WTF Friday: Dependency Becomes Her

Midterms are fast approaching at work-school. This is always interesting because 1) the flow of students into my office increases exponentially about every week because 2) class pace is picking up speed.

It’s not the first week or two of the semester that causes panic, as I well know. No, it’s once everyone is about a month in, and they realize ALLLLL the stuff they have to get done (well) to leave the class behind them in December. Dependency on anyone who will help increases. Thus, my value goes waaaaayyyy up.

Here is a short story:

There’s this gal who is sullen and stubborn as any who walk these halls. She’s got great ideas and a solid basic understanding of the work required of her, which is much more than I can say for many of the students I see.

Originally, she was brought to me, which is actually kind of unusual. If a student’s visit to me is anything less than completely voluntary, it’s prompted by a teacher sending them to me. Rarely does a teacher escort a student over.

When that happens the student is inevitably sullen and stubborn.

However, I actually have pretty amazing people skills. Once the teacher leaves, the students and I tend to get along pretty well, and I see a lot of them multiple times for the rest of that semester. And for the gal I’m referring to in this story, I did see her many times the rest of that semester. But she never stopped being angry. She’s the type that has a permanent chip on her shoulder. Although not directed at me, it gets tiresome. It really does.

There’s a pretty constant stream of resentment coming from her direction. Also, if I’m not in my office when she walks by, she makes sure to report my absence to her instructor, other students, AND myself whenever I return. I’ve explained on multiple occassions that part of my job requires that I be away from my office, that’s why I have a noteboard where she can leave a note, business cards outside my door with contact information in in case she wants to call or email instead, and tutors in the lab who cover for me when I’m not around.

No good. It must be me, and it must be me all the time.

Also, she started talking over me quite a bit, which makes me so crazy I want to pull a Teresa Guidice.

Anyways, she’s back. The class she’s taking this semester is much more difficult and I have thus seen this particular student on a daily basis.

On Tuesday she came in and spent five minutes (I’m not exaggerating) talking non-stop about how she needed to schedule some time with me for the next day. She was going to call out of work so she could spend all day with me. I explained that I will not spend all day with her, that I will spend 30-45 minutes with her and then set her free to do her own work. I also attempted to mention that perhaps calling out of work was not really an appropriate step, that doing what she could for this one and managing her time a bit further out for the next one might be best.

She talked over me (all the reasons I was wrong). I didn’t table flip but I wanted to.

Did I see her the next day? Yes, for quite a while. Then I set her free. She left shortly thereafter.

The following morning (yesterday), she appeared suddenly, very agitated. The teacher had kicked her out of class.

It turns out the student had gone home, worked on her paper briefly, then fallen asleep. The next morning, the day the paper was due, she went to class without anything. Because part of the class activity involved trading papers with another student, her lack of paper made her attendence pretty useless. So she came to me.

She came to me.

When she was done the story about how she had failed not only to do any work, but to even bother to print out what she already had before she went to class, she stood in front of my desk in silence. I waited to make sure she was done. (She was.) I then began to ask what I could possibly do for her, since, by her own admission, she had done little to no work on her own.

She began to talk over me.

I flipped my desk over.



8 thoughts on “WTF Friday: Dependency Becomes Her”

  1. A fun read… stranger than fiction… truth often is… except for the dream sequence at the end where you flipped over the table.



  2. I gosh. I read this yesterday and didn't know how to comment…because I so would have flipped the table over too. There are people in life who chose not to succeed. I never understand why. It was frustrating to read about someone who for what ever reason, decided not to try…and then wors, choses to blame others for her lack.

  3. I hope the spirit of Teresa took over your body. Ugh! These are the instances where you want to just look at the kid and say, “I don't even care. You'll always be a lazy loser. I don't want to waste my time.” Of course you don't say that, but I am sure there are times you want to.

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