I don’t think it’s okay to ignore people. Isn’t that a form of bullying?
I will still help people, but these experiences that I’ve had are certainly not pleasant. We’ve all been helped. We’ve all helped people. I think what we want in return is respect. I’m going to share this particular incident, this situation that happened to me. Actually, two.
First up: Let’s call this person J. The letter J. You know, on an earlier episode of my podcast, I referenced someone as the letter D. No names, just letters. So, I’m going to call this next person “J.” The letter J.
Let me begin the story from the time when J asked me to write her a reference letter. I asked “when?” She said “this week.” So, I wrote up a reference letter that same day and gave it to her. (According to her, she was looking for a part-time job or simply a full-time opportunity elsewhere.) She told me not to tell the other staff that we hung out. Which is, okay, whatever. A few days later, she left some chicken rice in the fridge at work, and she texted me to deliver it to her after I was done that day (her home is nearby). Again, she told me not to tell the other staff that I was bringing her stuff to her.
But then shortly after I wrote that reference letter and gave it to her (it was several weeks later), she just stopped talking to me. It was, to me, like, okay, KP is no longer useful, so there’s no more need to interact with KP. I find that to be a bit disrespectful. And it was obvious. I always leave my classroom door open. It’s because these classrooms in the places where I teach, there are no windows or no windows that open. So I leave the door open because I don’t want to feel like I’m in prison. Symbolically, it’s also to say that my door is always open and anybody can come in and talk to me about anything.
So J would walk past my room without saying hi. But J would say hi to virtually everyone else. It’s obvious. Now, the sports media and sports fans would crucify Barry Bonds for ignoring his teammates. So, shouldn’t we do the same to regular people around us? It’s totally disrespectful. Again, it’s like, after I do a favour by writing a reference letter and that’s done, it feels like there’s no need to interact with me anymore. And there was that telling comment: Don’t tell the other staff etc. that we hung out.
You can interpret that in different ways.
So I sent a text and asked if I had offended J, and if so, I would like to apologize, but I did notice that J has stopped saying hello.
The response was typical:
Hahaha what! I say hi to you all the time KP??? Like every day I say hi to you!!!
That last statement was definitely not true. Just stop. Don’t insult my intelligence.
And there was no apology. I was the one who apologized for even mentioning that.
But another very telling incident was shortly after that, a week after that…
Let’s call it a work-related matter. She was asked by the school to assist me with something. We did not have to work together on anything; it was just a matter of J assisting me with something.
J and I had a brief in-person conversation and then I said I would email her the game plan. I did so a few minutes later, sent it by email and texted her about it. I notice she was still at the front desk talking to admin. I wanted to just verbally let her know that I had emailed her the game plan. So I came out of my room to say “Hey, J. I wanted to —” As soon as J saw me, she put her earphones in her ears and said “Bye” and walked out the door to go home. That is totally disrespectful.
Isn’t that passive aggressive? You spent so much time talking to admin and as soon as I come out and said, “hey J,” you walk out. That’s a very bad look. So, be that way. And besides, I wanted to talk about a work matter.
From my perspective, J comes across as being fake.
I intend to re-tell this story on my podcast with Stan Markotich. This is a learning opportunity for our students and our younger listeners. Don’t treat people this way. Don’t take it if someone does this to you.
I will still help people. But you come to realize people have an agenda. It’s not good to say that, but that’s true. It’s one thing if we had never hung out or if never talked to each other beforehand, but the fact is we did hang out before outside of work and we did talk to each other and I was always cordial with her, and I did help her before with the favour, so I would expect to receive a bit more respect. I mean, for me, if someone has a problem with you, talk about it. I tried talking about it and was laughed at, with that Hahaha what? I say hi to you all the time KP like every day I say hi to you.
You move on. But that person was disrespectful. But hey, I’m not a lesser person than anybody else. I’m not a non-person. You just don’t act that way to me. Nobody owes me anything. But respect is important. You just don’t treat someone who helped you out before like that.
You can at least say, “Sorry, I have to run right now. Let me text you.” But there was no apology, just a “Bye” and walk out the door. Earphones in ears like she wasn’t interested in what I had to say. That’s a bad look. I don’t like being used. I don’t like being treated like a pawn. Nobody does. Be respectful.
Then, here’s another person. This is a second story—at a different workplace. I worked from home for a while because of the pandemic. Then I went back to work, in person. The online class that I was teaching, it got transferred to another instructor, whom I’ll call “E.”
I got assigned a brand new in-person class. E inherited my original class but E would teach at school using a computer while the students studied from home online. Basically an online class but E teaches from the school.
I tried to give E some information about those students because I knew them and E didn’t know them. They were new to E.
When I gave him some information about students that he was inheriting (I called this my “scouting report” because we both follow sports), he said, “I don’t do scouting reports. I do it based on my interactions with them. But thanks.”
Why not just say, “Thank you, I’ll look at it” — or something like, “Thanks, I’ll hang on to it just in case”?
The next day I wanted to say hello to my former students, he said, “No, they’re on break.” I said again that I just wanted to say hello to them (in case some were still at their desk), and he repeated, “No, they’re on break.”
Why be a jerk? And he wasn’t joking around. He was stiff in his answer. This is someone who has taught in South America and in Asia. He has decades of experience. We’re talking about an educated person. Yet he treats fellow instructors like this?
And then I could hear his lesson from next door because the walls are thin. He was mispronouncing a student’s name so I wrote a note and slipped it under his door. I also emailed him to say, “Hey FYI E, the student’s name is pronounced [blah blah], and not the way you say it, but I think the student is too polite to correct you.” There was no acknowledgment from E.
The following week, I could still hear E mispronouncing that student’s name. That teacher also doesn’t talk to me anymore.
E is simply not respectful. This is the same person who was rude another time. During the first summer of the pandemic, I started a podcast. (This podcast.) I let E know about this and said, “Hey, can you check this out? It’s my new podcast.”
His response: “I listen only to Tim & Sid.” Why be like that?
There was no “Good luck with it. Hope it works out great.” It was just “I listen only to Tim & Sid.” (Note: Tim & Sid was a sports talk show hosted by Tim Micallef and Sid Seixeiro between 2011 and 2021, and its current name is Tim & Friends.)
Some time prior to that, he had asked me to help him secure some freelance work and I did help him out with some contacts and i gave him glowing references. Again, I was fine doing that. We’ve all been helped before and we’ll all helped others. What we all want in return is respect. But E is certainly disrespectful. You don’t treat people like that.
Here’s the thing. He thinks he’s seen the world and knows all there is to know and doesn’t acknowledge other people’s feedback. Again I used to respect him and, as mentioned, I gave him a glowing review, a glowing reference, but his actions are just not okay and he’s disrespectful.
So, you have both people — J and E — who don’t say hello anymore and don’t apologize. Just blatantly rude. One just puts on her earphones and says “Bye” and walks out the door. The other is just plain rude. So, once again, these people whom I’ve helped — they treat me like I’m a non-person, a lesser person. That’s fine. I’ll still help other people in the future.
As for people such as J and E, to me they are terrorists. After all, if you are not on my team, you are against me. Does this sound like an exaggeration and disrespectful? Well, consider this: There was a movie produced in 2015 called The Intern, where Anne Hathaway referred to her mother as a terrorist. If this word is being used in this way in pop culture, I consider it fair game and will indeed label those against me as terrorists. Disrespectful terrorists.
Posted on November 18, 2022, in Advice, Lessons Learned, Life, Life Lessons, Teaching. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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