Tuesday, 20 March 2012

School night.

I lost my temper at the downstairs cashier in MPH today. I feel like a hypocrite, because I've always thought that front-desk personnel and receptionists are the gateways to opportunity - but today, already stressed from my schoolwork and the added stress of the pre-grad school journey (including, and yes I know I've said it too many times on this blog, the GRE), I didn't need the other spoonful of stress the cashier had in store for me.

Let me start at the beginning.

Our government gave all students RM200 book vouchers to be spent on books or stationery, and these vouchers expire at the end of this month. Already feeling edgy for leaving it this late, I went to MPH in 1-Utama today to use the vouchers on GRE test prep material at the bookstore. I spent half an hour thumbing through the little material MPH stocked on the GRE ... Barron, McGraw-Hill, Peterson, that was all they had. Nothing from Princeton Review or Kaplan, which are the two other leading GRE test prep authors besides Barron. Frustrated with the lack of GRE options at MPH, I picked out two books and went to the cashier.

In the middle of the transaction, the cashier goes, "Hmmm... I'm not sure these vouchers are valid." I'm like huh? What could be wrong with them? He points to some minor ink stains on two of the vouchers left by the Monash University logo stamp! He then makes me wait for him while he goes to ask his manager if the vouchers are valid. Ten minutes later, he comes back with his manager, and they say, "Sorry, we can't accept two of your vouchers."

At this point I'm feeling annoyed already, because I had come to 1-Utama just to use my vouchers. I start arguing with the cashier, and he starts getting defensive in saying there's nothing he can do, his manager already said no. And I'm thinking, "Why'd you have to be such a smart face to go and ask your manager? It's not like you have to pay out of your own pocket for government-issued book vouchers!" Then, I asked, "Well, what can I do about this?" He suggests that I ask Monash to issue me new cash vouchers to replace the "ruined" ones.

So I call Monash, get passed around from personnel to personnel as per the usual protocol of calling front desk - only to be told that there's nothing that can be done. Monash said they only took enough vouchers for their students, and it's too late to write to the government to issue new ones. Again... my self-inflicted punishment for leaving things too close to the last minute!

Anyway, after bumping up against dead ends at MPH and at Monash ... I decided that since I had come to get the cash vouchers used, I'd use whatever I could. I grabbed two GRE books, a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird, colourful tab stickers, and went to the cashier upstairs. The total would come up to RM198, but I figured I could just choose which items to drop if this cashier rejected two of the vouchers too.

And guess what ... after two hours of time wasted ... the cashier upstairs accepted all my vouchers without query.

P.S: On a less frustrated note, I finally got my cubicle wall decorated. :) I don't think I'll be spending that much time there, but on the days that I'm there, at least it looks like a cosy workspace.


GRE Exam Day Preparation said...

helpful post

Max said...

i hate this computer :P