What is the purpose of a mentor if not to teach valuable lessons? This story proves it takes more than tech smarts to make it in the IT community… Respect your elders and respect the deadline or face failure!
She Was Well Respected
Katy is a well-respected member of the IT community. With years of experience under her belt, she decided to give back to the community by mentoring young minds interested in technology.
While she primarily mentored adults, she wanted to take on the challenge of mentoring kids.
It was no secret that IT and STEM fields were growing in popularity, and more and more people wanted to get into these fields.
Several boot camps, hackathons, and mentoring programs were available for all ages.
Sharing Her Knowledge
Katy signed up as a mentor in one such program that taught kids how to code with blocks, what AI was, and how to develop an MVP.
It may sound complicated, but for an educated professional with years of experience, explaining these concepts to children may not be too difficult.
Shaping Young Minds
The program was designed to give kids credits that could help them get into better schools or be eligible for university scholarships later in life. Katy felt this was an excellent opportunity for these young minds, and she was excited to start.
Katy was assigned two teams; Team A consisted of primary to early middle schoolers, while Team B consisted of high schoolers. Both teams had five members, and Katy had to mentor them on how to develop an MVP project.
Split in Two
Katy was excited about mentoring Team A but worried about mentoring high schoolers in Team B. These were not ordinary high schoolers; they were the cream of the crop, the ones who had more on their plates than most people could handle.
She felt that they were going to be difficult to work with. Her worries only got worse when she found out that the parents of Team A members were required to attend the meetings.
Parents could be overbearing, often interfering with the mentor’s work.
Receptive and Responsive
Surprisingly, Team A showed great promise. Despite their age, they were eager to learn and receptive to Katy’s teaching.
They attended all meetings and responded to Katy’s assignments. Katy was pleased with their progress and felt they were on track to submit their MVPs before the deadline.
Demotivated by Drop Off
On the other hand, Team B started well, but they gradually stopped attending meetings. They read assignments, but they did not respond to them.
Katy understood that they had exams and other commitments, but she felt that they were disregarding her time.
Katy was a professional, but she was also a volunteer. She had no incentive to work with these kids other than to see them succeed.
No Updates but Plenty of Reminders
Katy sent several messages asking for updates on the project. She warned them of the upcoming deadline and urged them to submit their projects before the deadline.
She reminded them that the program required them to submit their MVPs before the middle of April. She sent these messages because she felt that it was her responsibility to remind them of the deadline.
She Was Told to Chill Out!
Sam, the self-appointed leader of Team B, replied to one of Katy’s messages. “Uhm, Hi, Katy! I know that you probably mean well, but you only bother the team with those deadline messages. Can’t you, like, chill out?
When we need you, we will contact you. Just get off our hair and let us do our job. I’m sorry if that hurts your feelings; it is what it is. <3″
They Showed Her No Respect
Sam’s message took Katy aback. She had never experienced someone speaking to her in such a manner. She was a professional and wanted respect.
She responded politely, informing Sam that she would stop messaging the team if that caused tension within the group. Katy was not one to cause unnecessary tension, but the deadline was fast approaching.
Sam replied, “Just stop, OK?? Geez, X” Katy was disappointed by Sam’s response, but she decided to comply entirely with their wishes.
So She Backed Off
Katy responded that she would stop messaging if it caused tension within the team, but she reinforced the deadline was still on the 15th, and the site would reject any application after that date.
After Sam’s message, Katy did not write anything to Team B. She had scheduled no meetings, updates, or checkups about the curriculum/their understanding, and definitely not a written reminder of the deadline once.
The Deadline Stuck
The deadline came, Team A uploaded their project with no issues, and their parents even bought Katy a nice box of chocolate as a “Thank you” gesture.
However, Team B started bombarding her with messages, asking for help because “something is wrong with the site! We can’t upload our project!”
Welcome to the Real World!
Katy entered the chat and said, “Yes, it will not upload. No, it is not an issue with the site. The deadline has passed, so if you try to upload, it will only show you an error message. I warned you, kids!”
The Rules Were Simple
Team B ended up with no extra credits, no nothing. The rules of the program were simple, and there were no exceptions for any reason!
Team B tried to blame Katy, saying that as a mentor, it was her job to ensure they would succeed.
She Taught a Hard Lesson
Luckily she had all their communication in writing, so they didn’t have a leg to stand on.
She reminded them all that her job as a mentor was to provide support and guidance, keep track of their progress, and remind them of the deadlines – which they’d requested she not do!
Respect Goes Both Ways
Katy was simply respecting their boundaries and doing what they wanted; they’d simply shot themselves in the foot. A fantastic tale of Malicious compliance gone right!
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The post Respect the Deadline!!! Tech Whizz Teaches a Team of Troublesome Teens a Valuable Lesson… But Would They Thank Her for It?! first appeared on Wealthy Living.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Khosro. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.
This post is based on Reddit but the names have been changed.