Much like all of my readers, I encounter various forms of idiocy on a daily basis. Some might argue that the forms of idiocy that I encounter is magnified due to my living in the great Garden State, but I would argue that they’re wrong. What I’ve come to understand is that idiots are just idiots and it doesn’t matter where they live or what they do for a living! Case in point – the idiot at the local college’s bookstore.
As some of you may remember, I teach at the local college. Well, two weeks ago was the first day of class and I just took over the teaching assignment for this class at the end of August. The problem with switching teaching assignments so close to the beginning of the school year is that the previous professor’s books are still the ones that are listed as the required texts – and I use different books. Thus, we have a problem.
My students came to class on the first day and most of them had the wrong textbook with them. No problem, I thought. I told the students to go back to the bookstore and explain the issue and that it shouldn’t be a problem to get a refund and switch out the book that they bought with the correct one. I’ve worked with the bookstore before and they’re typically a good, easy-going bunch.
However, I decided that since I was on vacation from my day job that after class that day I would walk over to the bookstore and just double check to be sure that the right books were assigned to my class section (they were). When I arrived at the bookstore, I noticed some of my students switching out their books, which was good. I asked one of the runners (they have students that run to the back to check on questions when they come up) if she could go and check my book assignments. By the response on this young girl’s face, you would have thought that I asked her to do high end calculus using nothing but an abacus. She responded with something like, “Oh… I don’t think I can do that, but let me ask my supervisor.” And before I could tell her not to worry about it, she was gone.
Folks, the last thing I want to do as an adjunct professor on the first day of school is bother a supervisor in the bookstore. If you’ve ever been to a college bookstore on the first day of classes, it’s mayhem. The young girl came running back and said to follow her to the back. Immediately, I put my guard up because not only was this completely unnecessary, but I knew that whoever I was going to speak with was going to be irate at my presence.
And I was right.
This young girl took me to a person in the back who was checking something on her computer as she was hunched over it. She said something like, “Yes. Hello.” I told her who I was and that my class had been changed a few weeks ago and that I used different textbooks than the previous professor. She responded with, “You can go online and check the textbooks to see if they’re the right ones.” So I told her that I went online the night before to check the texts and they were incorrect. And I also told her that I e-mailed the bookstore about the assignment change a few weeks prior to school starting and never received a response. She responded with, “Well, it’s been a little busy around here in case you can’t tell. You can go online and check the textbooks to see if they’re the right ones.”
Now, at this point I’m not in the mood for some idiot’s stance that she’s going to keep on going to the same line about checking online. So I said very calmly, “Yes. I checked online last night and they were wrong. I know that you guys are busy and you are all doing a great job. However, my students came to class with the wrong books this morning so I just wanted to double check.”
She responded with, “You can double check online.” I should note that the dummy was doing ten different things while trying to address my concerns and that after she repeated about going online to double check, she walked right by me without looking and stomped towards the front of the book counter. I slowly followed her and said, “I’d like to check the shelf.” And as it happened, she was marching by my books and said, “They’re over here somewhere,” as she pointed to her left. She then added, “If they’re wrong, let me know, but you can check all of this stuff online in the future.”
At this point, and as you might imagine, I was done talking to her. The combination of her not listening to me and relying on some stupid talking point about going online wasn’t helping the fact that her tone was a mixture of anger and frustration. So I walked over to where my books were, saw that the change was made, and began to walk out of the restricted area. On my way out, I called out, “Thank you. You guys are doing a great job. I appreciate it.”
No one responded.
And so I share this story with you because it’s been a while since I wrote about someone this rude and downright ignorant. I hope you’ve enjoyed because I enjoyed shaking my head in disgust as I left the bookstore! 🙂