I “Haven’t” Got Anything Nice To Say

, , , , , | Learning | June 14, 2018

(I am meeting with my advisor to discuss scheduling my first classes. I was enrolled at another college a few years prior to this for a different major, but decided to move back home and switch to a medical field. On my way to the campus, there is a traffic jam due to an accident. I call my advisor’s office and leave a voicemail explaining my tardiness and apologizing. I arrive ten minutes late and rush in, still apologizing to the secretary. She smiles and asks if I’d like a seat and some water. Before I can answer, I hear a cough behind me. My advisor sticks his head out of his office.)

Advisor: “[My Name]?”

Me: “Yes. Yes, I’m so sorry. There was an accident and I—”

Advisor: “Late is late.”

Me: “Oh. Okay. I left a voicemail for you—”

Advisor: “I don’t care.”

Me: “Okay… Can we still meet or should I reschedule?”

Advisor: *long pause* “I can run through your curriculum with you this time, but next time, leave earlier.”

Me: “Okay.”

(Throughout the entire meeting, I get the feeling he simply doesn’t like me. He asks questions and doesn’t wait for an answer, and he assumes I know nothing about college or how classes work, basically implying that I’m an idiot. He actually makes a phone call, not related to our meeting, when I am mid-sentence! Finally, this happens:)

Advisor: “There are links here at the bottom of this page. They cover studies you should be familiar with before your first class. Have you followed them?”

Me: “No, I haven’t seen them, but I will tonight.”

Advisor: “Excuse me?”

Me: “I’ll watch them tonight.”

Advisor: “No. What did you say, exactly?”

Me: “Uh, I think I said—” *repeats*

Advisor: *stares at me* “Proper grammar is very important.”

Me: “What did I say?”

Advisor: “You don’t say, ‘haven’t seen.’ It’s improper.”

Me: “With all due respect, sir, I’m pretty sure ‘haven’t seen’ is correct.”

Advisor: “…”

Me: “…”

Advisor: “Get out.”

Me: “What? Why?”

Advisor: “I will not waste my time with someone who thinks they know more than me.”

Me: “I wasn’t trying to say that.”

Advisor: “Leave. Now.”

(I left and immediately went home to my husband, angry, confused, and on the verge of tears. He encouraged me to write a letter to the head of the department and the Dean. I did, and they both agreed that my advisor was out of line. I switched advisors and went on to get my degree. I haven’t seen him since.)

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