Sunday, October 20, 2013

Let Me Tell You About...Advisor Adventures, the Bad

 I worked as an academic advisor for the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University for three years. Working in a customer service position, you can imagine how many good/bad/ugly stories I have accumulated over three years. Today, I would like to share a few of the WORST ones, because those are always the ones people are interested in first! I will also share the good ones in the future.

Rude Parents

When I first started my job, I was fresh out of college, so I looked very similar to the students I advised. One day, a mom came to her daughter's appointment. When she saw me, she asked, "are you qualified to be advising my daughter?"

I was so shocked, I almost didn't know how to respond. I told her the position required a bachelor's degree, which I had. I also graduated summa cum laude at the top of my class, so I was certainly qualified. Would I be sitting there if I wasn't? She accepted my explanation, but I could hardly look at her the rest of the appointment!

I also had a mother impersonate her son when she sent me an email. I could tell it was the mother by the email address (a woman's name!) and the overly proper writing. No teenage boy write that well. When I asked the mother about it, she backtracked and said the email had come from her and her son.That wasn't what the signature said, but ok. I never minded parents asking questions, so I didn't understand why she felt the need to impersonate her son!

Rude Students

One day, I was transferring an Engineering student into the College of Business. We have a world-class Engineering college here at TTU (not an exaggeration), and so those students tend to be...cocky. Sorry, it's true. I had a plaque on the wall behind my desk I had received for graduating summa cum laude. When the student saw it, he asked me what my degree had been. I told him public relations. Then he said, "isn't that easy?"

Uh, obviously not. At least I developed people skills in my degree. And discretion.

Bad Hygiene

 One of the WORST EVER experiences as an advisor early one morning at 8 a.m. My student rolled into my office in pajama pants and a sweatshirt. Okay, not too bad, a little unprofessional. But in his hands, he carried a Pepsi and a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. You all know I hate Pepsi, but I also HATE Cool Ranch Doritos. For the love of all that is holy, the smell is deathly from those things! So while he talked to me, this student downed Pepsi and crunched on Doritos.

Worse, he hadn't brushed his teeth that morning, so his morning breath mingled in nicely with the other horrid smells he brought into my office. I almost gagged.

Speaking of smells...another time, a student came into my office wearing Holister cologne. If you have ever been into Holister, you know just how permeating their perfume and cologne can be. It nearly chokes you as you shop. I once bought a fur lined coat from Holister. The fur smelled like the store for a YEAR. I am not kidding.

Now think about that smell concentrated into the little office of a poor advisor. I almost couldn't breath. When the student left, the cologne lingered in my office until the next day.