Group Work Can Get Bent

Oh.  My.  Lord.

I think group work is of the [insert evil entity here].  Remember my partner I was so frustrated with?  She decided on Monday night that she wasn’t going to do her lesson on Tuesday, but failed to let me know that tidbit.  She sent an email to me with her instructional plans at 11:30 pm, with no mention of the change in schedule.  Imagine my surprise when, 15 minutes late, she strolls into class wearing ratty jeans (I’m wearing stupid khakis, which I hate, because I still think we’re supposed to go to the intermediate center later), and whispers “we aren’t going today.”  My mentor partner told me later that I looked like I was going to jump her.  I was that pissed.  No one makes me wear khakis all day!  NO ONE!

Yes, I was irritated that she hadn’t told me so that I didn’t have to dress up.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are long days for me, and there was no way I could go home and change.  Not only that, I have limited resources for “professional” attire.  If I wear X pants one day, then I have to wear Y pants another.  Ya dig? 

I was also irritated because it was snowing yesterday.  Big time.  And I had parked my car closer to the building rather than in the garage since I had planned on only being on campus for an hour, not all day.  I had left a few necessary class items in the car, too, and would have to go back out and get them now. 

All I wanted at that point was for her to not talk to me.  Our class is really long, and when we got our break, she pounced right on me.  This is a girl who rarely isn’t talking ninety miles a minute.  It’s hard to get a word in edgewise, and when you do speak, it’s like you’re talking to a wall.  She already knows what she is going to say next, so no matter what you have to say, it’s not going to get through.  Even when I told her, “I’ll be right back, I need to use the restroom,” she just followed me in there.  Can you say, “back the fuck off?”  Maybe I should have. 

After hearing her ideas and having mine shot down, she asked if I had time to work on some stuff after class.  I had never been so happy to have another class right after than I was just then.  Then, she wanted me to leave class early.  Um, no.  I try to be respectful of my professors and not come in late/leave early.  It’s just rude!  I told her that I would be on campus pretty much all day today, and she could meet me if she wanted to.

Here’s the thing – I like this girl normally.  She is extremely smart and creative.  I want to encourage her so that she can finish school with confidence.  However, if she can’t get along in small group projects, how is she going to work with a teaching team on cirriculum?  My mentor partner had to do a project with her for another class, and he said it was the same thing with him.  He and the third partner presented their ideas, which were then scrapped in favor of hers.  Her personality is so strong that there’s very little room for anyone else.

Last night before I left for the show, I sent an email to the teacher (at the intermediate center) letting her know that I was sorry for the miscommunication and detailing what I understood the plan to be for Friday.  I copied in my partner, so that we would all be on the same page (obviously, we hadn’t been before).  I received a message back from the teacher saying that yes, that was what she’d thought, too.  Then when I woke up this morning, there was a text from my partner sent at midnight that said, “I feel like you’ve been annoyed with me lately.”  Grrrr. 

Like I said, I’ll be on campus all day.  I have a feeling that she and I are going to have to have a serious conversation, which I was hoping to put off until after Friday at least.  I also have a feeling that she is going to push me and then be upset when I tell her the truth.  I have to work with this person for the rest of the semester, so I’m hoping we can get through this with some sense of at least cordiality, though I imagine she’s one to hold a grudge.

And that, my dear children, is why group work can get bent.

13 Responses to “Group Work Can Get Bent”


  1. 1 Ron February 17, 2010 at 9:30 am

    I’ve never been one to work with groups well. Mainly being that I don’t want to end up in jail after someone does crap like she did to you to me. She needs to do a load of growing up and I’m thinking if you don’t want your grades to suffer this semester you’re going to be the one smacking her with the cold hand of reality. Best of luck!!

  2. 2 mumma boo February 17, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Oh good luck with this one! She sounds particularly clueless and self-involved. You’ll be doing her a favor by giving her a dose of much-needed reality.

  3. 3 Karen February 17, 2010 at 11:40 am

    I kind of hate relying on someone because they always end up being untrustworthy. Eh. Good luck, lady!

  4. 4 Evil Twin's Wife February 17, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Ugh! Group work is hard because there is always some slacker that just annoys the shit out of you! Do the best you can…. I feel for ya.

  5. 5 Vinomom February 17, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I don’t know why you are waiting so long to tell her exactly what she did wrong and what is bothering you! It is time for a swift kick in the ass of REALITY !

  6. 6 honeywine February 17, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    How dare she make you wear pants. Kill her. Kill her now, I say. 🙂 I always hate group projects. I think ONE time I had another person in the group that had their shit together.

  7. 7 Aunt Becky February 17, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Fucking shitty ass group projects can kiss my fucking ass. I hate working WITH people. I am a SOLO artist.

  8. 9 amy d February 17, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    People that don’t listen kill me!!! It screams that you’re self absorbed and give no thought to anyone else’s perspective. I hope you can communicate with her without burning a brige. Otherwise, it is sure to be a long semester with her as your partner.

  9. 10 The Dish February 17, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    I admire your calm and patience, because I would have already fucking killed her. I think a conversation is needed, as much as you are dreading it. Just try not to smack her!

  10. 11 Jenski February 17, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Group work is so complicated. I would be irritated with this woman for SURE! Good luck with the coming week and trying to get on the same page with her.

  11. 12 Ginger Magnolia February 22, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Ron – Thanks for the luck!

    Mumma Boo – Ha, don’t think she got the memo.

    Karen – Thanks for the double luck!

    ETW – She has good ideas, but changes her mind once I’ve done the work. BAH!

    Vino – Just trying to be prudent since I have to work with her on stuff for the entire semester. I can’t get away!

    Honey – Yes, they are the bastards of college courses!

    Aunt Becky – Ha! That one made me laugh out loud, for realz.

    Amy D – I did admit that she was annoying me, but I didn’t get down into everything yet. I figured I might as well be honest!

    Dish – Well, so far, no smacking, slapping, or choking!

    Jenski – Thanks. It can be completely frustrating!


  1. 1 @#*()!@#@^&*@$& Really? You must be joking, right? « Names Have Been Changed….. Trackback on March 18, 2010 at 3:11 pm

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