Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
At the very end of August I saw a note on my door. "Parking passes will be handed out on August 29 in the parking lot between 9 and 11am and between 1 and 3pm." Of course it was during a time when I was going to be in Salt Lake. The note continued, "If you do not have a parking pass you will have to get one from University Parking during your own time. All cars and bikes must have parking passes by September 15, 2009 or they will be booted."
Imagine my surprise when yesterday, September 10, my roommate came into the apartment and said, "Bob, is your car the green Nissan parked in the back lot by the bikes?"
"Yeah," I said.
"Dude, the University Parking people just put a boot on your car. The guy said they're cracking down on expired permits, but if you go out right now he'll take it off for $25 instead of $50."
Apparently the scumbag waiting out in the Jeep thought giving victims $25 off of something they don't owe is supposed to make them feel special.
I went outside to talk to the guy. I maintained composure and asked him why there was a boot on my car.
"Your permit is expired," he said.
I explained how the note on our door said that we had until the September 15th to get our parking passes renewed, but he said, "That's not my problem. Plus, I don't have the authority to take off the boot." Oh really? Because I'm pretty sure you're the one who put it on!
He then went on to tell me that he would take the boot off for me if I paid him $25.
"Okay, I'll pay you," I said. "But first, can you please explain to me how it's ethical to tell people they have until the 15th of the month to get parking passes and then start booting cars on the 10th?"
"I'm not gonna do this!" the guy said, and he started getting back into his Jeep. "Explain how this is ethical? I don't have time for crap like that!"
"That's because you're being a jerk!" my roommate said. "You're totally being unreasonable."
"Dude! Do you want me to put a boot on your scooter?!" the guy yelled at my roommate.
"You can't put a boot on my scooter, I'm getting on it right now!"
The guy was a total prick. I told him I would pay because I obviously wanted to get the boot off of my car. I was livid though. He told me that it was the fault of the people that manage my apartment because they were the ones that called him to come put boots on cars and that I would have to go through the appeals process. I told him that I was sorry for getting mad at him and that it must be a hard job since everybody is pissed off when they talk to him. "No, I can actually handle that part all right," he said. Right. Ethically, too.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
One of my teachers is amazing. He has an Elder Holland-esque presence about him. He is a short, barrel-chested man with a fiery, energetic personality. He also comes across as one of the smartest people I’ve ever known and has a very commanding presence. I’m really excited about his class.
It was actually during the first day of his class that I had a funny experience. The class is advanced corporate finance and is made up of about 30% MAcc students and 70% MBA students.
Dr. Heaton walked in and started passing around cardstock and markers for each of us to make name tags, because he calls on whoever he feels should know the answer, not students with raised hands. As I was writing my name on my name tag, he started talking to a kid sitting in front of me. The class went something like this, but keep in mind that the questions and responses were lightening fast:
Dr. Heaton: Ryan, what was Dave Bitter’s undergraduate major?
Ryan: Computer science
Dr. Heaton: Kind of a strange degree, don’t you think?
I assumed they were talking about a mutual friend, perhaps someone in the MBA program.
Dr. Heaton: Heidi, what was Dave Bitter’s post-graduate degree?
Heidi: An MBA in finance
"Wow," I thought. "They all seem to know this Dave Bitter guy. Dave Bitter must be an MBA professor or a storied alumnus."
As my professor continued to grill students for more unique information about Dave Bitter, I realized that the students’ knowledge of Dave Bitter was a little too unique—the entire class seemed to know something I didn't. And then, when I saw how Professor Heaton was appalled when a student couldn’t answer a question about Dave Bitter’s job description of his first job at Ford Motor company, I knew I was in trouble.
I turned to the girl sitting next to me and said, “What is he talking about? Were we supposed to read something before class?”
“Yeah,” she said. “He emailed us a 20-page case study a couple of weeks ago and we were supposed to read it and answer questions about the case.”
Gulp. I had read no such case. I started panicking a little bit. I hurried and downloaded the case and started skimming ahead to shield against the shower of Dave Bitter bullets Dr. Heaton was shelling out at random victims like a howitzer.
Luckily, I was spared from answering a case-specific question and was fielded a general question about the risk of US Treasury bonds. It was still frightening, though, because even if you give the right answer, Dr. Heaton challenges you and makes you defend yourself. In his class you have to be sure because if you're sitting on the fence, he'll push you off.