This needs some backstory...
So the other day at work, a student's phone starts ringing with another of those pop-sounding not-quite-midi-but-not-quite-the-real-song ringtones that are ALMOST more annoying than hearing the actual song. Oh, and it was on LOUD. After the student let a verse or two play out (easily 15 or 20 seconds) he answered the phone. Loudly.
So I wandered over and—trying to keep it light (because the above mentioned people are also the exact sort to immediately take offense to even the mildest rebuke)—I said, “Hey, is that for me?” He responded that it wasn't, so I said, “Aww, then you'll have to take it outside then.” I chuckled, he chuckled, then he walked toward the door. Mission accomplished and, as a bonus, everyone is in a good mood.
Well, they WERE in a good mood.
On the way to the door, the student asks “If it was for you, would you have talked to him?”
“Of course,” I replied jokingly, and moved on with my day, having no idea that I had somehow triggered someone's persecution complex. Ooops.
After standing directly (and I mean DIRECTLY) outside the door for a few minutes having his LOUD conversation, he wandered in and immediately started with the abusive and belligerent attitude. Some gems...
“I bet you think you're a big man”
“You think this is your safety zone, don't you”
“Think you're untouchable until someone touches you”
“You aren't a cop, you don't tell people what to do”
So, I let these go on for a while (including the ones that I took as direct and indirect threats) because he slowly petered out when I ignored him, and ultimately wandered off to sit in his seat. I had hoped that it was then over. Sadly, it began anew, and increased in volume before continuing—at varying volumes—for the next 5 or so minutes. Long enough that other students in the lab were looking uncomfortable, so I asked him to quiet down. I was reminded that I was not, in fact, an officer of the law and therefore could stuff it. Fair enough. I warned my bosses that I should be deputized, but NOOOoooooo.
When it continued, my normally stoic and uninvolved co-worker even stood up and asked the student to calm (and quiet) down. It was at this point that he asked why I was always on his case (to which I responded that I don't think I'd ever seen him before and had no idea who he was) and why I was racist (as far as I can tell, he is caucasian, but I suppose I could be racist and self-loathing to boot). He railed on for quite some time more before I finally asked him to either be quiet or leave the lab. His response, that he would do neither, resulted in a call to campus safety and his ultimate removal.
Which brings us to today's fun. I got a call from a coworker informing me that there were flyers hung up around my building complaining about me. I was so excited I raced into work to see the fun, and what I saw was better than I could have hoped…picture and text below…
Important note: I have changed NOTHING here save for removing the name of the school in question. I realize that it's not all that hard to place which school we're talking about, but it's not exactly important to the narrative. It is actually this bad, and as you can see from the image, it was exactly as unpunctuated and unindented. It was a wall of text. Do they not teach about paragraphs at crazy school?
I recently was involved in a confrontation with a staff member named Jeremy in the Cis Lab. It all began when my cell phone rang and without thinking twice I answered the phone almost unconsciously. Jeremy then approached me and with a laughing tone asked if the phone call was for him I simply replied no, he then demanded switching from a laughing voice to a shouting one since it's not for him I had to leave the room. I then asked Jeremy if the phone call was for you would you have answered it in the Lab and talked on the phone in the lab he replied Yes!, he has the ability to do so. Then demanded I leave the room again with an even louder voice which I did as him and another co-worker began to look at each other smirking at one another in satisfaction as I walked out, I felt as though I was treated as a child and not as a father and a provider of a family who is eager to learn and whose main goal is to graduate from [school redacted] with honors. The least he could have done was treat me as a student as a HUMAN BEING and not shout and intentionally humiliate me in front of studetns I felt naked I felt as though he was a dictator and not a teacher. I came to the lab 3 hours before my actual class would start and walked to school from Michigan and Monroe because of my dedication to improve myself, I value my education I am blessed to come to this school, this school is helping me become more self sufficient, I did not come to school for a confrontation nor to be mocked by someone with more authority than me with his associates as though all I am is a joke. I am a struggling parent of two that is what I am a person who seeks to better his self for his family sake. I admit my behavior was not proper but only after I was humiliated mocked and lied about in front of other students and a staff member who enjoyed it though whole time. Upon my return to the class I asked him if he was racist he's exact response was I don't even know you (chuckling).I then said you don't have to know someone to be racist and asked him why does he feel untouchable as though he was King Ramses and if where he sits in the room has anything to do with it I did not no way or form threaten him. He then picked up the phone dialing campus security claiming I threatened him and he feels he was in danger. I simply got up and exited the room waiting for security in the hallway that day was the first time I felt my blood actually boiling. Upon the arrival of two security guards one which was appointed to me and one to Jeremy. As I was explaining my story the security guard appointed to me the other security guard that was appointed to Jeremy told me I was not able to go in the Lab and if I did I would be escorted off the premises. Without talking to the other security guard without listening to my side of the story only listening to Jeremy's side. He said Jeremy claims I threatened him and I am not allowed in the Lab and the other staff member said the same thing. I felt even more humiliated not able to control the frustration I walked home and missed class that I was suppose to attend. Thinking the whole way home what makes Jeremy's word better than mines I was unable to answer that questions no matter how hard I pondered. I was treated as if I was an outsider not wanted unappreciated and that's the only time in my life I felt like that. School should not make one think that way neither should a teacher when security came and told me I'm not allowed to go into a Lab Room in which I paid for along with every Cis student a Lab room whose staff is funded by the Cis student, is OUTRAGEOUS this is not right it can't be I just want one thing from whom ever is reading this letter or has the ability to change how students are treated and that is Justice for all not just me but for all, one is not better than another simply because of where he sits in the calss, one should not abuse his authority, or see it as power over the students, but should appreciate the fact that he has the ability to teach students that are willing to listen and maybe even change their lives. IF Jeremy or any other staff member has discriminated against you in any Please speak up. Silence is not the answer AGAIN PLEASE SPEAK UP there are teachers who really care find one and explain the incident. Thank you.
I suspect that this particular student is going to find life difficult if he can't get over his apparent belief that if he is rebuked he is being subjected to racism and discrimination. My day just got a bit more surreal, and my belief that I work in a live-action role play of the television show The Office has just been reinforced.
Edit...I have added my dramatic reading to the mix. Enjoy