Last year I missed my January post because I was overwhelmed. This year I missed it (and December’s) because I did not have any concerns worth writing about. In an attempt to control my blood pressure, I have refrained from listening to the radio and following the news. Thus, there are fewer things in my life to irritate me – a lot fewer. I am finding that is a good thing…
But, I do have a burr under my saddle this month.
We bought a new vehicle on 30 January 2020. The dealer offered to trade our 2016 Honda CRV for a 2020 Honda CRV, and maintain the same car payment. Being that our car had 128,000 miles, was starting to run rough, and needed new tires, it was a no brainer decision. My blood pressure was even good during the process, including the celebration…
The joy, and low blood pressure, ended a week later. I attempted to login to our online banking account. I received a message stating the account had been deactivated. I called the customer service number and spoke with a representative – for an hour. It started poorly, when the woman kept telling me that my account number and login were incorrect. It escalated quickly after that. Three different people and three days later I still had not resolved the issue.
Three weeks later it is still not resolved.
The short version is that on the application, somebody typed one digit of my social security number incorrectly. When the bank received the loan documents, some incompetent buffoon decided that the 30-year-old account had incorrect information, instead of the loan application, and changed the social security number on my banking account. After a week of phone conversations, I finally had access to the account online, but I am unable to see real time data, transfer money among accounts, or setup automatic payments for the new car loan.
Besides being a personal bur under the saddle, I believe is a direct result of the entitlement era in education – specifically higher education. I believe most jobs at a bank (or I would hope so with the amount of grade inflation and the rise of the number of high school graduates) requires some post-secondary education (i.e., degree or special training). Even if the only requirement is a high school diploma, it is unfathomable to me how we could credential somebody who would think it logical to believe that a document created with the past few days trumps more than 30 years of records to the contrary.
IRSC just won the Aspen Prize last year, and that prize is certainly a contributor to the entitlement era in education. Consider the following quote from the Aspen Institute (emphasis added):
“The $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, awarded every two years, is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. With a singular focus on student success, the Prize highlights institutions with outstanding achievements in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and high-levels of access and success for students of color and low-income students.”
One of the premises they teach in business school is that you do not set your goal to make a lot of money (student success). Instead, you set a goal to make the best product/service (student learning) you can, and money (student success) will follow. I believe the “burr” described above is a direct result of getting this idiom wrong. When success is defined as completion and high success is used as a target, then the quality of students’ understanding will suffer.