Jump to content

Working With an Unreasonable Professor


Recommended Posts

I'm an undergraduate reader and my professor just emailed me (10:30PM) to come in before 8 AM to calculate test scores that he procrastinated on and then hand them in to him by 11 AM so he can give it to his class (he has two classes - 8-10AM and 11AM-1PM.)  Everything about this is WTF.

1.  It's late.  I could easily have been asleep and missed this message.

2.  I could have had classes and I do in fact have other shit to do during that time.

3.  Can he not stay up an extra hour to do it himself?  (I'm not even the reader for that class!)

4.  He has between 10-11AM free to do it himself (I'm assuming, might be wrong).

I took 6 classes from him in 3 quarters and I had no idea he was like this or I wouldn't have agreed to be his undergrad reader.  I'm already doing way more work than I should be doing and getting less research support and less than 1/10 of the pay (not exaggerating - they only pay for a set 5 hours a week when end up working more than 20 hours - is there some recourse for that?)

And this is a professor I need a letter of rec from (ARGH!) I know this is a little dramatic but this is after a long, long series of frustrations with this professor (not communicating and then asking why I didn't grade the 20 tests he dumped in his box without telling me about it the next morning.)

For grad school, is it normal for professors to pass things off late at night and expect you to do it the next morning?  Let me know - I'm probably going to grad school so if it is I'll take this as good training.  If not, I'm definitely not doing this again next quarter.  Actually, if I can find another professor to work with, I will drop this one quick.  I now know why the previous grader left this job in the middle of last quarter.

Edited by superfamous
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi superfamous,

The longer I've been in university, the less patience I have for this kind of crap. My response? Wait until his "deadline" is over, then send him an e-mail along the lines of, "I'm really sorry Professor X, but I'm just reading your e-mail now. When you e-mailed last night, I was already asleep. I'm happy to help with your workload in the future if you're able to give me more time to respond." Leave it there. Be polite, but get your point across. Although there is a certain amount of crap we put up with in order to keep ourselves employed (it happens in every work environment), professors don't have the right to abuse students simply because we "work" for them. There was a time when I would have just given in and done what they were asking, but we're not slaves. We're adults, with real lives and other obligations. Sometimes it takes a student drawing a professional line in the sand before a professor "gets" it.

Edited by Andsowego
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't answer student/work emails after 7pm or before 8am generally, so I'd just wait until the morning to even reply to his email. As far as working too many hours, that is a choice you are making. Have a meeting with that professor and explain that working 4x as much as you are supposed to do is jeopardizing your other academic work. If you aren't comfortable doing that, meet with someone else in the department that can help mediate the situation. People can only abuse you as much as you let them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.