Thursday, August 12, 2004

Sadly underprepared for the tasks that await them

I work in a school. It is "education for the undereducated", as I call it, and I work on getting these undereducated people employment, volunteer work, and all manner of work experience. I feel pretty good about it, most of the time, because I'm usually helping people who, through various circumstances, have fallen out of the educational system, and are now working on making their way back. HOWEVER. Some days, some people, and some questions, really make it seem like this place is nothing more than glorified high school.

For instance, take the 2 most popular questions I hear from students in any given day. Question A: "Can you help me fill out this form?" I usually reply to this with, "Certainly. Have you read the form through yet?" 30% of the time, the students respond with, "No," and 60% respond with, "Uh...yeah...". This is followed by me mentally banging my head into a wall.

Question B: "Can I borrow a pen?" To this, I respond, "You betcha!" In my HEAD, I respond, "You're a student! Isn't having a writing utensil of some kind on you at all times part of the deal? Do carpenters arrive to work without a hammer?" Then I breathe deeply and hand them a pen.

Whenever something like this happens, I remember what my boss said to me the first week I started here: "It's the little things at this job that make it all worthwhile."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually, I rather liked the idea of saying to them, "Does a carpenter come to work without a hammer?" or somesuch. Too many people allow themselves to make excuses and be carried along by others. Who wants to enable that sort of distrubing slacker behavior throughout life?

-Justice the Bold