She Really Is Useless

I was running late to work with a student.

I know, right there I'm wrong because, well, I was late.

But hey, I let the parents know - I texted them, and said, "I'm running late. I'll be there in fifteen minutes."

They said OK. I thought that was that.

And then I got a text that said, "this is unacceptable. I just texted her to see when she'll be here. She really is useless."

And then I got the "oops"...

That message was for someone else. Sorry.

I was three minutes away from the house. Useless thundered in my brain on a loop. Useless? Useless? USELESS? REALLY? I wanted to drive away, and say, perhaps you should get yourself a tutor for your kid that's more useful.

But I didn't.

I finished the session with my student - because that was the right thing to do.

Maybe the parent really wasn't talking about me. Maybe it really was about someone else. Maybe...

...maybe not.

It was a rather uncomfortable session. And I wanted to crawl out of my own skin. Again, useless thundered in my brain. How dare they! I'm an outstanding teacher. I know that in my bones. So you're having struggles with your child. I can understand that. It's tough. You're worried. You're stressed.

But then you take that out on me?


That's where I have to draw the line.

So, I finished our session, and then I politely declined to work with the family ever again.

Maybe it wasn't supposed to be personal, maybe it was, but there comes a time in life where all the money in the world cannot make up for disrespecting another person.

And it's all too easy to get swept up in the rat race of life and want to make more money, and then stand for treatment that just isn't right. That just isn't nice. That just isn't decent.

I don't care if you're a CEO, the commander in chief, a stay at home mom, Hollywood royalty, or a nine to fiver - when you start thinking that people are there to serve you and suit your needs as you see fit, and that their usefulness is wrapped up in your perception, you lose.

You lose, and you're wrong.

Nobody gets to determine the usefulness of people.

People aren't old shoes that get to be donated to Good Will or thrown to the trash.

People are humans who cry and love and laugh and bleed and feel.

And we're all useful.