I started my role as an exam invigilator in good spirits this morning. At one point, Sandra mistook me as one of the students when I was collecting unused exam scripts. That was hilarious! Imagine her look of embarrassment when she saw my name tag!
That was the best part of the morning. An invigilator whom I worked with previously had passed out and suffered from a heart attack that afternoon. Everyone was in shock- especially the examinations officer, who was preparing for the afternoon exams with papers spread all over the floor when the lady collapsed in front of her.
As you can imagine, the afternoon papers were late.
Now, I can understand why my co-invigilator was upset and stressed. HOWEVER, that does not justify her treatment towards me. This was what happened:
H: “We dont have the keys to the room. We need to stay calm to get the keys.”
Daphne: “ok, check and if it isn’t there, I will call the examinations office to see if the have it.” (intention was that if the keys are not in the office due to the mess.. I can ask security to unlock the doors for us)
H: “No no, dont call. Let me check first…”
Daphne: “OK, I will run back to the office”
Daphne ran back to get keys and come back..by that time, we were 10 mins late..
H started placing envelope with papers and instructions on individual desks. This is a special exam venue where we have to look after 5 different people with special needs. However, as per exams rules, we are not supposed to put the envelope in front of the student as the information is only meant for us.
Daphne picking up envelope….
H: “Daphne! PUT the envelope down! There isn’t any time. We have to sit them down first…”
Daphne: “there are different timings.. I will write some of them on the board?”
H: “There isn’t any time. Just put the envelope down.”
Daphne puts down the envelope…. but continue reading it.
Daphne: “H, the timings………. (before i can say anything…”
H: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? I”M THE CHIEF INVIGILATOR HERE. I’M THE SENIOR. I’m IN CHARGE. YOU HAVE THE LISTEN TO ME. YOU ARE BEING INAPPROPRIATE BY TRYING TO ARGUE WITH ME IN FRONT OF THE STUDENTS.”
Daphne:” !?!?!?!?!?… ok.. you are in charge. You can look after the timings.” (Went to check other things.
by that time, I was feeling real pissed.. bitting my tongue.. fine.. don’t want to create a scene in front of the students who are anxious about their starting times.
H and I in the corridor. I was trying to explain myself and what I was trying to do… someone replaced us for a few minutes.
Daphne: “H, just now, I was trying to clarify and check the timings…….. (interrupted)
H: “HOW DARE YOU DO THAT? YOU ARE BEING SO INAPPROPRIATE BY ARGUING WITH ME JUST AS YOU WERE WHEN YOU WANTED TO CALL THE OFFICE TO ASK FOR THE KEYS. I HAVE MANY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND THAT IS JUST INAPPROPRIATE. I’m SENIOR AND YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO ME.”
Daphne being very very pissed off: “I….”
H: “EVEN IF YOU ARE CHIEF INVIGILATOR, I DONT CARE. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO WRITE THE TIMINGS ON THE BOARD WHEN THE STUDENTS WERE SO ANXIOUS ABOUT STARTING LATE ALREADY?”
*although in PART 2, she said she is in charge, I’m actually the person in charge that afternoon as per stated on the freaking envelopes.
H: “YOU ARE BEING SO INAPPROPRIATE…
H: “WRITING ON THE BOARD ISNT AS IMPORTANT AT THAT POINT OF TIME”
Daphne: “H, you did not listen to my explanation on WHY I want to do that. You were too upset. In fact, you still are. So what do u want to do. DO you want me to exchange my roles with someone else because you can’t work with me in this state or do you want me to stay. I will just ask Margaret for someone to replace me.
H: “Pardon me?!?! IT”S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.. YOU HAVE TO STAY.”
Daphne: ” I did not say that I will not stay but you are so upset and it is not to the students’ best interest if you are.
H: “No, you stay”
Walked back in the room.
There are more things H said to me that were not pleasant which I’m not even going to state.
Obviously I was very shaken and upset throughout. I do not DESERVE to be treated that way. I have to add that she did the whole spill on “I’m in charge here” in front of other students which I think is far more inappropriate than me trying to sort out the different timings when each student starts!!! Anyway, this lady is still on me and picked on me various time of the near 5 hours of the whole examination and have the NERVE to tell me “No hard feelings” at the end of it. I made it clear to her that it is not acceptable and I do not agree with her.
She continued to be pissed at me for not apologizing for being “INAPPROPRIATE” but there is NO WAY IM GOING TO DO THAT!
What pisses me most is that she even said things like “I’m prepared to let it go if you just go in and take your responsibilities” How obnoxious is that!
Anyway, as the chief invigilator, I get the privilege of reporting back to the office about the exam and what else is needed in the room. I walked out of the office without telling Margaret what happened…. sat in the park waiting for Mr AR to pick me up and then… realized that i have to tell Margaret as part of my responsibility to the students on reporting what happens in the venue that might have an impact on them. CRAP!
So I went back to the office… Margaret was very understanding and said that in all cases, there is NO way H should have spoken to me the way she did. She did said usually they place H by herself as she do know what H is like. So…revelation of the evening… this is not the first time it happened.
Respect needs to be earn and she lost mine. Did I care that the students may disrespect me as their invigilator after hearing her scream at me? No, because they know that I’m the one who walked them to the toilet, calmed them down when they were visibly stressed and anxious, brought them cups of water, the person who RANG their unit co-ordinator when they have a problem with the paper AND the person who collected their papers and who KNOWS how to operate a computer. All the time when H sat in front and READ her book.
When the students smiled and thanked me sincerely for being there and even said they would like me to invigilate next time…. I’m glad that I didn’t shout back at her. I’m glad I have the dignity to walk away and attend to the students. I’m glad I have the ability to hold my tongue and stayed in control of myself. I’m glad I’m not her and I earned the respect of the students in my own rights.
That doesn’t mean I don’t want to yell at her throughout…That was SO HARD! I was very upset.
At the end of the day, I learned that it does not matter what she does but what is more important is that I know I did not go against my morals and values. This is a woman with control issues and probably resentful that a younger person is taking the role as a leader compounded by the stress we experienced earlier in the hour. Regardless, it does not explain or justify her actions.
Life is unfair. It will never be fair on this earth but I’m going to go through it as much as I can without breaking my beliefs. I may be “nice” but that does not mean I do not have a bite in me or exist without a fighting spirit. I can be flexible but not when the person is being unreasonable.
So what if I’m young, I can run faster, respond faster and even know the campus better. *rolled eyes* Lady, you may have the experience but it is certainly a worry if you do not even respond with the right manners in a social situation when you are over 50+ years of age.