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Sunday, 21 October 2007

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Rich Puchalsky

You see, this is your purpose in the universe, Scott. When something minor and bad happens, I can think "At least I didn't get cancer! At least I didn't get hit by a car! At least I didn't have students try to have sex in my office and then write about it and get embroiled in a sexual harassment office foulup! At least I don't have Internet nuts periodically threaten me!"

(Why don't I have Internet nuts threaten me? I never have. I don't know if it's because as a commenter I'm not worth it, because I carefully try to never taunt people who seem like actual crazy people, or because I seem more bellicose.)

At any rate, it appears that this perhaps God-given purpose will at least preserve you into a ripe old age. You will have to be around so that when you're 80, your hearing aid will fall out, be accidentally flushed down the toilet, and you'll be unable to immediately get a new one because the government will only supply you with one if you order one personally by phone. Or maybe the Singularity will occur, you'll be in a simulation 1000 years from now, and your hearing aid will fall out, be accidentally flushed down the simulated toilet, and the simulated government etc.

If nothing else suggests itself, I will go ahead and lend you the money, on the assumption that they're going to have to refund it sooner or later. I'd hate to see what else fate will come up with if I don't.

But why are you taking classes? Aren't you done with them?

SEK

I appreciate the offer, Rich, but I fully intend on taking care of this tomorrow morning. I will not let the library eat my money. Libraries ought to know better. Mine, it seems, prefers to misbehave.

The "classes" in question are "dissertation hours." But because I was on leave last year, I need to sign up (and pay) for 12 units.

But yes, I'm a veritable ... Stephen White? By which I mean, the person to whom men-with-thistle-down-hair do improbably terrible things. (As opposed to something racist.)

As to when I'll lose my hearing aids: it'll have to be sometime after I start wearing them. I know I should, but prefer my quiet world to the noisome, loathsome cacophony in which you poor saps live.

History Geek

I admire your restraint. I would have lost it. When they screwed up my financial aid for summer I was four different shades of livid.

Karl Steel

I suppose if all else fails, you can just walk off with $2,640 worth of books and tell the mofos to charge it to your account.

Sisyphus

Poor Scott K! He's been summoned to the Library to settle a misunderstanding ... how sad that he will never be seen again!

(PS when you come to the part where you open a random door and find someone flogging some poor naked soul, please ask what's going on, as I always was curious about that part of the book.)

Mikhail Emelianov

i concur - excellent resolve to avoid violence - my check for $1000 was once cashed for $7000 and, of course, bounced, fees from the bank and general embarrassment ensued, i went to the cashier who blamed ME for writing my 1s looking like 7s - i pointed out that i also wrote "one thousand dollars" on the check and i do not write "one thousand dollars" the same way i write "seven thousand dollars" - the best part was that she promised to correct the mistake and my new check for $1000 was AGAIN cashed for $7000 - i think i was seven different shades of "ima gonna fuck you up, woman, yes i will!" in any case, now i write my 1s and my 7s differently.

tomemos

There we go.

Anyway, good luck with that, Scott.

tomemos

Okay, I tried cancelling the italics and it didn't work. It's up to a higher power than me, now.

(In my experience, when "you overpay" for something they get the "change" to you relatively quickly, probably in the form of a check you pic up at Berkeley Place. Hope that happens quick.)

Mikhail Emelianov

oops, italics is my fault, i think i forgot a tag at the end, Scott can easily fix it... Scott? are you there? my apologies to all the italics-haters...

Ahistoricality

Stephen Black was a great character. His suffering was deeply troubling, but critical to our understanding of the nature of faerie.

I honestly can't imagine putting that book down once it's picked up, but then it was a haunting experience for me: very nearly the perfect melding of fantasy and history, complete with footnotes!

As for the fiscal situation: you were very restrained. My inclination would have been to find out who was the financial person at the library and stand over their desk until they "found" a solution....

UCLA lurker

I'm very sorry to hear about this; I don't know how things are at Irvine, but around here experiences like yours are pretty much routine (though no less irritating). You have my complete sympathy.

Are you an academic student employee this year? If so, I think our (somewhat craptacular) new contract stipulates that the UC must cover your student fees. If not, it stinks that your department doesn't help you out with it.

Anthony Paul Smith

These things rarely don't work out.

Rich Puchalsky

Well, the joke, such as it is, wouldn't work if you didn't actually need hearing aids at 80, perhaps because PKD-style everything was by then automated to work by spoken command, and your appliances kept asking you helpful questions about how exactly you wanted them to work that you couldn't hear to respond to correctly, so that LW had to stand next you to tell your computer to turn on and connect to whatever the equivalent of your blog was etc.

At any rate, it must be a relief to find out that you only have 12 dissertation hours. Stop that overwork.

Rich Puchalsky

Mikhail Emelianov, you not only write your 1s and 7s differently, you seem to write some kind of mutant, perhaps Cyrillic, "i" that starts italics when in a tag, but that people can't match to close them.

Mikhail Emelianov

rich, i apologize for being technologically challenged/advanced - i believe "mutant" is indeed a synonym for "cyrillic".

as per the topic of this conversation, the fact that unitiversities here are so blatant in their different charges, fees and etc is something i am yet to get used to: "what's that $75 for again?" - "technology fee" - "how about this $35?" - "library fee" - "but i thought most of the 'technology' was in the library anyway? can i give you, say, $50 and we will call it even?" i think students would riot in Russia if they were charged stuff like that, there they just include it all in tuition... but then again if i really don't like it here so much why don't i just go back where i came from, right?

Tim Lacy

SEK,

This reminds me of peculiarity at my old university. They stipulated that we sign up for classes no matter whether our financial aid was worked out. One semester I waited until the first first or second day of classes to sign up because it took that long for the F.A. office to figure out my aid. Anyway, I was assessed a $50 late fee for, as I saw it, being responsible. Of course I contested the fee, sending e-mail after e-mail up the chain, eventually writing the president's office. After a few days my e-mail was answered by a jack-ass provost who said: "Just pay the $50 and get back to work on your dissertation." It was a two sentence e-mail. He was a jerk, but I had no choice.

Of course my situation doesn't apply to you at all. Your post, however, recalled my mishaps and pratfalls with administrators. - TL

John Emerson

Look up Lil Abner's JOE BTFSPLK.

Adam Roberts

I'm a little loathe to say this, since the situation you're in is clearly stressful, but this is the funniest acephalous post yet.

The Constructivist

Yeah, use some of that funny to intimidate those library people tomorrow, will ya?

SEK

After spending four hours running back-and-forth between Grad Studies, Financial Services, the Registrar, &c. I have found the problem:

The library charged me a $4,545 overdue fee on Charmain London's The Book of Jack London. No one knows why they did this -- the book's not rare, not lost, and more to the point, not overdue -- so they think there may've be a clerical error. Problem is, they can't find the money: everyone says it should be in someone else's payables.

But everyone assures me they will find the money (and not charge me late fees for all the late things this situation created).

Gads, but does this suck.

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