Thursday, March 02, 2006


Today was a really rough day, no thanks to Touro's inability to hire [edit:] qualified office staff. Instead of spending the day calling and e-mailing job leads, I spent it arguing with someone about sending me my own loan money - money I should have received a month ago. Thank God, in the end, they said they'd send out the check today or tomorrow, and more money as soon as my other class is added.

So what did I learn today? Don't trust incompetent people. Depressingly, I learned more and more that you cannot count on people to do their jobs - and often, there's nothing you can do to make them. I discovered that people will lie to protect their reputations rather than admit a simple mistake. I learned that people will tell you one thing, and then, shortly after discovering that this isn't convenient for their boss or co-worker, will claim it never happened.

I rarely hate. But I discovered that I have a limit to my patience, which IMHO is normally quite a high threshold to cross. People not doing their jobs simply because they're incompetent and lazy get me close to the edge.

Liars push me over it.


  1. Rebecca - Yep! They're the culprits! Sickening, really.

  2. I work in the social service industry and frequently deal with government agencies.
    There is some much incompetence I sometimes wonder how anything gets done. Most people have a pass-the-buck mentality and do not give a shit...I sympathize with you...

  3. Yea... this is why it is the most important thing you can do in college, is get close to the people in the office. They can do wonders for you. I'm on a first name bases with almost all of them and it has helped me a million times over. Lets see... Avraham, the head person in the registar, when I needed it, transfered my Israel credits in 3 days when it usualy takes people 3 months. Steven in admitions somehow "found" me some more credits from high school then I remember having.. stylvena in the finacial aid found two scholarships for me that I didnt know exsisted and saved me about $1000. The head of the english department, Mrs. Grossman raised me from a Intro to English with lab (i.e. tutor) to English I (the orginal problem was something about my spelling....but I'm not really sure what she is talking about ;)

  4. Sushi - Thanks.

    Shua - Right, and I normally do so. The problem is we don't have a bursar or financial aid person in Lander, and they're located in Brooklyn. They come once a week, at inconvenient times. There's no way to become 'friendly' to any of them. Ugh.

  5. I'm with you, Ezzie. I can't stand incompetence and then the lies that follow. It gets so old. What ever happened to the "customer is always right?" I guess that went out w/groovy.

  6. Amen, Stacey. They should be new Snowball Squad targets!

  7. Ezzie,

    I don't know why I didn't think of this before, but call me with the names of the Bursars you're dealing with. Five bucks says dropping my name can open doors. That office in J ows me big time.

    It's been a year though, so it could be a newb.

    Worse case, you COULD always talk to your wife's uncle y'know. I hear he's connected.

  8. Mordechai - I've thought of that, though in general I try to avoid doing that. I *almost* told her that I'd make sure she get fired, but then decided that that was pushing it.

    I might, however, use a bit of name-dropping on someone else this week when I apply for graduation...

  9. welcome to the wonderful world of touro.
    i know of no one who has pleasant memories of touro.
    it is a horrible organization. most go there because of a lack of alternatives -- you want to be in brooklyn, its where you live, your yeshiva wont let you go to brooklyn/queens college, touro gives more yeshiva credits, it is convenient, etc.
    but it is a sucky institution -- it provides a lousy education, no college experience to speak of, and charges a fortune.

  10. Well, in Lander at least, not all of those are true. I didn't get charged a fort-- okay, I wasn't supposed to be charged a fortune, and once I straightened out the bursar, I wasn't.

    For accounting, in Lander, the education was very good.

  11. Hey anon, how about putting your name in front of those statments?

    I had a good Touro experiance. Aside from the fact that I met my wife there, I learned a lot. I got valuable experiance that I still use today.

    It's not perfect, but if people chose not to focus on the negative and actually do the damn work, they can get a lot out of it.

    The biggest problem on the Touro end of things is Bursar and FinAid, and a few apathetic employees in the Registrar's office. The lack of a dedeicated member of those departments at the Lander Campus or the Women's Division is unforgivably shortsited and sends a poor message to the students.

    Ezzie_ if you're meating with HL, send my regards. She loves Suzannah and is rather fond of me. If you meet with someone else, call me and I can get dirt.

    And don't use our names to threaten to get someone fired. Use them to point out you are a part of the Touro mishpacha.

  12. Mordechai - Well put.

    Re: HL - Umm... she hates us, ever since Serach had her ma'aseh there. She made a nasty comment that had to do with your father, and she hung up on me, which is the only time in my life I can remember someone doing something like that.

    And I know not to use it like that - I was just sorely tempted.

    Oh, Ser just called Touro, and got connected to the wrong person. Surprised?

  13. HL made a nasty comment about my dad? REALLY? Wow. The Search incident (which you guys have yet to tell us about in full) must have been really bad.

    HL and I got along great. Our only incident was when, as an employee, she asked me when my wife and I were going to have a second child.

    I smiled, closed the door and responded thusly:

    "Tell you what - when I can ask you about your sex life, then you can ask me about mine, okay?"

    I then had to explain to her what sex had to do with having a baby.


    (I also politely explained why it may be assur to ask that according to some views. That got less of a reaction though).

    In other news, you need to come for a Shabbos.

  14. Re HL, good l-rd, Mord, that was really more than we needed to know. I don't mind the griping--speaking of Serach getting connected to the wrong person, one of the reasons why I have such a huge homemade database is that I'm *constantly* transferring to other offices calls that were misdirected to ours--but I'd appreciate it if you'd tone down the lashon harah a bit.

    Um, for the record, if you're getting together with someone, you're *meeting* them. There's no such word as "meating": meat=fleisch. Hey, I get paid to edit.

    That said, long time no see, Mordecai. Hope all's well.

    Here are some of my personal gripes about Touro, from an employee's perspective (no, I *won't* tell you my real name--I actually *like* my job, for the most part [aside from the so-called pay], and I have no desire to jeopardize it):

    Touro is spread way too thin. They keep opening new campuses when they can barely afford to pay the staff (bukkehs) and maintain the facilities of the campuses that already exist. The lack of staff at the Lander College for Men and Lander College for Women campuses is symptomatic of this desire to spread the name and the fame without worrying about such minor details as actually *operating* the various campuses. Understaffing and/or a lack of staff altogether (as at LCM and LCW) and/or radical underpayment of employees is typical.

    Some Touro employees don't even bother trying to do a decent job because they know they'll never be fired because of their family connections with higher-ups. (Mind you, some of the well-connected work their duffs off--I don't want to tar everyone with the same brush.)

    There's too much tolerance for incompetence and/or for avoiding work. For example, I just worked on a project for someone from an out-of-town campus because the out-of-towner's secretary apparently never made the transition from the typewriter to the computer--I can't remember the last time I saw a "hard return/line-break/Paragraph Mark/Enter" at the end of every single sentence of a document--and had no idea how to format the files to look decent enough for submission. A reasonable amount of computer literacy ought to be expected of a secretary, don't you think? Then, of course, there are the secretaries whose phone calls go to Voice Mail so often that one wonders whether they're ever actually at their desks. My all-time favorite is a person allegedly connected in some way with college communications who has, somehow, managed for years to avoid getting an e-mail address in order to continue to be as uncommunicative as s/he chooses. Then there's the person who composes ads of various varieties, whose English errors get splashed across the pages of the Jewish Week, much to the embarrassment of those of us who actually *care* that Touro is supposed to be a *college* whose advertisements should reflect a modicum of, um, you know, literacy. Then there are the faculty members whose accents are so thick that their students can't undertand them, the Ph.D.'s who know their subjects but don't know how to teach, the faculty and/or professional staff members who don't know how to write (as I said, I get paid to edit . . .)

    Ok, rant over. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled program.

  15. Mordechai - You're right, we should come sometime! (Too bad we've never been invited.... ;) I kid, I kid!) But it may have to wait a bit, you understand, right?

    And that story had me dying.

    Anon Y. Mouse - Well put on the being spread thin; that's a function of trying to build up the name at the expense of the students (and employees).

    Don't tell me your name, but I wonder if we know each other now...

    The number of workers who don't speak English properly is astounding - from teachers to office staff. The amount of people who are unwilling to take any responsibility is atrocious, and
    the run-around for simple requests boggles the mind. The ads with mistakes was embarrassing; someone argued that it was correct according the Oxford dictionary. But seeing as that's not how 90% of the US spells it, it just made Lander look moronic.

    I'm continually impressed by the good people they do have - I don't know how they stand it without going stir crazy. They get all the work shoved on them, because they're actually able to do it, and don't get paid their worth. True tzadikim and tzidkaniyos.

  16. Ezzie, I don't believe we've ever met, but you're well acquainted with my blog (which I write under a pen name).

    I know many Touro employees whose English is rather "iffy," and, while I can understand that that may be the case among our many employees from the former Soviet Union, many of those whose English skills are less than impressive are American-born, which is even *more* discouraging.

    That said, there are employees of my acquaintance, with and/or without exemplary English skills, who work their duffs off. Some are regularly called upon, unfairly and without a dime in additional pay, to work for more people than those who are their official bosses. Some have worked for years in radically-understaffed offices, with little support from much-needed , but often non-existent, additional employees. Many are women, sexism being alive and well at Touro (we can't even get dem bums to put up a mechitzah in the Bet Midrash, much less pay us what we're worth), but many are men. It's folks like those who hold the place together, and I'm proud to be associated with them.

  17. Thank you!

    (Which blog?! :) You can e-mail me if you'd prefer...)

  18. Ezzie, I'll e-mail you, but only if you promise not to tell your in-laws. As I said, I *like* my job, and I don't wish to jeopardize it.

    I see that Mordechai hasn't mellowed a bit since last I saw him--he's just as blunt-spoken as ever. :)