I find it difficult to believe that the long and frustrating saga of my thesis is not over yet, but that is the case. My deadline for having my bound copy, plus associated paperwork, to the university is today.
So last week I was feeling rather virtuous, as I had had 2 copies bound, had taken them to the Post Office and sent them off registered post, a week ahead of the deadline. It is more expensive but I couldn’t tolerate the thought of anything else going wrong. I had been unable to find out where I should send it, but the academic administrator at my theological college, who also did not know, told me to send them to her and she would sort it out for me.
When I got home from posting the packages, there was a letter waiting from the uni. It told me about my deadline, and gave me the missing piece of information – where to send the thesis.
Knowing the abysmal nature of my college’s admin, I then sent 2 emails. One was to the academic administrator, telling her I had sent the thesis, asking her to confirm with me when she had received it, giving her the information from the letter, telling her about the deadline, and thanking her for her help. I sent a similar letter to my tutor’s secretary, asking her to keep an eye on it for me.
The theses should have arrived by lunchtime last Thursday. I heard nothing on Thursday, Friday or Monday.
I phoned my college’s acad administrator. Yes, she said vaguely, she thought she probably had received it. No, she had not seen my email (that doesn’t mean that she hadn’t received it. It means she hadn’t read it). Why did the university need a bound copy of my thesis? Why was there a deadline? None of this was necessary! And in any case, she had told me that she didn’t know where to send it. I reminded her that she had also told me that she would find out.
I read out the uni letter to her, repeating what I had said in the email. Muttering that she couldn’t see the point, I could hear her rustling about. I told her the address. She said she would put it in the post that evening.
I asked her if she could guarantee it arriving at the uni by today, the deadline. She said coolly that she couldn’t see why not. There was a long pause, while I selected and discarded a great many comments. As she is responsible for the possibility of my not being able to graduate, I waited to see if she would offer an apology. She didn’t. Eventually, she put the phone down.
I phoned the nice helpful postgrad uni administrator again and told him what had happened. He went to his boss, who said that, because my thesis had arrived at my college by the deadline, I would be allowed to graduate. But he would get in touch with my college, and phone me in the morning.
Which is exactly what he did this morning – twice, following up with 2 emails. I asked his advice about the possibility of my making a formal complaint. He gave me a contact name and number.
My heart rate is now slowing down, and I’m left asking, why can some people do their jobs, and not others?