Adventures of a Postdoc

February 19, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — mxc305 @ 9:13 pm

It used to be that everything you needed to know about life, you could learn from watching Seinfeld.  Now, it’s The Office.  Recently, the clueless and self-centered character Kelly was upset at Jim and Dwight for not remembering her birthday.  It turned into a silly grudge in which an even sillier gift (which she loved) made everything better.

Amazingly, there are people like Kelly in the world.  I swear, I know one.  Recently it was the birthday of one of the receptionists.  I personally don’t like birthdays because I get older everyday, and I don’t see the point in celebrating one specific day.  More importantly, I’m at work and feel it’s inappropriate to get paid to eat cake when there’s a pile of work that needs to be done.

There are people who are the complete opposites, however, and want the spotlight on them throughout the day as people pat them on the back and shower them with fake praise about how young they look or how the world is lucky they were born on this day.

So, I purposely don’t make birthdays a big deal.  Turns out that Kelly, I mean, this individual, was upset at everyone who didn’t treat her like a queen on her birthday.  I walked in a few days later to get some supplies and was given the cold shoulder and even told that some supplies weren’t available, even though someone else picked up the identical item the day before.

Why is this important?  I’m amazed at how much people in the education field put themselves first before the students.  Rather than doing her job and earning my praise that way, she chose to make doing my job difficult.  The whole reason our jobs exist is to teach the students, yet this individual prevented me from doing my job because she didn’t receive the glory she felt she deserved.

If you want to go into education, make sure you understand what it involves – educating our future.  It doesn’t involve surfing the internet while a line of students wait for you, throwing birthday parties while you’re being paid to help students, or making an educator’s job impossible just because you’re upset about something completely unrelated to education.  It means the highest priority is doing what it takes to teach the students what they need to know.  Period.

The Office episode ends with Kelly choosing the gift of an hour’s worth of sleep while at work.  The irony is, I’ve seen this person asleep at her desk at work.  Looks like you really do learn everything you need to know from The Office.

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