Seeing red (tape)

I thought a lot about what to title this blog. “Mom Goes On” is apt in more than one way, and a text from The Boy, our youngest who is just starting his freshman year at a state university, drove that point home today.

He’s gotten two emails from the student housing department saying they don’t have his meningitis form and immunization record (for the uninitiated, a meningitis vaccine or a waiver is required by most universities, especially for kids living in dorms – and also strongly recommended by our GP).

Let me make this perfectly clear: I absolutely mailed in ALL of the required health forms in June, after sending The Boy to the doc for that vaccine and the required paperwork.

But because making sure all the t’s are crossed and the i’s dotted (and the university gods appeased) is what moms do, I texted The Boy back that I would look into it.

Miracle of miracles, there was a link in the website to an electronic meningitis form. So easy!


Because I immediately got a screen that said that though the form had been submitted, I would now need to send in a copy of his immunization record as proof. In a bizarrely unfair twist, had we chosen to waive the vaccine and put the rest of the campus at risk, we wouldn’t have had to take this extra step. FOR THE SECOND TIME.

Knowing for certain that I had already mailed this information, I immediately phoned the contact number at the bottom of the screen. The Housing representative who answered was perfectly pleasant and understanding, but the information she had to give me was beyond ridiculous:

-Apparently our paperwork went to Health Center rather than to the Housing Department, which is the entity that needs it. (I may have sent it to the Health Center office, but if I did, it was because something on the form made me think that was where it should go.)
-A significant number of people each year “mistakenly” send their forms to the Health Center rather than to the Housing Department. (Ha! Vindicated!)
-The Health Center does not send the student health forms they receive erroneously to the Housing Department.

So, would I mind just sending her a copy of his immunization record directly?


Let’s see. (And let me say here that this is an issue I would have had The Boy handle on his own IF he had his records with him at college. He doesn’t. I have the copy here in our medical file.) I sent the forms and records long before the deadline. I sent them to the place I was directed to send them to. I’ve gone to the trouble of a follow-up phone call. I live three hours away, whereas these two offices are about 10 minutes apart by foot.

I took a deep breath before answering this audacious question.

Yes, in order to make sure The Boy’s housing is still intact, and to put an end to this nonsense, I’ll send another copy of the records. I made it clear that I had better things to do with the next ten minutes of my life. I requested that there be some conversation between departments about better communication and more efficient service. I wouldn’t lay any bets on that happening, though.

But that’s what a mom does, right? A mom goes on. And on. And on. And in the end, I guess it’s nice to be needed. I just hope I’ll be needed for something slightly less maddening next time.


4 thoughts on “Seeing red (tape)

  1. Love this posting!!!!!!
    I am so with you on this. My son and I have work countless hours for the past year on scholarships, finances and then college paperwork and send it in by a certain deadline just to hear a week or so later they never received it….until they look a little deeper in the stack on their desk and say, oh sorry it must of got put in this pile by mistake. Maddening!!!!!!!
    I must admit, that is the only reason that I am so happy mine is moved in to his dorm and settled. All paperwork is done until January. Hurray!

    I have read over your entries after seeing a comment from you on my own blog. I was a stay at home mom for my child’s entire childhood and now I miss him but I am also excited to reconnect as a couple with my husband.

    I hope your days get a little brighter. You seem really proud of your 3 children, it will be fun to see where they go from here with what you taught them already.


    • Thanks for reading and for your comment. That’s something I really love about blogging – not only is it a good outlet for my excess of free time and my writing urge, but I love the community of support.

      I have good days and sad, weepy days. I expect that will last awhile, but I’m doing the best I can to keep busy and focus on the good stuff. 🙂


  2. I’m a bigger pain in the butt for these types of issues. If any personal information like social security numbers, etc., are on the original copies sent, I make them track down where my originals went. I don’t like not knowing where documents finally land–who knows what people will do with private information. Meh, it gives me peace of mind…and,I make them work for all those atrocious mandatory fees they charge us on top of tuition. In other words, I make sure we get our money’s worth 😉


    • Good point, and that’s not being a pain in the butt – it’s insisting people do their job correctly. Actually, your comment made me rethink. So I made another phone call this morning and they’re taking care of the situation internally, as should have been done originally. So thanks for the encouragement! 🙂


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