I don’t even know where to start with Maxine. She walked into my office this morning and I had a terrible sense of foreboding the minute I saw her.
(I work at a computer learning center now and we do classes for all kinds of programs and certifications.)
I was already aggravated because my keyboard won’t connect to my computer, and my company cancelled a class without contacting the students to tell them. People keep coming in for the class- I’m standing awkwardly next to the desk while one of the instructors crawls UNDER the desk, messing with wiring, and there’s only so much apologizing I can do for the incompetency of other people and still sound genuine.
So Maxine announces the class she’s here for. I tell her the class has been cancelled. Maxine freaks out. I look at the roster. Her name is not on it, which I inform her. “ExCUSE me.” she says as she shoves a piece of paper toward me with a bunch of course titles on it. This paper neither proves nor disproves her enrollment. She calls her sales rep. I’m finally able to get on the computer and I pull up the system for student enrollments. I call her over.
Me: Your paper here shows 15 different courses. Our system only shows you enrolled for 3, as you can see…
Crazy Maxine: I’m enrolled for this class :::points at paper:::
Me: Well, I’m not sure why it says that… You’re NOT enrolled, see? You’re name isn’t in the class roster and the class isn’t on your account.
Crazy Maxine: Well, who’s going to reimburse me for the gas I spent getting here? I drove half an hour.
Me: Well, the problem is that you’re not actually enrolled in the class-
Crazy Maxine: Nobody called to tell me it was cancelled. I want to be reimbursed.
Me: Nobody called you because our system doesn’t show your name in the class- you’re not signed up for this course.
This goes on for a good 10 minutes and concludes with Maxine declaring “I’m not leaving till’ I get reimbursed.” She calls her rep again, who puts her through to her manager, who puts her through to their manager. They tell her they can’t reimburse her for the gas, as she’s not enrolled in the class. She puts it on speaker phone. She says, “I’m here for a class. What am I supposed to do now?” The manager says, “Well, what you do now is really up to you… the class is cancelled…” Long story short, she stays in my lobby for an hour and 45 minutes throwing a series of fits, like a 4 year old that hasn’t gotten her way. She switches between calling the manager and hassling me.
Then another student shows up for the class, REALLY late. Maxine says, “It’s ridiculous. I’m fighting them on this. I’m getting my gas reimbursed. You should do the same thing!”, like we’re communists and she’s a noble capitalist, alone on her quest for justice. The other student heartily agrees. I think about throwing the candy bowl at Maxine’s head. She and the other student exchange numbers and even hug each other in the hallway. They trade horror stories about the drive (detours, traffic, gas prices! Oh, the humanity!). The other student leaves, having joined the revolution, with high and lofty hopes of gas reimbursement.
Maxine returns to my desk to re-issue her request for gas reimbursement for the 20th time. I tell her I can’t help her. Maxine repeats “Well, I’m here for class. What should I do?” I repress suggesting she take a walk on the interstate. Maxine calls the manager again and finally leaves, walking (hopefully) out of my life forever.
Maybe I’ll write a song about her. Insolent, self-entitled, crazy Maxine.