Tuesday, September 11, 2012

what i wish i'd said on the phone just now

Yes, Ma'am, i understand your question. But this is the Admissions office -- I don't have access to your daughter's financial information. I can transfer you over to Student Accounts or Financial Aid.

I'm sorry that you called them this morning and have yet to hear back. But i can't access your daughter's bill, so i can't confirm the amount that she owes us monthly.

I would be more than happy to help you if i could. But i don't have access to that part of her file. I don't know what financial aid she has or what her balance is or what the monthly payments would be. That information is only accessible to a few people.

We do this to protect the privacy of our students and their families. I work in the Admissions office. No part of my job involves payments or budgets or financial aid or balances. Now that your daughter is an enrolled student here, now that she has passed through the Admissions office and we have admitted her, the best i can do is transfer you to the appropriate office.

Here in the Admissions office, i can help you become a student. I can look up students who are interested in attending here. I can tell you what parts of the process they have completed and what we are still waiting for. I can tell you about visit days, how to get admitted despite low academic performance, what our Honors program is like, what kind of academic support is available, where all of the buildings are. I can tell you who your child's enrollment counselor is. I can tell you which offices to contact with your questions. I can give you names, departments, supervisors, phone numbers, and email addresses. I can help you become a student here.

But once you are a student, once you have moved into the dorm and started classes, once that first week of classes is over and we are no longer accepting students into this semester, the only thing i can really do for you is transfer your call to another department.

I'm sorry. I would help you if i could. But i do not have access to your daughter's financial information, because there is no reason for me to need access to your daughter's financial information. If we don't have a reason to let someone access information, we don't give them access. Again, this is for your security. Aren't you relieved to know that the receptionist in an unrelated department can't access your daughter's financial information? Doesn't it make you happy to know that there are only about half a dozen people on this entire campus who know what your bill is and how prompt you are with payments and how many times you have called to ask if there is any way your bill can be lowered or postponed or forgiven? Do you really want everyone who works here, including other students, to know your family's financial situation?

Don't give me that attitude. I'm doing my job. I am doing exactly my job. Even if i wanted to do more, even if i wanted to go above and beyond, even if i wanted to do someone else's job for them, i do not have the clearance. I can't see that part of the electronic file. I don't know where those paper files are. I literally cannot do anything except exactly my job.

Have a nice day.

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