A recent Facebook post reminded me of a pivotal moment during my time as a graduate assistant, earning my master’s degree in higher education. I worked 20 hours in the dean’s office, specifically helping students with disabilities get their proper accommodations. The work was draining, to say the least. A fellow classmate, who was completing her doc program, walked by. What started as a quick “hello”, turned into a deep, half hour conversation about our work that ultimately culminated in her telling me this: You’re not that important.
My heart felt heavy. I was sad and pissed at the same time. “You wait until the last minute to come see me, you see all of the students waiting out there, and then you have the audacity to mark ME as less than satisfactory?” was the refrain I played in my head for the next day and a half. The following morning, slumped in my office chair, head in my hands, I said to myself, “Sometimes I can’t stand this job”.