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Quick Write 090211 “An outstanding balance”

A couple of hours ago, I received a puzzling e-mail which was no more worth than offering me a theme to do QWing today. Can you spend a few minutes to read the following message? It was from Bursar’s Office of the grad school (Note: A “bursar” is a person who manages the financial affairs of a college or school).

You are receiving this notice because you still have an outstanding balance for Fall 2011 semester (Due 8/26/2011).
Because you have failed to pay all tuition and fees due, the University has placed a financial hold on your account. With a financial hold you will not be able to register for courses in future semesters, take advantage of certain University privileges, or obtain official University documents including transcripts, enrollment confirmation, or your diploma.
Please pay your outstanding balance immediately. After confirming payment, we will release the financial hold on your account. If you have already submitted your payment please ignore this message.

Your current outstanding balance is: 0.00yen. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Did you find this e-mail strange? I did. I thought “Why was the e-mail sent although the amount of the outstanding balance is zero?” The outstanding balance means the amount of money that remains to be paid. If it is 0.00yen, “zero”, the recipient of the e-mail has no obligations and doesn’t need to receive such notice to begin with. Those notification e-mails are supposed to be automatically sent to all the students regardless of the current course registration status, I guess. If the balance due were, say, 240,000 yen or something, this passage would be plausible for one TOEIC Part 7 mock passage. And the subsequent questions could go like this:

Q1: What is the purpose of the e-mail?
Q2: What will NOT happen if the tuition remains unpaid?
Q3: What is the recipient of the e-mail most likely to do next?

But even if the balance due is 0.00yen as in the original e-mail, the passage still makes sense and can pose the following question:
Q4: What is implied in the e-mail?
The answer should be “The recipient of the e-mail needs to make no payment.”

I’m, in fact, the recipient of the e-mail, and already sent an inquiry e-mail to the office. Probably there should be no problem on my side and I just can ignore this automatically-transmitted e-mail. Usually, we pay the entire tuition within a week after the first day of the course, and I believe this process hasn’t been changed. That’s why my balance due is zero because the fall semester hasn’t started yet, but will have to pay the tuition later this month after the course begins. That said, the first half of the e-mail gave me some sort of “thrilling” moment. Deep breath.

(40 minutes / 468 words)

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Aya

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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。