A Snapshot of Daily Life

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Taken from an email to a dean:
“This email is follow-up to our earlier conversation about Marna Herbert.* I would like to meet with Marna this morning to discuss the fact that she sometimes speaks without thinking. Last week, she missed a pop quiz when she was sent out for a technology violation. She then told me, “You have to let me make up those points.” This recalled a previous incident (awhile back, also related to grades), in which she threatened to tell the principal on me if I did something I honestly don’t remember, but it related to her entitlement to getting a grade. She’s quite serious about her grades, which is good, but she’s not doing herself any favors by insisting on her “right” to make up a pop quiz. That last comment put me in an awkward position since I don’t want to let her think she can get her way by demanding that I give her the quiz, but I don’t want to deprive her of the points to make a point, as it were. I see this as a problem for Marna. A simple, “Please, Ms. Smith, I don’t want to lose the points” would work so much better than “You have to…”
I changed names of course. This girl was rude and peremptory in her manner. I assume this approach has worked at school before and it may work at home as well. She’s a fairly strong student so she gets away with this behavior. The dean wouldn’t do much (if anything) to her if I sent her out with a referral rather than requesting a meeting. She is getting that “good student” pass.

The world is unlikely to give her that pass, though. Some immediate supervisor somewhere in the future will make Marna’s life miserable. She’ll go to human resources. Life will get better. And she’ll watch other people get promoted over her for years, until she finally realizes she’s poisoned her own well.

*Name change for privacy reasons