Thursday, March 12, 2009

Here's to...

...a Speshul Snowflake-free week next week!

Next week is my spring break. I am going to visit family (as I pretty much always do). My family is pretty much the opposite of annoying special snowflakes so it should be a good week.

But I'll tell you, the flakes have been out in all of their flakitude this week. I have had:

1. A student e-mail me a paper, even though I told them not to, e-mail it A WEEK before the due date, which I assume means she won't be in class then, and THEN she re-e-mailed me the illegally-e-mailed in the first place paper because she realized she hadn't double-spaced it, as per my instructions. So she gets ONE instruction (one of the ones I'm actually willing to overlook in some cases) right, but messes up two other ones.

2. Had several flakey e-mails from people begging for "excused" absences from that class. We. Don't. Do. Excused. Absences. They have five "absences without penalty" they can use up. After that, too bad, so sad.

3. Had several requests to hand in late papers. Turned them all down. I'm getting a lot tougher about that and amazingly in most cases people do not whine.

However, that's not to say that ALL the special snowflakes are students. In fact, the special-est of special snowflakes in my life are all people over 50. Who should know better:

1. Someone who can't stop flapping their lips over something totally unrelated and meaningless in an evening meeting where the rest of us are wanting to get home to kids, spouses, work we have to finish up, or just to go to bed.

2. Someone who doesn't understand that "volunteer work" means "we can't pay you."

3. Someone who calls a meeting and then is 15 minutes late to it, just because he can be and because he apparently enjoys knowing people are sitting waiting for him.

4. A particular person who CANNOT stop to proofread or fact-check an e-mail before sending it out, and this is a MASS e-mail, so everyone on the mailing list gets three or four e-mails daily: first, the original e-mail. Then the corrected version with the corrected meeting date. Then the corrected-corrected version, either because there was no time listed for the meeting, or because there was a conflict between the numbered date and the day-of-the-week (apparently they didn't get rid of their previous year's calendar). Then sometimes a correction to the corrected correction because something else was wrong.

I said to my secretary: this is probably mean of me but I wish you were in charge of sending out these mass e-mails; they'd be RIGHT the first time and we wouldn't get piles of "corrections." She kind of laughed; the problem of e-mails plus CORRECTED NEW E-MAIL!!! has become a joke.

But at any rate - this time tomorrow I SHOULD be on a northbound train, going to see my parents, going to spend a week where the only thing of real consequence I do is my taxes. (Yeah, boo, but I didn't feel like I had time to do them before. I have investments so they get complicated. I could hire someone, I suppose, but they're not THAT complicated, and I'm cheap that way, and I also feel like I have "won" if I can figure out all the instructions and do them right the first time.)

And oh yes, I've been saving up special snowflake stories to share with my parents, both of whom are retired college teachers. I already told them about "I just had things to do" woman and they laughed but also were moderately horrified.

I'll catch you all on the flip side.


The Fifth String said...

Have a great trip, Ricki. And please do try to forget the Special Snowflakes for a while.

WV: "biocobsi" - I got nuthin' but I bet there's a biology joke in here somewhere.

Kate P said...

Enjoy your (speh-shul snowflake-free) trip!

WV: "meout"--I swear this is what my sister's cat whines insistently at the door.

nightfly said...

Begone, snowflakes, and all thy flakery!

(w/v - "crudism" - the life-philsophy and worldview of a disturbingly large number of our fellow humans)