Friday, 8 July 2011

Apparently, I'm French, and....

Apparently I'm French and have applied to take the IELT English Proficency Exam.

Or at least, so claim the Sussex Downs College. I just had the strangest set of emails from them. The 1st one was saying that they'd received my application to take the exam, but couldn't process it because the date was fully booked, and the next available was the 13th of August.

Ummm... exam? What exame? I really had no idea what the exam was, much less when I had applied for it. They didn't tell me what exam, just that the date I'd applied for was full. So I replied back that, I'm sorry, but I have no idea what this is about. What exam?

The reply I got was most annoying. It read, Please see attached. The date is fully booked, the next available is 13 August.

I don't THINK so! Not on your life am I going to open an unsolicited attachment from an unknown address about an exam I have no memory of applying for. I don't care if you have an academic email address (like the .edu suffix in the states, it's here. Reserved for academic institutions.) They can be hacked! Or otherwise forged.

I replied back that I would not open an attachment from an unknown source, that I didn't have any knowledge of any exam. That I had no idea what their office was for, and to please give further details.

Decided to give the place a ring. So I googled the name of the institution, came up with the same number as in the email (promising) and phoned them up. I explained that I'd started to get emails from them that I could not work out what it was about. She took my name and compared it to their records and discovered that they did have an application from someone with an address in France who had given my email address. I said, well they've got it wrong, because that's me. I'm a native English speaker, American, I live in the UK (easier than explaining the real state of affairs) I have a Batchelors, 2 Masters and most of a PhD from American or UK Universities. I would be the last person to apply for an English proficiency exam.

She then tried to convince me that native English speakers do take the exam when they're emigrating abroad. Umm... not for any reason I could fathom. And I really ought to be an expert in the field! Whatever, they said they'd stop contacting me.

Good, but seriously, be more helpful in your emails. That whole thing ought to have been resolved back when I first asked what exam, after the 1st email!

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