Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Passive-Aggressive Professor

On Thursday one of my classes was decidedly empty - only 2 students showed up, and both of them were more than 10 minutes late. I was ready to leave.

Today there was no one there at 8-10 minutes late and I was getting mighty frustrated. Finally most of the class showed up. There was a quiz today and they did not have much time left to solve it.

Because most of the class was not there on Thursday, I decided to be a very nice guy and hold some extra class time after our normal class to review what they missed. When normal class ended, I told them they were free to go and, if anyone wanted, I would quickly review what we did last time.

When someone grumbled about not wanting to stay for an extra hour and a half, I told them I needed to catch my bus too; this would be mighty fast. And then I said something in all sincerity:

"I'm just doing something nice to be of service and help. Don't feel that you have a responsibility to stay."

I meant that. I was not providing a burden of guilt.
I wanted them to feel that I was being helpful, and if it wasn't helpful, they should go do something else.

But as soon as the words were out of mouth, I heard a different prof with a different voice use those exact same words to mean the exact opposite. "How dare you be so ungrateful! Here I am busting my chops, taking all this extra time so you lazy ...." ouch.

So if any of you are my students, just know that I meant what I said sincerely and please don't take it the wrong way.