I’m at the administration building in City College. Sitting on one of the black couches facing the entrance of the building. There’s a front desk for the financial aid office. I noticed how a lot of students stopped at that office to ask questions than continued with their quests. I noticed two types of students mostly, ones that seemed relaxed and ones that seemed angry and in a hurry.
The relaxed ones strolled at a medium pace staring down at their phone. They don’t seem to be in a rush. They’re not looking at the lines like someone who is in a rush. They just stand in line or get a ticket if they need to and wait patiently on their phones or laptops.
The ones in a rush come through the entrance at a fast pace. Their body seems to know where it’s going on its own. They have this determined face that is locked on a certain office, usually the finical aid office. I noticed many upset or stressed students head straight for the financial aid office. These students are usually not on their phones, their eyes instead are looking at how long the lines are.
They are some students who seem to come here just to chill. They sit on one of the black couch’s or metal chairs and charge their phones. Always somewhere in the distance, you hear a student getting frustrated and confused with the responses they are getting. At some point, it just becomes background noise even when their voices get louder and angrier. You can also hear the employee who’s trying to help try to stay as polite as they can. It’s a cycle that never seems to end.
Some students walk out of the building with a small smile saying “Have a good day” to whoever helped them, and some students walk out with a grim. You can tell with the student’s body language if their needs were met.
There’s not much interaction between students in this place. They are there for business only, unless they came with friend/s. This building although it has more than one floor it barely seems like the other floors are being used. In the hour and a half, I was sitting there only about 4 students used another floor beside the first one.
The lines stayed mostly empty and I noticed it’s probably due to the virus. Students had on medical masks, gloves, and scarves around their faces although outside was not cold. I even saw some friends bump elbows instead of a hug or shake hands. They always laughed about the situation afterward.
When it comes to the interactions between students and employees behind the desk, it’s unique. When their ticket/name is called the student rushes quickly back up to the front. They try to be polite and ask the employee “how are you?” before the employee finishes the word “good” they are already asking the question. The employee doesn’t seem offended by this rude behavior. It almost seems like it’s an automatic response to say “good” and move on. The student always and I mean always at some point tell the employee they are wrong or misunderstood them. But the employee does understand them and is telling them the truth, just the truth they don’t want to hear.
Once the student has accepted the defeat, they usually stomp their hand down on the desk lightly and say “alright” more to themselves. I heard this happen many times in front of the admission office. Some students huff and others accept their defeats silently and leave with a quiet “thanks”.
You can tell this building is the most disliked building on campus. Students are here only to solve problems. And sometimes they aren’t solved, or they need time to be.