In a word: bureaucracy.
Let's say my name is Mary Sue Balfour. Apparently when registering for grad school on some form my name got switched to "Mary Balfour Balfour." Now the registrar's office cannot be convinced that that is not my name. We have a go round every academic term where they say my tuition hasn't been paid, when it turns out that Mary Balfour Balfour's tuition hasn't been paid, but Mary Sue Balfour (who has the same ID number, birthday, address and phone number) has paid her tuition.
Every quarter, they request that I provide either A) a copy of the court document where I legally changed my name from Mary Balfour Balfour to Mary Sue Balfour or B) two pictures IDs; one with my "old name," Mary Balfour Balfour, and one with my "new name," Mary Sue Balfour. However since my name never was legally Mary Balfour Balfour, I can't provide any legal documentation that my name was changed to Mary Sue. Eventually some supervisor sighs and agrees to credit Mary Sue Balfour's tuition to Mary Balfour Balfour's tuition but I really need to fill out the legal paperwork.
Unfortunately this office releases the tax document that shows how much tuition I've paid during the year. This time I came armed with that and showed that all the information from the university's W-2 under the name "Mary Sue" was the same for "Mary Balfour." The supervisor visibly recoiled and said she couldn't look at anything with a social security number on it!
And no, it makes absolutely no difference to them that there is only one Balfour (much less a Mary Balfour) associated with the university and according to all the other systems, including payroll, HR and IT, her middle name is Sue, not Balfour.
I think I've told my graduation story before.
The university had a date by which all library books had to be back. I'd returned all mine five days before the due date. However, apparently it took a long time to scan them, so (as I was later told) the due date wasn't REALLY the date they should have been returned, but a week before that.
I discovered this during graduation, when instead of a diploma, my little tube contained a note that I would not graduate until I returned the books.
I went storming to the office after the ceremony, and was reassured that it would be straightened out "Thursday, when the library reports come in."
On Thursday, I was told, "Nope, nothing here about your books coming in. Try next Thursday."
After three weeks, I was desperate. Most jobs wanted proof I had a degree, and I couldn't get a transcript until I had returned the books that, as far as I knew, where already back on the shelves. I asked if they could tell me what books were listed as missing in my account, and I would pay for them, since the university had apparently been using a black hole as the book drop-off.
The response? "No, we can't do that, because we do not have the information as to which
books you have not returned, let alone their cost. We don't even know which of the half-dozen university libraries the books belong to. We just know that you have not returned some books."
I went to all the libraries, and got them to sign off that I did not have any books out from them. When I returned, I was told, "We'll verify that on Thursday - you know, when the library reports come in?"
Fortunately, on the sixth Thursday, I hit a new staffer, who said, "Oh, you've returned them? No problem, I'll just put that into the system. There, you're now officially a graduate, and you can actually start applying for jobs. Hope being over a month behind your peers doesn't hurt."
Then, they couldn't find my diploma. Because it had been left lying around for six weeks.