Tuesday, 24 March 2009

the run-around

So I'm a bit stressed about money just now... rent is expensive, but I didn't worry about it too much because I was promised a certain amount of funding for deigning to do my PhD at Guelph (!) However, summer tuition is due soon and my TA-ships will concurrently end. I guess I sort of assumed that they would just give me equal increments all year, but had a word with the graduate secretary (during which I sat down heavily on her chair, which turned out to have wheels on it and leapt backwards, and I ended up on the floor) and it turns out that this is not the case. It's tied to TA-ships and things, apparently. And they don't think they'll have any available during the summer. I really don't understand how this works, as I have a signed bit of paper saying they have to pay me the money... so why not now?! Grrrr, universities. Anyway, she was as helpful as she could be, but had to say she didn't know if anything would be decided before tuition was due. And even if it was, she said, there are hardly any summer TAs.

This was worrying, so I went over to Student Financial Services to see if they could help me out. Person A sent me to the front desk (take a number, wait in line) to ask Person B to help me make an appointment with Person C. But this confused Person B, who kicked me over to ask Person D about it. Person D said, "What? You're supposed to make the appointment with Person B! Oh, for crying out loud..." and brought me back to Person B who then agreed to make the appointment with Person C.

So the appointment was this morning at 10am. Unsurprisingly, I was running late. Managed to get my disheveled self to the bus stop only to find my bus pass missing GRRRRR. But I didn't want to be late for my Person C appointment, so I coughed up the cash for the bus but was very annoyed about it. Bus was late, of COURSE, and crowded, and by the time I finally made it to school it was nearly 10.00. So I ran upstairs to the room where I'd been told to wait, and... no one.

Ten minutes later... no one. Fifteen minutes later I threw myself on the mercy of Person D again, who shrugged at me and said Person C would come get me eventually. After ten more minutes Person D took pity on me and dragged Person C over.

Person C was useless.

I was told she could help me fill out a form which would put me in the running for bursaries (even at this late semester date) and maybe help with scholarship information. But she refused. Said, sorry, can't help you, try reapplying in summer, bye. Then I asked about scholarships and she said, oh, that's Person A's job. Bye.

Person A, however, was awesome. (Had I known this I would have skipped the whole rigmarole in the first place!) She helped me fill out the form (which she said WAS Person C's job) and said she would bring it to the right person and explain that I was applying so late in the semester because I only started in January and no one explained this to me at all.

About six hours later, I got an email saying they're giving me $500. SCORE! Suddenly I feel perhaps the legwork was worth it. That will help, and I guess I'll just keep bugging the grad secretary about when they might know about summer appointments and things.

all in all, not a bad day's work... I HATE uni administration, though!

ps. yes, I sent a nice thank you email.


Stuffy said...

Ouch. Can you get a part time summer job anywhere?

Anne said...

Just applied for a summer TA just in case... and am meeting today about getting my RA-ship paid out early in order to pay tuition. One way or another I should be able to make it, I think. So dumb, they have to give me the money eventually, but it is a timing thing.