Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Thank you/Love Letter

As the semester is beginning to wind down at UB, I have begun thinking about how much I am looking forward to returning home.  This is particularly the case when it comes to work.  While reflecting on the conveniences I’ve missed I thought I should take this opportunity to write a half thank you-half love letter to my home institution.  Here it goes:

Dear Texas Tech,
How do I love thee.  Let me count the ways: 

To the Academic Support & Facilities Resources department- Thank you and I am sorry.  I know I tend to be a high maintenance client, but I feel compelled to get just the right classroom for each professor and every class in my department.  But I appreciate your patience with me.  I know more than once I’ve asked you to allow me to enroll 51 students in a classroom with only 50 seats.  “But there will never be 100% perfect attendance- I promise!” Now I understand and desperately wish other institutions were so diligent.  I also now LOVE the “Don’t remove desks from the classroom” rule.  I currently teach 73 students in a classroom which should really only accommodate about 20 (by your standards).  Sometimes I walk in to teach and there are 200 chairs piled up to the ceiling.  Other times the classroom is completely empty- no tables, no chairs, nothing.  I truly bow down before you for the dedicated logistical planning you do for everyone across campus.

To my administrators- Thank you for planning ahead.  I don’t always like meetings, but at least you tell me in a reasonable amount of time when a meeting will be held, the location, the agenda and what I need to do to prepare.  Here I get a phone call on my personal mobile telling me to report to the Dean’s office in five minutes.  When I get there I’m told there is a meeting about faculty candidates.  Then I get reprimanded for not having reviewed the two binders filled with CVs.  KVP: “I’m sorry sir.  I didn’t know there was a meeting or that I was supposed to have prepared ahead of time.” Dean: “You should have known!”  Thank you TTU administrators for realizing I don’t read minds.

To the mailroom- Thank you for delivering the mail.  It is comforting to know that every day at 2pm I can expect the mail.  My mom sent me a Christmas card in November.  I still haven’t received it.  Thank you as well for going the extra mile and hunting me down on campus when there is a package for me and you aren’t sure where to send it.  Not too long ago a package came to my office and I wasn’t there to sign for it.  The secretary sent it back.  KVP: “I don’t understand!  Why didn’t you sign for it?”  Secretary: “It wasn’t addressed to me.”  It took three days and visits to five different offices across Gaborone to get hold of my package.

To the support staff (admin assistants, business managers, etc.)- Thank you for taking some amount of initiative and figuring out how to solve the problem.  Last week I tried to get an exam copied.  I took the exam to the secretary who does the copying.  All the copy machines were running at the time so she refused to accept the exam because she didn’t want to be responsible for it.  She insisted I take the exam with me and return 20 minutes later.  Upon returning 20 minutes later she wouldn’t copy the exam because she had run out of paper.  She told me to go find paper and then bring the paper and the exam back.  I then went to secretary #2 who said she would get me some paper.  I told her I had a meeting and asked if she could deliver the exam and the paper to secretary #1.  She agreed.  An hour later while in the meeting in my office secretary #2 said she had the paper and I could take the paper and the exam up to secretary #1 to be copied.  KVP: “That’s the whole reason I gave you my exam in the first place.  So you could do it! I can’t; I’m in a meeting.”  She agreed to take care of it.  Three hours later I hadn’t heard from her.  I returned to her office and asked whether the exams had been copied.  She had forgotten about it since she had gone to lunch.  I took the ream of paper and the exam to the copy room.  Turns out the copying secretary had left early for the day.  Seven hours of effort and still no copies!

To the IT Department- Thank you as well for taking initiative and solving the problem.  I know I’ve had to use your services about half a dozen times while I was in Africa and you were in Lubbock, but you’ve still been able to help me!  All that distance and you can still help me! At the beginning of the semester I entered my new classroom to discover the computer at the podium wasn’t working.  Contacted IT, they said they knew about it.  They didn’t offer to fix it though.  I went out, purchased my own cables to hook up my laptop to the projector.  Turns out the bulb in the projector didn’t work.  Went to IT, they didn’t have a bulb.  The third week I bought a bulb for the projector, screwed it in, and by that time one of the wires from the projector to the power source had been poached to use in another room.  Reported it to IT, they said they didn’t have time to fix it.  You know that saying, “The buck stops here?”  Yeah, that’s not the slogan for the UB IT department.  I’m pretty sure their slogan is “Pass the buck.”

Yes, Texas Tech, you have been good to me.  I know I haven’t always been forthcoming with my feelings, but sometimes I’m a little shy.  I hope it isn’t too late for me to express my appreciation and love at this juncture.

Yours Truly,


  1. This reminds me of Jimmy Fallon doing his "Thank You" card bit... I imagine you writing these in that way. haha

    1. HAHAHAHA! I didn't even think of that Katie, but I love Jimmy Fallon's Thank You cards. Yes, that was pretty much exactly how I wrote this.