My office is a corner cubicle located within the Writing Center.  It was just an available space to put me in, and has nothing to do with my job which is for Distance Learning.  When a person comes in for tutoring, they sit at a large table in the middle of the room, directly in front of the door.  My cubicle is hidden behind bookshelves, and should, I think, be completely unassuming to anyone who comes in.

Not so.

People keep coming over and asking me for help wriitng their papers, which I could do quite easily, but that’s not my job.  Then I’m in the situation where I have to try to explain that though it appears that I work in the writing center, cause technically I am IN the writing center, I do not work FOR the writing center.  I don’t know if anyone will be here to help you around 3pm; please don’t hand me your paper.

Also, since I work in a cubicle, I have no door.  Whenever someone comes to visit me, I have no idea how long they’ve been standing there staring at me before finally making a sound to indicate their presence.  This is problematic enough with the IT guy who just keeps stopping by to ask if my computer is still working, or if I need printer ink, or if I have a boyfriend; but with sheepish students, I’m fairly certain that they stand there for quite a bit watching me edit HTML and gchat.  Then when they do get up the courage to ask me a question, I tell them that I can’t help them.

When there are tutors working with students, I can’t help but listen to everything that they say, which is a problem, and very distracting. Because I have a masters degree in writing and the people who do tutoring are undergrads, they give some rather bad advice that I would love to correct.  Again– not my job.

Then there’s the problem of the tutors themselves.  When they’re not working with students, they talk, or rather, one of them does.  I know everything about him, his wife, his brother, his children– I have no idea what his name is.

Also, he brings up jesus every chance he gets, which seems very inappropriate in an academic setting.  I was listening to him help an older-than-average student work on his paper about Sidney Poitier (seriously, like ten people this semester are writing papers about Sidney Poitier– anything you want to know about him, just ask me).  The tutor gave a few tips on paper-writing, and then out of nowhere asked the guy “so are you a christian?”

The guy said yes, and they proceeded to have a conversation about how right they are for about 30 minutes.  It was just bizarre.

I’ve mentioned to my boss that this may not be an ideal place for me to work, and I’ve looked into buying noise-canceling headphones. Aside from that, there’s not too much that I can do about it, though my boss has assured me that the GA who has my position next year will have a much quieter office.

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