Sex Ed in Higher Ed

College instructor teaching human sexuality rants about the dumbing down of America, the lost art of manners, grammar and (the perfect combination of both) the thank you note. Also includes random rants about life, pet peeves, and sometimes raves about favorite things.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Teacher Lady's Happy Sassy Sunday Ass-vice Column

I should learn my lesson. After completely exhausting my warehouse of rants on Friday, I am facing another NaBloPoMo day thinking, "Hmm . . . will I be the first blogger to drop out of this contest?" I think chances are quite good that I will be.

I can always whine about how I'm not sure I should keep going with this school thing, but I actually did that all day long yesterday with an extremely sympathetic friend.

How about if I whine about what I should do for a living if I don't do the school thing? Agreed? Agreed.

Friday, I discussed the personal marketing consultant gig. Although I love to boss people around, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable doing it and then asking for a couple grand. After all, isn't that why people have parents, bosses and older siblings? To boss them around for free!?

I've also taken more than a few of those career assessments and guess what they tell me? That I should be in health. Or education. Or health education. Whoopeee!!! Thanks.

Although, in high school we had to take one of those career tests and I swear, a fellow (male) student came away with only two career recommendations: Sanitation engineer and rodeo clown. So it could always be worse.

Since I don't think I could handle the rodeo clown gig, today, I will explore the idea of me becoming an advice columnist. I've been a HUGE fan of Carolyn Hax for years (see my links) and Amalah's Wednesday Advice Smackdown as well (see Blog Roll). Ann Landers and Dear Abby - not so much, but with a dash of snark and a heavy sprinkling of sarcasm, I think they might just be okay.

I have very strong opinions and I don't often care if I'm wrong or right. I'm just opinionated. So, that will be my "hook" - Some newspaper editor asks me, "Teacher Lady, do you know anything?" I say, "No, not really." Editor says, "Well, you must be known for giving good advice to friends and family?" I reply, "Actually, the opposite is true. I give terrible advice. No one should listen to me, ever." Editor is mystified: "Why should we hire you to write our new advice column?" Me: "Because I have lots of opinions on just about anything. If someone writes to me about a situation, I will have something to say. It might not be right, and it might not be intelligent, but it will be something." Editor: "Genius! You're hired!!"

So, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the line forms on the right. Teacher Lady is currently taking questions for her "Dear Teacher Lady, You May Be an Idiot But You're My Only Hope" ass-vice column. All in the name of career exploration, my dears!!! Bring it!



Blogger janet said...

Actually, that's just what I love about Carolyn Hax. She doesn't pretend to be qualified or overeducated in psychobabble. She is just that great.

Okay, now I will work on coming up with a question.

November 06, 2006 12:00 AM  
Blogger ricki said...

My friends and I had to take those career tests in junior high.

Every single one of us - along with other careers - had "mortician" as one of the choices that came up for us.

We decided that that meant there was a projected shortage of morticians about 20 years into the future. Because otherwise, why would four or five girls with VERY different personalities get the same (rather gruesome) choice?

November 06, 2006 10:24 AM  
Blogger Kai said...

I'll play, since nobody else has been able to help me! Here's my question:

Three weeks ago I asked the receptionist at work for the address of a company event I was to attend. She refused to give it to me, only surrendering the address when I lied and told her it was for my boss who needed the information immediately. Since then she has me on "freeze out". She has blocked me from our work IM program, won't respond to emails or phone calls, and if I ask her questions in person, she sits there blinking at me and refusing to respond. I've taken my complaints to HR, but only received the "you won't always get along with your co-workers, you just have to deal" line. I'm at my wits end with her. Our jobs overlap quite a bit and I can't keep doing all the work because of her immaturity. My boss won't do anything because her direct supervisor is higher up than him and absolutely LOVES her. Any advice on how to handle her?

November 06, 2006 3:29 PM  
Blogger Moobs said...

My career test suggested that I should become a jewellery designer. This came as shock as I was hoping for blood-sucking lawyer or lumberjack.

But then back then the whole of the UK's computing power was provided by one twitching hamster.

November 06, 2006 3:57 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Gentle Kai,

First I recommend poison. I've also heard that a drop or two of Visine in a person's drinking water has no taste and will give her horrific diarrhea.

On a serious note, does your HR department do "mediation"? In the past, I've had a somewhat similar situation. My HR rep organized a "mediation" between me and other hated bitch. I asked to tape record meeting and I was allowed. I had data - dates, times, of exact interactions with her and she could not deny any of it. Then we worked out our "how we will work together happily in the future" plan.

If your HR department DOESN'T do mediation, and you're adverse to long prison sentences, I would do this (may require some researching of schedules on your part): Walk up to her when other people are around. Say loudly and clearly, "I'm sorry to interrupt, Receptionist, but may I see you in ____(empty room) for a moment? It's urgent and only you can help me." Only a complete and total moron would ignore you in front of other people. If she DOES pull that shit, say even more loudly, but politely (OH! I did this once because I had to and lemme tell ya, it ROCKS!!! LOVE calling people on their rude asses), "Receptionist? Didn't you hear me? I need to speak with you a moment?"

If she says, "I'm really busy," you say, "That's okay, I really need your help. I'll wait." And you sit there. And you wait. (Again - you may have to do some next-to-impossible spy work for a week or so to figure out the most opportune time to do this.)

Then, when (please, gob, fingers crossed) you lead her into the room, close the door, look her in the eye and say, "Is there a reason you're deliberately trying to derail my career?" Of course, she'll get sputtery and deny it. This is where you remain icy calm and give your examples, "It seems to me, you've blocked me from our IM program, you won't take my calls, etc., etc., I deserve one good reason why you're doing these completely unprofessional things."

My hunch is, she'll lose it, big time because the only people who pull shit like that in Corporate America are the people who've never been called on it.

THEN you say, (Oh! I'm on a roll!) "I don't have to like you. (this will also shock her, because people like that think only THEY hate others - everyone else LOVES them. Could I USE more parentheses?) You don't have to like me. But, if you are as committed to the success of the organization as I am, you know that we must put aside our personal differences in the best interest of the organization. If you cannot put aside your personal differences and work with me in a professional manner, I can only assume it's because you DON'T CARE ABOUT THE COMPANY and that's too bad."

Watch her head spin!!!!

Believe it or not, although I'm extremely non-confrontational in my school life, I've had a few tiffs in my professional life. Calm, professional, lots of details and real-life examples and then the cheap underhanded trick of accusing them of not caring about the success of the company. Works (almost) every time.

Good luck and keep us posted!!!

November 06, 2006 4:36 PM  
Blogger ProfessorDog said...

Dear Teacher Lady: My sister and my cousin are both having babies in May. I'm thinking of getting a Beagle puppy so I don't feel left out. My others dogs are OK with this plan. What do you think?

Professor Dog

November 06, 2006 10:15 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Dear Professor Dog:

I think you are missing the point. This is a HUGE opportunity to play a little trick on your family. As soon as possible, switch the babies. See how long it takes before the parents realize they don't have their child. (This will be funnier if both babies are the same sex.) The longer it takes for the parents to realize it, the funnier it will be! And oh, your family will love it. Let me know when to watch for you on the news!


November 06, 2006 11:39 PM  
Blogger ProfessorDog said...

That's an excellent idea, TL! (At first, I thought you were suggesting that I switch my Beagle puppy for one of the babies, but I get it now.) Personally, I think it would be even funnier if they *weren't* the same sex.

One thing about the puppy, is that for the first two years or so s/he will be hitting developmental milestones much quicker than the human babies--my baby will be walking at four weeks, on solid food at eight weeks, and potty trained at six months. So I'll totally be winning.

November 07, 2006 1:55 AM  
Blogger Kai said...

An update for all: I waited until Evil Receptionist's boss was in his office (and in earshot) and asked to see her in my office numerous times, for awhile all I got was blinking. I waited at her desk until her boss came out of his office and asked again in front of him. This time she FINALLY replied "I have more important things to do....for the EXECUTIVES" and got up and went to the bathroom. She stayed in there so long I finally had to give up and go to a meeting I was already late for.....sigh...Score: Receptionist 2, Kai 0.

November 07, 2006 11:33 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Kai, I am SO sorry. She is a jackass and should be fired immediately. Unfortunately, life never works that way, so perhaps you should keep asking her when her boss is in front of her? Or - I don't know what the take on it would be in your organization, but it might be time to go to HER boss. That behavior is unprofessional and he should be ashamed to have one of his direct reports acting like that.

November 08, 2006 8:59 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home