recently i’ve been trying to get my transcripts from my high school. now i graduated high school in a school district that was growing fast. when i graduated we had two high schools, each of which graduated about a thousand kids a year. yes, a thousand each. 1,000. now they have three large high schools, due to the fact that several large multi-national companies built in the area.
so, you’d think the transcript request process would be streamlined, right? wrong.
first, there is no indication on the website of either the high school i attended or the school district about how to go about requesting a transcript. i looked several times and couldn’t find it. finally we called a woman i used to babysit for who still (now?) works at one of the high schools. (i just remember her playing tennis and going on dates with her husband, i have no idea what her day job was when i was 16.) it took her a few weeks to find the answer. that’s an indication of poor information dissemination right there!
so i emailed the address she gave me. no answer. i called the phone number. no answer and no answering machine. (in this day and age!?) i emailed again. no answer. i faxed the phone number on the front page of the school district’s website with my info, the address of where i needed the transcripts sent, a copy of my id, and a letter explaining how i had run out of other options to contact them.
finally one of my email was returned. the woman had been out sick and i guess they don’t have a back up for these sorts of requests. i was babysitting a sick 18month old and couldn’t get to a computer to print out the form she sent to me — which she told me is not published on the web anywhere. so i told her i’d filled out what looked like an old form for another high school in the same district and faxed it to the number on the front page of the school district’s website, and she repeatedly told me she had absolutely no idea where i could have sent it. she couldn’t do anything until i told her where the fax was or filled out and faxed the new form. how would i know where that fax number went to? and i guess she couldn’t look it up, either. maybe they aren’t allowed internet access?
finally, i called mr. marsh to have him resend the fax to a new number she provided, hoping i’d covered all the bases and she wouldn’t make me fill out the new form, too. she sent me an email saying they got the fax from (mr. marsh’s store) they didn’t know where the fax had come from. the actual name of mr. marsh’s store was written in the email in parenthesis! well, that’s where it came from. and that she could send the transcript to one school but couldn’t send to the others until she had all the addresses, but all the addresses for all the schools were on the same page! if she had one she had them all. i was getting really frustrated at this point.
finally, she said the original fax was sent over to her by the communications department. things perked up at this point. i’m not sure if that’s because her manager saw the fax and the letter about how much trouble i was having, or if suddenly she decided i wasn’t lying about having sent the fax to begin with. whatever, i got my transcripts… or so i thought. that was the 31st.
on the 10th. i got a call from her when my ringer was off. i didn’t get the message until later when i wasn’t able to call back,and she didn’t say why she was calling. and then i got an email from her saying that she’d left me a voice mail and that i hadn’t called back by 3:30pm on feb 10th. she just wanted me to confirm that the universities had gotten my transcripts. well… i hadn’t heard that they didn’t, but now i was nervous. why wouldn’t they have gotten them? and why would she call me? i don’t work in those offices.
so i wrote back and told her i don’t live in her time zone so i’m not always able to call back on her schedule and reminded her that universities usually only call if they don’t get something and asked if there was a reason why they wouldn’t have.
she wrote back to me: “Good Morning [sparkle], since I don’t know where you are located or what state.”
that’s it. that’s the whole first sentence.
the second sentence said, “The reason is we were aware of a recent fire where some of our mail that was to go out was destroyed.”
so i asked when the fire was, “The fire happened on Monday night, Feb. 7th thru Tuesday, Feb. 8th.” wow! that’s a LONG fire! she told me she sent them on the 31st and they didn’t have mail delivery for four days because of the ice. i still don’t know where the fire was. i looked in the local to them paper and didn’t see anything about a fire on that night in that town.
she also said this was a courtesy email and she did not call universities, because i’d told her i was not able to look up the numbers of the universities because i was (again) not at a computer and could she check with the universities based on when she sent them and when the fire was.
so i asked her to send one of them again after getting home and looking up the numbers and calling the universities.
i understand she doesn’t like her job, and i understand she clearly has no respect for me, but she’s still a representative of the school district and she sends out the transcripts. you’d think she’d be sure to write coherently and in full sentences.
also, if i owned the office and a fire burned some of our outgoing mail, i’d tell everyone to send it all again just in case.