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Some Things Can’t Be Tutored Away

, , , , , | Learning | August 2, 2021

I am studying to complete my honours degree. To make a little extra money on the side, I’ve started working for a company that tutors high school students. Due to the current health crisis, most of our sessions take place online and on a one-on-one basis.

One of my students didn’t show up for his lesson. I messaged him about it and he gave me an excuse that was along the line of, “I had a meeting with a prospective employer and forgot to tell you.” I was a bit inconvenienced but let it go. 

Cue next week when the exact same thing happened. At this stage, I was technically supposed to tell my boss, who would make sure that I was compensated for wasting my time — it’s about half what I would have gotten if we’d had a lesson, without actually having to do one. I, however, took a different route.

I drafted an email to my student’s mother. I respectfully explained the situation and told her to please ensure that her son comes to our future lessons. I also mentioned that I had not informed my boss, and they would not be penalized for the missed lessons. I was professional and respectful throughout. I even had both my parents read the email to make sure that it did not portray me as condescending or disrespectful.

About a day later, the student’s mother emailed me back. She went on and on about my disrespectful tone and how she could not believe that I had not informed her earlier. She also told me, “I also CC’d in [My Boss], so don’t bother trying to hide it.”

I just don’t understand her reasoning here. Someone emails you after your son missed two lessons — it happens because high schoolers are idiots — and explains that there won’t be any disadvantage to him because my boss never found out, and your response is to yell at them and inform their boss?

I got paid for both missed lessons and all my boss did was tell me to rather go through him in the future.

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