Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Toxic Rage

I was in some sort of hazy shock yesterday. As I stumbled downstairs in the morning I noticed a letter addressed to me with a tell-tale university stamp on it.

‘God, it can’t be my exam results already, can it?’ I thought, as a sickly feeling of dread overwhelmed me.

Ripping the envelope open I realised that it was not my results, it was simply a confirmation, albeit 3 months late, that the extension for my dissertation had been accepted.


“I regret to inform you that the decision of the Board was that your claim was invalid.”

I sat down slowly. What the hell was going on? 'My claim is invalid? The claim that I have been battling an illness is invalid? It’s not a claim. It’s a fact! It’s true. How dare they?! How can they turn me down? It’s 3 months too late!'

I burst into tears of panic and sat back in the armchair, trying to figure out what this meant.

If the board of advisors had refused me the extension then I’ve failed university. Failed! Four years wasted! Four years of studying, of exams, of classes, of projects, of debts and loans for nothing.

I could not believe it. I stuttered. My mouth opened and closed like a fish. I stood up in rage. I sat back down in helplessness. I stood up again and gave a roar.

What I couldn’t understand was why I was refused an extension when my ‘claim’ was that I was in poor health, which was backed up by several doctors, teachers and referees. It wasn’t a bloody claim it was a fact. A Bloody FACT.

And then I remembered a few friends who had been granted their extensions. ‘Family problems’, they had stated.

I was outraged. Absolutely outraged!

“This is outrageous!” I roared to the room in general.

I had to take action. I was not going to simply stand by and allow myself to be discriminated like that. Hell, they were being…being…sickist!! I was a minority and they were discriminating against me. Disgraceful!

“Well I shan’t stand for this,” I screamed at the lampshade. “I shall turn the tables. I’m suing. I’ll set the newspapers on them.” I turned to the window and watched an old man saunter past the garden. “I’ll see you in court!” I howled.

The old man seemed rather shocked and speeded up his pace, dragging his walking stick behind him as he tried to get away from this nut in the window, screaming at him.

I sat down again, with a pen and paper. By midday I had planned everything out. Expenses for lawyers, what I’d say to the papers, how the entire nation would be up in arms about this hideous decision, about how poor, helpless me was discriminated against. I’d made up several scenarios where the whole country turned against my university, so they would be forced to pay me lots of money and to give me my degree after all, or where the story went global and I was known as a heroine, a superwoman, a champion. Global warming? Pah! This was more important.

The world would be livid!

At 3pm I decided I should phone my faculty manager to find out her reasons for turning me down. Picking up the phone, my rage had renewed itself, and I prepared myself to let rip.

“Oh,” she exclaimed, “no [Princesse], you were granted your extension. There must be some mistake in the letter.”


“Not to worry!” her disembodied voice said cheerfully, “no harm done! Bye-bye now.” And she hung up.

I stood there in shock, cradling the receiver in my hands. Some mistake in the letter? I have my extension after all?

Part of me was relieved. But the other part was more than a little disappointed.

The cheek! The bloody cheek! I had spent a whole day raging and ranting, shouting at four walls, scaring old men, suffering from the poor-me's and preparing speeches for press conferences.

So I’m back to being a normal student again. Well, at least I can take comfort in being able to send off a strongly worded letter of complaint about the mix up.


T.D. Newton said...

Whoops! Yeah, I can think of some comparable situations that would have me downright fuming. I think writing a discontented letter is an old-school thing to do, though. What do you get, an apology? I think Americans are too expecting of compensation to put in that kind of effort just for someone to say "sorry". Not that I agree with that...

ColbyPants said...

these mixups happen when you put too many secretaries and interns between the person with the claim and the people in charge.



Thomas Hamburger Jnr said...

How horrible - but how wonderful that it worked out well for you, in the end.

I'd write a nice letter to someone who can do something about these kind of glitches, just to let them know that their systems can and do go wrong, and that they need to improve, so that others don't have to go through the kind of day you just did.

Kind Regards


Stratfordgirl said...

Very funny post. Glad it worked out in the end though...

Ghosty said...

So glad that got straightened out ... but I can tell you of at least a half-dozen stories just like that. Seems university administration is always lots better at stressing students to death than they are in getting the paperwork right the first time.

Despinová said...

Kill them. Kill them all. Incidentally have you ever tried to get a tax rebate round here?
Glad it was a false alarm!

Princesse Ecossaise said...

The thing is, the letter is from the Business School...Business School?! They can't even write a proper business letter! God..I suppose I chose the wrong business school to be taught by!

I'm looking forward to writing the letter, even though they can't do much but apologise, it's a good way to make them feel a little humiliated at the mistake and hey, I'd come up with some accusatory phrases that sounded quite good so shall be using them!!

Despina said...

Good on you! Oh, and consider yourself tagged!


Even though you hate memes!

sylvie d said...

Poor you! those bureaucrats are just so rubish!!!!

The Horns and the Hawk said...

that was an awesome story.

Lis of the North said...

Oh princesse! My heart was in my mouth there for a coupla seconds!! Happy to learn it was all a mix up, even if that sort of mix up should not happen. You should sue them for emotional distress :)))

Princesse Ecossaise said...

hehe I'm onto it Lis!