What I learned from my university

When I was studying at the university I didn’t learn a whole lot about how a person is supposed to do his job as much as how a person shouldn’t be doing his job. Here are some of the things I learned:

  1. What’s in your interest is not always the right thing to do. Always try to do the right thing not only by yourself but to other people as well. Sometimes people delude themselves into thinking that what’s best for them is best for other people as well. This can also apply to a whole group which expects you to do right by them without even considering your wellbeing. Groups of people could also be greedy and selfish.
  2. Segregation, esoteric knowledge, and double standards are never a good idea when your job is to teach young people how to do their job or how to be better at it. Still, some teachers don’t even realise what are the real goals of education and personal growth.
  3. Don’t expect to learn how to do your job professionally  from someone who doesn’t know how to his own.
  4. Don’t rely on people who don’t deliver on their promises. “The cat ate my homework” excuses are pretty easy to discern, so be on the lookout for them.
  5. Refuse to participate in elections or decisions that don’t inform the whole student body (very often they will include a select group of “chosen, god-given talents” individuals not excluding distant and not so distant relatives).
  6. Don’t accept excuses about why someone isn’t doing his job properly when it’s clear how things should be done. Don’t let unprofessional behaviour become normalized. Some people spend so much time pretending to do their job they forget how real work is supposed to be carried out.
  7. Always be positive about work and the people around you but differentiate that and looking through rose-coloured glasses. Problems will always appear and a person has to take active participation in the solving of these, so that they can be resolved. Just because a problem isn’t real for you that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Be mindful of other people’s problems and situation and try to do your best to help them. Also be careful of toxic people (believe me they’re real) and people who try to make you a part of a dysfunctional or abusive relationship. These people usually have their heads so far their a**es there’s really no reason why you should engage with them, let the professionals do their work.
  8. Beware of who carry what I call “the judge” stereotype. These people usually have a higher opinion about themselves and a lower opinion about pretty much everyone else who doesn’t acknowledge it. Their very philosophy gets in the way (sometimes very drastically) of them having a realistic perception of themselves and others.  They rarely ackowledge other people’s succsess but tend to amplify their own. These people never  accept criticsm even if it’s delivered in the most professional way. They will often be people of higher academic status (not real “status” but whatever) or who think that they  have some advantage over you. As “judges” they can do just that and anyone tries to correct it them (even slightly) is most likely to e ignored, or even worse become an outcast and which will exclude him from the next “secret meeting” of the “higher intellect”. Folks like that carry the attitude that you have no right to be complaining about antyhing as long as they’re O.K., even if they’re not doing their job correctly. Sometimes your job will be to complain about things in order for them get better about everybody. If your reasonable complaints are not met with reasonable actions, move on.
  9. Social engineering and slyness can’t and shouldn’t substitute reason, intellect and common sense. In Bulgaria “slyness” is often used by people who’re are too lazy and hypocritical to realise how paradoxical it looks from above. Social engineering can never be a substitute for real intellect nad hard work. Be careful if people who carry that philosophy around because when it comes to getting the job done these people never work. If you see people like this be proactive in getting them out of your team or your life.
  10. If you strive to do your job in a proactive manner, work hard and be mindful of other people’s opinions (take action not just when it suits you to do so) people will respect you and complaints should be rare. Yet, if there are,  consider first if there’s something in your working philosophy which may be off track and then everything else. Don’t consider something as the right thing to do just because you’ve been doing it for so long you rarely think about why you do it. Sometimes inertia can get in your way.
  11. Just because someone says “this is the way we do things here” doesn’t mean you should accept what’s dealt to you or let their unprofessional behaviour become normalized. (I’ve also heard excuses like the business environment, the resources the institution has, or the socio-economic state of the country – people can come up with all kinds crazy excuses about why they shouldn’t try hard at their job.)
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