Tuesday, March 1

Tutorial Selection Terror!

The best thing about week one of uni is that there are no tutorials (tutes).

The worst thing about week one of uni is converting a carefully scripted proposed timetable of tutes into a successfully locked down tutes using an online 'booking system' which I referred to continually today as "Ohhhh FUCK OFF".

A successful selection will see you spending less hours at uni, ours which can be better spent. . . sleeping. A massive delay and mad scramble will see you having to select tutes which will expose you to gaping breaks and additional hours hanging around uni.

When I was a lowly Arts student, you got into your tutes by skipping the first lecture of each subject and going to the subject coordinators office to sign your name up to the time of your choice on a sheet on their door. Pretty easy hey.

In Business you and about 2000 other students all log onto the School of Business' version of purgatory. Timetabled to open at 10am, it NEVER starts without a delay. Following that, you kinda get stuck there, if it failed to book you in you spend time waiting and reloading, you're drawn to continually trying and trying and trying because if you turn away for a moment it might start working and then every other two bit 19 year old in a Von Dutch tshirt suddenly steals all the premium tutes you have coveted since the timetable was released months ago.

Then you start the wondering, maybe it's my computer, maybe it's my log in, maybe it's my internet connection. Then you start the phone calls to the uni.

Call 1: "Yeah hi, I know you've probably been asked this a hundred times, but is there a problem with Ohhhh FUCK OFF*? Oh yeah, there is? Okay I'll try again in a few minutes."

(* Not its real name)

Call 2: (some two hours later) "Hi, um, about Ohhhh FUCK OFF, is it up? It is? It's working? Yeah... look I'm still having trouble. Keep trying? Okay."

After 6 hours of typing and retyping my user name and password into the glitchy, held together with a combination of spit and smeg, glorified commodore 64 computer system, I'd had enough.

It was strongly worded email time.

Hi there,

I appreciate that there is a big backlog of students trying to get onto the system, but come on, this is ridiculous.

I've just sat in front of the computer for over 6 hours trying to simply log in and enroll in four tutes and all I'm getting in error screens and now the frustration of getting into the system only for it to kick me out again and ask me to log in, over and over. This is not on.

I appreciate that the level of access requests goes crazy the moment Ohhhh FUCK OFF opens, but shouldn't the system be ready to go at 10am - as advertised? It's not really a surprise that piles of business students are trying to log on at once is it? That's hardly an unforeseen circumstance is it?

I've rung a few times and have been told each time to keep trying, and that the system, as of around 3.30, is up. I've managed to actually get as for are choosing a tute after having to reload each step of the selection process three or four times - only to be once again asked to log in again and again and again.

Why have i just spent hours and hours trying to do something as simple as enroll in my tutes?

How hard would it be to put up a screen which says, "We apologise for the inconvenience, but Ohhhh FUCK OFF will not be available until 4pm" thereby saving everyone hours of punching passwords into an overheated system?

I'm not trying to vent or take my frustrations out on anyone, and i hate people who shoot the messenger, I'm just trying to articulate the frustration of spending hours and hours punching a user name and password into a computer.

Kind Regards,

The Student

See how articulate and reasonable I can sound even though I'm fighting back the temptation to go and file their rickety computer system under "Destroyed With An Axe" ?

Just as I was about to hit 'Send' on that Spike Milligan-esque gem of modern electronic correspondence, I decided to give a mate a call and ask him if he could get in on his 'super fast internet connection', rather than my 'two tin cans attached with string" set up I'm running here.

Turns out he had no trouble and in three minutes my tutes were selected. Fan. Fucking. Tastic. I missed out on three of my preferred times but didn't fair too badly, considering it was now nearing SEVEN HOURS since I first tried to log in. I have never wasted a day of my life in a more convincing fashion than today.

Today's Hindenberg style tutorial selection disaster highlights the fact that no amount of careful planning and well thought out manipulation of the system can insure you against the ravages of tutorial selection terror. Beware!


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