Rajesh Kumar

Optimizing life, one day after the next

Canada's Silicon Valley

13 Sep 2007

Perhaps a year or so ago, Waterloo was dubbed the "World's Most Intelligent Community". Here's my take on that.

Waterloo is a lot more high-tech than other lesser-known universities when it comes to processing student's confirmation of enrollment forms, otherwise known as Certificate 2's, Schedule 2's and a dozen other more names: we first fill out paper forms which take half-an-hour each, then we wait in line for two hours to get to the one single clerk at the financial aid office and have our forms approved, then we take those forms downstairs to a NSLSC rep and wait in line for another half hour or so. Then we walk for another 15 minutes to a corner store called Aussies that sells envelopes. We put in our forms in the envelope and seal the envelope with water drops from a water tap two flight of stairs above. We can't wet the envelope glue with our tongues because we have heard one could get "high" by licking those things. We weren't prepared to take that risk: We had to get back to work after this episode, and we were sure our boss wouldn't particularly appreciate us saying to him: "Wazzup bro, how's it hangin'?" Better safe than sorry, you know. So we tightly seal the envelope with carefully placed water droplets, only to realize that the address the envelope is to be sent out to is on the form itself. So we walk down again another two flight of stairs to buy another envelope, only to find another queue there. We try to pay for the envelope (35 cents) using our WATCARD only to find that the WATCARD machine broke down five minutes ago. And they do no accept debit. And of course, no one carries change around. We give the girl at the counter a twenty-dollar bill, but she too doesn't have change either. So we go to the nearby stationery store to try and exchange our bill for some change, but they won't do that unless you buy something from them first. Our cellphone rings at that precise time and our boss wants to meet with us A.S.A.P. due to some emergency that has just crept up. We hurriedly grab the cheapest item at the store, a single steadler pencil, only to find that that a single pencil valued at 20 cents sells for $2.00, but an entire pack of twelve pencils costs only $2.40. We, being in no mood for negotiation since boss wants us at work asap, buy the single pencil for $2.00, get the change, go back to Aussies, buy the envelope, tear open the original envelope, copy the address onto the new envelope, go back two flight of stairs up to get some more water drops to seal our new envelope. The garbage can to throw away the old torn envelope is on the other side of the room, so we walk all the way to the other side of the room just to throw an envelope because throwing it any where else can get you fined up to a hundred dollars. We then go back downstairs and drop off our envelope in a post box which first takes a good ten minutes of asking around to find.

World's most intelligent community indeed.

Even if that's the case, certainly I'm not part of it.

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