Alice's Mommy Blog

An open letter

Dear student in the yellow shirt,

You visited my office today and didn’t knock on my door. I saw you out of the corner of my eye while dealing with yet another issue that fell on my lap. I saw you read my boss’ warning sign and thought in my head “I just dare you to knock. Do it and my boss will get an email from me warning him to expect a complaint for a student I went ballistic on.” But you didn’t knock, you just waited for me to look at you, and you smiled.

You didn’t see the stress on my face. You didn’t know the hours I spent last night fixing a mistake or that I had been in my office since 7am. You didn’t know my boss and I spent two hours checking the next terms’ classes and thought our brains would melt. You didn’t see the frustration from the fact that my work kept my from going to my tutorial that I was really looking forward to. You didn’t see the tears in my eyes from having to deal with a cranky person in another department that I don’t like dealing with and the fact that I was delayed fixing an issue for an hour because of them. You just stood there and smiled.

Finally I turned around, cranky, ready to send you on your way and close my door in your face, and instead you spoke. You told me that you didn’t want to disturb me and knew I was busy and that you didn’t need my help. You would one day, and right now wanted me to know that you appreciate all my hard work, and thanked me. You ended with the words “thank you” and a smile, and walked away.

I sat there for a full minute, unsure of what just happened. My cold, bitter heart melted and I remembered why I do what I do. I was stunned at how much those little words changed the course of my day, my week my term. So far the only people who have thanked me are a few staff and faculty when I fixed big things for them. I got a few thanks from students and even a hug when I fixed something for them. But no one thanked me just because, or just for doing what I do.

I love my job. I love helping people, and you reminded me of that. I don’t know where you came from, or where you went off to afterwards. But thank you for your kind words. You have no idea how much I needed to hear them, and they truly touched me.


One less-stressed advisor.

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