A & E
Fear and loathing in line in the FOSS building
Special to the Ebbtide
We all have bad days, right? But when rudeness becomes an unprofessional art form, it leaves a mud-print on the student experience at Shoreline.
While the majority of staff at Shoreline is sincere, helpful, and polite in their responses, we want to address the type of rudeness that is not atypical for individuals in certain enclaves on campus.
"Could you tell me if this instructor has a class at 10:30?" I had just walked to the Foss Building after class to take care of one more detail. Opening my form, I realized I had forgotten to get my instructor's signature. I had located, and was talking to, the administrative assistant for that particular department.
"Who are you?" the assistant asked me bluntly. I was lugging a book bag so I think I looked like a student! Stunned, I explained that I had just come from class and needed to know if my instructor had another class, or would be returning to her office.
The assistant checked the schedule and informed me that my instructor had another class at 10:30. I turned to leave, thanking her. She blurted out, "You can't disrupt class, you know!" Well, duh!
Her comment was rude - and while I am not a 19 year-old student, it would be inappropriate in any case. Everyone has problems and bad days, but students are out running with the wolves - not sitting in the comfort of familiar office space.
We are lugging 40 pounds of books back and forth across campus, trying to locate classes, keep track of paperwork, time and sanity.
On the second day of the quarter, I stood in line for thirty-five minutes, along with lots of other students. With that task completed, I went to another line, mentally checking off one more detail.
After waiting ten minutes, I arrived at the appropriate window and was informed that I didn't have the necessary form. I went to the back of the line, filled out the form, and waited. By now, I had been standing in various lines for about 45 minutes.
When it was finally my turn, the woman curtly informed me that the person waiting at the other window was next (why, I can not tell you), and said curtly, "You're supposed to wait your turn in line!"
Ok, maybe she was tired, maybe she didn't feel good, but this is not an isolated experience at this particular office, nor only my experience. Others have related similar tales.
Surely you understand what is necessary to negotiate college life? Maybe you need to be reminded. Registration process (differs at every school), advising, class selection, enrollment, financial aid (many forms and lengthy process), locating classrooms, buying books, lugging books, adding and dropping classes, locating the bathrooms, and finding quiet places to study - navigating the first few days of the quarter can be really stressful.
Just finding a place to park at Shoreline is an experience that can ruin your day, especially for a new student.
Add to all this, unnecessary rude remarks from a public servant paid by my tax dollars, and well, your spirit kind of sags. We don't need any more grief here, people!
Now add any number of personal issues that a student might have going on in his/her life: illness in the family, or maybe personal illness, abusive situations, financial stress, relational issues, transportation issues.
How much would it cost you - how much effort does it take to be pleasant and helpful - to give away a heartfelt smile? Everyone's day would be brighter, and your day would be better 'cause you might win the Friendly Service Award, instead of the Surly Service Award!
© 2002 Shoreline Community College