High Expectations or Just a High Price?

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In a very short period of time she, a polished and seasoned woman in a position of power, managed to step on the toes of multiple women who were merely trying their best to get with the program.

Was she trying to be rude? I mean, all of them were being perfectly pleasant.  They were just interrupting her plan for an unquestioned day, and she did not make any allowances.  Her way was the way she’d been running things for as long as some of them had been alive.  It wasn’t on her list to do to bring anybody up to speed.  Not even if they were paying her for her to share her expertise.

First, she expected them to have all the information necessary about the course, prior to the course.  When one wavy-haired lady did not receive a handout from a preparatory info packet and requested a copy, the director curtly replied, “You should already have yours.  They were mailed out previously.”

Taken a bit aback, the lady tried again, saying, “Well, I didn’t get one.  Do you have any extras I could have?”  To which the instructor replied, “I have my own copy that you cannot have,” and proceeded to ask all the others in the room if they received theirs.  This made the one with the request feel offended that not only was she not being believed, but the speaker was definitely attempting to show how she could not have failed to provide anything.

Then, at the next meeting, the instructor called on a chatty extrovert and asked her to produce a particular section of the info packet.  The gal went blank, surprised by the request, and was chided, “Why don’t you have it?  Don’t tell me it’s not with you.  It was given at the first meeting, which you were there for.” It took a while as the stunned woman leafed through her folder saying, “Yes, I was, but I don’t recall the part you are referring to.”  “You should have read it.  You signed a paper saying you did.”
“I signed it because I read it.  But I can’t remember it now nor can I find it, ma’am.”

This wasn’t the first time the instructor was brusque with her.  The day before when the smiling lady approached the speaker, she was abruptly told not to approach her before any sessions because all inquiries must be arranged through her secretary for after lectures.  Apparently, speaking before lectures would throw off the flow of the day.

If that weren’t enough to get the ladies a little ruffled, the older woman had the audacity to say to one girl, when asked to repeat something she said, that she would not, because the young lady should have been paying attention the first time.  In fact, the girl had been, but couldn’t keep up with the notes because of the speed of delivery.  Individuals who were consulting with each other on notes were reprimanded for disrupting class by talking.

One perplexed attendee, seeing multiple displays of abruptness from the communicator towards her audience, later sat at home after these few interactions and pondered, How can the instructor believe behaving this way would achieve positive results?  It is difficult to perceive that woman in a positive light when she displays little graciousness towards those coming to her for what her profession is supposed to provide–information and guidance. 

Yet, in her heart, she seems to believe she is giving them tough love for their own good. It’s as if she believes by providing the toughest wind in life, us oak trees will be stronger and better.  Like she knows what we need–to be whipped into shape.  We must conform, she thinks, and be better off by her tutelage!    

Those who stay for the course certainly do gain exemplary knowledge; the parade of past students provide proof.  How many will put up with her demands, and even feel proud of themselves for meeting her high expectations? How many creative minds does she shave down to a size that fits in the palm of her hand? Whatever you do, don’t color out of the lines…

“Mommy?” a little voice pulled the young mother from her musings.
“Honey, not now.  I’m finishing homework.  Ask me later.”
“But MOM! I’m hungry.”
Frustrated, the girl’s mom exhaled, “You should’ve eaten your oatmeal for breakfast like I told you to.”
“You didn’t give it to me.”
“Yes I did!  I heated the bowl up in the microwave” mom huffed. “Your brother ate his.  Why haven’t you eaten yours yet!?”
Just then, her son came into the room with is empty bowl, complaining  “Mom, the  annoying microwave’s still beeping.”

Beeping? Oh…    She had never taken the oatmeal out for her pint-sized little person because she had gotten lost in her thoughts about class.

Immediately, she felt remorse for her harsh tone.  She suddenly saw from her daughter’s perspective, and realized she had just done everything the instructor had done.  She had demanded timing be on her own terms, thrown the “should have” burden upon her daughter’s shoulders, and insisted she was right when in reality, she had forgotten the oatmeal herself.

Hmm…Turns out the instructor’s not the only one who could tweak a thing or two in her authority playbook, huh.

“I’m sorry, kiddo.  I was too grumpy in the way I talked to you. Forgive me?”

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