The Waiting Room

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Noise

Posted by Seeking Solace |

One of things I am trying to do is turn down the noise. By noise, I mean all the complaints, demands and constant bitching associated with my job. I'm sure we have all dealt with the student who either emails or stops in to see you in person and they are just all upset over whatever the issue of the day is and how you have to fix it...now. Or the colleague who bombards you at the last minute to fix a problem...now.

It's the hyped up energy, that demeaning tone that causes chaos. For me, it's that cause me to get all revved up and frustrated. Over the weekend, I decided I would try something different. I would just not react to the noise.

Today, a student stopped in to see me about her midterm grade. It seems I did not record a grade in the on-line grade book. She was all huffy and upset. Rather than feed into the noise. I paused, looked at the paper and logged into the grade book. Sure enough, I had not recorded the grade. In a calm voice I said "You know, you are right." With the click of a mouse, it was done. The student's noise level decreased. She thanked me profusely and went on her way.

Meltdown averted.

So, I am going to try to filter the noise at work whenever possible. Besides the only noise I want to here is good noise, like from God who made an appearance in Elsewhere.

7 comments:

Sherlock said...

I had to laugh. There's nothing like taking the wind out of their sails by saying "you're right." Course they're being right doesn't happen as often as being wrong. But even then, I have made an effort to be very brief and concise in my responses. And I've found it helps to acknowledge their feelings (I know you're upset but ....). That's not my natural style but I've tried to use it more often since that tends to deflate the anger and frustration a bit.

Seeking Solace said...

I was amazed on not only how well it worked, but how quickly it defused the situation. The whole tone of the conversation changed dramatically.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

When I post things in the on-line gradebook, I post a message on the course homepage telling them to double check me and asking them to contact me with errors -- they don't get huffy that way, probably because they know I'm open to corrections.

rented life said...

I do something similar to ItPF when I hand back work--check your grade, I'm human, I make mistakes. I've had students point out math errors, and I remind them it wasn't deliberate, just one of those things.

RageyOne said...

Good deal. I'm with Sherlock, nothing like being amenable that knocks the wind of a huffy person.

Here's to decreasing the (unnecessary) noise!

JustMe said...

that is a great strategy....i need to remember this!

Psycgirl said...

I am trying to filter out noise as much as possible myself lately. It is the one thing that is guaranteed to push me over the edge for sure. For me, it's meant a lot of working with my door closed and a lot of sticking to my 8 hour workday.

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