Miss Woodhouse's Musings

…about life, the universe, and everything. Don't panic!


on 10 November 2009

What do you do when your expectation isn’t met by the reality of what happens? I’m not talking about when you create an impossible set of expectations- rather, I’m talking about when someone very clearly articulates what they want you to do, and what they will do in return. However, when the chips finish falling, you are left meeting all the same requirements while they drop their involvement down to nothing.

This happened to me and several others today. We were given a task to complete, and were told that we would benefit in a certain way from the completion of this task. This is no “walk in the park” thing either; we’re looking at a minimum of 20 hours of work. In return, any work we did would be given credit. Now, just weeks away from the deadline, we are told that if you choose to do the task, you must achieve a certain competence level for it to count for anything. We’ve had two other assignments like this and I have worn myself out on them- but neither of them met the basic requirement that this assignment must. I have little hope that this assignment would turn out any better.

I must say that I am discouraged. Since this new requirement makes the assignment optional, I won’t be penalized if I don’t complete it. I must admit that I’m hesitant to waste another 20-30 hours of work if it’s just going to be discounted and thrown out. On the other hand, this could be a test from this person to see who is really committed to improving themselves and working hard. Or, it could just be their way of cutting out the actual amount of work they have to do. Whatever the reasons, I’m upset.

I assume certain things in life: if you do something, you get something in return. If you work, you get compensated. If you turn in a school assignment, you get a grade. If you help others, others will help you.

Apparently, I need to adjust my assumptions.

So, I’m left wondering: what needs to change here? Should my expectations alter to suit the new situation, or would I be justified in asking for the assignment to change back to what it was? I really don’t know what to do. Welcome to life, I guess!


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