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Treat Me Like A Dog And I May Just Bite

, , , , | Learning | September 16, 2021

I work as a tutor for research methods in psychology. This is my fourth year, and I must say that I absolutely adore my job! If I didn’t have to get up so early for it — 8:00 am class, urgh — I would do it for free.

The class works like this: the students come over, we hand them worksheets, and they solve the problems. If they have questions, they can ask one of us.

Normally, the students are super nice, thankful for the help, and sweet, but a few weeks ago, I had my first entitled student encounter EVER!

I was sitting on my bench, scanning the class for raised hands, and this entitled first-year student snapped his fingers and whistled, and as I looked at him in disbelief, he waved at me in this “Italian mafioso” manner — outstretched arm, chin raised, not moving his hand, just making a “come here” motion with his fingers.

Really, he did almost all the disrespectful “calling someone” behaviours at once. I think there would only be shouting “garcon” left for him to be more of an idiot.

My boss was sitting right next to me and all she did was raise an eyebrow.

I went over to the student, ready to rumble.

Entitled Student: “Yeah, I don’t know how to solve this problem. Can’t find the approach.”

Me: “Okay, if you have a question, I am happy to help you. You can raise your hand or call my name, just like the other students do. What you cannot do to call me is snap your fingers, whistle, or gesture like a mafioso.”

Entitled Student: “What? Why?”

Me: “Because I am not a dog.”

Entitled Student: “Oh, come on. It’s not such a big deal.”

Me: “Actually, it is. It’s not appropriate. And now you’ve been told that it’s not appropriate, so I know for a fact that you’ve heard me. If you want help, call one of us in an appropriate manner or no one will react.”

With these words, I turned around and went back to the bench where my boss was still sitting. I told her what had happened and luckily, she approved.

The entitled student sat there for a while, stared at his paper, then packed his things and went home. 

I think that he learned his lesson as, the next week, he raised his hand when he had a question.