To the student who burst into tears and blurted out, "You're so mean," when I said, "I won't check grammar since you can get that taken care of at the Writing Lab, but I'm happy to look at your overall argument to see if it makes logical sense," thanks for reminding me that I did, indeed, make the right choice in limiting myself to working with "adults."
To the colleague who ranted about the fact that the chair of the Rank and Tenure committee was "mean" when she told him that he needs to submit only scholarship from his time here at this institution, are you fucking kidding me? That wasn't MEAN; that was a kindness, because otherwise, your whole portfolio would have been discounted and the real mean people would have pointed and laughed.
To the Administrator who told me that I should have been kinder to the student who surreptitiously pulled out his mini-iPad to "check the weather" in the middle of a tri-term exam, you are an idiot. I caught him straight-up cheating and he then lied about what he was doing and lied to you about the fact that I "made a big stink." I quietly asked him to put away his device after taking a screenshot of what he was looking at and emailing it to me as evidence, and you want me to be 'kinder' by having to put together another exam and let him take that version? Hell, no! I reserve the right to "be mean" in this case.
To my friends who aren't in academia. You thought it was mean of me for not showing up to your Friday night Fall Festival party that lasted eight hours. I'm sorry, but you get together every Friday night for some event or other and I attend those when I can. I had 85 exams and 85 essays to grade this weekend. I was being kind by not showing; had I come, I would have drunk all the booze and left you with a sad, dry party.