Few things in this world irritate me to the point of writing about it in a college newspaper, but false advertising will do it every time.

In Graduate School Orientation, students were made aware of the various services that are provided and covered by your ETSU tuition. One of those services we were told to take advantage of was getting a flat tire aired up by ETSU Public Safety officers. Unfortunately though, the famous saying “it sounds too good to be true” proved to prevail.

I had just finished my graduate assistant job on campus and made my way to the parking garage only to discover that my left rear tire was in dire need of assistance. Immediately, I remembered the advice given in orientation and looked up the number for Public Safety. When the dispatcher answered the phone, I told her my unfortunate circumstance with confidence that the problem was soon to be resolved and that Public Safety would soon come to the rescue.

“Public Safety does not air up flat tires,” was her response. “Now, we will come jump-start your car if your battery is dead, but you’ll have to go to the BP or Shell gas station for a flat tire.”

I tried informing the dispatcher that I was told at orientation that I could count on Public Safety in a situation like this, but she was persistent that no such service existed. I even went to the ETSU commuter student website and found,

Battery Pack  and  Air Compressor–If you get to your vehicle and find that your battery is dead or your have a flat tire, Public Safety has a battery pack to jump start your battery and an air compressor to pump up your tire. You can contact their office at 423/439-4480. http://www.etsu.edu/students/acts/commuterstudents.php

So I did just as the website said and I called Public Safety yet again and asked to speak with dispatcher supervisor, Kelly Logan.  Now, as you can imagine, I was slightly irritated at this point so I just cut straight to the chase and asked if they air up tires or not. “We do not,” was Logan’s reply.  I then told her that we were informed at orientation that Public Safety has an air compressor for a predicament precisely equivalent to what I was experiencing. “We did at one point. But when we made our move…ummm.. last I heard we don’t know where it went. So as of right now we do not have an air compressor” Logan said.

My initial reaction was “how do you lose an air compressor?” Nonetheless, I was forced to set out on the open highway in my impaired vehicle, risking my safety and praying that what little air remained in the tire would not explode while crossing State of Franklin Road.

Once I made it to the Shell station, I discovered that $1.50 was needed in exchange for some air, and that the credit card option on the compressor was out of order. I was fortunate to have $2 in my wallet to get some quarters, but unfortunate in that my remaining 50 cents was not enough to capitalize on one dollar pizza slice night at Mellow Mushroom.

What’s the moral of the story? I implore you, commuter students, to never leave home without $1.50 in quarters in your vehicle’s cup holder because somehow Public Safety’s compressor has vanished and ETSU’s increase in student enrollment was not significant enough to purchase a new one.