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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Low Quality Fast Track Education Will Soon Become More Evident in Performance

Okay now I'm all for people getting an education, don't get me wrong, but.... Nowadays we are seeing all these offers for fast track degrees that leave one scratching their head thinking wait a minute I have that same degree and it took me four years of hard work and effort to get mine. I learned about the field completely. Within it's context of operation. Yet we began seeing advertisements about these "fast track" degree programs that began at guaranteeing that you could get that 4 year degree in just over two years. Then the ads started saying within two years. Today we can see claims of 18 months to a degree! How do they do it?

It's like the production line theory. You don't need to know how to build the whole car, you do not need to understand the combustion processes that make the motor produce power to turn the gears that make the wheels move, or how the braking system stops the vehicle. All you need to know is one small part of the  complete process of putting the car together.

This production line mentality has also taken hold within the agricultural industry. A chicken farmer may now know how to raise chickens that will grow to have a specific breast fillet size in a certain allotted time period, using specified food and medicine and limiting sunlight etc... but that same chicken farmer will have no clue on how to raise egg laying chickens for example, or how to hatch out baby chicks for that matter, because they all arrive hatched and ready to grow for this farmer. 

TPTB, for lack of a more accurate description, have now approached education in the same manner. That's why if anyone noticed these classes often offer very specific certifications. Kind of a degree, for a pert of a field within a field, within a field. This is especially prevalent in the medical, business and criminal justice careers. You know the same ones we continue to hear are booming? Insert sarcasm here> Yes they're booming, as far as hiring, because record numbers have been layed off or offered retirement packages in lieu of being laid off .

Now the companies and industries have regrouped, in some cases renamed themselves or in other manners reorganized, and sure they are looking to hire many new people. They will hire cheaper skilled employees, and it is my understanding that they will get a handsome government bonus as well. I believe there is currently a $3,000.00 credit for each new employee hired that last a year.

Okay so what makes this topic important enough to take the time and make the effort to write about this and try to increase awareness? Was there something in particular that set off my rant today?  Yes and Yes.

Number one we need to be aware of how we are being used and how it will effect us in the long term. If we willingly go along with the flow when we see things that just are not right they profit, and even worse they have no incentive to stop using us to make these huge windfall profits. If quality of service within the medical or legal profession at point of service decreases who suffers? Us.

You want to talk about the dumbing down of America? I'm not saying you need to be able to build that whole car, but, if you are going to be responsible for prepping an operating room for surgery, assisting a doctor, or be responsible for the care of invalid patients... If you are going be responsible for representing or advocating individuals in the due process of law... If you are going to be balancing the books of major corporations (may want to get a chef degree too), etc... You need to know the processes and procedures, the ins and outs, the legalities of, and the safety measures in place to be efficient. If the person before you has not performed their job correctly how will you know if it is not part of what you learned? If you receive and education that is so limited, so streamlined, that does not challenge or keep you on your toes, if it does not take into account variables that can make you say okay that works that way, but what if? Are you really prepared for your field? Who is it going to effect? You? Or the people you are taking care of?

It is not like today was the first time I was amazed at a lack of performance, competence,  or intelligence levels evident in the course of my daily interactions in various industries, whether it be medical, legal, or business related, but today was just such a dumb example I had to write how incredulous I was.  It's really not even a good example, because this involved only a bank teller, and it was more of a customer service type of issue, but when the bank manager failed to see and solve the VERY Obvious problem, I had to wonder at where this world is heading.

My husband had a check that had been sent for my birthday. It was from a Paulsen, to a Paulsen, and of course he's a Paulsen. He went on his lunch break to the bank branch near his job, which is the same one he has used for over a decade now. The poor man Never runs out on his lunch break, he packs lunch from home, so that he can relax and eat at lunch, and save money. But, he had had this check in his wallet a few weeks now, and decided to go cash it. It was made out to me, and I had already signed it, and put his account number on it. He gets to the bank drive up, sends the check in the tube. After waiting and waiting they finally send the check back to him in the tube, and tell the man sorry they can't cash it, there's no account for that name.

Now mind you Kev had a headache, he gets migraines occassionally, and I realize sometimes it does affect how quick he thinks, but what I do not understand is what affected the teller and the manager? This is the account his payroll  deposits into. We do have a few accounts, this particular one is in his name.and they said there is no account to  match the name? His account number was right there on the check? So now he parks and goes in mind you, thinking his account is messed up with the very recent Wachovia to Wells Fargo merge. He tells the inside teller, hands her the check, then the manager is called over, and there is discussion between the manager, the teller and Kevin. Result is they tell him again There's no account to match the name, they can't cash the check. In frustration, I mean for crying out loud it was only fifty dollars, Kev was like, the heck with this, I'll let my wife cash it, and takes the check back, puts it in his wallet again and leaves. He called me when he got back to work.

Now upon listening at first I am thinking like him oh crap, must be something wrong with the account! Oh no what about bills paid out, you know? We talked a little more, and I mean I was pretty incredulous. What do you mean they said no account? The account number is on the check. He says again repeating what he remembered them telling him " There is no account to match the name" . Now mind you I did not think I would be right, but I asked him " Honey did you sign the check?". He rustles a minute, gets back on and as he looks at the back, he says "no". Well you know what I was relieved on the one hand, okay account is probably fine, but seriously, how dumb are these people running the bank?

Now at this point you're no doubt thinking what's the big deal here? OK, Well now I get it, he needed to sign the check. I mean hello, any one walks in with a check in hand, the person cashing has to sign, even if it was or was not made out to me, or even if my name was on that account, he would have had to sign. If man comes in with a check with a woman's name on it I would think should raise questions of identity right? I asked him "did they ask who you were?" And he says " yeah they asked if I was your husband, and I said yes". So then I was like, " well hun why didn't you just sign the check when they asked you?"  They never asked him to sign it. Just said they couldn't cash it. Not a single person in the combined group thought uh... wait a minute, account number matches Kevin Paulsen,  oh okay Mr. Kevin Paulsen could you sign the check? I mean I just don't get it, wouldn't you have asked him to sign the check anyway? Didn't he NEED to sign the check anyway?

I did call the bank after I spoke with Kevin. I spoke with a manager, and I explained the whole thing. I was very nice, told her the situation and how I didn't understand why someone did not just tell Kevin to sign the check... he was Kevin Paulsen. I even said to the lady, it was so dumb it was actually funny, and definitely not lawsuit material. I was told a higher manager will be calling me back. Well I had to come back and edit this in because I did not get the call back until later in the afternoon after publishing. The lady introduced herself very professionally by title and said she wanted to discuss the "situation" with me, and how she had been "working" on it all day (i'm laughing again as I am writing  this in). I tried to stop her because she sounded like this was a big deal, when really I had just been wondering why someone didn't just tell the man to sign the check. She was telling me about all these legal battles Wachovia had about cashing checks when they weren't joint accounts and telling me that it was an  evolutionary process for Wachovia and Wells Fargo to reach the standard procedures in place today, and how she "finally" has on her desk in black and white the ruling in place now, and she starts reading off about the last signer of the check was the one that had to have the account, and finally I stopped her. I said yes, he would have been the last signer if someone had told him he still needed to endorse the check. It sounded like she had gone through quite a bit of effort researching and trying to figure out the bank's protocols for check cashing policies. All in all I still say it was so dumb it was funny, but sad that in the process of moving through three levels of customer service no one got it. He just needed to sign the check.

I know it's a dumb example. But that's my whole point. It was such a dumb example of business management, as well as customer service.

Oh and a PS aside to anyone that is thinking to correct me on the fact that you need to have sufficient funds in your account to cash a check from another bank, trust me, there are multiples of the sum of $50.00 in the account in question. It was a simple matter of no one asking him to sign the check. His name is the one that matches the account number for the account at that bank.

A better example could be found in the story of the paralyzed man who suffered severe brain damage because of an undertrained nursing care specialist. Not only did she accidentally turn off the poor man's respirator, but in the video admits to training limitations. She tried to ventilate through his nose and mouth because she did not know she needed to hook the ventilation bag to the port hole in the side of his neck. This patient went a total of 21 minutes w/out being able to draw in oxygen because of this "mistake". A mistake that was simple lack of proper teaching. She did not know what to do in the event of emergency.

Why was video running at the time? As you read in the story, the man had been concerned about the quality of his care and lack of medical skills and knowledge for quite some time. He had the video surveillance installed so that if he died, people would know why.

We are going to be hearing more and more stories in the future about improper training causing major problems in the future, no doubt. The really sad part are the people making these mistakes guilty, in some cases should they be charged? Is it their fault that the education they invested in to better their future was not up to par or incomplete? Is it their fault the degree given to them allows them to enter job positions of responsibility that they are not really capable of handling? This will be an interesting topic to follow in the near future. It reminds me of a movie that was so dumb, can't recall the name, but this scenario is what it was based on. Everyone was dumbed down.

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