Author Topic: You Are Responsible for Your Own Registration  (Read 10357 times)

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BeagleMommy

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You Are Responsible for Your Own Registration
« on: November 07, 2012, 02:07:32 PM »
My university installed a new computer system for registering for classes.  It's been problematic.  Students and employees are given differing types of access in the system.  I can look up a student's transcripts but cannot access the registration part of the system.  Only matriculated students have access to it.  Today, I received a call from one of our graduate students telling me she was having trouble using the system.  I ran through some of the issues other students have been having when she finally signed and said "Would you just please do it for me?".

Me:  I'm sorry.  I don't have access to the registration system.  Have you tried using a different computer?  Sometimes firewalls block you from using a work computer.

Student:  I've tried that.  Can't you register me?

Me:  No, I can't.  I have directions for using the system.  If you'd like to log onto our website I can walk you through the process or I can email you the directions.

Student:  No, I don't have time for that.  You should be able to register me.

Me:  Well, even on the old system we were unable to access student accounts to register people.  The other option is to fill out a paper registration form.  I can send you one via email and you can fill it out and fax it back.

Student:  (sighing heavily) Fine!

After that she hung up without saying good-bye.  Most students who call with issues are usually very polite and grateful that I can help.  I just figured an almost 30-year-old, masters-level student wouldn't expect the department secretary to do the work for them.  Guess I was wrong.

Surianne

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Re: You Are Responsible for Your Own Registration
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2012, 02:18:42 PM »
She was rude in the way she handled it and displaying her lack of patience with you, but I don't think the request was that odd.  Perhaps at her previous school (since she's a grad student, it's likely she went somewhere else for undergrad) if you weren't able to register, the secretaries could help you, and it may have been part of their job to help the students if they couldn't get the registration system to work.  That was the case at my school. 

WillyNilly

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Re: You Are Responsible for Your Own Registration
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2012, 02:29:56 PM »
I just figured an almost 30-year-old, masters-level student wouldn't expect the department secretary to do the work for them.  Guess I was wrong.

Honestly?  Perhaps her very very closing bit was rude but I think you have it all wrong.  You are in a service position.  Students are customers of your employer.  They are paying for their education - without them your employer would not even exist.  They deserve a certain level of customer service.

She did apparently try several methods of doing this herself, she didn't just call you up right off the bat and demand you do her work for her.  But you (not you personally, but your employer who were representing) were unable to provide her with the service which she paid for and to which she is therefore entitled.  I think she had every right to be extremely annoyed and expectant of someone doing more then just telling her this was her problem to resolve.  I think you should have expedited her issue in some way - gotten her to higher up, gotten her some sort of reassurances that the problem was on the school's end (since you mention this system has been problematic) and she would not be penalized (closed out of classes, etc) and generally just not pushed this issue back on her.

Yvaine

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Re: You Are Responsible for Your Own Registration
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2012, 02:33:56 PM »
I just figured an almost 30-year-old, masters-level student wouldn't expect the department secretary to do the work for them.  Guess I was wrong.

Honestly?  Perhaps her very very closing bit was rude but I think you have it all wrong.  You are in a service position.  Students are customers of your employer.  They are paying for their education - without them your employer would not even exist.  They deserve a certain level of customer service.

She did apparently try several methods of doing this herself, she didn't just call you up right off the bat and demand you do her work for her.  But you (not you personally, but your employer who were representing) were unable to provide her with the service which she paid for and to which she is therefore entitled.  I think she had every right to be extremely annoyed and expectant of someone doing more then just telling her this was her problem to resolve.  I think you should have expedited her issue in some way - gotten her to higher up, gotten her some sort of reassurances that the problem was on the school's end (since you mention this system has been problematic) and she would not be penalized (closed out of classes, etc) and generally just not pushed this issue back on her.

I disagree. The OP doesn't even have access to that part of the system, and she offered to walk the student through it but the student refused. The school as a whole is there to serve its students, yes, but this particular part of serving the students isn't actually the OP's job, and she was going to go above and beyond her job for this person.

The student wasn't wrong, necessarily, to assume the OP could do it, especially if it was different at a previous school she attended, but the student was rude after she found out the OP did not have access.

WillyNilly

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Re: You Are Responsible for Your Own Registration
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2012, 02:36:36 PM »
I just figured an almost 30-year-old, masters-level student wouldn't expect the department secretary to do the work for them.  Guess I was wrong.

Honestly?  Perhaps her very very closing bit was rude but I think you have it all wrong.  You are in a service position.  Students are customers of your employer.  They are paying for their education - without them your employer would not even exist.  They deserve a certain level of customer service.

She did apparently try several methods of doing this herself, she didn't just call you up right off the bat and demand you do her work for her.  But you (not you personally, but your employer who were representing) were unable to provide her with the service which she paid for and to which she is therefore entitled.  I think she had every right to be extremely annoyed and expectant of someone doing more then just telling her this was her problem to resolve.  I think you should have expedited her issue in some way - gotten her to higher up, gotten her some sort of reassurances that the problem was on the school's end (since you mention this system has been problematic) and she would not be penalized (closed out of classes, etc) and generally just not pushed this issue back on her.

I disagree. The OP doesn't even have access to that part of the system, and she offered to walk the student through it but the student refused. The school as a whole is there to serve its students, yes, but this particular part of serving the students isn't actually the OP's job, and she was going to go above and beyond her job for this person.

The student wasn't wrong, necessarily, to assume the OP could do it, especially if it was different at a previous school she attended, but the student was rude after she found out the OP did not have access.

Well that's why I said I think OP should have sent the caller to someone who could help her, or done something to alleviate the student's stress over not being having the time then to register.  I understand the OP couldn't register the student, but the OP is written like this all the student's problem to deal with.  And I don't think it should be.

siamesecat2965

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Re: You Are Responsible for Your Own Registration
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2012, 02:39:33 PM »
Honestly?  Perhaps her very very closing bit was rude but I think you have it all wrong.  You are in a service position.  Students are customers of your employer.  They are paying for their education - without them your employer would not even exist.  They deserve a certain level of customer service.

She did apparently try several methods of doing this herself, she didn't just call you up right off the bat and demand you do her work for her.  But you (not you personally, but your employer who were representing) were unable to provide her with the service which she paid for and to which she is therefore entitled.  I think she had every right to be extremely annoyed and expectant of someone doing more then just telling her this was her problem to resolve.  I think you should have expedited her issue in some way - gotten her to higher up, gotten her some sort of reassurances that the problem was on the school's end (since you mention this system has been problematic) and she would not be penalized (closed out of classes, etc) and generally just not pushed this issue back on her.

I disagree. The OP doesn't even have access to that part of the system, and she offered to walk the student through it but the student refused. The school as a whole is there to serve its students, yes, but this particular part of serving the students isn't actually the OP's job, and she was going to go above and beyond her job for this person.

The student wasn't wrong, necessarily, to assume the OP could do it, especially if it was different at a previous school she attended, but the student was rude after she found out the OP did not have access.

I disagree as well. The OP was polite in her responses, and also offered alternatives for registering.  If she doens't have access to that part of the system, then the student was a bit of an SS to keep asking and insisting. While there's nothing wrong with asking if the OP could do it for her, the student didn't or couldn't take no for an asnwer.

I get this at my second job.  Customers can pay their store charge at the store, but for privacy reasons, we do not and cannot get or have any access to their account information, which includes their balance.  What we can do is call CS for them, but even then the customer is the only one CS will provide account info to.  Not us. yet I have had customers get irritated with me and tell me I'm not very helpful because I won't do something I am unable to do for them.  I too offer them every option, and most are fine, but some just don't get it and then get upset with me.

Yvaine

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Re: You Are Responsible for Your Own Registration
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2012, 02:40:27 PM »
I just figured an almost 30-year-old, masters-level student wouldn't expect the department secretary to do the work for them.  Guess I was wrong.

Honestly?  Perhaps her very very closing bit was rude but I think you have it all wrong.  You are in a service position.  Students are customers of your employer.  They are paying for their education - without them your employer would not even exist.  They deserve a certain level of customer service.

She did apparently try several methods of doing this herself, she didn't just call you up right off the bat and demand you do her work for her.  But you (not you personally, but your employer who were representing) were unable to provide her with the service which she paid for and to which she is therefore entitled.  I think she had every right to be extremely annoyed and expectant of someone doing more then just telling her this was her problem to resolve.  I think you should have expedited her issue in some way - gotten her to higher up, gotten her some sort of reassurances that the problem was on the school's end (since you mention this system has been problematic) and she would not be penalized (closed out of classes, etc) and generally just not pushed this issue back on her.

I disagree. The OP doesn't even have access to that part of the system, and she offered to walk the student through it but the student refused. The school as a whole is there to serve its students, yes, but this particular part of serving the students isn't actually the OP's job, and she was going to go above and beyond her job for this person.

The student wasn't wrong, necessarily, to assume the OP could do it, especially if it was different at a previous school she attended, but the student was rude after she found out the OP did not have access.

Well that's why I said I think OP should have sent the caller to someone who could help her, or done something to alleviate the student's stress over not being having the time then to register.  I understand the OP couldn't register the student, but the OP is written like this all the student's problem to deal with.  And I don't think it should be.

I don't think anyone other than the student can do it, though. (When I went to college, we did our own registration too, so I don't think this is weird.) There is no one who can do any more than the OP can--namely, walk the student through it. Any help would consist of the exact same thing she already rudely declined. It's the student's job and only the student's job. There's no one to send her to.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: You Are Responsible for Your Own Registration
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2012, 02:51:05 PM »
I just figured an almost 30-year-old, masters-level student wouldn't expect the department secretary to do the work for them.  Guess I was wrong.

Honestly?  Perhaps her very very closing bit was rude but I think you have it all wrong.  You are in a service position. Students are customers of your employer.  They are paying for their education - without them your employer would not even exist.  They deserve a certain level of customer service.

She did apparently try several methods of doing this herself, she didn't just call you up right off the bat and demand you do her work for her.  But you (not you personally, but your employer who were representing) were unable to provide her with the service which she paid for and to which she is therefore entitled.  I think she had every right to be extremely annoyed and expectant of someone doing more then just telling her this was her problem to resolve. I think you should have expedited her issue in some way - gotten her to higher up, gotten her some sort of reassurances that the problem was on the school's end (since you mention this system has been problematic) and she would not be penalized (closed out of classes, etc) and generally just not pushed this issue back on her.

According to the OP, BeagleMommy tried to help her in several different ways.
  • She tried to explain the common issues she was aware of (which I assume would include telling her how to resolve these issues).
  • She suggested ways to determine if the computer the student was using was causing the problem.
  • She offered to send the student a list of instructions or even walk the student through the process over the phone (If I were calling for help, I would expect to be told how to obtain written instructions, but I would not expect a phone walkthrough--that's going above and beyond, IMO).
  • After every other offer of help was shot down without even being considered, she offered to send the forms required to register on paper.
As far as I can tell, the only thing BeagleMommy refused to do to help was something she literally could not do because of the system setup. She explained repeatedly why this was not possible, and offered alternative help every single time. I really don't see any way in which she was unhelpful.

Also, BeagleMommy does not, in fact, know that the problem was on the school's end, because the student refused to follow any of the suggested troubleshooting steps. The student did not say she'd already tried these steps (trying another computer, checking firewalls, etc.); she simply refused to consider anything except having BeagleMommy register her.

Jones

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Re: You Are Responsible for Your Own Registration
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2012, 03:15:52 PM »
This surprises me because, although I went to college almost 10 years ago, it was the same way for me. I was responsible for my own registration; I could use a computer lab, and sometimes we'd help each other if a bunch of students were registering at the same time, but I could not call up the office and ask them to do it "for me". This may be a new system for your college, but it doesn't seem that new a concept to me.

My opinion is colored by this: Recently, my little sister was having problems getting a schoolbook for her college course. She could have ordered it online and had it in ~2 days, delivered to her home. Instead, two weeks after the course started, she asked me to go to my local branch of the school and buy it there, then she'd pick it up and pay me when she came to town for a visit. Surprise, the local branch was out of that book, and they handed me a two page flyer on every step necessary to order the book online from either another branch or the main bookstore. I gave it to my sister, explaining I'd be willing to help if she needed my computer, but she decided to just drop the class instead. I (sadly) expect this sort of flakiness when "it gets too hard" from a first time college enrollee, although ordering a book does not seem hard to me, I think there might have been other things going on that killed my sister's interest in the course. I do not expect a refusal to use a computer from someone who is closer to my own age and should have learned by now that "nothing" gets done unless you do it yourself, and one should gratefully accept help whatever the form.

Also, I don't know that BeagleMommy could promise anything on behalf of the school; student being locked out of a class or financially penalized because she wouldn't/couldn't figure out the system is pretty standard.

platypus109

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Re: You Are Responsible for Your Own Registration
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 03:22:13 PM »
I just figured an almost 30-year-old, masters-level student wouldn't expect the department secretary to do the work for them.  Guess I was wrong.

Honestly?  Perhaps her very very closing bit was rude but I think you have it all wrong.  You are in a service position.  Students are customers of your employer.  They are paying for their education - without them your employer would not even exist.  They deserve a certain level of customer service.


I'm curious, how is this situation any different than a customer at a traditional business asking for something that can't be provided?  There's a whole thread on impossible patron requests so why is this situation different?  The OP said something couldn't be done, the student persisted and became rude when told (apparently several times) that the request was impossible due to issues beyond the OPs control/explanation.   It also seems to me the OP did quite a bit to help the student and gave her several options to work out the situation. I don't know about the OP but I can't transfer calls to other academic departments and I often have to hound others to respond to email so students HAVE to take control of their own paperwork/academic progress.  I'm also quite sure my department admin would never violate procedure by telling a student a professor would forgive any missed work and I'm guessing the situation might be the same with the OP.  So, other than telling the student the school is having an issue with the tech (which is seems the OP did), I can't see anything else the OP could have done. Personally, considering the unique culture of higher education (and the fact that it isn't the same as a traditional business), I believe the OP provided excellent customer service by offering solutions within the realm of the OPs control and encouraging a masters level student in the practice of personal responsibility

That Anime Chick

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Re: You Are Responsible for Your Own Registration
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2012, 03:28:07 PM »
I just figured an almost 30-year-old, masters-level student wouldn't expect the department secretary to do the work for them.  Guess I was wrong.

Honestly?  Perhaps her very very closing bit was rude but I think you have it all wrong.  You are in a service position.  Students are customers of your employer.  They are paying for their education - without them your employer would not even exist.  They deserve a certain level of customer service.

She did apparently try several methods of doing this herself, she didn't just call you up right off the bat and demand you do her work for her.  But you (not you personally, but your employer who were representing) were unable to provide her with the service which she paid for and to which she is therefore entitled.  I think she had every right to be extremely annoyed and expectant of someone doing more then just telling her this was her problem to resolve.  I think you should have expedited her issue in some way - gotten her to higher up, gotten her some sort of reassurances that the problem was on the school's end (since you mention this system has been problematic) and she would not be penalized (closed out of classes, etc) and generally just not pushed this issue back on her.

I disagree. The OP doesn't even have access to that part of the system, and she offered to walk the student through it but the student refused. The school as a whole is there to serve its students, yes, but this particular part of serving the students isn't actually the OP's job, and she was going to go above and beyond her job for this person.

The student wasn't wrong, necessarily, to assume the OP could do it, especially if it was different at a previous school she attended, but the student was rude after she found out the OP did not have access.

Well that's why I said I think OP should have sent the caller to someone who could help her, or done something to alleviate the student's stress over not being having the time then to register.  I understand the OP couldn't register the student, but the OP is written like this all the student's problem to deal with.  And I don't think it should be.

Maybe there wasn't anyone else BeagleMommy could have sent the student to. If it's a issue with the system and a known problem (as stated), then there isn't much else that could be done.

Also, I'm sure that the student isn't the only one having problems - again, known issue - I think the student simply took exception to the fact that BeagleMommy couldn't just open another screen to do what the student wanted. I imagine that protocol is in place to keep things from happening to students records (i.e., adding classes, dropping classes, making unauthorized changes maliciously).

What more could she have done other than offer to e-mail the form to fill in? I believe she did all she could. It's not like she could wave a magic wand and make it magically happen for the student.
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DaDancingPsych

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Re: You Are Responsible for Your Own Registration
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2012, 03:28:15 PM »
I don't quite understand what more the OP could have done. Sure, the student could have been directed to someone in a department that could do the registration for her, but it's unclear that that individual even exists or is known by the OP.

The student was not rude to ask the OP to register her the FIRST time, but after being told that the OP could not, the student needed to wise up and realize that this problem was only going to be solved by her own effort.

I have seen some crappy systems out there. They are completely inefficient at doing what needs to be done. It's no fault of the either individual, but it still stinks. I have always found that my problem gets solved better when I am polite and remain calm. No need to sigh or hang up without thanking the person for trying. My hope is that if I treat others with respect that when the roles get reversed and I am the one with my hands tied, that others will be understanding with me.

WillyNilly

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Re: You Are Responsible for Your Own Registration
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2012, 04:48:44 PM »
I guess my stance is that this is "known issue" without a resolution except "figure it out yourself", and to me that's just not ok.  College is just too expensive, too time consuming and too intricate for "known problems" to just be par for the course.  I mean what recourse does a student have?  Drop out?  Spend hundreds applying somewhere else or even hundreds reapplying next semester once the issues are resolved?

Moray

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Re: You Are Responsible for Your Own Registration
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2012, 05:04:44 PM »
If it's a "known issue" with no resolution, I'd expect, as a student, to be specifically told that. A little acknowledgement can go a long way.

"I'm sorry you're having this difficulty. This is a known issue and we don't have a solution right now. I cannot complete your registration for you, but I can send you the registration form via email."



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CakeBeret

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Re: You Are Responsible for Your Own Registration
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2012, 05:08:58 PM »
I can see why the student was confused--when I was at university, you could call the office and have them register you in classes. If you were unfamiliar with the registration system, particularly if it was having issues, calling the office would have been much faster. Many, many students always registered for their classes over the phone.

That said, the student was rude. It sounds like she wasn't really listening to you and grasping the concept that you could not do it for her.

I also agree with Moray, and it sounds like this might be a big fail on the university's part.
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