Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I Was Wrong

Years back, a once-ubiquitous televangelist published a book bearing the same title as this entry. Now, although this writing is unlikely to have the same volume of readership or cover infractions of the same scope or breadth, I feel it is cleansing to admit one’s inaccuracies.

For months, I have been convinced that I have seen the face of pure evil—in the form of a principled-yet-crusty financial officer. We’ll call her Midge. Let’s say she works in the accounting office of a school I attend. As I am currently enrolled in two institutions of higher education, this seems an adequately anonymous way to showcase the relevant events.

Following an Unfortunate Incident last fall when my view of my billing status did not match Midge’s analysis, it seemed to me that my account fell victim to no end of mysterious inaccuracies. In my mind, Midge burned the midnight oil dreaming up new ways to foul up my account. She would hack into official files. Alter paperwork. Misfile documents. All for sport. All for the sheer pleasure of making me sweat—which regular readers recognize as an ongoing issue anyway.

Over the weekend, I received troubling documentation that led me to believe that Midge was at it again. Poised to pick my pocket right smack in the middle of my family’s upcoming cross country road trip. I couldn’t believe it! How did Midge catch wind of our travel dates? Even family members on the hook for pet care duty haven’t been able to pin us down on the scope and sequence of our itinerary. Quite frankly, we’re less than a month from our projected departure and WE don’t even know. Darn, Midge is good!

I fired off an email to Midge. I received the following prompt response:

Ms. Davis:

The payment plan you selected is not offered by our school, as noted on the Payment Preference Sheet you received in your enrollment packet. However, as a courtesy to you, I will adjust your agreement for the dates of your choice.

Assuming the worst about people probably isn’t anymore accurate than assuming the best.

For weeks now, I’ve been pulling for my Computer Classmate. Poor misguided soul. The class as a unit, including Prof C, coached her out of despair when an English professor wouldn’t accept the hand scrawled scrap of embattled notebook paper she called an essay. We encouraged, informed and educated even as she struggled to type said essay into MS Word during Prof C’s MS Word lecture. Of course, she didn’t hear the lecture and we had to collectively navigate her though the material all over again.

Anyway, I just told myself that someone who would navigate the public transit system—the same system we’re told is responsible for her inability to complete lab assignments--to acquaint herself with technology she hasn’t seen “in all her 36 years,” well, I just knew she’d look back on all this from her 16th –story, hardwood paneled office in a few years and laugh—and remember us all fondly as she sipped martinis at power lunches.

Well, she didn’t show up today, missing the entire Power Point unit—a deficit from which the concerted efforts of all of us won’t be able to bring her back. But then again, I’m assuming.

Maybe I need a more baseline view of humanity—you know, kind of avoid my extremist tendencies. Computer Classmate probably just got some troubling documentation in the mail from Midge and missed the bus while sorting it all out.

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