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658016 Posts in 9261 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 64 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: If your boss is an S.O.B tell him to S.H.O.V.E the J.O.B - new job thrad  (Read 24693 times)
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Anne the Man
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Posts: 4444


« Reply #50 on: May 02, 2011, 08:30:24 PM »

I have what resembles a Real Job. I am procrastinating it right now. At the moment it's a sales thing for Dad's paper Scoop.co.nz, and I have to pitch free trials of it to a bunch of people, and I'm nervous. Thankfully it's over email atm. Later on I get to learn html and process press releases. Maybe even later on I'd get to write articles. It's currently a boring job, but unlike checkout it's a boring job that will lead to places. The only real bummer is being in an office where I can't see the sky or trees. There is one plant here, at least.
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Hey jerks, mind if I watch you jerks do your jerk-bending?
Anne the Man
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Posts: 4444


« Reply #51 on: May 02, 2011, 09:20:30 PM »

What am I doing with Fatty and Spotty
Fatty and Spotty
Fatty and Spotty
Fatty and Spotty
What am I doing with Fatty and Spotty

Are we or are we not...a company?!
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Hey jerks, mind if I watch you jerks do your jerk-bending?
jebreject
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Posts: 27071


« Reply #52 on: May 12, 2011, 06:53:48 PM »

I applied for a new job today. Keep it on the DL, LPTJ, but I'm pretty nervous/excited.
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Anne the Man
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Posts: 4444


« Reply #53 on: May 12, 2011, 09:54:53 PM »

Yeah, Jeb! Good luck, mang.
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Hey jerks, mind if I watch you jerks do your jerk-bending?
kadiekatRN
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Posts: 974


« Reply #54 on: May 13, 2011, 08:53:02 PM »

Good luck, Jeb!

Meanwhile, my unit manager has announced that there would be some layoffs and "staff restructuring" on our floor and throughout the hospital.  This is definitely anxiety-provoking.  I am pretty sure I am safe b/c my work is well-regarded, I don't have corrective action, and I am neither a super new nurse (last hired, 1st fired) nor an old one (top of the pay scale).  Plus, it is a cold-hearted person who sacks someone with a child on the way. 

It definitely is scary, though, and I feel bad for whoever gets let go (while hoping it's not me).
« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 09:04:29 PM by kadiekatRN » Logged
alex
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Posts: 6287


« Reply #55 on: May 17, 2011, 12:38:22 PM »

Today was one of the worst class sessions I've ever experienced, and I think I handled it in the worst possible way. Now feeling anxious and depressed and horrible, which does not bode well for preparing my presentation I have to give tomorrow afternoon. Job anxiety sucks.
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davy
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Posts: 24822


« Reply #56 on: May 17, 2011, 12:51:18 PM »

What happened?
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alex
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Posts: 6287


« Reply #57 on: May 17, 2011, 01:47:09 PM »

Well, our university uses a teaching system called 'problem-based learning', which is, essentially, all about small-ish discussion groups where a different student takes on chairing duties each time. It really only works if a significant number of students contribute and get a discussion going.  The tutor's role is kind of vaguely defined as making sure things stay on track and so on - we're really not supposed to lecture at all, but rather to ask probing questions, and get involved in the moderation if possible or comment on the discussion process if necessary. For the entire duration of this course, the discussion has tended to be a bit unbalanced, with a whole bunch of people never saying a word and very few people doing most of the talking. Today things were particularly extreme, and I was already tired and cranky anyway and just didn't really keep things on track, instead just kind of filling in what the two students who did have stuff to say with some information of my own. Essentially, me and two of the students kind of took turns giving mini-lectures. That is not at all how it is supposed to go, and I think it was frustrating for everyone involved.
Then afterwards, I instigated some discussion about what was going wrong and how we could improve things and a few students gave comments, including about my own style of getting involved and that they would prefer if I asked more questions to help them get on track, as well as one student basically saying that she felt like asking question was kind of discouraged in this class because you end up being treated like you're stupid, and I fear that my reactions may have come across as overly defensive or perhaps even dismissive. Which, of course, was not at all the intention, but I fear it was the result.
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Ignatius
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Posts: 7082


« Reply #58 on: May 17, 2011, 04:39:53 PM »

Argh... Not a real job complaint, but I just missed my bus by two minutes, and no one has any tasks for me for the rest of the day... So I can sit here and dick around on the internet, miss the final showing of a film I wanted to see, or take a cab home from a place where I don't get paid. I was so close! Why did I ask around for work with 20 minutes to go?
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clare
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Posts: 5192


« Reply #59 on: May 17, 2011, 10:41:45 PM »

Alex, that's a crappy situation to be in. It sounds like you did a good thing asking for feedback at the end. Groups like that where a couple of people dominate are really hard to facilitate without getting really rigid. It also sounds like the person who didn't want to ask questions for fear of being thought stupid either does already feel stupid, or is overwhelmed by the dominating people in the group (so it's kind of not your job to worry about her, I think - I mean you want to make it easier for everyone to contribute, but I doubt her issues have much to do with you, if you get what I mean).
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G.C.R
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Posts: 6219


« Reply #60 on: May 18, 2011, 12:57:36 AM »

Alex, I have been in so, so many classes where that sort of thing happened - for me the only way of dealing with them and not going insane is to be one of the people that contributes, and ask other people questions, and do my best not to be boring. But I wish that more of my tutors had asked 'what can we do to make this better' like you did today, and yeah, in some my response would've been that I felt question asking was intimidating (I took one class where it was just the tutor and a buncha guys being blokey and shouting at each other about Bruce lee movies. That was torture.) I think giving your class a chance to respond to how they thought the class might run better prior to end of term evaluations (if you have such a thing) is basically the opposite of "handling it in the worst possible way." I can understand how how it went down would be stressful, but really, good on you.
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davy
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Posts: 24822


« Reply #61 on: May 18, 2011, 10:26:31 AM »

A different perspective:

I can remember being one of those three or four students who spoke up in an otherwise silent classroom. I never felt like I was dominating anything. In fact, I was very aware of the classroom dynamic, and when I spoke, often I felt like I was saving the instructor's ass. I felt like I was doing him a service, and when my contributions got glossed over in his occasional attempts to facilitate broader discussion (which never worked), it made me bitter.

So let's not jump on the talkers. At least half of them are probably speaking up more to break the silence than to hear their own voice.
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elpollodiablo
Registered user

Posts: 32624


« Reply #62 on: May 18, 2011, 10:56:13 AM »

Well, our university uses a teaching system called 'problem-based learning', which is, essentially, all about small-ish discussion groups where a different student takes on chairing duties each time. It really only works if a significant number of students contribute and get a discussion going.  The tutor's role is kind of vaguely defined as making sure things stay on track and so on - we're really not supposed to lecture at all, but rather to ask probing questions, and get involved in the moderation if possible or comment on the discussion process if necessary. For the entire duration of this course, the discussion has tended to be a bit unbalanced, with a whole bunch of people never saying a word and very few people doing most of the talking. Today things were particularly extreme, and I was already tired and cranky anyway and just didn't really keep things on track, instead just kind of filling in what the two students who did have stuff to say with some information of my own. Essentially, me and two of the students kind of took turns giving mini-lectures. That is not at all how it is supposed to go, and I think it was frustrating for everyone involved.
Then afterwards, I instigated some discussion about what was going wrong and how we could improve things and a few students gave comments, including about my own style of getting involved and that they would prefer if I asked more questions to help them get on track, as well as one student basically saying that she felt like asking question was kind of discouraged in this class because you end up being treated like you're stupid, and I fear that my reactions may have come across as overly defensive or perhaps even dismissive. Which, of course, was not at all the intention, but I fear it was the result.

This whole post just dredged up a lot of my teaching-related anxiety from this year. It's so hard to capably facilitate classroom discussion, and the fact that I'm not very good at it makes me think twice about pursuing a career path that's often going to find me in that position. Having to teach two classes in the fall is already giving me the agita Sad

We also are encouraged to structure classroom interactions according to this model, and it's variously one of the most frustrating/rewarding approaches I've yet tried. One of the largest difficulties for me is that I, like davy, was often the student who spoke into the silence simply because I couldn't bear it--it was uncomfortable for the entire class and I often felt like I was helping the instructor out by trying to move the discussion along. I had several students who did that routinely this year, and think I often made precisely the mistake that davy describes, and made that student feel her contribution wasn't appreciated as I tried to be more inclusive in my response.

But yes, those "directed" or "facilitated" breakout groups are tough. I always feel like I'm looming creepily.
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think 'on the road.'
milesofsparks
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Posts: 5200


« Reply #63 on: May 18, 2011, 11:34:13 AM »

oh man I HATED grad school discussion groups, since I was usually the only person who had actually read the assigned text.  like if that's the case, can I just have a private discussion with the TA, instead of doing it in front of a dozen people who'd rather be elsewhere?

that said, though, I do think facilitating discussions is a skill that can be learned.
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alex
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Posts: 6287


« Reply #64 on: May 18, 2011, 01:26:10 PM »


So let's not jump on the talkers. At least half of them are probably speaking up more to break the silence than to hear their own voice.

I'm very aware of that, and I am sure that the "talkers" in my class are very aware that I'm aware of that, and that their contributions are appreciated. I'm also quite sure that the situation is at least as frustrating to them as it is to me - in part because they signed up for a learning system in which the idea is that everyone learns from each other by exchanging interpretations, views and knowledge, and yet all they get is getting to do a bit of unpaid lecturing themselves. You learn more about the stuff you read by going into in-depth discussions and being exposed to differnet views, not by reading out or paraphrasing the notes you took while reading.

Anyway, my job anxiety has dwindled again, mostly thanks to the fact that I proved to myself today that I can at least somewhat competently talk about my research in front of an audience of peers, even if the skill of facilitating discussions is one in which I still have to improve.
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auto-da-fey
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Posts: 9495


« Reply #65 on: May 18, 2011, 01:54:35 PM »

Those fault lines can be pretty frustrating (and sometimes impassable--that happened to me last semester, and after a few efforts at circumventing it, my approach became one of just resignedly riding the clock out; like mos says, sometimes deadbeats just gonna deadbeat). It sounds like you handled it pretty well--acknowledge the issue, make clear your appreciation for the participating ones, etc.

One thing you might consider, instead of holding a discussion about possible corrective measures, is to have some sort of short anonymous survey* on the issue. Students are likely to be more honest, and it buys you time to formulate responses. I've done that when classes have gone astray, then briefly discussed it the next meeting, summarizing the ideas, and mentioning both things I was and was not going to adopt, which at least validates everyone's input to an extent--they've been heard, at least. There's a double upshot to the approach, as I see it--on a pragmatic level, it actually can help (even just airing the topic, as you did, can contribute toward this IMO), and on a calculating level, your concern for student learning etc as embodied in the survey definitely pops back up on final evals.


* obviously not phrased in terms of "what am I doing wrong"/"what is wrong with this class" but rather "what approaches might be conducive to better discussion" etc.
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auto-da-fey
Registered user

Posts: 9495


« Reply #66 on: May 18, 2011, 01:55:17 PM »

also, congrats on this!

Anyway, my job anxiety has dwindled again, mostly thanks to the fact that I proved to myself today that I can at least somewhat competently talk about my research in front of an audience of peers, even if the skill of facilitating discussions is one in which I still have to improve.
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Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #67 on: May 18, 2011, 06:57:24 PM »

What a strange idea, that the students can talk to help out the instructor. It's not the instructor who is supposed to benefit from the discussion.
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elpollodiablo
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Posts: 32624


« Reply #68 on: May 18, 2011, 07:55:56 PM »

Is that sarcasm? I can't tell.
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Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #69 on: May 18, 2011, 09:19:29 PM »

No, but the amount of antihistamines in my system might make me sound detached and make it difficult for me to communicate clearly.
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jebreject
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Posts: 27071


« Reply #70 on: Jun 01, 2011, 02:23:52 PM »

Congrats!
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milesofsparks
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Posts: 5200


« Reply #71 on: Jun 01, 2011, 06:38:23 PM »

yay Bethany--that's awesome!
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elpollodiablo
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Posts: 32624


« Reply #72 on: Jun 06, 2011, 03:44:27 PM »

I'd forgotten how exhausting it is having to hold up one end of a conversation with a coworker who has no extra-work life. Especially when you have no interest in discussing your own with them.
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peacocks
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Posts: 4615


« Reply #73 on: Jun 07, 2011, 03:45:47 PM »

I am very sleepy.
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jebreject
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Posts: 27071


« Reply #74 on: Jun 09, 2011, 01:03:59 AM »

Fuck fuck fuck. I'm so sick of my job, and especially my boss. I had to miss work yesterday, and I asked if I could pick up some hours, and she waited until the very end of my shift to reply to my email, saying she'll talk to me about it tomorrow, but she didn't think she would let me make up the hours. And thing is, I FUCKING KNOW is to trach me a lesson or some shit, because that's the type of crap she does. But she'll pick up hours all the time after missing work. In general, she's terribly inconsistent and she's unapproachable and very hot/cold and there have been several points where I've wanted to go over her head but didn't really know how. I even had an informal chat with HR once I was so fed up. Now I'm absolutely dreading work tomorrow and I know there's going to be a confrontation and I'm going to have a very difficult time biting my tongue. I need a new fucking job.
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