One of things that I am actually quite good at is working my way through bureaucracies.
I tend to find out how to deal with them and they usually help in the end.
One of my great “triumphs” was coming back from a business trip in France. It was after the rules had been changed and airlines had been told that they would face fines of £2,000 for anyone not travelling without the right documentation. Well I found on my way to the airport with my colleagues that I had left my passport in the hotel room where I had been staying. I said don’t worry I’ll get through without much bother – and to the amazement of a colleague (who still owes me my pint!) I got through with no problems at all.
But Student Finance.
They are beyond redemption.
I have just spent most of the afternoon trying to make phone calls to them and get the mess I am in sorted.
One operator even put the phone down on me.
I wasn’t shouting or raising my voice. I normally find that humour and calmness work best, although you can say that you feel annoyed NEVER sound it.
But oh, no.
Not with Student Finance.
At least this year you can talk to an operator without pretending that you are a supplier of theirs (which was the only way a year or two ago). When I said that the information that they wanted hadn’t been asked for by them they said that they don’t contact parents “as there might be embarrassing circumstances for the student!!!!”
Last week they told me that they had all the information required and this week there are two more huge forms to fill in.
I say that they are beyond redemption, in fact they had a great supervisor – thanks Kelly – who was a star and sorted me out. She did the best that she could with one of the worst bureaucratic systems that I have ever had the misfortune to come across.
And now they are going to be getting even more business with the huge hike in fees that are going to be charged to students!
Roll on the revolution.