Monday, June 21, 2010

The Financial Aid Office


You are the only one I know who would appreciate this as much as I do, so I have to tell you my story about what happened today.

I had the unfortunate obligation of needing to call the financial aid office at the U today, and I should have known it would be a nightmare. Honey, you would have got such a kick out of this ridiculous situation. You and I bonded a strange amount over our mutual hatred of this office. Anyhow, I called to speak to them regarding my financial aid status. Again, MY financial aid. I was on hold for 10 minutes before I was able to speak to a live person and the minute he took my student number, he stated, "well it appears that you have not filled out the consent form online through CIS to allow us to speak about your information". I said, "excuse me, you need me to sign a form so that you can speak about MY information to ME?" and he said, "yes, because without that form we are unable to verify that you are you". RIDICULOUS! I called the social security office the other day about YOU, honey, and got further with them than I did with this circus. The village idiot went off and continuned to ramble on about verifying identity, blah blah blah, so I hung up on him.

So, I logged onto my CIS page and filled out the "form" which consisted of me entering in a "PIN" or password really, and then typing in the name of the person or people that I would like my information to be released to, should they call asking about it. So, I typed in my own name, and listed "self" as the "relation to named person". Again, ridiculous.

I then called back to the financial aid office, waited another 10 minutes on hold, and spoke to someone differently. This time it was a woman, no doubt some poor work-study student who sold her soul for the opportunity to be awared some sort of financial aid (after all, anyone who works for this department has either sold his or her soul straight to the devil already, is in the process of doing so, or is a minion of Satan himself). She answered the phone and said, "Hello, how can I help you", and my reply was this: "Hi, I just filled out your ridiculous form online to allow ME to have access to MY OWN information. So now I'd like to get down to the actual question that I had called about in the first place". This poor girl was taken aback and seemed thrown by my indignance and kept saying how it was federal law, federal law, federal law, blah blah blah, and I said to her "oh, well good thing me verifying this password from this form confirms my entire identity then because no one else on this earth could possibly have any sort of chance whatsoever of discovering the password and pretending to be me. Of course it's good that you verify that password and not my actual identifying information such as my date of birth or social security number, because you know how there are so many Karen Martella's running around with that exact same information." (On a side note, they say that "due to recent legislation"....yet the act that they cite on the form they make you fill out is from 1974....) I eventually had my questions answered, but I was fuming the entire time.

Honey, I know you get this situation and what it meant for me to deal with them. You knew me best of all, more than anyone else on this earth. I loved you so much for the fact that I never had to explain myself to you because you knew me and accepted me, and even more amazingly--you loved me. I miss the days when we would go down to the office and fight them together in person. I'd yell at everyone in the office until they got someone to come talk to me who didn't have their head shoved up their butt, and you'd stand back with this look on your face that said, "Oooh you've done it now!", as if you had warned them. You were so non-confrontational, and it's not that I ever went looking for an argument or fight, but sometimes you have to be firm with people in order to get what you need and to not allow them to walk all over you, and you always let me be that person for you, whether it was dealing with the financial aid office, your doctors office, the hospital staff, or the hollywood video clerks (don't even get me started on them....). I love how much faith you had in me to take care of things and to get things done. I love you for trusting me that way. You never doubted my ability or that I had what it would take to get even the toughest, most back-breaking jobs done. Your faith in me gave me faith in myself, and I know that even now that I have to deal with this terrible group of people again, I have learned from you that I have the strength (and the patience) to deal with them and to get through yet another challenge in this life.

You were an amazing mentor, teacher, friend, and example of what people should be like, and I will remember you for that every day for the rest of my life. I will live my life thinking of what you would do in each situation (I can safely say that you would have done the same thing in this situaiton, referring back to your high-fructose corn syrup email) and I hope that you'll still be proud of me the way you were when you were here.

I love you so much sweetheart, and I wish you were here to have seen this today. You would have laughed with me to make me feel better about the severe lack of intelligence, integrity, and humanity that is the financial aid office. I miss you everday, including today, including right now. I can't wait to be with you again soon and enjoy our time laughing about all of the experiences we had together...and I know you know which ones I'm talking about.

Simply, I love you.

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