Recently I attended a workshop on a new learning management system, run by an outside presenter, in our school. It was only a small group of four teachers including myself and the presenter.
The day before the workshop all three of the other attendees (female) were informed that they had all missed out on internal promotions. My experience of these people meant that I was not surprised that they had not been selected and they certainly proved why again during the workshop.
They were enthroned prior to the start of the workshop, and while I assisted the presenter in his set up (I was not in charge of the event, merely showed some initiative and goodwill) they ignored both of us while they loudly bitched about the school admin and the people selected for positions. They continued despite it being obvious that the presenter was ready to start. He had to wait for them to pause for breath to commence.
Alas, then it was found that the connection to the new system was very, very slow. The poor man apologised, made many phone calls to ascertain where the problem was and was informed that the boffins were onto it. Unfortunately, it didn’t improve all day. It worked, but it was like dial up speed, not high speed that we expect these days. It was not the presenter’s fault in anyway, and there was nothing that could be done in the short term. We could still learn the system though and ask questions.
The trio carried on all day about it, and the presenter kept apologising, but they paid no notice to good manners. The mantra throughout the day was either a negative about the school, or a complaint about the internet connection.
Food had also been arranged, but they barely uttered a word of thanks, and what was, was very grudging. One woman had to cite every allergy she had, even going online to make sure she got all the facts to share. I am fast developing the opinion that those with the minor allergies (everyone seems to be gluten intolerant these days) are often the most vocal about their food requirements. I have witnessed people with life threatening allergies being less vocal, more self-sufficient and just getting on with life.
I was professionally embarrassed by my colleagues. I know that I am not responsible for what my colleagues say and do, but I do think that they owe a certain loyalty to their employer. No doubt they were disappointed, but surely this was not the forum to air their grievances? Their attitude and behaviour impacted on our learning experience, and no doubt the opinion of the presenter.
Flamingo Dancer being Flamingo Dancer, I did want to unsheathe my stick and beat them silent, they were already senseless! I felt that they not only let the school down, but themselves as well. They are poor examples of resilience for our students. I wanted to tell them to grow up and take their complaints outside, but instead tried to occupy the presenter with inane small talk to deflect his attention. I know I failed miserably. Until now I had an indifferent opinion about them, but no longer, and I will never trust them in the future.
To me, being an adult means k nowing there is a place for everything, and a time for everything. This was neither the time nor the place, though I suspect they will never realise.
Condolences to those suffering under the wrath of Hurricane Sandy. After our experiences of floods in 2011 I can imagine the hardships and loss that some people are suffering at this time, and our best wishes and kindest thoughts go out to all, at this time. Stay safe.