Laziness Doesn’t Pay

, , , , , | Learning | August 10, 2020

I have Aspergers, but I don’t go about saying I do because it doesn’t define me. But it makes socialising and being able to work in groups extremely difficult for me. However, this is something I had to suck up as I had to do a lot of group projects for classes. There is one project that sticks out to me that was doomed from the beginning — a project worth 60% of my final grade for the class in question.

I was placed in a group of five people, none of whom were native English speakers, so there was a communication barrier anyway. But two spoke the language rather well apart from getting a few words mixed up here and there. As it’s the only language I speak, I offered to do my part of the project alongside a proofread to check for errors, etcetera, and we all walked away happy.

I don’t live on campus as my house is literally one train away and tickets cost me approximately £110 per month, which is what I would be paying per week to live in student accommodation. That meant we had to work out times amongst the daily commute I had to do.

We worked out a schedule that was suitable around commutes and other classes and I thought that was it. We had four weeks to do the project so there was plenty of time to do it. However, one person in the group decided to lag.

He refused to turn up for scheduled meetings, whined how he had to do the main bulk of the project, and just generally gave off an air of not caring. But there was a catch. His part was the second part of the project, and someone else in the group couldn’t do their part until he had done his, which meant I couldn’t do my part. A week prior, we met up and decided to make his part the last bit so we could actually do the work. But he didn’t turn up for the meeting, so we messaged him to let him know this.

We thought he would be okay with this but he threw a tantrum. He said he wanted to do the main bulk as he was the best at the class in question out of us all. Two days of arguing came after this and we decided we would do drafts of the parts we had switched to in case he didn’t do it.

The project was due on Monday morning at noon. I was working the whole weekend doing twelve-hour shifts. I sent a message saying I needed to have his part and the other person’s whose part was in between ours completed by Friday so I could work on it that afternoon when I finished work, and also the morning it was due. 

No response came. I sent numerous messages to him asking for him to finish his part but he didn’t respond to a single one. This began to really stress me out because the class in question was compulsory to get into my final year. I needed to pass. I continued to message him, as did the other group members as we were all getting frustrated with this guy. 

He finally sent his part over… three hours before the project was due in. This meant we had three hours to write three separate parts and put it all together, and for me to do the proofread. Not ideal, but doable.

We all got our parts done and they sent it all over to me so I could check it all for any errors. However, there was one big error. It turns out when we messaged him that we were changing our parts so we wouldn’t need to wait on him, he took it seriously, despite throwing a tantrum to keep his original part. This meant we now had two conclusions and the main bulk wasn’t even done and it was an hour before it was to be handed in. 

The other group members were furious when I told them this, and once again, he didn’t reply when I asked for the correct part. Basically, I bit the bullet and did the main bulk of it myself. I clipped it in and sent it in to be marked. I got a message from the guy in question a couple of hours later curious that I had “taken out” his part and redone it all. This did it for me and I sent him a very, very long response explaining I hadn’t “taken out” his part; he hadn’t done the part he threw a tantrum over as he didn’t want an “easy” thing to do but instead did the “easy” thing despite it not being his part. 

We scraped a pass, as in, by a couple of marks. The other group members were disheartened by this as we were working our butts off and here was this guy only doing his part a couple of hours before it was due in, and he somehow did the wrong part even after he refused to do that part. I emailed the lecturer and sent over all the correspondence to see if we could potentially be marked individually, instead.

This is something that is almost never asked, but I’d sent all the evidence over. Surprisingly, the lecturer agreed to do so but did state that, as the project was a group one, this would still remain the official grade but when it came to finals it would be taken into consideration. A week later, we received updated grades on the project and I was pleased that it was much higher than the one we had been awarded as a group.

When this guy found out, though, he threw a giant tantrum in the middle of the lecture hall, calling us names and cursing out the lecturer for “unlawful failure” and things like that. He demanded an appeal, but when it came to the hearing, he brought his father along, who immediately gave off an entitled vibe.

Only then did we find out he had done the correct part but had sent the wrong one over. He played it as though I didn’t make him aware and cut me off every time I tried to speak up, as did his father. Eventually, I just opened the messages on numerous apps and slid my phone over for them to read. There was the proof we had messaged him to send the correct part and he ignored us all. 

It was agreed if he sent the correct part over, we would be regraded again but with a 20% cap. Annoying, but we understood why this was. So, he sent his part over and they sent us out to mark it. I expected for us all to be called back in, but instead, he was called back in by himself. He ran out ten minutes later crying nonstop and we were called in. 

It turned out that the part he was supposed to send to us but didn’t was plagiarised. Only the first line needed to be scanned to see that this was the case. Plagiarism is a big no here, and he’d apparently already had a warning about it. This was the second strike and he was kicked out of all classes.

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