Aspie with Attitude

Sure, I'm just another Southern Recovering Alcoholic NPR- and Sweet-Tea Addicted Comic Mom with Asperger's in the SFV, but I can tell you now that I don't necessarily fit the stereotype.

Friday, October 16, 2009

In Case You Think The Federal Government Has A Monopoly On The Ridiculous

My sons and I take a LOT of classes at a local city recreation center about 30 minutes from our house. This quarter's session, for example, we spent close to $1,000 for art and dance classes (thank goodness for my proposal money!), with some absolutely wonderful instructors. The boys' clay class instructor, for instance, is a brilliant artist who displays his own work; he, like the other teachers we've encountered, is also a nice guy. After spending well over $900 for classes, I placed two checks under the door of the administrative offices for two more classes. Students are supposed to be registered, for insurance purposes, for classes before attending them. I wasn't sure, because of soccer schedules, etc., if I could take the extra two classes before I actually signed up for them. Because we're often there after the office is closed, I placed the checks under the door after hours. Yesterday, I received the uncashed checks, returned to me by U.S. mail, with this note in all caps:

ENROLLMENT FOR THIS CLASS ENDED 10/01/09. OUR NEXT SESSION WILL BE IN JANUARY 2010. RECREATION GUIDES SHOULD BE AVAILABLE IN MID NOVEMBER.

Now, I'd heard that one mother had taken her child to a dance class with openings, left the child while she went to register, and the tax-feeders in the office would not allow her to register because it was past the deadline. Therefore, she had to go back to the class, taking her then-crying daughter out of the class for the quarter. But only when I saw the two ridiculous sentences in all caps, directed specifically at me, did I realize that local government and its tax-feeding minions can be just as, or perhaps even more, ridiculous than their federal counterparts. This particular city seems to want to miss out on revenue. It didn't matter to the tax-feeders that a little girl, who could have been easily added, was crying because the office had a rule that registration ended on October 1st, with no exceptions, even for classes in which the instructor approved the add and there were slots open. Nor did it matter to the tax-feeders that they were losing out on money. People come from all over to take these classes and one woman who works during the day and drives from quite far to attend her adult dance class was not allowed to mail in her registration, as she usually does. This quarter, the rules changed and anyone outside the city limits must now register online. Yes, these tax-feeders not only wish to stop revenue from coming in, but they also desire to cut down on the work of processing a few people's applications, forcing people outside of their city limits to register online, an arduous process that I couldn't get to work correctly.

So, this particular city's gatekeepers at the recreation center are just following orders and not common sense. It's rare when I make a comparison that makes the North Carolina state government look good, but I'll have to say that even at NCSU, where I both attended many classes and taught, there was a way of adding or dropping a class later than normally allowed. Sure, you had to obtain signatures from people, which was a pain, but it could be done. Nonetheless, the folks at this city's recreation center, which offers classes with no grades, seem too lazy to take in extra revenue when they could easily do so. Their excuse? From what I've heard, it's that their "books are closed," whatever that means. Unfortunately, with the Internet as what they seem to tout for registration, that excuse is ludicrous. In case you're thinking that what I've told you so far is ridiculous, here's the clincher. I actually received this note as well:

PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANYTHING UNDER THE OFFICE DOOR--IT CAN CAUSE POSSIBLE INJURY TO STAFF--OUR BUSINESS HRS ARE LISTED ON THE FRONT DOOR. THANK YOU


I guess somebody could have received a paper cut while picking up the paper that I slid under the door. And in these days of celebration of the victim mentality, I suppose that counts as an injury. However, in my many years in the shady corporate world, I have placed many notes under doors. I've yet to hear of anyone that I've injured.

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