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Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 1379561 times)

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FauxFoodist

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #3225 on: February 23, 2014, 02:12:56 PM »
I'm not sure where this would fall since it's not exactly an impossible request yet it's not quite a demand for loyalty either.

A little over a year ago, we had four employees (including me) handling a task that has many steps and takes a long time just to do once (four employees were handling it because we often have multiple requests for this task to be done -- at this time, it's about 15-20).  Since then, one person retired (not replaced), one went on sick leave in December and one went on sick leave this month.  While a temp was brought in for the one who went out in December, University policy does not allow her to do a major part of this task because it requires access to an application for which she's not allowed clearance.  Anyway, I am the sole person handling this these steps of the task for 2-3 months (these steps, overall, take about 3-3.5 hrs per request) .  On top of this, the temp was approved to work the same special schedule CW had, which means working 8 9-hour days, 1 8-hour day then being off every other Friday.  The problem is that Temp doesn't work the 9th hour during office hours when she would be needed, she works it when everyone is gone so she has nothing to do.  She also doesn't have the tasks down like CW did so she really is needed to be available everyday.

OTOH, I.am.SWAMPED.  I am so busy that all my work is behind.  I finally determined that I wasn't going to stress myself out trying to get everything done and working from home because management has made such an incredibly stupid decision so, when the main phones are ringing off the hook because I am on the phone trying to cover an emergent situation, I'm just going to let them ring because there are three other individuals who are phone back-up (two of whom are responsible for Temp getting this special schedule).  When I was told Friday that we were out of toner for one of the printers, I said Temp would need to order it on Monday.  Coworker (who gave Temp the idea of having the special schedule) said to me, "It needs to be ordered today."  I told her, "I don't have time to deal with supplies today" (totally true -- it took me, literally, one week just to finally get to review an order I was doing, and I only finally got to it because it was the last possible day I could do it as the order was for the weekend).  I've stayed late (making me cancel other income-earning opportunities in order to accommodate my job), my house is a bigger mess than usual (because I'm exhausted by the time I get home from my regular job) and I've worked from home to try to get caught up.  I've had enough.  I'm ready to argue my points should someone complain to my supervisor about things falling behind (I haven't complained to my supervisor more than expressing concern about the special schedule because I know now is not a good time -- at best, he'll blow me off and, at worst, he'll blow up at ME; however, if someone else should bring it up, I'm ready to present the cause for things being this way).

The toner cartridge request seems like a such a small thing on its own, but there has been one after another of these "small things."  I feel that the others need to feel exactly what happens if the person who handles these things isn't available because they gave her a stupid schedule.  It shouldn't impact my workload (seriously, it would've further pushed back my other work, which no one but me could get done).  I was also at lunch when this request came through so I wasn't paying attention after I gave my "sorry, not going to happen" line; I saw the two individuals responsible for the stupid schedule running around trying to fix the problem.  I'm still pretty mad and just wonder "Really?  Your poor planning should constitute an emergency on MY part???  NOT!"

So, my response to my "impossible" patron request (of magically coming up with time to take care of that which would be taken care of by the Temp if she were working on Friday like she really is needed to be) is "I'm not going to stress myself out and cause detriment to any part of my life anymore because of YOUR poor planning; do it yourself or wait until the Temp is available on Monday."

Katana_Geldar

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Been enrolling students into their subjects this week. Students are advised to do their subjects in the right order so they have the prerequisites and knowledge to progress. Sometimes this allows the student to have choices, sometimes this doesn't.

Us course advisors have been instructed on these procedures and not following them can leave a student in an odd situation where they don't have the subjects they need to progress. This means we prioritise what subjects they do as opposed to when they are in the timetable. And as most students are on student visas we have them over a barrel when it comes to priorities: they are in this country to study, everything else comes second.

Students have been coming to me and saying they want to do all their classes on three days or two days, when it really isn't possible. There's classes they need to do, the times when they're on are pretty much set particularly because they have been filling up so it's really in the students best interest to listen to us when we give advice.

Of course some students really think that they are the exception. One new student this morning argued with me that he wasn't interested in what courses he needed to do and walked off in a huff to talk to senior academic staff as if that would make everything magically better. He didn't come back.

But there was another who really took the cake in expecting me, and others, to work miracles. There were six subjects he needed to do, and all three of them were prerequisites for subjects he was going to do in his final term. He said he wanted a two day timetable but the subjects were all on different days. Simple enough and I explained this to him, but somehow it was unacceptable. I explained this to him at least four times, didn't convince him. I then asked him what he wanted of me and he repeated his request for a two day time table. Frustrated, as this should have taken about ten minutes and I had to see other students, I told him that the classes were when they were and that I couldn't magically pull one out of a hat. If he wanted to enrol at all he pretty much had to go with what was suggested. I then shut his folder, told him I couldn't help him and talked to the supervisor, she wasn't feeling the best and went home later that day, when I explained to her the situation she practically screamed at him to get with the program or get out. She told me to take him to see senior academic staff so a male could yell at him the same thing and hope he'd listen. We didn't get that far, he decided not to pursue it, supposedly, and signed for the subjects he needed to do. I went to lunch, thinking the matter resolved.

When I came back the student was at data entry and was there seeing someone for about two hours on and off. When he had gone I asked her what had happened and she says she couldn't get through to him either, she had taken him to see senior academic staff twice before she had gotten rid of him. I still don't know what he expected us to do for him.

shadowfox79

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I know your pain, Katana_Geldar. I used to be course admin on a masters course which essentially allowed students to build a degree out of any modules they wanted, provided they could make a timetable out of them. We gave them all the module specs and the timetable so they could pick and choose.

What this generally resulted in was one of two things:

  • Student wants to do modules which all clash with each other, and this is somehow my fault.
  • Student wants to do all his subjects in one afternoon a week/on weekends/in the evening, can't, and this is somehow my fault.

No matter how many times I pointed them to the timetable and told them they had to pick modules which were on it and build their own schedule, I would get "But whyyyy can't I do [MBA-only module]? Whyyyy can't they set up a separate class for me that doesn't clash? Whyyyy can't I do all my classes on Tuesday afternoon? THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FLEXIBLE!"

ladyknight1

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Before beginning my career at myschool, I had heard horror stories for years about how necessary capstone or senior year classes weren't available for the final term of someone's undergraduate degree.

After working here for a few years, when I started attending in the undergraduate program, I used this nifty spreadsheet software to plug in classes I needed, when they are offered, and planned out my degree program. I have had to make minor adjustments, but it has worked out well and I haven't had to extend my time in undergrad because of my planning.

Mind you, these resources are available to all students, for free. Free computer usage with the necessary software. Each student can get their customized course plan on their own, then access the schedule for the next year. I would rather spend the few hours on planning than have regrets in the future.
“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

Slartibartfast

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I managed to fit all my classes into T/Th afternoons one semester.  It was HELLISH.  I had classes pretty much straight through from 11AM to 9PM, with maybe enough time to swing by McDonalds for dinner.  I would say "never again," but it was my final semester anyway  :)

wolfie

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Before beginning my career at myschool, I had heard horror stories for years about how necessary capstone or senior year classes weren't available for the final term of someone's undergraduate degree.

After working here for a few years, when I started attending in the undergraduate program, I used this nifty spreadsheet software to plug in classes I needed, when they are offered, and planned out my degree program. I have had to make minor adjustments, but it has worked out well and I haven't had to extend my time in undergrad because of my planning.

Mind you, these resources are available to all students, for free. Free computer usage with the necessary software. Each student can get their customized course plan on their own, then access the schedule for the next year. I would rather spend the few hours on planning than have regrets in the future.

When I started college they told me that some required classes are only offered one semester a year so to keep that in mind when planning classes so you don't end up there a year longer because you can't move on until you take it.

RegionMom

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But...but...I am special, I am not like all...those...other...students, you see, I am special because (insert whichever tale) so I NEED this NOW on my timetable!!

Katana, have you ever been bribed??  I mean, of course you could change a class of 10-100 people, and arrange rooms and equipment and professor's time, if YOU are paid the right amount, right??

 >:D >:D >:D
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

Seraphia

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Before beginning my career at myschool, I had heard horror stories for years about how necessary capstone or senior year classes weren't available for the final term of someone's undergraduate degree.

After working here for a few years, when I started attending in the undergraduate program, I used this nifty spreadsheet software to plug in classes I needed, when they are offered, and planned out my degree program. I have had to make minor adjustments, but it has worked out well and I haven't had to extend my time in undergrad because of my planning.

Mind you, these resources are available to all students, for free. Free computer usage with the necessary software. Each student can get their customized course plan on their own, then access the schedule for the next year. I would rather spend the few hours on planning than have regrets in the future.

When I started college they told me that some required classes are only offered one semester a year so to keep that in mind when planning classes so you don't end up there a year longer because you can't move on until you take it.

A good friend of mine got bit very badly by that. The required classes for her degree changed the (spring) semester she was graduating so that she was going to need two more classes (something like six credit hours). The first was only offered in the fall, and it was a prereq for the second, which would only be offered in the spring. She wound up having to graduate with a partial degree, and then working toward the remaining credits while trying to find a job that would take her with only partial accreditation. It was a rough couple of years for her.

Every high school senior I've ever talked to, I've told them to find an ally in the advising department and get some help plotting out classes. The one I found at school might very well have been Hermione! She helped me double up almost a semester's worth of credits, and left a lot of room in my schedule my senior year, which saved me money *and* sanity.
Ancora Imparo - I am still learning

kherbert05

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My university had capstone classes that were only taken fall of your senior year and were required for your degree. The university did not normally offer any evening classes - so all capstone classes were after dinner. It worked out nicely.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Amara

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Quote
Katana, have you ever been bribed??

Hahahahahahahahaha ...

This question made me laugh out loud as I just remembered that when I was overseeing the EMT skills testing program one student offered me an actual bribe (a whole, fat $10) if I would give him someone else's time slot. ::) I didn't know whether to be insulted or laugh out loud.

camlan

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When I was an undergrad, there was a certain course that was required for my degree. So the college held that course once every 4 semesters and just threw everyone into that one section.

What this meant was that the course would only be offered twice during the average student's time at the college, and depending on what other courses you needed and prerequisites, you might only be eligible to take it once.

And you had to take this course to graduate.

So one of my classmates decided, the only semester she was eligible to take the course, that she'd rather take an elective, in a completely different department, that was held at the same time as the required course. Because that's what college was all about--exploring things you'd never studied before. All her friends told her not to do this, her adviser told her not to do this.

Guess who was surprised to find out that she could graduate on time, because she had enough credits, just not with a degree in her area of study?
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Elisabunny

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Before beginning my career at myschool, I had heard horror stories for years about how necessary capstone or senior year classes weren't available for the final term of someone's undergraduate degree.

After working here for a few years, when I started attending in the undergraduate program, I used this nifty spreadsheet software to plug in classes I needed, when they are offered, and planned out my degree program. I have had to make minor adjustments, but it has worked out well and I haven't had to extend my time in undergrad because of my planning.

Mind you, these resources are available to all students, for free. Free computer usage with the necessary software. Each student can get their customized course plan on their own, then access the schedule for the next year. I would rather spend the few hours on planning than have regrets in the future.

When I started college they told me that some required classes are only offered one semester a year so to keep that in mind when planning classes so you don't end up there a year longer because you can't move on until you take it.

A good friend of mine got bit very badly by that. The required classes for her degree changed the (spring) semester she was graduating so that she was going to need two more classes (something like six credit hours). The first was only offered in the fall, and it was a prereq for the second, which would only be offered in the spring. She wound up having to graduate with a partial degree, and then working toward the remaining credits while trying to find a job that would take her with only partial accreditation. It was a rough couple of years for her.

Every high school senior I've ever talked to, I've told them to find an ally in the advising department and get some help plotting out classes. The one I found at school might very well have been Hermione! She helped me double up almost a semester's worth of credits, and left a lot of room in my schedule my senior year, which saved me money *and* sanity.

I'm surprised she wasn't grandfathered in.  The school I went to changed the requirements for my major partway through, but (after major panicking) we learned that all those who had reached a certain level (I was a junior) would be graduated under the old requirements.
You must remember this: a ghoti is still a fish...

Seraphia

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Before beginning my career at myschool, I had heard horror stories for years about how necessary capstone or senior year classes weren't available for the final term of someone's undergraduate degree.

After working here for a few years, when I started attending in the undergraduate program, I used this nifty spreadsheet software to plug in classes I needed, when they are offered, and planned out my degree program. I have had to make minor adjustments, but it has worked out well and I haven't had to extend my time in undergrad because of my planning.

Mind you, these resources are available to all students, for free. Free computer usage with the necessary software. Each student can get their customized course plan on their own, then access the schedule for the next year. I would rather spend the few hours on planning than have regrets in the future.

When I started college they told me that some required classes are only offered one semester a year so to keep that in mind when planning classes so you don't end up there a year longer because you can't move on until you take it.

A good friend of mine got bit very badly by that. The required classes for her degree changed the (spring) semester she was graduating so that she was going to need two more classes (something like six credit hours). The first was only offered in the fall, and it was a prereq for the second, which would only be offered in the spring. She wound up having to graduate with a partial degree, and then working toward the remaining credits while trying to find a job that would take her with only partial accreditation. It was a rough couple of years for her.

Every high school senior I've ever talked to, I've told them to find an ally in the advising department and get some help plotting out classes. The one I found at school might very well have been Hermione! She helped me double up almost a semester's worth of credits, and left a lot of room in my schedule my senior year, which saved me money *and* sanity.

I'm surprised she wasn't grandfathered in.  The school I went to changed the requirements for my major partway through, but (after major panicking) we learned that all those who had reached a certain level (I was a junior) would be graduated under the old requirements.

You know, that surprised me too - there might have been something else complicating it that I've forgotten, maybe interstate certification rules, or something similar. It seems like that sort of thing would happen often enough to have some flexibility built into the process, especially for something with as many changing requirements as teaching.
Ancora Imparo - I am still learning

Hillia

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This might be an urban legend, but I always heard when I was in college that the published catalog that was in effect when you enrolled was a contract between you and the university as far as degree requirements; nothing could be added or changed once you had declared your major.

CuriousParty

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Hilla, that's what I was told by my college during freshman orientation, that the catalog in force at the time of entry would be the requirements you were held to. This was particularly important because my school had a seriously big core requirement, so it was easy to get into your third and fourth year major courses, and forget that you still needed a third ethics course or theology or something.  I also knew I was heading on to further degrees, so I was not going to let the first one take any longer than absolutely necessary. I held onto that catalog all four years, complete with notations in the margins about when I had completed the requirement, the year and semester, the grade and the professor.

Yes, a little neurotic. Still am. But graduated on time!