January 09, 2012

Small Town Frustration

Lawd, Lawd. Trying to do the most simple thing, down here, turns into major drama.  Seriously.  I am beginning to believe that they operate in a time warp or on another planet. Now, don't get me wrong. There are some advantages to living in a small town--the "Cheers" theme song,"Everybody Knows Your Name," sums it up nicely. Or,  they know your face. That familiarity means some functions are handled more quickly and easier here than in a metropolitan area.  But when you run into that wall....

Take my attempts to join the Zumba class.  Now, we know that this is the latest exercise rage everywhere.  Brownsville had it before Ripley even thought of the concept. Each time I asked someone connected with the fitness center, the response was no.  So, it was a pleasant surprise to learn that they had finally put one together. I was asked to attend with a friend and dropped by the center to see what the requirements were, the cost, yada yada.  "We're at the end of the session. You can join in January." When I explained that I had been invited to attend that evening's class, I was told that I could observe but not participate. When I arrived that evening, "you can participate but not observe." Please.

Last week, I was ready to join the class even though I would not be able to attend each scheduled class. I'm out of shape anyway so one day a week is better than none.  Well, looky here. "Do you have your medical release?" Now, didn't I ask that woman if a medical release was necessary and didn't she tell me no? Needless to say, I am not in this class, either.

The next adventure came courtesy of the TN Technology Center, in Ripley.  I have been asking about desktop publishing programs since I arrived. UT at Martin has a branch here.  If you're not seeking a degree in education, forget about it.  Surely the Tech Center has one.  N O T. Then, by accident, I stumbled across the fact that they had online classes and some dtp classes are offered.  Alrighty, then. Sign me up.

After much conversation, I finally got across the fact that I wasn't seeking a certificate, diploma, or looking for a job.  All I wanted to do was take the classes which would improve my skills. We're on the same page, right? I have no problem providing a statement that I was not seeking financial aid or a piece of paper. After all, I don't want to endanger their financial aid status.

Arrived to pay the fee on Friday and pick up my book (I'd found the others online--used works for me).  The book is on backorder and should arrive sometime this week.  Excuse me, class starts this week.  Oh, well.  That's out of my control. Checked to make sure that I would be able to order Microsoft Suite, at student prices.  Did I need anything special to make it happen?  Nope, it's an accredited institution.  So all weekend, I tried to scale Microsoft's barriers and order the software. No luck.  Need more information than I had: an email address; registration number; something to prove that I was indeed a student.

Okey dokey.  Sent an email to the school outlining the problem.  Did I say that class starts this week? No book; no software.  Get an email back addressed to several of us asking if we needed software?  They just might be able to provide a few copies.  No mention of the cost. Excuse me.  If you had copies of the needed software available, why weren't they offered at some point earlier?  During orientation, during the previous conversations, or in response to the email regarding the difficulties I was encountering?

So I've sent proof of registration to Microsoft while I wait to see what is going to happen at the Center.  Whoever comes through first gets the money.  The book and software will arrive.  Hopefully, before too much time has lapsed and I'm booted for not taking the required courses in a timely manner.

And we won't mention my attempts to get medical tests.  Sheesh! That, in itself, is a whole 'nother post.  Ending on a note of frustration and optimism.  Be Safe. Be Blessed.

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