April 6, 2010

A truth universally acknowledged

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

So clearly, K and I like to write. And while I get that we're not Tolstoy, or even Dan Brown, I am confident that there are published writers who are way worse than us at it. Case in point: Jennifer Love Hewitt. Yes, she has a book. You can find it on Amazon and everything. It's a dating guide. That's right, a woman who dated both Carson Daly and Jamie Kennedy has decided she's qualified to advise other humans on how to have successful, adult relationships.

I should first confess to having not read the book, so technically I should not be passing on judgment on it, but people whose opinions I trust (NPR and the FugGirls), tell me it's godawful and I have no trouble believing that.

I've read "He's Just Not That Into You" and while I felt that some of its advice was well-taken (if a dude doesn't like you, that doesn't make you ugly, fat, stupid, or boring...something I think us ladies forget more often than not), I mostly found it ridiculous. And I imagine J.Lo.Hew's (copyright K) new tome is also ridiculous, and for the same reason: you cannot distill all human behavior down to a few rules or catchphrases, be them "guys hate to spoon--they prefer to fork! LOL" or, well, "he's just not that into you." I wish we could. But the truth is people are complicated and relationships are hard and there's no guarantee that anyone will behave a certain way, no matter what you do.

Except for this bitch who will not stop calling me about the damn supplemental documents. She will always call when I'm away from my desk and leave a long, monotone message that starts the same way "Hello, S, this is Bitch from central admissions. I've got your exceptional admission request for XXXX here and I just don't know how you expect me to show it to the dean with all these gaping holes..."

I'm happy to admit I don't do everything perfectly, especially the bureaucratic nonsense involved in getting someone admitted into our school, however this woman's way of telling me I've done something wrong is absurd. Instead of saying "I need x, y, and z to complete your request" she calls me asking for x. I provide x and then she says she can't do anything without y. So I send over y and the next day I get a voicemail saying....you get the picture. She's what my boss calls a "career bureaucrat": she's worked so long within the strict, yet arbitrary constraints of our university's old-fashioned systems, she is unable to process things in any way but the step-by-step methodical fashion she now so clearly prefers. Note to self: leave job before becoming career bureaucrat.

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