A whine and complain thread

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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby jvcc » Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:37 am

Boo to decidedly unpleasant employers. Good luck with the job search, though. If you need any resume help, in terms of proofreading, that's definitely something I can do. Insofar as I do it as part of my job, that is.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby jvcc » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:19 am

Oh my god, these two students in my class.

I told them they had to meet with me to discuss their conduct. I scheduled them separately, one at 12:15 and I told the other one to come either at 12:00 or 12:30 depending on her availability. They arrived together after 12:30.

They claimed not to have known what they did that was disrespectful, so I recounted the incidents for them. They had a dozen excuses. Other students leave class early, other students talk to each other during class, other students are on their phone during class. They said I was singling them out.

For most of the discussion they gave me no opportunity to speak (unless I were to interrupt them, which I didn't want to do). At one point one of them even put up her finger after her friend had finished speaking and told me not to talk until she had said something.

I had written up a conduct contract for them to sign, outlining how they would have to behave if they wanted to stay in the class. It said they would not speak while other people were speaking, that they would be respectful of the other students and their instructor, etc. They both struggled not to laugh while reading it.

It took every ounce of professionalism not to tell them to fork off. I've kept my supervisor informed throughout this whole situation and I'm going to meet with him tomorrow to talk about what needs to happen next. I hope to god I don't have to keep them in my class. I have never had students this difficult and I can't imagine having to work with them until the summer.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby jvcc » Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:06 pm

I may be posting here a lot.

My boss has not supported me at all with these students. He has snidely accused me of overreacting, being overemotional, and escalating the situation. He's also implied that this is about my ego rather than basic rickin'-frackin' classroom management. He told me, "When I first started teaching" (he hasn't taught undergrads in over 20 years) "things students did really got to me, but now it's like water off a duck's back."

We met with one of the students together and she apologized, so I'm going to see about keeping her in my class. I feel like a lot of my authority as a teacher has been stripped from me, though.

If this student or both of them continue to be a problem, I'm going to get my boss at the Writing Center (where my classroom is) to sit in on my class. She's supported me throughout this whole ordeal (because she rickin'-frackin' knows me and knows I'm a professional and a good teacher), so I can have her as backup and a witness.

I'm so, so mad, though. First these students insult me and another student, thereby creating a negative classroom environment, and then my boss, who is supposed to have my back, insults me, too.

It will be a last result, but if I need to I can go over his head about this. Which shouldn't be hard, since it's shoved so far up his own ass.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby chrismachine » Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:52 am

sick burn, bro.

Seriously though that's rough. I had a principal for a couple of years who, even though she treated me well enough because I was the union steward, was hellish to most others and not very supportive. I heard some pretty bad stories about stuff like that, and during that time two colleagues went off on stress leave and never came back (one died of cancer after two years of being gone but I don't think would ever have come back regardless). One didn't have good management skills and the other was watching the world of teaching change right underneath her, and systems with which she had become comfortable (and very successful) weren't in favour, and really weren't working as well in general in teaching as they always had. In both cases, good support could have made the difference. What I'm saying is that you really only have the authority in your position that is granted to you, so don't beat yourself up, as much as that is within your control, and don't forget that if you go into your days thinking about these girls, the other students can only suffer from that. You don't owe these girls a second thought, so yeah, have that colleague sit in, but then prepare as though they didn't exist. Not only will any conflict not have a chance to appear contrived, but you will have directed your thoughts and efforts where they belong. :)
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby jvcc » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:03 am

Don't worry, I'm not beating myself up; I'm good at not internalizing the poor decisions that others make around me. I am upset with them and the situation, not with myself. I am a good teacher and a smart person, and I know when I'm being disrespected and condescended to.

Even when I'm in a position of authority where I have to check my anger and use my words carefully or in a subservient position where I may never be able to tell someone that he's being a chode, I still know. And I don't forget.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby chrismachine » Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:46 pm

That's fair, it's just that to me that attitude would allow your anger and resentment to be visible while you are teaching or interacting with these people. Knowing not to blame yourself is not the same as keeping it from affecting you. I know you're saying you can compartmentalize, but the assertive way you're saying you won't forget makes me suspicious that it bothers you more than you let yourself believe.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby jvcc » Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:49 am

Don't worry, Chrism, I know how to handle myself. You can put away your concern about my feelings getting in the way of my work.

Having negative feelings when you are mistreated is natural and not inherently unprofessional. I have had negative feelings.

Letting your negative feelings show in a professional context is not professional, and I haven't done that.

As a man, you should be careful about implying that a woman is being unprofessional by way of being overemotional, especially when you don't really know that much about the situation. That's precisely what my male boss did to me, and it is the thing I am most angry about.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby chrismachine » Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:53 pm

Alright, I'll try to be more mindful of looking like that. Your being a woman had nothing to do with my comment (I said almost the same thing to ntw a few months ago), I was more saying so as a fellow teacher who felt like he'd been there before. Hopefully in that context you can see what I was trying to say. You clearly weren't asking advice though, so sorry about that, I was only trying to help and maybe shouldn't have jumped in there.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby jvcc » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:06 am

It's okay, but when it comes to rhetoric, how you say something matters a lot more than what you meant. You could have told a male coworker the same thing and he probably wouldn't have cared. You could also jokingly call a white coworker lazy, but would obviously be wary of making the same joke to a black coworker.

And the more authoritarian method of offering advice seems to be more common to men. I've run into this issue with my brother. When he offers advice, he says, "Do this" or "stop doing that." When my mom or I offer him advice, we frame it as suggestions or place it within questions. "Have you thought about this?" or "It might be a good idea to try this." I respond better to the latter approach, particularly from my peers.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby chrismachine » Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:22 pm

I actually would never have thought of the black thing, maybe that's just not a stereotype here, at least I've never heard it. Anyway point made, this is just my first encounter with that perspective of the way I've given advice. Perhaps I speak differently than I write, or perhaps it's harder for people to tell me so in person... Lots to think about I guess.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby sum yun gai » Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:28 am

chrismachine wrote:I actually would never have thought of the black thing, maybe that's just not a stereotype here, at least I've never heard it.


I think that has everything to do with Canadians' propensity towards being decent to each other :P
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby jvcc » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:25 pm

Well, it's a stereotype that wouldn't really be aimed at you. That's one of the benefits of being white. My brother had heard the racial slur "sp*c," but didn't know what it meant. When he said it in front of our Costa Rican American friend, however, the latter was very quick to point out its meaning.

I don't think women very often point out when someone's rhetoric is implicitly sexist because they either don't recognize it, can't articulate the problem, and/or don't expect a sympathetic audience. My brother does not respond well to my questioning his rhetoric. In contrast, when I very cautiously pointed out to my best friend that something he said came across negatively to me as a woman, he told me not to worry, that he wants me to tell him if he says something, even unintentionally, that comes across as sexist.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby chrismachine » Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:05 am

No, but I'm in the target demographic for people to feel "safe" saying stuff to, especially in high school. so you'd think I'd have heard it if were as common here as I assume it is to you since you chose it for this purpose. I'm also not overly ignorant with this stuff, believe it or not, though I guess I set my self up for that series of remarks.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby jvcc » Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:36 pm

We will always be more ignorant of these things than the target audience as white people, just like you'll always be more ignorant of stereotypes about women than I will be, I'll always be more ignorant of stereotypes against gay women than a gay woman would be, etc.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby chrismachine » Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:48 pm

That is indeed how it works, yes.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby ntw3001 » Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:12 am

God dang it I am no good at being in bars and all my buddies are prettier than me. This is not ideal!

Nah seriously though, I'm just terrible with women. This was previously known, but I'm now hanging with a dude who has girls zeroing in on him immediately as he walks into a bar (not even he knows why, but it can be surmised that he is very attractive?). Poor old Nick, as ever, gets very little attention. As I'm at least normal-looking, I gotta surmise that something about my manner is repulsive. It's true that I'm not confident with women! It's difficult to become confident with women when women would plainly rather speak to any one of one's friends. I've been advised that Tinder is the correct thing (and it definitely would be a useful way to brush up my talking-to-women skills without having to battle to gain their willing attention in the first place), but I looked at it for about five minutes in Korea and it's so despicably tawdry. I would struggle. Plus I don't think there's been a picture of my face in a few years (except in crowds, in bars), so whatayagunadoo

Okay I'm done bitching. It's frustrating to be in the company of the type of chaps who are inexplicably good with women.

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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby IanC » Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:37 am

Tinder is, imo, poopcakes.

I've got not much else to add to that, but yeah in my experience Tinder is pretty decidedly unpleasant.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby jvcc » Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:24 pm

Tinder is pretty exclusively for hookups, so if that's not your thing I wouldn't recommend it.

I hardly ever get hit on when I go out to bars, but I kill it when I go on dating sites. OKCupid is my preferred one. My digital rhetoric is on point and I can generally communicate better through written communication than in real life.

You present yourself very well online, so that might be a good route for you too. You can specify that you're looking for casual sex, short-term dating, long-term dating, or new friends.

And the not having pictures of just you or your face is totally fine. When I give guys advice on constructing dating website profiles, I always tell them to include at least one photo of themselves in a group, preferably with at least one woman in the photo. That shows that you know how to socialize and interact with other people and, if you have a picture of yourself with a woman or women, it makes you seem less threatening. The Margaret Atwood quote, "Men are afraid that women will laugh at them; women are afraid that men will kill them" applies to online dating: if you can show that women are comfortable around you and not afraid of you, women will be much more likely to meet up with you in person.

If you want to stick with bars and such, and want actual advice on things you could change about your general demeanor, I could try and make suggestions based off the brief IRL interaction that I had with you. But that's a very personal thing and people who make self-deprecating comments aren't always looking for constructive criticism, so I'll hold off.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby ntw3001 » Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:49 am

Ha, no, constructive criticism is welcomed. Perhaps by PM, because I'm not sure anyone else will have many comments to make.

Aye, attending Tinder is a grave notion indeed. As I said, I've looked into it and it's a horrid thing which I cannot reasonably tolerate. Friends (well, coworkers) sit and blow through a few Tinder matches in between comments at bars and I don't fell this is manageable. Who are these people? They look identical and have no other knowable traits.

In related news, I took a glimpse at a Reddit thread about a chap who'd lost (quite) a few pounds and his attractiveness had just skyrocketed. Like,terrible-looking-guy to superdude. Gonna have to work on that. This neckfat is a burdensome collar indeed.

Couple of options

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =3&theater

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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby Skimba » Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:14 pm

It was one day.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby IanC » Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:31 pm

Is that a dig at me by any chance?
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby jvcc » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:48 pm

Skimba's comment was not a dig at you. That woman from the dating site not responding to you for a period of time was not a dig at you. I believe that Skimba's comment is in regard to the conversation between Enty and me, and the woman from the dating site not responding was because of her phone.

I know that when people feel bad about themselves or their situations, they become very introspective. It makes sense to focus on yourself and your feelings when you're not feeling 100%. And if you have negative feelings about yourself, it can be easy to project those onto other people.

But no one else is focusing on you as much as you are focusing on yourself. You are the only person whose world revolves around you. And no one else dislikes you as much as you dislike yourself. The comments to you on here are either polite or straightforward, but never, from what I have seen, malicious.

Even if I didn't like you, I wouldn't bother investing time and energy into personally attacking you, either directly or indirectly. I'm sure Skimba would respond similarly.

I'm not entirely sure what Skimba's comment was referring to, but I think it was about me saying that I could offer Enty advice based on the one time I met him (one time = one day).
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby Skimba » Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:04 pm

:twisted:
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby jvcc » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:38 am

Or, equally possible, Skimba was referring to something to do with herself and is being intentionally enigmatic. :P
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby IanC » Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:42 pm

jvcc wrote:Even if I didn't like you,

You don't like me. None of you do. I don't care frankly, but just come out and tell the truth about it.
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