middle school, the seventh to ninth graders each have their own lunch period. My friend had a crazy growth spurt the summer before we started seventh grade, and at the age of 13 he’s already almost six feet tall. It’s our first day of middle school, and while waiting in line to pay for my lunch, I see the lunch lady confront my friend.)

Lunch Lady: “Put the food down and get out of here.”

Friend: “Wh-what?”

Lunch Lady: “You don’t belong here. Get out of here and go to class.”

Friend: “I’m— this is my lunch period. I’m in seventh grade. ”

Lunch Lady: “You are NOT in seventh grade. Get out of line and go to class.”

(My friend, who was VERY shy, didn’t know what to do, so he just left his food at the counter and wandered off. I found out later that he didn’t eat lunch for three days, until one of the teachers finally found out what happened and managed to convince the lunch lady that he really was only 13.)

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