So what would You have done?

Mental MultiVitamin had an interesting experience this past week and it got me to thinking about how I would’ve reacted in a similar experience and why.  I have to suspect I would’ve responded in about the same manner…  but then I’ve also been the type of person who was raised to believe (back when I was in high school) that my lunch was my lunch and you ate what you brought.  I seem to recall being a bit taken aback (perhaps, nonplussed?) by others asking for some of my food or to borrow some money to buy their food.  For that matter, I can also recall friends racking up $50 in debt from borrowing $2-$3 for lunch each day.  It makes you wonder…  why did the ‘other’ guy keep lending it to them??

Would you believe (it’s still hard for me to believe) that some of my current high-school students ask me for some of my food?  If it’s hard for me to imagine asking somebody for some of their food when I was in high school, it’s doubly difficult to comprehend having the nerve to ask a teacher for their food!

Anyhow… take her poll (on the M-MV site).  I’ll be curious to see how it shapes up.  🙂

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4 Responses to “So what would You have done?”

  1. I can’t choose either because it totally depends on what portion of the paper I had already read, exactly when (or if) I thought I might get to it, how long I was going to be in the room and how likely it was that I would encounter the person again.

    I’m guessing that she had not read it but intended to read it. It’s a funny thing about newspapers. Her husband is right in that newspapers are commonly bummed (often by men) in situations where people are gathering and waiting for an event to begin or their turn in line, etc.

    Nonplussed is something I can identify with. Honestly, I would be similarly nonplussed and generally hesitant to hand it over. But it is worth asking why people display the paper if they don’t plan on getting to it soon.

    It is also worth asking why it is that people don’t bum magazines in the same way. It has something to do with the currency of the material and the ease of digestion. And the cost (something reflected in option #2 of her poll)

    (Allow me to be sanctimonious for a minute and add: I would never bum a paper myself unless I knew I was in for a long-haul wait and had already made some basic conversation with the lender)

    (Not to mention I would only ask for a specific section until I had read it completely–and I would only ask for another section if the wait was threatening to be of Robinson Crusoe proportions)

    I think what she’s responding to is the *nerve* of somebody in that situation. The last time somebody asked me for a paper I was reading (just as they did her), I said, “Which section?”

    They said, “Sports.”

    (Not, “Sports, please.”–something that would have gone a long way …)

    And they got, “Sports.”

    I have to admit, though, reading a comparatively soggy paper somebody else has just read is far less gratifying than getting the fresh crackle and snap of an unread paper.

    That said, I do 95% of my newspaper reading online so. =)

    But, yes, curmudgeons of the world unite (and take over).

    (Don’t hand it over!)

  2. I voted for the curmudgeons. I’ve had this lingering sense in the back of my mind that even students (I can’t believe your HS students are asking for your food) ask for things that are somewhat inappropriate, or at least something I would never have asked a professor that I didn’t know.

    For instance, today, a student walked by my office with her dead cell phone and asked if there was a phone she could use to call a friend who was supposed to meet her. Well, after hemming a bit, I offered her mine. So, there she is, standing over my shoulder while I’m trying to type an email. I have no idea who she is, nor she I. I would never have imposed on a professor like that, especially one I didn’t know.

    Other times, students have asked me for paper, pen, stapler, etc. – whatever they happen to need at that moment. It’s not often enough for me to develop a policy, but reading your post brought it to mind. I’m just bothered that people can be thoughtless about it – not even realize that they are crossing a boundary of respect.

    That’s the price for having my office on the main floor.

  3. “even *college* students” – missing

  4. I didn’t vote. As writinwrong pointed out, it’s a very circumstantial question.

    My question for M-MV, one that I can’t ask there because it doesn’t seem possible to leave a comment on that post, is why she gave it to him? Why not just say ‘I’m not done with it’? Perhaps it just happened too fast.

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