You know those confirmation numbers you always get? The ones after you make an online payment, telephone payment, or a registration for something. You know how you always think (at least me anyway) I won’t need it…but….—and you wind up saving it, or writing it down a scrap piece of paper? I’ll tell you what—it’s worth it, because sooner or later you’re going to need one of those annoyingly long confirmation numbers, you know, the ones that are like 47TGH439THX. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but you get the point.

So anyway, after I had sent off an email asking if I could get some extra graduation tickets, my world of “everything’s going really well these days” suddenly became a little stormy. You see, I

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had expected a simple response email, something like: “Not a problem, you can pick up the extra tickets after the graduation rehearsal meeting.” That’s not what happened.

At 5:08pm, last night, I checked my email during a break in one my evening classes:

“William, It appears as though you have not completed the online graduation attendance form by Nov 12. You will have to fill out an appeal to the Education Records Office if you wish to be considered for the ceremony.”

Panic, frustration, anger, and disbelief are just a few of the emotions that ran through my mind. Had it really all come to this? Had I done all of this work, and now I might not even be able to attend my own graduation ceremony? No, not possible. I know I checked all the boxes. I know I filled out the online attendance form.

Well–after

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I calmed down–I remembered that after I had completed the online attendance form, I received a confirmation email, and you guessed it, it had a confirmation number: 67. Oddly enough, over the Holiday weekend, I was cleaning up my email inbox. I deleted a lot, but I didn’t delete the confirmation email. I even printed out a copy, just to be safe.

I replied to the email, attaching the original confirmation email I received from the records office. This morning, I got an email both apologizing and informing me that I was on the list for attending the graduation ceremony.

Granted, mistakes happen. Was I happy about spending the entire night worrying that I might not be able to attend my own graduation? No, not one bit, and neither was my family. But things happen, and every now and then you need those confirmation numbers. No system is ever perfect, but if we anticipate the unexpected, navigating the potential storms becomes a little easier.