Tuesday, January 5, 2010

We should re-evaluate the "aid" part of financial aid department

As a 1L with 4 1/2 years of college under my belt I consider myself a veteran of the never ending Office of Financial Aid War, code named Operation Do Your Job. Today was a tipping point in the war however, and we have our first documented casualty- my knuckles. That's right, after dealing with the incompetence that is the OFA at my college my temper rose to such a level that I lashed out and punched a table in an effort to keep from having an anyeurism. Some of you out there may be thinking to yourself, "this guy's an idiot, what does punching a table solve?", to which I hope you will understand that hearing the same excuses for the last half decade will lead you to do some stupid things.

Allow me to explain the situation. At the beginning of December I applied for a grad plus loan. These are loans available to graduate level students to help pay for the general expenses of living, books, etc. At the time this money was necessary to make it through the holidays so I requested the disbursement to be for both the fall and spring terms, knowing that the fall disbursement would be applied ASAP instead of waiting until the spring semester. Well I forgot to factor in the idiocy and laxidaze of the OFA, and as luck would have it they were not able to get around to my disbursement until this week (or January 4th as I was told in an email quite some time ago). So January 4th rolls around and guess who still hasn't received the loan? After some investigation and 15-20 minutes of on-hold elevator music I was informed that this loan was applied to my spring tuition and would now be refunded in due course with the rest of this semester's refund.

So what happens to refunds once they've been processed by our OFA? They are sent to an outsourced company who provides debit cards and direct depositing to students at the institutions they have contracted with. This means that ONCE the OFA has done the job they were originally supposed to do in whatever amount of time that takes the refund is now sent off for an additional processing and release period of 24 hours to a couple of days or even a week. Can you think of a more unnecessary middle man?

Just another whining college student, right? Well bite me! There are two things to point out: 1) I'm a law student. This means that I have to purchase all of my books and supplements at least a week in advance in order to read for the first day of class. 2) As a 1L we are not allowed to have jobs during our first year. So for those of us not living off of mommy and daddy that loan disbursement is pretty damn important to make it through the year. So maybe, jussssst maybe it would be nice if the nutless monkeys that work at that office could try to put the aid back into financial aid rather being the Office of Financial Pain as they usually are.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Just like John Wilkes Boothe, our prices will sneak up behind you and blow your brains out!"

Alright, today's rant is a lesson in etiquette. It surrounds a posting I have on craigslist selling a 32" HDTV for less than half of what I paid for it. Now originally I posted this tv for $750, as it's going for about $1000 still on the review sites. Not a bad deal I thought. I just need a little bit of spending cash for this holiday season, and lets face it if I'm going to pass law school a tv is the last thing I need. Well apparently craigslist nation did not think that my tv was worth $750. That's ok, first rule of bargaining is to shoot high. So I dropped it down to $650. That's a pretty substantial price reduction. All the while, I figured in my head I wouldn't go below $500 if it came down to it. Well, after a couple of days and a couple more price drops, here I am, my rock bottom price.

Now the holidays are coming up, who wouldn't like a LCD HDTV with wall mounts?! Apparently nobody, that's who. The only offer I got for my posting of a $500 tv was an email saying "the best I can offer is $250". Now if you've been paying attention and are somewhat decent at math, that's less than a quarter what I paid for a top brand HDTV. Basically came across as a slap in the face to me. Maybe I'm overreacting (anyone who knows me knows I'm highly capable of that) but I'm less inclined to haggle with someone who throws such a low-ball number at me. This isn't Crazy Brian's Bargain Bin Expo. I'm not walking around with a shoddy name tag with my name printed crooked and a comb-over trying to get the early morning bottom feeders to purchase a used pair of socks for fifty cents. Bush league lady, an offer like that is bush league.

But now the ball's in my court. I have her email address and she's awaiting my response. So many things I want to say. But I'm gonna let anyone who reads this submit a response you think I should go with. I'll pick one and let little miss ball buster have whats coming to her. Have fun with this one.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

And thus begins the first of many incessant ramblings....

Well friends, if you're reading this it means one of two things: you have way too much free time on your hands and have nothing better to do than read this nonsense, or you stumbled upon this blog by accident (you were either looking for a niche funny blog or legal representation, we probably can't provide either for you). At any rate, glad you're here.

It's that time of the year when hundreds of law school students across the nation officially become hermits, that's right, finals time. Don't know how to identify a law student from the rest? Here's how; first, they will be pale. They haven't seen the light of day in a few weeks now but believe me, these vampires don't sparkle in the sunlight (on a side note, what happened to the vampires we grew up with? Dracula didn't sparkle in the daylight. He got shit done at night like a respectable nocturnal being. Twilight must be stopped). They'll most likely be hunched over carrying a stack full of hornbooks, UCC codes, and federal rules like it was their first born. Fashion? They have none. Don't have time to match clothes, they've got a strict schedule to adhere to and only 59 alloted minutes left for studying the flash cards they made before a 7 minute break for food, and then back to the library. You may try to say hi, but do so at your own risk. There's a 50/50 chance they'll either ignore you, or blurt out some random statement about an illusory promise because they've lost all social skills. But don't worry, in two weeks time they will once again begin to show their faces around town, and most likely over-indulge in all of the vices they have put on hold for the last few weeks.