One more interesting thing to say about last week.
I think this occurrence warranted a post of its own, simply down to the fact that it was plaguing my mind for half of the week. We were working on the video tasks when this happened, I didn’t see it coming, but moreover I didn’t want this – not whilst I was busy worrying about everything else.
(And for the purpose of fairness I will leave out the names.)
She entered the room and went straight to me; we all knew who she was, after-all we had worked with her in the previous module. Her expressions were a mix of fear and anxiety, but above everything sadness, verging on breaking down in to tears. She approached me for help, she said she did not know who else to turn to, I was confused, but it all made sense when she uttered:
“I need you to speak on my behalf, or I’m not going to pass the first year.”
Then it all made sense, it hit me pretty hard. Perhaps I should explain a little: My previous group was quite large (too big for that particular module); with nine of us I found it increasingly difficult to keep things fair, to ensure everyone has something to do. In the end someone had to step in and take more control, because without solid co-ordination we would fall apart.
So that’s what I did; I promised everyone our group would do well, and we would all have a part to play. All I asked in return was punctuality, open ears and full co-operation. For the most part I got what I asked for, and we finished the module with top marks. But there were two individuals who never showed, they never spoke to me, they never met with everyone else yet they thought they could be spoon fed something to do. They might as well have slapped me in the face and walked away, at least then it would be done with.
But they stuck to their ways, they didn’t even show up for the presentations. In the end I put my foot down, they were a burden and they expected the credit. I took the issue to the head of the course and explained the situation.
She came crying to me because she had not been graded for the group presentations, she didn’t know why. She never knew I was the one who was responsible, when she practically begged for help I felt terrible, I felt like a liar.
I tried to assure her that it would be fine, and she assured me it wouldn’t. So I was dragged back into the head’s office, and I had to choose between credibility or my conscience. I had given Martyn (The head of the course) my word on behalf of the group that the two (that shall remain un-named) had not pulled their weight, and now I was hesitantly going back on my word, stuttering and pulling reason from excuses. I cursed myself for losing my presence, for losing confidence and my voice. I felt two-faced, and I felt like I was letting people down.
I saved that girl from failing, I made a choice and I opted for softness. I would have kicked myself if I shot her down there and then in front of Martyn, and I would have looked like a bad person in front of everyone else. But now I felt like my soft side get the better of me, and in real life you must have a tough shell to get anywhere.
Thankfully Martyn (as far as I know) saw what I was doing, he saw that I was put in a lose-lose position and I was trying to keep everyone happy. Hopefully he will see that as a strength and not a weakness, ‘Que Sera, Sera’.
I guess no matter what you do there will always be a consequence, and sometimes there is no easy way out, just the lesser of two evils.