Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Red Tape Hater

I hate so-called “Red Tape.” No, not tape that is red. The bureaucratic hoops you must jump through to get anything of importance done through an outside organization. My specific beef right now is two-fold: our state tax system and colleges and universities.

We got a notice in the mail just the other day, stating that our car tags need to be renewed. Great! “This’ll be easy” I think, because now it can be done online. “A few clicks, type in my credit card number, and I’m done.” Wrong. I logged on to renew, and the computer system said I couldn’t renew online because I either hadn’t assessed or paid my property taxes this year. Again, wrong. I have done both. So, I had to call the Assessor’s office. And the number in the phone book was wrong, so I had to call another number. The sarcastically cheerful lady on the other end of the phone told me she would “fix” it (when it shouldn’t have been “broken” in the first place) and I could now renew online. Except that I couldn’t. Apparently the state is not using the insane amount of taxes I pay on everything to have computer systems that update more often than every 24 hours. That’s right…I had to wait until the next day. And guess what…I still haven’t done it. You know why? I realized something…our tags don’t expire until the end of November. And if I renew now, they’ll send me tags that expire next October instead of next November. So by being lazy and procrastinating, I can actually get a full year’s worth out of my car tags instead of just 11 months. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you.

Colleges and Universities are just as bad. Husband has attended a total of five (six, if you count the one that changed their name while he was going there) colleges/universities. I am baffled at the fact that one will not accept the Spanish he took at another one; nor will they accept the geology classes. Spanish is still the same language whether you take it in Texas or not, and Science is science, people. I can understand the more specialized classes not being accepted, but a Spanish class and a couple of science classes? Come on! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

So, having over a hundred credit hours at a university in Texas does him no good, because we’ve found no college/university that will accept more than 50 of them. The Texas school has a rather crappy distance-learning program and advising staff, which makes completing his degree off-campus not an option, although they say it is. So, after going to five/six different schools, spending thousands of dollars, logging hundreds of hours of going to class in one form or another, he’s less than half-way to completing his degree. How can this be? To any normal person, this is absurdity. To people at the schools, however, that’s just too bad. They want you to go to school forever and not tell you what classes you need to take in order to finally have a sheet of paper hanging on your wall that represents all the pain and suffering you’ve endured via their system.

One thing most advisors don’t understand is this: getting a degree for the sake of having one. They want to know what you want to do with your life…what you want to learn before you graduate…what your life goals are, etc. Forget that crap. Maybe for someone who’s 18 that is important. But when you’re already in your career of choice, it doesn’t matter what your degree is – just that you have one. They can’t grasp that concept. I’d almost even go to some rip-off online place and buy a diploma to hang on the wall…he’s put in enough hours to have one, yet he still doesn’t have one because of all of the stupid red tape. So I wouldn’t really feel bad doing it. Of course, I won’t do that because I’m a rule-follower, but still, the idea and frustration is there.

And here we go again…applying to yet another school, hoping and praying they accept more than half of his credit hours so that all the work, time, and money we’ve put into this has not been in vain. If I have to cut through one more piece of red tape today, I might just scream. Pin It


  1. Anonymous10:39 AM

    Log in. Write blog. Submit to web. Proof. Finalize.


  2. Curly9:05 AM

    Another beef to be had with colleges: taking pointless classes.

    We were all told throughout our highschool years that we had to take all of these seemingly pointless classes in highschool so that we would be well rounded and could take classes that would actually be usefull in college. WRONG-O. You have to take all of those same stupid classes again in college, you just have to write longer papers!

    Why does a business major need to take a history class? Or a literature class? And what the heck is up with "electives" aren't all college classes elective?