Tuesday, March 21, 2006

All You Need To Do Is Ask

It pays to shop around. And I'm not talking about groceries although I must admit grocery shopping in this country is one of my favourite therapeutic activities. The variety is huge, I get lost amongst the aisles of bread, cakes, muffins, pikelets, crumpets, pies, biscuits and other yummy confectionary. But I digress, shopping for grocery is not the theme of this entry.

Being the by-the-book person I am, most of the time at least, I enrol for the requisite number of uni courses this term. I lap up the advice the student centre tells me regarding how I will positively die if I take up an additional course (which in all probability would turn out true as I also work 20 hours a week). I do my requisite readings for my Pomo class in advance faithfully, as instructed by the lecturer "unless it's a bad week as your dog died, partner left you, house burnt down etc". I post discussion entries on the web to show the lecturer how conscientious I am and have consciously considered the discussion topic of the week and am contributing to the thread.

So I go to class for the last 4 weeks, sit in the library and do my research on days where there is no official lectures, prepare for assignments which are coming due. And the cycle of uni life goes on. Until last week after a role play in the Management class where I had to dismiss someone and I did it so calmly and naturally and blew the person who was being fired ("I'm packing my bags now!"), and 2 other girls who were role playing and eavesdropping next to us, away and earned their proclamation of , "She's so good, you need to hire her as your firing consultant!". It then suddenly hit me, that this was just easy for me, because I had been in middle management for the last 10 years. I had managed 7 people at one point, did my first firing 10 years ago (and I couldn't eat for a week thereafter, but as I said, it gets easier with practice), re-engineered positions out, did the department budget for years, reconciled monthly expense statements, conducted countless performance appraisals and that is why all these concepts were fitting in like an old glove. I was at ease in the class, I was able to contribute, I didn't have to struggle to understand any of it. And then once I had that bee in my bonnet, I couldn't get rid of it. I decided that I had to ask for an exemption from my Management course because I wouldn't be learning anything new.

To cut a very long story short so as not to lose my audience with the nitty gritty I had to go through with the relevant parties in order to convince them I was deserving, I finally received TWO exemptions (yes count 'em, one, two!) - in Management & Organisation and Organisational Psychology. Hurray! I now have to take 2 subjects less in order to get my Masters.

It does pay to shop around, talk to different people for advice. It doesn't hurt to ask...


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