The professor I TA for dumped something on me today, and I just had to blog about it!
There is a student in our class with special needs, and rather than emailing SSD and setting up things the way other professors would, this one sent me an email to let the student finish his exam in my office if he needed extra time. Normally I would not have a huge issue with this, but my favorite band is playing in Richmond tonight and I am going to stay with my best friend who now lives there.
I cannot ignore the students needs and have to give him all the time he needs to complete his exam, but I also really want to go see my friend. I have to be back tomorrow to grade exams, and I only get a small amount of time with my friend. I found out this morning that some of that time was going to be cut into, and I felt cheated. I have never felt this feeling before in academia. I have felt it many times as a restaurant manager, and I put a lot of effort into ensuring that my staff never felt that feeling. It is one thing to agree to go above and beyond, but it is something very different to be volunteered. As a restaurant manager if I ever tried not to do what I was volunteered for I would be told something along the lines of: “most any potential GM that was as young as you would jump at the opportunity to go above and beyond… maybe you aren’t GM material after all…” I was not told that I was going to devolve my career if I did not stay and accommodate the student, but I felt karma would have had something much worse in store for me.
I guess the real substance of this post is my desire to be something better. I know we have all felt the pressures of being volunteered for something by our superior, and I want to do all I can to ensure that those who study or work under me do not have this feeling. I hate it when my time is wasted, and I feel there is nothing worse or more selfish than wasting someone else’s time.