Monday, February 4, 2008

Hey Sailor, Wanna Teach Me Oracle?

I decided that I felt good enough today to try to set up an appointment with a local university that I discovered recently has exactly the degree program I've been looking for. I'm hoping that most of my credits from the degree I already have will transfer and that I can take a few courses and get a second degree with very little fuss. I despise a fuss.

I've known about the program for a couple of weeks and probably should have tried to set this shit up before today, but I tend to put off most things that require communication with total strangers unless it's an emergency - or a pizza delivery.

I set out, as is my usual habit with all things informational, by pulling up the university website and trying to find a "Contact Us" button or link. There was none. I finally decided to click on a "Questions & Answers" link which brought up an e-form that I reluctantly started filling out.

First Name, Last Name, email address, Date of Birth, How did you find out about us, radio buttons to choose my interest in a bachelor's or graduate program that upon clicking opened up another e-form, which I also reluctantly started filling out and soon realized was similar to an admissions form.

Whoa! Slow down there Sailor. I barely know you. Can't we sit down and have a drink and some harmless flirtation before you feel me up?

At some point another little window popped up that asked me if I wanted to chat live with a university representative. I clicked the "Yes" button and started asking my questions via chat with "Angela", who was no help at all.

Angela: I will be happy to email you all the information you need.

She then proceeded to email me exactly the same useless shit that I already had looked at from their website.

Me: Can someone just call me?

Apparently this isn't how they do things. I have to fill out the forms and give them, my name, address, phone numbers, email, and left tit before anyone will be able to contact me to answer my questions.

Does this seem dubious to you? It felt wrong. It seemed cheap and impersonal and now I'm furious and sure I'm going to get a dozen spam emails a day from this place.

All I want is to ask some questions and possibly set up an appointment to meet with someone. How fucking hard is that?

Why do they need to know my birth date?

After I cooled down I looked them up in the good old fashioned phone book. There are about 10 numbers and I intend to call them all, one by one, until I speak to a real live human being who can answer my questions and convice me they are on the level and not trying to screw me before I agree to go there in person. Not today though. Tomorrow for sure.


evil-e said...

I love the labyrinth that places put you through just to get information. When I was job-hunting the pains I had were about the same.

Tara said...

You would love the school I work for, once you show interest, we turn into a weird cult that won't leave you alone until you come and visit our campus. The lady across the hall, "Gravy Spiller", will call and nag you if you don't show up to an appointment.

Churlita said...

I work on the WATS lines for the admissions department of a big 10 university. Our number is poster all over our website. I wonder why there's isn't. It seems like such bad customer service.

shay said...

Good luck with that.

A local store lost something I ordered online. the good news: I reached a real live person. the bad news: she had to call me back in an hour, that was 3 weeks ago.

I'm not impressed with the form filling out, not talking to a real person, world we live in now:(

i am playing outside said...

question. did you just apply to Devry or the University of Phoenix?


Del-V said...

College admissions are such a pain in the butt. Did you fill out your student aid application yet? That'll be another pain in the butt. Filling out forms is why I haven't gone on for my PhD.

Michelle said...

I avoid talking to "live" people when calling most places because they try to sell you merchandise or services that you don't want. But when you need help that requires a "live" person, you can't find one! ARRGGH!

CDP said...

Fortunately, I didn't have any problems with the University of Maryland when I applied to finish my degree, but getting my transcript out of Temple University was a whole 'nother story.

pistols at dawn said...

I need to buy you a drink first? Can't I just wait until closing time, after you've already bought yourself too many drinks? Women today are so difficult.

another good thing said...

HAH! I do the same thing. I'm like hey- in this day and age if they cannot give me what I want while I'm sitting here in my sweats with my mascara smudged eyes eating peanut butter out of the jar...they definitely don't deserve my business.

Misti said...

I just found your blog and love it! Just wanted to say hi - oh, and do real people EVER answer phones anymore??

Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

It's actually surprising to me, as higher education is a fairly competitive market. If they keep up this poor customer service, they're going to miss out on growth opportunities.

BeckEye said...

Why do they need to know your birth date? Why does any website need to know half of the things they know about you? To spam you into oblivion, of course.

r cubed said...

I made the mistake of inquiring about a program at a college here, and they will NOT leave me alone. I tried to explain to the woman calling me that I was so over my pastry chef phase--it was just one of those days at work where I surfed the web for any possible exit and hey, culinary school, why not? I still get spam email from them.
Seems like it's either feast or famine--you never hear back from people or you never stop hearing back from them.
I'm with you on avoiding communication with strangers unless it's for pizza.

Chris said...

I trekked 50 miles up the road once to the local U to find out about getting a Masters. I was there all day, filling out forms and waiting in lines. I never did find out if they had a program I was interested in, nor did I ever go back.

Life's too short for petty bureaucracy.

And that's why I've been doing production work at a print shop for subsistence wages for the last fifteen years...

SkylersDad said...

Concerning the question:
"Whoa! Slow down there Sailor. I barely know you. Can't we sit down and have a drink and some harmless flirtation before you feel me up?"

As a former Navy man, feel uniquely qualified to let you know the answer is no.

sid said...

LOL! TRy registering at my university. Nearly broke down in tears. Can't tell you how many times I swore under my breath.

dmarks said...

R-cubed: Who would have thought that "fine culinary school" and "spam" would mix?

Family Adventure said...

That stuff puts me off. As much as I hate talking to strangers on the phone to begin with, when they throw that type of thing at me, I just back off.

Which is kind of stupid, when you think about it.

So I wish you good luck with those ten numbers. I have absolute faith in you!