Thursday, November 18, 2010

You Got Some 'splaining to do, Oz.

I'm feeling better this morning. Yesterday was not a fun day, and the truth of it was that I didn't even get any research done. I was just mad. I didn't have a question formulated. Erg.

The girl sent me an e-mail last night. The e-mail apologizes profusely and explains that she is not a person who can simply jump into a project with both feet, like I do. She needs someone to discuss things with and to meet again and again and again. Reading between the lines, I now understand that she's telling me that she needs constant direction and urging to stay on task. "I just don't want you to hate me any more than you do," she had written. That one sentence shows her immaturity. That's how little kids talk. (She's 28) I e-mailed her back to say that I didn't hate her, but my frustration was warranted.

The fellow who's working with Young Girl, my headache from the last project, walked past me at the computer lab a few days back. He said, "Boy. I'm telling you, I will never work with 'Young Girl' again." He looked harried and frustrated.

"Having problems?" I asked.

"We can't make any progress. She gets an idea on how something should be done, and she won't change it. The teacher even told her not to do it that way, that she is not an expert in the field, and that she doesn't have the skill required to do the project that way, but she just smiles and does it anyway. She threw away all of my work, and started over from scratch. She won't compromise." He's having a hard time. He might have to drop out of school for a year. That's a shame, because really, he's a smart young man.

I said, "Well, you can't tell her no, that's a fact."

He repeated, "I will never work with her again."

So, I'm not the only one having problems. I guess that it's lucky that I only have to deal with Cannot-work-without-Constant-Supervision-Girl. At least she doesn't argue.

Anyway. I came home, and I wrote my little angry post. Vented my spleen, and BB replied in her very Oz way, "Well wouldn't THAT tear the fork right out of your nightie?!!" Made me laugh.

Made Scotty laugh too. He hadn't heard that expression in years, he said. I hadn't heard it at all, so he was one up on me...but he's from Oz too.

Novel Woman commented that it was obvious WHY I was so aggravated. I'd been apparently walking around with a fork in my nightie which was bound to aggravate anyone. She chided me for leaving that important detail out.

Which leads us quite nicely to the final questions here. What the heck does that mean, anyway? Which of you Oz people will step forward to explain it to the rest of us?


Lydia said...

Yes! Inquiring minds want to know!

Holy Moses, Debby. I am amazed that you are keeping your cool at all. Good work standing your ground, with respect.

A Novel Woman said...

Oz? Come in, Oz. I'd also like to know where that particular phrase originates.

In all seriousness, I've been thinking about your difficulty with assigned group projects. There's a reason teachers assign projects this way. Learning is more relevant, happens faster and is sustained longer when done in a group. But mostly, it sets the stage for your future working environment which will likely be as part of a team. One of the first lessons of a group assignment is how hard it is to work on group assignments. :)

I'm assuming you are doing all the right things i.e., assigning a leader, assigning individual tasks based on skill sets, setting up a timeline, having all decisions in WRITING and copies distributed, agreeing on objectives, etc. So when you get someone who is not pulling their weight, you have to first figure out why. Is this person lazy? Overwhelmed? Shy? If this individual's problem can't be identified or fixed, you could get the teacher involved but they've heard it all before and will probably brush you off telling you to figure it out. I hated group projects in school for the same reason. But there will always be those who sink and those who swim. Followers and leaders. I think we know which category you fall into.

We always assume the material is what is the most important objective of a group project, but it's also about compromise, patience and using emotional intelligence to problem solve. You're going to be working with or even UNDER people just like this girl in the working world. This project sets the stage. And that's why they do it, methinks, tortuous as it is.

nancyspoint said...

Debby, It was so nice of you to volunteer to be with that girl, but now you are paying the price. Kinda relates to my previous post about the twnenties, doesn't it?? ha. As for that phrase about the fork, I have never heard that one before and it gave me a good chuckle. Good luck with your project!

nancyspoint said...

Debby, Would you please fix my incorrect spelling of twenties in my previous comment? I guess the teacher comes out in me, I hate seeing incorrect spelling in my own writing! Thanks much!

Kelly said...

Yes. I'm waiting for the explanation, too. I applaud Novel Woman's made me laugh as much, if not more, than the original comment!

quid said...

I loved Novel Woman's comment. It is so true. And (sigh) sometimes the dynamics of working in a particular work group just make the job harder. Once in awhile, you get magic with coworkers. You can take those jobs to the bank. I have one of those (temporary) now. Here's hoping the next will be the same.

The patience of Job, Debby. The patience of Job.


BUSH BABE said...

Okay Okay - I'm here!

Now, this particular expression is not one I use a lot - usually when I want someone to laugh a little at a situation that has annoyed them beyond measure. I think I first heard it at uni - although Jeanie might recall an earlier hearing of this one around our local area??

The point, of course, is that a nightie has no fork. (As in 'crotch' areas like pajamas). So when you use the term, things are SO terribly dramatic that it's creating serious problems where it would SEEM impossible to have a problem. THAT's how bad it is. It'd tear the fork out of your nightie. (And 'clean out' is an added descriptive!).

I googled it to see if anyone had a better explanation but so far, mentions of the term is all I get. Must add it to the Lingo Post at my place then??

Anyway - glad I got a smile. That was the main thing!

Scotty said...

Well, I'm not sure where the phrase originates but it basically means 'when something unfortunate, shocking, or unbelievable happens'

We Aussie have such a rich language, lol.

jeanie said...

Hey Deb - your post here is now on the first page if you should google "tear the fork out of your nightie".

The main thing is a nightie doesn't have fork - therefore you are seriously out of luck.

As opposed, of course, to tearing the fork out of a low flying pigeon, which indicates you are hungry.

BUSH BABE said...

PS Apparently Dad uses this one too - used when something really aggravated you but you are trying to hang on to your sense of humour!

Debby said...

Well, now that I know what a fork is, it makes things a little clearer.

Except that Jeanie muddied it all up again when she brought up 'tearing the fork out of a low flying pigeon'. Using fork in that context scares me a little.

BUSH BABE said...

As well it should...

Roland said...

I hate group projects!

jeanie said...

But Debby - you could also use a knife in that situation...