Sunday, October 17, 2010

Professionalism? We don't need no stinkin' professionalism!

This week, I received the following (now doctored) email from someone at my CC:

Good morning, I am one of Slacker Snowflake's instructors. The money for Slacker's books is being held up for lack of having attendance reported in your class. Consequently Slacker is not able to get the text needed for my class.

The email went on to ask me to report attendance if I hadn't already done so...after the instructor clearly said that Slacker's "money" is being "held up" because I hadn't reported attendance.

How many things are wrong with this email, just off the top of your head?

No, I've never met the instructor who sent it.

No, the instructor didn't use a salutation that included my name.

No, the instructor didn't use a closing with the instructor's name.

Yes, it came from the instructor.

Yes, my attendance reporting is 100 percent accurate and complete.


  1. WWMMD? What would Miss Manners do?
    Dear Mr. Instructor,

    so you are the instructor in basket weaving that people have been telling me so much about. I'm Dr. Greta, and yes I'm teaching snorkeling this semester. I do have a Slacker Snowflake on my roster, but I haven't had him attending the course yet, so my attendance records are correct.

    So glad I could be of help,
    Dr. Great Lakes Greta
    He will want to invite you out for coffee to hear what students have been saying about him. And you just file the email under Profflakes.

  2. Hmmmm...Slacker HACKER Snowflake? Sure it wasn't signed c u l8ter?

  3. Suzy, I love your Miss Manners suggestion, but I didn't go that route. First, I didn't want to discuss Slacker Snowflake at all with the other instructor, for FERPA reasons. Second, well, I wasn't channeling Judith Martin when I responded. I was polite and professional, but certainly not warm.

    P&C, the email came from the instructor. I know from subsequent follow-ups.

  4. It took me a bit to figure out what the heck this was could your attendance report have to do with...what? Huh?

    On the other hand, I am deeply and unfortunately familiar with my uni's requirement that I "keep an eye on" my athletes and "report at regular intervals." Supposedly they have waived their FERPA rights, a fact that I confirm with the students individually...I don't know why, but I feel better about knowing the student him or herself knows what I'm doing.

  5. I'd write back: Gee, I hope I don't get in trouble for a FERPA violation when I say this to you, but... zero students attended my class prior to its commencement when books were being purchased. So tell lying little liar to shove it, my class isn't why he doesn't have your book.

  6. And I'd add:

    ps when you get a chance, tell your department head you're an idiot.

    pps don't accept any notes signed "Snowflake's Mommy". I don't have time to explain how one knows that's a forgery, so just trust me.


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