This morning I discovered just how much respect my new position is worth on the open market when a student ended our brief phone conversation with the words "Bye, bitch."
It wasn't even a particularly angry conversation, just the usual blather about a departmental policy. I had even suggested two different legitimate ways for the student to bypass that policy, but that would have required a little bit of work on the student's part, so instead he opted for insult. Does he think I won't remember his name?
I work very hard to accomodate the needs of our students and in some respects I'm a bit of a pushover, but occasionally I have to draw a line in the sand and say "thus far and no further--unless you want to take the long way around and by the way, here's a handy map of the route." If this makes me a bitch, then I guess I just don't understand the meaning of the word.
The worst thing about it was that I couldn't think of anything to say in response--I was so stunned that I just sat there with my mouth open until the phone line went dead. In fact, I'm still stunned. Is this the price I have to pay for moving to the Big Office in the Corner? Or is this the new default mode for telephone conversation? Either way, I'm speechless.