Bad Weather

October 5, 2009 at 12:51 am | Posted in Thoughts | 25 Comments
Tags: ,
Boo.

Boo.

This is a delayed post. ‘Delayed’, as in ‘should have been completed a month ago, published a month ago, forgotten a month ago’ delayed. As for the introductory picture, don’t worry, I’m not feeling suicidal. I’m far too irrationally rational- or rationally irrational, whichever one you prefer- to even contemplate doing such a thing. Hence, boo.

Things have been rather crazy, lately. Monday morning, I was awoken from my dream-induced slumber by a sudden ringing of the bedside alarm clock (i.e: cellphone). I thought it was the people from Converse,  calling to get my shoe size (I’d recently won a contest), and was quite delighted, but for the one little nagging thought that I knew this voice from somewhere.

It was a lecturer from college, whom I’d dealed with just the other day, when I went to her to hand in this years fees to be mailed over to luxurious Russell Square in London, where it would most likely be used to fund the next round of betting on the outcome of the next football game.

The pleasant surprise- pleasant from the point of me thinking that it was Converse, up to the point where I realised it wasn’t Converse but College; became a pleasant surprise again once I considered the fact that it was pretty strange for them to call me so early in the morning (Noon, but then again I’d just woke up), plus the fact that it was a lecturer who made the call and not someone from admin.

It wasn’t a pleasant surprise, no longer. At least not after what she said to me. Apparently there was a fee to be paid for my referral paper, which was in direct contrast to what I was told by the course counselor, who assured me that there was absolutely no fee to be paid. Well there was. A whopping sum of some RM1600 for just one paper, to be paid to the Examinations Syndicate (Even the name, in English, sounds fishy). That shocked me long enough to stop me from vomiting blood when she then told me that I’d missed the deadline, blablabla…

I ran downstairs and called up the Syndicate- She’d given me their number, said I should try to call them up. After waiting a while I was told that they were in a meeting. Um. The entire building? Everyone? No one I can speak to? Gorgeous. I was given a trio of extensions to dial up which I feverishly took down but later decided to consign to the great trash heap of Useless Information.

Got ready, had a quick breakfast/lunch/blunch,  and rushed to college. I went looking for the lecturer who called me earlier- but she wasn’t there. Already in a state of panic (Although you’d never be able to tell), I rushed off to see one of the admin personnel whom I’d had dealings with in the past, and in doing so, committed a possibly fatal blunder, which I’ll leave for later. Everything in its place.

Found her. Asked her about my form. You don’t have it, she asked, looking rather surprised. London only sent as many forms as were needed, she said. So where’s mine then? I was told to come and get it, so why isn’t it here? More questions and speculation, while being pelted with radioactive nagging from my dad. Not much help at all. She called an officer in the Syndicate, and worked out a deal- rush over to Putrajaya (The new administrative capital) to meet him, deadline, 3PM. It was then sometime around noon.

Raced off again, stopping at a bank on the way- to get a banker’s check- more time wasted. There was only one counter for our purposes, and pop wasn’t much help this time either, hovering behind me as I filled out a form at the counter, repeatedly telling the teller that ‘we’re in a real hurry; it’s an emergency’, etc. When I told him to calm down, he blew up- “How can you tell me to calm down in a situation like this?” or something like that. Gritted my teeth and coldly told him that there was only one counter, and that there was no point in rushing the teller. After filling out the form, I found out that it was the wrong form, and that we could actually have gone to any of the other counters. No matter. The teller was kind enough to take care of it. Luckily for me, he’d already exited the bank. If he’d overheard that last bit, the sprinklers would probably have been triggered by his burning head.

We reached Putrajaya sometime around, um, between 2 to 3PM. We met the officer, and he said that he’d try to help. At some point he went back up to check whether my form had been mailed- and it was then that the aforementioned lecturer called up again, asking why I hadn’t come to see her. Eh? I’m in Putrajaya now. What? The form is with me! Oh crud. Pop blew his top again. Let’s see… I’ve died at least, um, twice today. Recess please.

We explained the matter to the officer when he came back down. Got the college to fax the form over as well, but I’m not sure if it’ll go through to London. The snotty cads might take one look at it, sniff, mumble ‘wrong colour‘, and toss it into the fire. Never mind that it’s Summer now. At least I think it’s Summer now, but that’s irrelevant. We also had to pay an extra RM100 to the Syndicate- a sort of penalty, I suppose.

A brief period of winter.

Now for an analysis: first, to dole out the blame. On my part, it was asking the wrong person (The course counselor); and panicking when going to get the form; and not notifying them of my new mobile number. Now for the college: not making more of an effort to contact me. Never mind my change in number, in the registration form I filled out when I joined the college, I’d given my primary email address (Which I check every ten minutes on an off-day), fixed line number, dad’s mobile and email listed under sections ‘Guardian/Parent’ and “In Case of Emergency”. So much for ‘We’ve been trying to contact you’.

That’s the first bullet in their head. Now for the second: giving me false information. My question to the course counselor, repeated more or less verbatim: “Are you absolutely sure? There are no forms to fill up, nothing to be paid to anyone at all?” The answer I received: “Nopesy~” Sigh. If you don’t know for sure, don’t make things up. Refer me to someone who actually knows. Unless she actually believed what she said.

The third shot, although not too serious, did cause some damage, although I was partially to blame for this one: Zero coordination between staff. The lecturer had the form, but no one else knew about it.  Ah well. That’s it for the blame section.

Now for something a little more interesting- what I actually learned (Or rediscovered) about myself as a result of this unfortunate series of events. First up, my inability to project intense worry onto my face. Don’t get me wrong, I was worried. Very worried. Even a little scared. But my face remained flat and emotionless. I didn’t flap my arms wildly or get all goggle-eyed. Perhaps the only sign of how high-strung I was was the momentary twitch of one eye.

The sad thing was how this outward calm was interpreted as nonchalance. Pop gave me an earful (And more) for this. No beating around the bush. It hurt. I tried my best. I told him that I did care. I don’t think he was interested in listening. I even tried my hand at apologizing, despite my belief that I didn’t screw up as much as the college did. ‘So what?’ was all he had to say. Nothing I said or did would do any good. In the end I just took a vow of silence. Some compassion and understanding would have been nice, but things would just have gotten worse if I’d even breathed those words.

It’s pretty annoying, the fact that some of my best points can also be my worst. I’m a living, breathing, Sentient Paradox. I thought up a a few other examples to better illustrate this statement, but since this post was typed out over a course of about a month, inserting paragraphs here and there, I’ve forgotten everything I meant to type out. No matter.

Things died down after  a few days.  My vow of silence proceeded as necessary. Pop went to college to speak to the lecturer who called me up, but she was lecturing in Hong Kong at the time, and was turned to another lecturer. Who pretty much made a mess of covering things up:

Lecturer: “If he (Meaning me) knew about the referral classes, then he should have known about the form blablabla”

Pop: “I know about it too- from the stack of timetables on the desk here”

Lecturer: “…” (Me: It seems that he too took a vow of silence at this point)

And what about the lecturer who first called me? Over the phone at the Syndicate, she’d told pop that announcements were made in class. Har? Not that I recall. True enough, she did come in to make an announcement, but it had nothing to do with payment or registration for the referral paper.

From the very beginning I’d known that it would be pointless to invade college and demand an explanation. It’s only natural that they’d try to to cover up their error, and try their best to shift the blame to me (Although they did a crappy job at it). Might as well toss in a snide remark while I’m at it- they’re all lawyers, or almost-lawyers, after all. I don’t really mind. It’s to be expected. There’s nothing much to gain from throttling them, anyway. If I can’t sit for the referral exam because of them and have to repeat the whole year, though, there’ll be hell to pay.

I dragged out a replay of the confrontation from pop when I got back from class. Luckily for me, he didn’t blow up in college- didn’t want to cause a scene, he said. Phew. He was in a better mood, too. After I explained my major points against the college (As outlined above), and his first-hand experience of a lame cover-up, he was firmly on my side. A little too late, after the barrage of furious invectives that were lobbed my way the other day- but better late than never.

Post-publish edit: Just remembered one of the things he said to me- ‘you’re just too independent’, he said, this being an offshoot of his interrogation of the lecturer, who said that normally when students find out that they have to refer a paper, they run to the lecturers for help, and thus find out everything that I was supposed to know. Not me. I didn’t panic. I didn’t run squealing for help. I went to the course counselor, asked a very specific question that would have made any lawyer proud, got an answer (Albeit a wrong one), and satisfied, headed for home. Too independent, huh. Yet another winning point of mine that contributed towards getting me into a royal mess.

As I type out this final paragraph, the clock shows that it’s the 5th of October. I’ve heard that the referral exam will be sometime around the 27th. I am yet to receive any information from college (I think they’ve washed their hands off the matter) or the Syndicate. But then of course, they are the Syndicate- and therefore evil and not to be relied on. Time to shake some trees, methinks.

On another note, I’ve just bought the domain name aprilius20.com, and already have a possible parking place in mind. Might take some time before it goes online, though. Think I should use IP masking to redirect traffic from this blog? I haven’t decided. No that I know how to do it, anyway. Other tech stuff like DNS redirection which I have to figure out first. There’s a webmaster who’s supposed to do it, but he’s slower than escargot.

25 Comments »

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  1. Geez…. That sounds like a terrible headache. :(
    I guess school administrations are a pain in the ass no matter where you live.

    Examinations Syndicate does sound fishy. Is that a translation?

    Have you at least gotten your free shoes? :)

    ps – Totally did not connect the image to “thoughts of suicide.” I just went “Oh hey, that guy is hot.”

    • It sure is… it’s driving me nuts. I don’t even have the mood to study for the exam because of all this, which isn’t doing me any good either…
      Examinations Syndicate- is what the University of London calls them, I think. They don’t seem to have an official English name. Their official name, in Malay, is Lembaga Peperiksaan, which translates to Examinations Board.

      As for the shoes… sigh. There’s another tree I’ll have to shake:(
      Haha, a gun pointed to the head and a rope around the neck, and you didn’t relate it to suicide? Well, he is pretty good looking, I’ll admit… I can understand how distracting it is, lol.

      • I guess my brain goes “Oh, hot guy” first, before it puts things into context, lol.

        • Ah well, who am I to nag when I myself think the same thing when faced with a pretty girl- context always comes second:D

          • It’s Zetsubou sensei~! :) Zetsubou shitaaaaaa is about the right tone for this post, I reckon. Give me a moment while I comment below. XD

  2. Oh boy!
    That was one hello of a bad day.Its a pretty shitty move from the college to shift the blame to you but after all theyre a governmental institution so its expected…
    I hope you wont jump the edge due to their crappy coordination.

    On a completley different matter: Have you gotten your shiny new chucks by now? ^^

    • It sure was bad, alright:s
      The college is actually a private institution, which really means that their main priority is running the business… students come much further down the list. Far, far down… lol, no, I won’t jump off any edge, but I just might kick them off a very high edge if I can’t sit for my exam:D

      As for my ‘new chucks’… I think I’ll call up the TV station tomorrow. I’ve waited for far too long:(

  3. I know that a large part of law is playing along and ingratiating yourself with the Powers that Be, but that sounds horrific.

    Best of luck.

    • Yeah, that’s always an important factor. Suck up to the one above you while dreaming of the day when you inherit his title:(
      Thanks, I’ll pull through somehow:)

  4. Sigh yeah, this sounds like a horrible business. Glad it worked out in the end, though the amount sure was whopping. :S

    I didn’t know your exams were run from London either..and I thought O and A levels were bad enough. I do remember ye olde Examination Syndicate, haha. I think it was on an exam paper or two…

    Or you could get hosting and host your own WordPress/import the posts from here to there if you want~ Heh.

    • I’m still not sure if it has worked out. Everyone else has received their exam dockets, while I haven’t… as for the whopping amount, the officer at the Syndicate said that it was because London being ‘high maintenance’, whatever that means.

      Saaay… ‘do remember ye olde Examination Syndicate‘? Don’t tell me you originate from this corner of the world too?

      As for hosting, I’ve already purchased a domain name. It’s just that the tech guy who’s supposed to set everything up is prodigally slow. In the meantime, I’m having more trouble over here too- I can’t even post anything:

      Warning: We have a concern about some of the content on your blog. Please click here to contact us as soon as possible to resolve the issue and re-enable posting.

      Ahh, zetsubou shitaaaaaa indeed:(

      • Omg, that sucks. :S -smacks wordpress- And you didn’t even blog Queens Blade! XD (I got some Picasa warnings about the screenshots I uploaded for that, I just ignored them. -halo-)

        With free hosting or even cheap hosting, it’s really easy to set up your own WordPress, which you might consider doing if/when you have time. Domain name != hosting unless you bought a package..I’m not sure.

        And yeah, I hail from a neighbouring land — Singapore. =) Oh, how I miss the food in that corner of the world! A good friend of mine is from and currently in M’sia too, though no idea if you’re close to KL. XD

        • Fuh… it’s been fixed. Turned out to be a bug in their system. Queen’s Blade, eh? I watched the first season but didn’t feel like saying anything about it, haha. Sheesh, I was even nagged by some of my girlfriends about the second pic I used for my Eden of the East post:3

          I already have a domain name- aprilius20.com. Got stuck when trying to set it up as an addon domain.

          Singapore! I’m planning on a Sing-holiday with some friends this December. Yesh, the food indeed;)
          I’m staying right next to KL- some 30 minutes away, depending on the (More often than not) insane traffic.

          • Haha but it’s not like you don’t already get nice food in M’Sia. :P

            The QB ref was cos it has some obviously-NSFW pics..ahaha.

            I meant host, not domain name…domain name’s like the address of your home, the host provides the house for you to live in. =)

            • Oh, but food tastes different depending on where you eat it! For example- mediocre in-flight meals, they taste great! Although the knowledge that the temperature outside is somewhere around 10 degrees Celsius and that you’re moving at around 500km/h might be a major influence…

              Queen’s Blade… -snorts blood-. That said I think I’ll give season 2 a miss:p

              Ah. A host… I’m basically piggybacking on the hosting service my dad is using, which is why his site is the primary domain. Mine will have to be an addon domain, which is what’s causing the whole mess. Can’t seem to get the installation right.

  5. First things first, I love the picture. There’s no denying it – Zetsubou snesei is hot. XP

    Secondly, I commiserate. School bureaucracy is always a headache. Actually, scratch that – ANY bureaucracy is a headache. My friends over here had a taste of that recently when they couldn’t get into the classes they needed, courtesy of the budget cuts, and were in danger of their visas being deemed out-of-status. The school basically said ‘Oh really? We’re sorry to hear that. No, there’s nothing we can do. Get 12 units or go apply for another visa next semester.’ I mean, really? So a recession is not something that comes up every year, but there should be some safety nets in place to protect the students.

    • Soooo… the classes have been scrapped? I don’t really understand what you mean by ’12 units or get a visa next year’, but it sure sounds bad. It’s typical of admin- all they really care about is getting things done. Their brains are probably filled with cogs and wheels- if you fall out of the box, that’s the end for you. I guess that’s why you have student protests over there… or am I confusing the US with Europe? Ah well. At least here if something really bad happens we can always run to some random political party who’ll make a big fuss of it for you:)… or :(. I can’t decide. Anyway my problem is settled- hope your friends get their problems fixed soon.

      • Yes, they’ve cut classes and started implementing furlough days. The U.S. system works like this – each ‘unit’ corresponds to 1 hour of class per week. So, if one is taking 12 units, one would be attending 12 hours of class per week for that particular semester. International students are required to take a minimum of 12 units every semester; in other words, be a full-time student. Or else their visas become invalid, and they are in danger of being deported from the country.
        =] Protests are currently underway. And my friends have had their problems solved, but they ended up with random classes they didn’t intend to take just to maintain that 12 unit requirement.

        • I hope that doesn’t involve taking 12 extra hours of calculus when you’re an English Lit. student. Gah. So, if a full-time student takes a minimum of 12 hours per week per semester, and they’re being made to take an extra 12 hours… huh. They’d be fuller than full. I suppose that they have to pay for these extra classes as well…

          Protests have begun, eh? Sounds like fun- I once walked right into one in Rome- everyone was having fun. Some speeches around a fountain, flag-waving while being watched by the local polizia, and then sandwiches from a roadside cafe for teatime. Here we’d just get free accommodation under the ISA;) Have fun if you’re joining in, haha.

  6. Ah, I didn’t even recognize that as Zetsubou Sensei! Now I see it.

    It sounds like he means that they got their 12 hours, but they’re not taking 12 EXTRA hours on TOP of that. They got their 12 hours, they’re just in random classes that they probably don’t need. Basically, they managed to fill up the hours they needed with random crap so they could stay in school.

    The 12 hours = full time student thing also is a requirement for things like health insurance (meaning to like, remain on your parents’ insurance) and scholarships.

    • He actually, but never mind. What! You just realised that it’s Zetubou that I used as poster-boy for this post? Tsk, tsk;)
      Oh- that’s not that bad, then, but it sure is a waste of time. 12 hours is nothing much compared to what I’m having at the moment… let’s see. 18. Oh. Not much of a difference, actually^^;

  7. @A20-man: Hmm, not familiar with what “referral papers” or “Examinations Syndicates” are, so I can only vaguely imagine the emergency. Nonetheless, from your words, clearly sounds serious. I think. So I won’t pretend to know what’s going on, lol.

    P.S. Odd. Even though you bought a domain, it should still automatically have a decent “Under Construction” parking page. Or allow you to redirect to your current “aprilius20.wordpress.com” blog. Oh well. Seems like you tend to attract “evil”.

    P.P.S. Or should I say you tend to attract “despair”?

    • A referral is basically a second chance. I failed one paper, so I got to resit just that paper while continuing with year 2 subjects. ‘Examinations Syndicate’ is just this rather sinister name that an innocent and actually pointless government institution calls itself in English. Yeah, it was serious all right- good thing everything turned out alright in the end…

      Hmm. Maybe that’s because it hasn’t been redirected yet, whatever that means. I did meddle a little, as per the instructions I received, with DNS naming in godaddy.com, but that’s where I stopped. I posted a detailed question on the wordpress.org support forum (here), and got a reply, but haven’t bothered trying it- got a headache just from looking at it:P

      Haha, despair, perhaps. Been having quite a bit of nonsense flying my way these past few months^^;

      • @A20-man: Hmm, I think I’ve got a better idea. Thanx. Glad you seem unscathed too… As for your GoDaddy domain, your description is rather sketchy. In conjunction with your domain, did you also obtain hosting? Did you then one-click install WordPress.org?

        • Oh, no. I just bought the domain without hosting. I’m planning on hosting my domain as an add-on domain. Having some issues there. Haha, I don’t really know how to describe it any better than how I did in the support forum^^; As for the one-click install, I did it with Fantastico, but it didn’t show up on aprilius20.com, but pmrenglish.com/aprilius20.com/apripii/ instead. And in a rather messed up way too. I kinda gave up:P

          Hmm, since you’re here, I’m assuming that your ‘vacation’ from the net has ended?


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