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I PAID For This Day

July 17, 2014


Remember your lab is due on Friday, and I’m giving you a break and there’s no class on Thursday. Any questions?

. . .

Yes, Rodney.

Why is there no class on Thursday?

Well, I need to be out of town, so we are canceling.

Can’t you get a substitute?

Excuse me? Are you saying you WANT to attend class on Thursday?


Everyone is excited to get the day off. Why do you think we should have class?

Because I PAID for that class day.

My classmates weren’t happy with me, and I didn’t convince the professor to get a substitute for his class. But, I think it illustrates an important point. Think about when you were in college, or if you are still in college, think about your classes. Who decides if you have class one day? Who is the one really in charge?

You might be tempted to say the professor. You’re classmates might agree. Mine certainly did. I’m sure the professor would agree. You’d all be wrong. The person who pays for a service is ultimately the one with the power. As a college student, you are paying. You, or your parents are paying a lot of money for you to be in that class.

After working hard to get into college. After paying a pile of money in tuition. After working hard to get into your choice of classes, why would you then let someone short-change you?

If you went to a movie and the theater decided to cut a 2 hour movie down to 1:45 you’d be screaming for the rest of your movie. If you went to a concert and 20 minutes before the end of the show they made you leave the concert hall, you’d be upset. If you were watching the World Cup and you missed 30 minutes. . .actually, you wouldn’t miss much, but a soccer fan would be upset. If you bought a book and twenty pages were missing out of the middle, you’d want your money back. If you order a 12 oz steak and they bring you a 9 oz, you’d feel cheated.

So, why when it comes to education do we consider it a treat if the professor announces he is going to shortchange his class?

We employee a lot of call agents at my work. These are people who applied to work for our company, dressed up in a tie to come to the interview. They interviewed with a supervisor. They took a drug test. Then, they waited anxiously for us to tell them they got the job.

And yet on a slow day; a day where we are getting fewer calls than expected, these people line up to volunteer for VTO: Voluntary Time Off. In other words, they worked to get a job and then asked to not work. They are hourly. It’s not like they get paid for VTO.

Roger is the Assistant Call Center Manager. He started as an on-phones agent. In his current role, Roger approves people for VTO. Every time he does, he shakes his head.

When I was an agent I NEVER took VTO. I used to work construction before getting my first job here. Now all I had to do was sit on the phone and talk to people? And they’d PAY me for it?

Yeah, that’s the type of attitude that led to Roger getting promoted to running a call center floor instead of being excited that his professor was cancelling class for the day.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife and thirteen children and one grandchild.

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One Comment
  1. Shanna permalink

    I once had an adjunct professor who did such a poor, disorganized job teaching German, that I was the only person in the class who had a passing grade at the end of the term. I only had that because I had taken a semester in high school. I actually tried to get my money back (with no luck) because it was such a waste of time. However, the professor had to raise everyone’s grade two above what they had earned because there was no way to fail the entire 20 student class.

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