i work at a registrar’s office at a small, private university. i am an intern. while interns here get paid minimum wage, we deal with a bulk of the customers and have a lot of responsibilities (including answering phones). this story happened today. AM = angry mom
ME: “thank you for calling the registrar’s office, how may i help you?”
AM: “hi i’m a parent of a student and my daughter cannot register for her classes because she doesn’t have the right vaccines or something?”
ME: “yes, it sounds like your daughter has a health center hold. you need to speak with the health center in order to resolve the hold. would you like their number?”
AM: “yes well we’ve been having many problems with [university]. in fact, my daughter is thinking of withdrawing permanently. i just can’t believe the level of responsibility placed on first years here. and the fact that there is zero communication! i am just so sick of dealing with the mismanagement of this university.”
ME: “i’m very sorry to hear-“
AM: “my daughter didn’t even know she had a hold until the day before she was supposed to register. and she has to contact all the instructors??”
ME: “yes, if a class is full your daughter needs to contact the instructor in order to be consented into the class. it sounds like your daughter was trying to register for a class that was full.”
AM: “but it only became full because she couldn’t register because of the hold!”
ME: “ma’am, i’m very sorry to hear that your daughter is having difficulty registering. we do send frequent emails about holds, and [the university student website] notifies you when you have a hold. at this point, i can give you the number for the health center and recommend that your daughter speak with her academic advisor as well as the professors in order to find classes that work for her.”
AM: “i just want to speak with someone who ACTUALLY cares about the wellbeing of your students. i just cannot believe the level of miscommunication and the fact that everything is so mismanaged. where can i talk to someone to fix this?? how can i make a complaint??”
at this point i give her all the numbers she needs, including the center for student affairs and the health center. i make sure to make it clear that her DAUGHTER needs to be the one to do all of this, because we don’t let parents control/do anything. this student is in college and needs to learn how to handle college life. it’s not our fault that her daughter doesn’t check her email or our student website. it is, however, the parent’s fault for not giving her child the proper vaccines.
i don’t get paid enough to be screamed at by angry parents. and we do care about the wellbeing of the students. THAT’S WHY WE REQUIRE THAT THEY HAVE THE PROPER VACCINES.