September 5, 2007

I made my final call to University of Houston’s customer service department today – well, at least the last call for this semester, I hope.  Since I had still not seen my parking pass come in, and had started to see parking tickets appear on various vehicles around the campus (not mine, however – yet), I knew that it was time to just quit waiting for the mail and to get a pass.  So, when I called this morning, I was ready to stay on the phone for as long as it took to figure out exactly what I needed to do to get my parking pass – and ‘wait for the mail’ was no longer an option.  Thankfully, it appears that most issues and problems that most students have had are clearing up, as I did not see the tremendous hold time.  In fact, it almost startled me how quickly a representative got on the line.  When I started to explain my predicament, the representative cut me off and said “yeah, you should have received your parking pass a long time ago,” and then explained that I would actually need to stop by and pick up a parking pass at the school, because it had either gotten lost in the mail, or was never mailed in the first place.  Well, I am glad that I finally am going to be able to legally park at school, but extremely frustrated with the entire process.  Higher education is simply not set up for the working class.  Almost every office seems to be open during “regular business hours,” e.g. 8:00 – 5:00, Monday through Friday.  During the first couple of weeks of school, a lot of these offices have extended hours, but it cancels out the effectiveness if you have to wait 2-3 weeks to actually find out that there is, in fact, an issue with something that you’ll need to be present to take care of.  There seems to be a trend in people holding off on college, or going back to college in their mid-to-late-twenties in the past few years, and I wonder how that trend (or if it) will affect the working hours and basic operation of a college campus that typically runs during the day.  Sure, there are night classes open, but at a small fraction of availability versus what is available during the day.  It becomes difficult to choose a class based on a professor, or anything other than popular subjects.  Chances are, also, that you will eventually have to come up with a way to take a few day classes to, when it comes down to some of your final, most specific classes geared toward your degree.  It’s very frustrating.  The office that handles parking passes, thankfully, is one of the few offices that have hours that extend beyond the 5 o’clock shut off.  Unfortunately, that means one of two things…since it is mid-week, I can either chance parking without my pass for a few more days, hoping to refrain from getting a ticket, or I can miss a class and pick up my parking pass this afternoon, after work.  Finite Math versus legal parking…I chose the parking pass.  When I finally picked up my pass, I learned that it had not been mailed out in the first place, due to incomplete address information.  So…the times I requested that they checked my information could have saved me this time and hassle.  Too bad they don’t do that.

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