What would you do if this happened to you at the job-place?


Where do I even begin? I am going to categorize this post in Life. This post is the first post of its kind. I took a sick day at the 8-5 today, but not to write this post or anything. Writing this post comes a little later in the morning after I emailed my boss that I wouldn’t make it in. (Besides, I am sick today.)

I want to talk about something that happened yesterday. To anyone on the outside looking in, what I have to say would appear not to be very important, but it didn’t happen to just anyone, it happened to me. That’s first and foremost right there. I think there are a lot of reasons why what happened yesterday is more significant than not, but I don’t have time to explain all of those reasons right now and here.

See, what happens yesterday is, my phone rings, I answer it, and it’s the same newly admitted student I had been working with, and talking to all morning. (I don’t mean to put that on her back at all, because I did not mind talking to her one bit, that is my job.) See, I admitted the student Monday, and not only was she ready to get advised, but she had a question regarding something that was important, and time sensitive, that Admissions (me) was unable to solve. By that I mean she needed an answer sooner than later since it affected her registering at another college before classes start next week. Only an academic adviser would have the answer to her question. (I work in higher-ed, by the way.) She was calling me from the Houston Community College where she wanted to take a math class that she still needed for admission to my university. We conditionally accepted her so long as she takes the class before the end of her first semester.

There is only one problem with the above scenario.

My new student only became a new student on Monday, and the file is still with Admissions, which means the student’s file is in my processor’s office, where it belongs unless I am physically looking at it, which I wasn’t. Or, unless it is with Academic Advising, which allegedly, (ha) it was not. My processor should be preparing her file for the next phase as I write this post, and Academic Advising will likely receive the file, and perhaps call the student today (Wednesday), but the phone call and transfer happened yesterday.

Yesterday, I did the unthinkable,  a big no-no, and I transferred my new student directly to her adviser. Honestly, I don’t know why I did that. There is no way advising would even have the student file. My processor would have been super fast to have given it to the adviser in less than 24 hours. My adviser had no idea who the student even was. WHAT DO YOU EVEN CALL THAT? Is it an accident? Can you call it a mistake?

AND, it gets worse. I email my adviser at the same time as I transfer the call. Something short and sweet, and grammatically correct of course. I said, Hi Ms. W, I talked to a new student, Y, and she will be ready to hear from academic advising. I was writing the darn thing before I even talked to my student- Y again when she called the last time. I was going to give my adviser a head’s up anyway, which is why I was emailing her already. I wanted her to know there was a sense of urgency to the student. I could hear W on her phone all morning and knew she wasn’t available for me to peek my head in to ask her a quick question or talk to her about the new student. Finally, W gets off the phone, and without any hesitation, I just rather quickly and instinctively transfer the call and send the email, while I had Y on the phone. I told Y I would see if her academic adviser were available, and I would see if she could ask her a quick question. Then, BOOM!

Not only does W put the student on hold, but she also walks out of her office to the door next to hers, mine. Then, W proceeds to explain to me more than once why I shouldn’t transfer the student to her in the first place. She made herself very clear, which I said so when I shook my head yes and told her I understood, and that she had made herself clear. W goes back to her office and transfers the call. I re-explain the process to my student. NO big deal. WRONG. W ferociously types out an email she sends to my boss and copies me. I am not a fan of the email, to say the least.

Oh, but that is life, I tell ya! And, this is just a job. Life must go on. But, what do you do? What if this has happened before? What if it happens all the time? As a manager or employee, what should happen next, what if it doesn’t, and what if the little incident happens again? I mean, at what point in any situation, does enough become enough?


For example, flip the table on me, and the first thing I would want to ask myself is, “Wait, you emailed your boss you were sick, and that you wouldn’t be in?” (That always struck out at me as odd my first week on the new job, but yes, emailing the boss when you will be out is part of the culture at my office, and is completely acceptable.)


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