Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Myth of the Real World

Yesterday I was trying to mediate a compromise between a student who missed a test for medical reasons and an instructor who wanted to issue a zero. The student faxed in a doctor's note within 24 hours but didn't comply to the letter with the instructor's rules about make-ups. The instructor was in my office expaining her point of view.

Said the instructor, using an analogy to try to justify the zero, "If she had a job and missed a meeting, she'd be fired."

I couldn't restrain myself and immediately replied, "Not if she worked here."

We have people who don't show up to class, people who cancel class for no good reason, and people who don't show up for mandatory meetings, and they (all without tenure!) still work here.

My friends with Real Jobs have griped about enough incompetent fools that they've worked with, that I don't think that zero-tolerance firing is in wide use. My incompetent students seem to manage to hold down their jobs at TGIFriday's and the Macaroni Grill. I can't believe that the Real World is as harsh a place as it is portrayed by instructors who have never worked outside of a university.