Monday, March 21, 2016

No Sympathy

It's amazing the amount of complaining people do. I also recognize the irony in complaining about people who complain a lot. Most of the time I'm quite sympathetic, since when we get used to doing things a particular way, especially if that way lets us be lazy, we tend to be disinclined to give it up. That said, regularly complaining about the following really bothers me:
  • I really have very little sympathy for people who "aren't morning people" and/or can't get to where they need to be on time. Very few people are morning people. "I'm not a morning person" is not a good reason to not get up when your alarm wakes you. Suck it up, and get moving. Go to bed earlier if you need to, and be the adult you are.
  • On a related note, one of the policies at the high school at which I teach is that if students miss a certain number of classes, or they're late a certain number of times, their grades are converted into NGs ("no grade"). This means they have to attend what's now called attendance school, but which when I was in high school would have been called detention. Students need to pay $5 per session, and if they're even a minute late, they can be denied entrance. (I've been running attendance school this year.) Since students need to pay at the front office, sometimes there are long lines, which means they haven't planned ahead, which means they're late, which means I don't let them in. Students get very frustrated when I turn them away, but if they were on time and/or had attended their classes to begin with, this wouldn't have been a problem. Skipping or being late to school literally does not pay.*
  • Grousing about having to be "with it" at the apparently agonizing early hour of 8 a.m. This is different if you work in an industry that requires working revolving hours, and/or if you're regularly scheduled to work evening or night hours (the medical, customer service, and hospitality fields come to mind, among others), in which case it really is a hassle to be up and with it at 8 a.m. But if your regular work hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or you have a schedule with flexibility, please be quiet.
  • Complaining about having 100 students. I started the year with more than twice that.
I respond to this in a slightly annoyed manner (which I generally keep to myself, except for this instance), because I get up at 6 a.m. five days a week so I can be at school ready to go an hour later. (Contract hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.) I do not like getting up at 6 a.m., but the flip side is that 60% of the time, I'm home by 3:30 p.m. (Once a week I don't get home until 7:45 p.m. or later; once a week I don't get home until about 5:30 p.m.) This career entirely my choice and I will not complain about it, which is why I avoid people who complain about how difficult it is to be at work at 9 a.m. or later. If the hours don't suit you, perhaps it's time to find a job whose hours better reflect your ability to get there when you agreed to.
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* In case you can't tell, I have a really hard time with chronic lateness; it's one of the things that drives me up the proverbial wall.

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