I hate to be the one to spoil your fun, but honey, fun don’t pay the bills

I have the need to do a kind of… “State of the Union address” type of post. Maybe I will later. But this post – is all about school. Again. Haha.

My last big post was all about the insanity that was attempting to get into school. A few refreshers from that post (that’ll be relevant here) — I mentioned that they wanted me to go to Arlington for classes, since they didn’t have enough people to start them up here. They also hoped that I’d be able to give rides to the other girl who would’ve been in my classes, and they were offering me gas money for myself and for her. I decided against it, though, because it would be too much time spent in traffic and I did not want to deal with that.

A couple of hours after I made that post about school, someone else from the school called. I don’t know who the chick was – but she wasn’t the same person I’ve been dealing with. This lady (I think her name was Annette, so that’s what I’ll call her) said that she’d talked with the owner of the schools, and they were prepared to bump up the gas money offer to $50 a week, plus the $30 that they’d be giving the other girl to give me. She asked why I had said no, what my reasons were for not wanting to go to Arlington, so that she could see what they could do. From the things she said, and the way she phrased them, it seemed like she thought my reasons were entirely monetary, which isn’t the case. She started in on a whole long schpiel about how “lucky” I was to get into the WIA program, and have other people paying for my education, and about what a good deal I was getting, since they were going to be paying for my classes and books and how all the money they were giving me for gas would help pay for wear and tear on my car as well as the fuel, and etc, etc, etc. I know full well exactly how nice it is that someone else will be paying for my education, and I didn’t appreciate the tone to her voice as she was going through her whole speech.

I explained to Annette that yes, I was highly appreciative of getting into the program and everything, but that Arlington was just too far for me to go for school. I also informed her that I was also in DARS, and that my counselor had told me that if WIA didn’t pay for my school, that DARS would, and that DARS would allow me to go to Richland, which is incredibly closer to me. (Only 2 miles from my house!!) I also told her I sorry that I couldn’t attend their school because they weren’t able to get enough people approved by WIA to start a class, but (again), Arlington was just too far.

At that point, she started telling me about the other girl who would’ve been in my class. (I have no idea what her name is, so I’m going to call her … umm… “Mary” so I can stop saying “the other girl who would’ve been in my class”. Ha.) Annette said that Mary had all her hopes and dreams pinned on this class, that she had gone through the whole process of getting into WIA, and surely I knew how hard that was (um, actually, no. I was approved pretty much the second I walked in the door, since they needed to get things wrapped up for the fiscal year end, but… sure. :x) and that Mary desperately needed these classes to get work, etc. Then, Annette started laying the guilt-trip on thick — saying how Mary was pinning all her hopes and dreams on me, hoping I changed my mind about going to Arlington just so that she could get a ride with me. That if I didn’t go, Mary wouldn’t get this education that she couldn’t survive without, and that if I said no I’d just completely shatter her dreams

(Let me stop here for a second, so that I may make a point about me & my personality. Do not ever attempt to guilt-trip me into something. EVER. It will backfire on you faster than you can blink. I absolutely DETEST when people try to force me into something, especially when by means of guilt. If you want me to do something or like something, or whatever? Do not force it down my throat as means of getting me to do/try it. I will rebel and do the exact opposite of what you want.)

So, back to the phone call with Annette. By the time she’s attempting to guilt trip me into going, I’ve already stated multiple times that I cannot and will not go out to Arlington. That my issue with that arrangement has absolutely nothing to do with money, and everything to do with the time I’d be stuck in my car in rush hour traffic each way. Time is a valuable resource and something they can’t give back to me. And not only is her guilt trip backfiring because I can’t stand people attempting to manipulate me, but I’m also getting incredibly pissed off that the Annette has apparently told Mary that I WILL drive her to and from school, before they even cleared it with me first. Do I feel bad for Mary? Sure, I do. But you know what? It’s not MY responsibility to get her to school. If class had started, and we met and became friendly, then sure. Maybe I’d offer her a ride to help her out. And, if she needs a ride from me so desperately, what’s she going to do for transportation when I’m on vacation? What if I got incredibly sick and couldn’t make a class? Is she going to expect me to still take her to school, even if I’m not going? But at this point, she’s still a complete stranger to me, and a stranger who lives in the opposite direction from the school (both Dallas and Arlington campuses) from where I live. I don’t appreciate Annette volunteering my services as a taxi to someone I don’t know, before asking me if it’s okay. (Just because my car is yellow does NOT mean it’s a cab.)

I’d been on the phone with Annette for a bit over 20 minutes at this point. I say to her yet again that I’m sorry, and I feel bad for Mary but Arlington is Too. Far. To. Drive. on a daily basis. She starts to launch off on yet another guilt-trip to convince me to go. I stopped her mid-sentence and asked her if she remembered me saying at the beginning of our conversation that I was also in DARS. I told her that one of my issues is a dislocated arthritic tailbone (granted, it’s not one of the reasons I was accepted by DARS, but I was trying to make a point to her. ;)) and that there was absolutely no way that I could physically sit in a car for that amount of time on a daily basis, and that there was nothing she could say or that they could offer that would change that fact. Technically, I probably could do the drive, but I would end up in pain and need more meds and steroid injections after having to do it 4 times a week for 3 months straight. I absolutely hated having to do that and pull out the injured card, but there was no other way of getting through to her. I’d said “no” multiple times already, and Annette just wasn’t giving up. After I said that, though, she finally let me off the phone. I was absolutely livid after that, and I couldn’t believe how rude and unprofessional she’d been.

The next week, I got an email from Amy (the nice girl in admissions that I normally deal with), and she said that they were working with WIA to attempt to get approval for a class that started at the end of July, even though that would mean the class ended after the close of WIA’s fiscal year. While waiting to hear the final yes or no on that class, I’ve been debating whether or not I even wanted to attend school at this place, after my interactions with Annette left a very sour taste in my mouth. I finally decided that I’d still go, because I’m not going to let one person’s unprofessional behavior stop me from getting a free education. Especially since it’s unlikely I’ll have to deal with her again. 😉

I got another email from Amy on Tuesday — they finally got the approval. So, I start school on Monday. Instead of classes on Monday through Thursday, this is going to be a Mon, Wed, Fri class schedule. I actually like that better — it gives me time to do my homework on the off-days, instead of trying to cram it into the evenings. They’re also still going to work with me in regards to my vacation in 8 days. Luckily, with class not starting until next week, I’ll only be missing part of the “computer fundamentals” class. That part is just to make sure everyone in class has rudimentary PC skills, and I can ace it no problem. At least I won’t be missing something important. Hee.