Friday, August 13, 2010

School Registration

I went to register my kids for school yesterday. For the first time since I can remember, when we went to the High school registration, the weather was cool! But we still had to stand in line for 2 hours. I didn't mind that as much because the lines moved pretty quickly for the most part.

My middle schooler's registration was a nightmare!! When we got to the school, we could see that the line was clear out to the parking lot. I dropped him off and told him to stand in line while I went to a nearby neighborhood to find parking. There were actually two lines; one for a-l, the other for m-z. We stood in line for about 1 hour, most of that in the blazing sun. When we finally got up to the desk inside the cafeteria, there were two women handing out information sheets. Two...women.... There were probably 3oo people standing behind us in line. They gave us the papers and asked us to correct any incorrect information on the form, and to fill out the other forms. They said we would then go stand in another line. When I finished filling out the forms, and went outside, I couldn't believe my eyes! There was a line just as long as the one we had come from, and just as slow! I stood in that line for over an hour. I finally made it in to the office where I met with a vice principal to pay my fees. Then she told me to go stand in ANOTHER line to get my son's schedule. That line was relatively short though, thank goodness. There actually was one more line for uniforms, but I didn't stand in it. They don't have to start wearing their uniforms until January, so I'm putting off buying them.

I had all kinds of thoughts go through my head while standing in those lines for 2 1/2 hours. I'll admit that part of the time I had thoughts of anger because of how stupid the process was. Surely someone could think of a more efficient way to transact school registration besides having hundreds of people stand in a line and be herded one by one through gates like cattle or sheep. Surely some of this could be done online!!! Anger was definitely my first reaction.

This might sound melodramatic, but at one point I even thought of the people who were in concentration camps. I really identified with what Victor Frankl said about how in the concentration camps, the best people didn't live. They were the ones who were concerned about the welfare of others. Those who survived were those who were fighting for their own selves. I found myself vacillating between both of those emotions. At times I was finagling to get my own piece of shade. At other times I was trying to help those around me. But I think the former was probably the more driving force.

It was interesting that at one place, the line veered under some awnings, so that those in line could stand completely in the shade for quite some time. Those people who were comfortably standing in the shade were moving slower, taking up more room, and less concerned about the people in the sun. Those in the sun were moving any chance they could, and were standing closer together so that more people could fit in the little patches of shade. It was very interesting to watch how people reacted in this stressful situation.

My one consolation that day was that this was the last time I have to register my 17 year old. Now I only have one more child left to go through school registration. 5 more times and I'm done!


Nene said...

I was at a semi-fast food restaurant the other day. They had 2 registers open and a line that went out the door. Problem was, that if you came in the front door, you didn't see the line, and thought that the closest register was open. A lot of people were coming in the door and just innocently going to that register. I was one of them. It was only after I ordered that I realized that I had "butted" in line. This is a very popular restaurant in our town that has opened this "new location". As I saw new people coming in and making the same mistake I made, I wondered about the efficiency of that restaurant. I wanted to go home and tell get online and register a complaint: They KNOW how popular they are. Surely they should hire more people to work during the lunch hour. There was one lady who was so tired of waiting for her food that she had to come up and ask for a refund in a gift card so she could leave and get back to work.

Max Coutinho said...

Hi D,

I can't remember the last time I was in a registration line: it was a nightmare!

I am just glad you survived it, girl lol ;).