Thursday, February 12, 2009


So, I work at a university.

And for the most part I love it (except for all the students).

But, every so often, I have a conversation with a student that makes dealing with the other 22 gazillion unhappy ones worth it.

Yesterday, one such tête-à-tête took place.

ME: Hi, how can I help you?

STUDENT: I’m here to turn in this paperwork.

ME: Okay.

STUDENT: I wasn’t sure…[His phone starts ringing, and so he looks at it.] Oh, I have to take this. [Then he turns slightly to the side, (so as to not be looking directly at me), and answers the phone.]

STUDENT: Hello? Grandpa? Is that you? [He’s then silent while he’s listening for about a minute.] Grandpa? It’s me! STEVEN! No. No. STEVEN! No, Grandpa. I’m at school. SCHOOL! No, SCHOOOOOLLLL!!!!

ME: If you could just step to the side of the counter. [He doesn’t appear to hear me.] Sir, if you could just...[He holds up a finger. No, not that one. The index finger which is the universal sign for "Just a second."]

STUDENT: No, Grandpa. Don’t do that! NO GRANDPA!!! DON’T DO THAT!!! I’m not there. I’M NOT THERE!!! I’M AT SCHOOL!! NO, SCHOOOLLL!!!! Grandpa! GRANDPA!!! Put that down. No, DOWN!!! No, this is STEVEN! STEEEVVVEEENNN!!!!!

ME: [Trying not to laugh at what is cleary a family problem.]

STUDENT: Grandpa? GRANDPA? My mom should be there any minute, so just wait! MY MOM! No, DOROTHY! DOORROOTHYYYY!!! Grandpa? Don’t do that! DON’T DO THAT!!! JUST WAIT!!!!

[SILENCE for about 15 seconds.]

STUDENT: Grandpa? Is she there? Dorothy. Yes. Your daughter. Okay. Bye, Grandpa.

[The student now turns back to me.]

STUDENT: That was my grandpa.

ME: Oh, really?

People are funny.


Andrea said...

As I read this I feel like I've had that same student. I think sometime we should visit each other's office. It would be fun to see how your office does things compared to mine. And it would be fun to see which one of our univiersities has the most stupid students. Like the student I had the other day who told us she filed her fafsa over the phone and then paid $100 to have it submitted. She almost started crying when we explained to her it was a scam because fafsa stands for FREE Application for Federal Student Aid. Ah, good times!

Amanda said...

Thank you so much for this post. I actually laughed out loud and I needed that today.

Rachel said...