The Veterinary Center, where I'm staying, is located maybe 10 miles south of Edinburgh. It's about 10 minutes by car to the nearest public phone I've found.
EMail is my main way of comunication, but I can deal with checking it just once or twice a week if I have to. For example because there is no internet access.
But here there's a computer with internet access in nearly every room, there's the students' lab and the library and on top of that there's the wireless access in the library and the hall.
And computing services say even just visiting students from non UK HEIs will be allowed at least access to the lab and if necessary the wireless.
So, my reaction to Ms M telling me that such a thing would be impossible (which I suspect is code for 'too much work') was "Whu?".
But I don't like telling people they're wrong - especially not if I'm not 100% sure they are, and the website *could* be wrong after all - so I went to the main reception of the computing services in the main library.
There I told the woman that I'm a visiting student staying for 2 months in Eastern Bush and would it be possible to get internet access? She wanted to know a lot of things I don't know - am I associated with a college? Am I an official visitor? I told her I didn't know but had this lovely visitors' card.
I'd think I had to be entered in the visitors register to get one of those, but she didn't seem to think so. Fine with me. So she entered me in the register as a non UK HEI student on holiday and gave me an username and a password.
Which I - and the Austrian students - used for the last five days. But since they moved on to the large animal hospital, they wanted their own usernames so they wouldn't depend on me being around to check their eMail.
Because of this, I put them in my car and all three of us went to the reception.
I wanted to know if someone else could set me up with an wireless account.
Having read every bit of information on their website about this, apparently I know more about it than they do. But I didn't say so, just did what they told me to do even though I knew it wouldn't work. And then I went back. And was led into their office. Where they tried to do the exact thing I'd just done again. And it didn't work either.
In the end they resorted to writing down my data and promising to get one of the elusive administrators to do it in the afternoon.
Like I said, fine with me, I didn't want to cause trouble, I just wanted to know if I read the table on their website wrong and if not, if someone could do something that I thought to be a pretty straightforward procedure.
When I came out of the office, the Austrians were still trying to explain what they wanted to the men at the reception - with little success as their English is even worse than mine. For some reason they were supposed to fill out a form and give an address to which the username and password could be sent in a few days - a bit complicated as they're living in the clinic as well. What were they supposed to write: Cottage, Large Animal Hospital, Dick Vet School, Easter Bush?
Just as I started to explain what the woman did last week, she came in. Took a look at me and said: "Oh yes, it's you. I got into trouble because I entered you in the visitors register again because apparently your school did already. Why didn't you tell me?"
Because I didn't know. Because I showed you my visitors card and you said this had nothing to do with the visitors register. Because the woman responsible for these things at the school is even less organized than you?
But I told her I'm sorry and I didn't know. And she showed me the entry in the visitors register - which was the exact copy of the damned visitors card.
And she told me that she'd deleted the account she'd created for me and would phone me with the data for the Austrians accounts - probably because she realized I could understand her just fine, only talking was causing me trouble.
So now I don't really have internet via my temporary visitors account any more, but I don't have access via my official account either, because Ms M didn't even tell me that I have one, let alone give me any specific information.
And nobody called. And the data I gave them for the wireless won't work either.
RANT RANT RANT.
I hate you all.
Just give me my internet! I don't even want it for free, I'm quite willing to pay for the access, I just don't have the time to drive into city every time I want to check my eMail.
And being able to check my eMail (and maybe my flist) is one of the things that stops me from going postal on every incompetent paper shuffler I meet.
Just be happy that dealing with animals (and occasionally yelling at a yipping pup) keeps me marginally sane as well.
RANT RANT RANT some more.
In other news, tickyboxesTM rule my life at the moment:
And I'm slighly freaked out by the fact that everybody (who isn't some office-dwelling creature but actually works in the clinic) is so nice to me. I am good with being ignored or given terse commands, but I don't know how to deal with people being nice.