Three or four times a year I get emails from LinkedIn. These emails generally come as a result of some former student wanting to add me to his (it’s always a man) network.
I’m pretty fuzzy on the workings of LinkedIn since I don’t see the need for yet another social networking site even if it’s supposed to be professional. But from what I’ve gathered on other online forums it’s basically a way that you can recommend people as good potential employees. Apparently someone can ask you for a recommendation and you can somehow create one out of the ether (or Ethernet, as the case may be).
The first few of these requests that I received were from decent students. They weren’t in my department but they were workers with a generally good attitude. With each one of those requests I thought about it for a while before deciding that I just really wasn’t interested in being on LinkedIn.
Three days ago I saw yet another request waiting for me one morning, I was absolutely gob smacked when I read the name. Jackie Jordan is absolutely the last student I’d ever add. Jackie was one of the worst students I ever had. He didn’t buy the book or the online resource that I required for the course. He came to class 15 minutes late on the days he actually showed up. I didn’t even see him for the last three weeks of classes. I honestly thought that Jackie had come to his senses and taken a W in the course. That was until I received an email from Jackie’s mom asking me what he could do to pass the class. I couldn’t have been more shocked. This guy missed 90% of the homework and had failed each exam. He wasn’t going to pass. He wouldn’t have passed even if I were a pervy prof with whom you could bargain with your body.
But the real kicker of the email was that he was requesting to add me as his supervisor. Are you kidding me?!?