Monday, September 22, 2008

The term "group" is relative

I figured out pretty early in my high school career that I don't care for group projects. "Group project" is a different way of saying, "Hey, slackers! You get a free pass for this assignment, because the anal-retentive control freak in your group will do all the work, thereby ensuring you have an easy A! So sit back, relax, and say, 'Duuuuude, you need me to do anything?!'" Since I'm the anal-retentive control freak who does all the work, group projects aren't exactly my cup o' tea.

This feeling continued pretty much through college, and it was with much relief that I graduated and could put group projects behind me. Granted, I have to work within groups every day at work, but it's different somehow. People get fired if they slack. I'm a big fan of consequences.

Anyhoo, I've been doing just fine in my post-graduate studies with nary a thought about those old, stressful, group-project riddled times. Until advanced finance. Where I find myself, yet again, a pushy team leader who needs an internet-based cattle prod to get my teammates off their asses and actually, you know, contributing.

I did most of the work for the first portion of the project. We just got it graded, and got a 90% on it. All of the mistakes but one are the result of the teensy bit of work that someone else actually did. And did that person correct his mistakes and move on? Hell, no. He instead moaned about how sorry he was that he screwed up, and then proceeded to ensure that he won't be any help this week, either, when we have another portion of the project due. I got to go in and correct his mistakes, and move everyone forward onto the next step. Which they aren't doing. Because they have a myriad of reasons why. Like they're too busy getting stoned and saying, "Duuuude."

M has a pretty decent group, hence his 10 out of 10 on the first portion. That's what I would expect to happen in grad school. People step up and do what they're supposed to do and act all professional-like. I say it's a bit hard, though, for one person to do the job of four people, all while also completing reading, homework, discussion, quizzes and a mid-term. There are only so many hours in the day, people. I'll grudgingly take my 90%, although I really wish I could fire my team.

I hate group projects.


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