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Tuesday, September 21, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 21

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About the Cougar
 

You will fall to the ways of the line!

By Brandon Moeller

The best humor on campus isn't found in this paper. It's found where many souls dread to tread -- in one of the many lines on campus.

The Ezekiel Cullen building is home of many of these human formations of flesh and sweat. I had the fine misfortune of waiting in three of these hellacious lines for a total of two hours and something minutes the other day.

In order to survive these lines, one must not let negativity overcome the mind. I almost broke down and got to the point of using physical force, as I was struck with the desire to violently shake someone or something. I pictured myself going crazy like the guy one of the waiters told me about. (We were in fact -- waiting -- so that makes us waiters, right?)

The waiter said some guy went ballistic last week over some issue or another and started throwing chairs around while yelling obscenities. All that was due to the long wait and pressure that he felt was placed on him by what he perceived to be incompetence on the University's part. It probably took the University two months to process his student loans.

Luckily, no violence was exhibited while I waited in line that day. It took an hour and 15 minutes to get through the scholarship and financial aid line. I blame this on lack of competition.

Imagine waiting in line at Taco Bell for more than an hour. I used to work in the fast food industry when I was younger and masochistic, and I know people can get mad when they have to wait longer than three minutes to get their "fast food." However, with fast food comes competition, usually on the same street, and consumers can see if a line is too long and choose to go somewhere else where the line isn't so long.

From the financial aid line, many students can be observed coming into the basement of E. Cullen, looking at the length of the line, then turning right around and walking out of the building with a look of disgust on their faces. But where will they go? The University knows there isn't any alternative line where these students can go and get the business done faster. They must wait in that line. If they don't, then they must try to reach the office on the phone, but more than likely they will end up waiting in the line.

There is no escape from the line, especially if you have to deal with loans. For this semester, many students found that the University was not prepared and was several months behind in processing their loans.

A normal degree of this delay is reasonable, due to how the majority of students wait until the last minute to send in their paper work. But this semester had another story to tell, and the delay was mainly due to the replacement and implementation of a new computer system, one that will be Y2K indestructible.

So they have an excuse. Hum. I still don't understand why the University thinks it is an advantage to have lines this long. These lines are longer than the lines at the Department of Public Safety. But last I heard, it isn't state law that we must be in college, especially UH. And I don't remember my driver's license costing a couple of grand a semester, either.

When I wait in line, I consider my purpose for being there in the category of business. Businesses that have lines that move that slowly do not make money.

UH looks aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I believe they mow the lawn every day here. So the campus looks good, but nothing works.

And as one fellow waiter put it, students who must endure these lines should be granted minors in Line Waiting.


 
Moeller, a sophomore communications major,
can be reached at brandonmoeller@hotmail.com.
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