Thursday, July 22, 2010

smackdown for my sub

Dear Sub:

When taking assignments from someone who actually trusted you and has the power to get you future adjunct work, if not tenure track at some point, please keep the following in mind:

1. You're being paid to do a set amount of work which you agreed to. That means you should actually do it or let me know if there was some reason you couldn't/didn't. I even arranged extra pay for you so that you'd have time to finish the grading but not have to teach the new units that started on those days. Coming back to an extra week's worth of work I didn't expect is not going to earn you any brownie points for the next round of hiring.

2. When I asked you to do this, you knew which classes you'd be teaching. I realize your specialty is basket weaving, but you knew going in that you'd have to teach both a class in basket weaving AND one in Kool-Aid stirring. Just because you don't like to teach Kool-Aid stirring doesn't mean you get to spend less time on that one. I have spent most of tonight trying to fix that class since it is now incredibly backed up. If you didn't want to teach Kool-Aid stirring, I'm sure I could have found someone else eager for the work.

3. You don't get to make up rules about assignments. I now have an incredible number of students confused and pissed off because you told them in a not-very-nice way that papers had to have Super-Secret Feature X on them. That's not listed in any of the conventional guides, nor is it in my guidelines. I am not going to go back and adjust all those grades because frankly, I don't have the time now (see #1 above). But the damage is done, so now I have to calm all these snowflakes out of apoplexy over the possibility of other Super-Secret Features which might reach out and devour their assignment points.

Shit happens when you sub. I didn't expect everything to be perfect, but I did expect you to finish the list of things I left, work the number of hours you're being paid for, and keep my students on track. I know adjunct work pays jack, and sub work is not much better. I also know that you practically salivated on my desk when I offered you the chance to do this. I just didn't realize at the time that drool wasn't the only thing I was going to have to clean up at the end of this experience.

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