Thursday, August 17, 2006

stop othering me

I am a student employee. Despite the fact that I am old enough and educated enough to be in the process of launching my career, because I am pursuing a second degree, I am a student employee. That has a couple of interesting ramifications.

First, and most irritating, I generally get treated as if my IQ rests somewhere only slightly above a rock. Clearly I can't possibly understand what your department/faculty/corporation/insert other is working towards; that big lofty goal that you pursue with such fervour; because I am a student. Surely I can't be trusted with that integral piece of the major project you've been working on, despite the fact that it's uniquely situated within my cross-section of skills, because I am a student.

To add insult to injury, as a student employee, I am often disincluded from workplace events and activities. I couldn't possibly be interested. It's inconceivable that I might have a relationship with the soon-to-depart employee for whom you're planning a special event. How laughable it is that I might have something to add to the discussion about how your new student service-based facilities are going to be organized and decorated. Surely, I am not part of this conversation, because I am a student.

Finally, when I've searched my soul for a way to articulate the isolation I'm feeling over this type of behaviour, it is suggested to me that perhaps I need to change my attitude. Perhaps I'm encouraging this type of treatment. Perhaps if I didn't expect to be treated badly, I wouldn't see it as poor treatment. This only increases my suspicion that my contributions go unnoticed, further disenchanting me and removing even more initiative to take pride and ownership in my work.

So, I'm left feeling more frustrated than when I started, with nothing elegant or articulate to say except this:

Stop othering me. I work two full-time jobs, one at your corporation/institution/other, and one for myself, mainly at night, solely driven by my own desire to improve myself. I put more effort, more thought, and more creatively into everything that I do than many of your full-time employees. I work this hard because I am a student, and I certainly DO NOT consider this kind of dedication and drive a character flaw.

So stop othering me. I'm sick of it.


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