Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why Plan? Scenario 2

Scenario 2: I have been booked since November to teach a special writing course to the Department of Psychology, but the course was schedule for this month. In January, I inquired about dates as I had not received them yet. By February, I asked again and received them at the end of the month. Still, I did not have a contact, an address, or any pertinent information, all of which were included in prior e-mails to my colleague who arranged this. 

Last Friday, I get what apparently is the secret packet of info. They have kept it so close to their vest for so long, it feels like a spy mission. Included is the address of the department; it is separate from my campus. They were also gracious enough to share the name of the department head and her secretary's name, but no contact info. Do they have unlisted e-mail addresses? 

On Monday, I walked over there to do a run-by to see how long it would take me to get there and to turn in my handouts for the secretary to copy for attendees. Apparently, room number 102 does not exist, because as diligently as I surveyed the floor, the numbering went from 101 to 103 and beyond. Up the hall, down the hall, checking every nook and cranny, no room 102, not even broom closet. On my fifth rotation of the hall, a woman appears with mobile in hand. When she is fumbling for keys, I stand waiting patiently for the phone to disappear in her pocket or for her to call the police assuming my intentions are nefarious. 

Luck! She is the secretary I am looking for. The professor will be in in ten minutes time if I want to wait. We transfer all of the handouts from my USB stick to her computer. I explain all of it to her as well as give my e-mail address again. It is on the front page of the handout as well. Explaining I have no idea where I am suppose to present within the building and I would really like to know if I need to bring my own equipment, she feigns having any knowledge. BUT the professor will be here in ten minutes, yet that story played originally fifteen minutes ago when I arrived. 

The sense of time and distance here are corrupted. You ask someone how far is ...? The response is always "It is only a ten minute walk." In reality, it takes thirty to forty-five minutes if you are wearing your track shoes doing a swift pace of strides. 
I knew her arrival really translated to "She is expected sometime this semester."

Reiterating my e-mail address, I asked to be contacted with pertinent information. 
Equipment - Yes or No (Circle one)
Location - Fill in your answer here.

Still no word.
When I complained to the colleague who arranged this stating there was vital information missing, she wrote back with the same information I had already, nothing new. Yet at the same time, she made me feel like an incompetent for not knowing. What happened to professionalism?

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