Cordiality goes both ways when dealing with financial aid.
“Can I please get my personal copy time stamped,” I said nicely to the administrative assistant in the registrars’ office.
There wasn’t a hint of contention on my part, but with my request came a backlash of discord.
“I’m not doing that,” she said flatly.
Is she serious? Can’t be? I asked again.
“You’re trying to make it seem like I can’t do my job,” she said.
As I was about to explain my case, she took my documents and carelessly time stamped my papers and handed them back with more creases than they had at first.
I bid her farewell and was all set to do yet another piece on customer service at our illustrious university when I overheard a student in the financial aid office speaking to one of the consultants in a appalling manner.
I had to check myself. Though protocol at Florida A&M University can be wearisome at times, there is never an excuse to speak with university personnel ghastly.
I then understood why the lady at the registrar office was so quick with me.
Maybe she was tired of students and other university shareholders treating her badly.
But she shouldn’t have interacted with me rudely.
When I first came to FAMU, I was naïve on how this ship works.
I was non-confrontational and very much respectful.
But after being taken advantage of and not getting things done, I resorted to what many of my peers did – I became a fool.
“What do you mean you can’t find my documents,” I would yell at whatever university party
I had a with which I had a dilemma.
My nostrils would flair and my eyes would darken.
My voice would become loud and automatically become immersed in a very “hoodrific” accent.
And of course, whomever I was addressing would undoubtedly cop an attitude.
And rightly so.
The problem: both the university employee and myself resorted to standards that prohibit productivity.
We at FAMU fail to look at the “big picture.”
Common courtesy is the front line of competence.
It’s simply not taking things
personally and having great customer service.
What good is cursing out a financial aid administrator when they really don’t have any say on the status of one’s account?
And what good is belittling a student when they are trying to get their affairs in order?
What it simply all boils down to is treating and talking better to each other. We are so defensive and so much in attack mode that we fail to recognize that we are on the same team.
Wesley Martin is a senior magazine production student from Miami. He can be reached at Wes.N.Martin@gmail.com.