If the Real World Worked the Way Students and Parents Think School Should Work

Scene 1

IRS- Tax forms must be submitted by April 15.  No exceptions. 

Citizen A- But I didn’t have time!  I had other things to do. 

IRS – What things got in the way of a priority obligation that comes around ever year?

Citizen A – You know, like dances and field trips and clubs and stuff.

IRS – That’s OK.  Just get it in when you have a chance, please.

Citizen B – I didn’t understand it.  Can I just do it later?

IRS – Did you file for an extension with us first?

Citizen B- No.

IRS – Did you contact us for help ahead of time?

Citizen B – No.

IRS – Sure!  Do whatever you want! 

Citizen C – I have some other excuse.  Can I get out of it, too?

IRS – Of course!  Those firm deadlines aren’t for people with excuses for not getting it done. 

Citizen D- This sucks.  I don’t want to do it either.

IRS – Hey, sure, cool.  No pressure.  Do some of it when you can, or not.  Whatever you want. 

Citizen E- I already did my taxes, but I did them way, way wrong.  Can I still turn them in and get credit?

IRS- Fine by me!  It wouldn’t be fair to make you do them over.


Scene 2

Boss- Smithson, you’ve been late to work more often than not, you no-call/no-showed twice, your last expense report was copied from Wikipedia, and you keep breaking the company’s policy about no personal calls during work hours.  I’m afraid I have to reduce your salary.

Employee- You can’t do that!  You hate me!  That’s not fair! 

Boss- Woah, buddy, calm down.  Don’t worry about me judging you and stuff, ‘cause we’re totally the same around here.  I won’t give you orders, and you can talk to me any way you want.  I just needed to point out your consistent failure, or something. 

Employee- I’m telling my mom!  She’ll come down here and yell at you!  Just you wait!  She’ll get you in trouble with the regional manager! 

Boss- Hey, dude, I’m sorry, I guess I was way out of line…Smithson, your nose is running.  Here’s a tissue.  No, don’t just suck it back up.  There you go.  Now go wash your hands.


Scene 3

Employee- Hey, Mr. Boss, I was sick the last three days.  Can I get my make up work?

Boss- OK!  You missed two board meetings, lost four clients, missed the regional training seminar, didn’t even answers your emails, didn’t send in the quarter finance report that was due that you had two months to do, and stood up the guys who car pool with you.  Sadly, we have standards about responsibility and deadlines, so your pay will be cut for the missed work. 

Employee- But I was really sick!

Boss- Oh, so you’re not making it up?  Because obviously I assumed you were, and that makes a big difference.  Whether or not your absence actually affects reality depends on your excuse.  Having a really serious reason doesn’t make you AS absent as you would have been.  It’s a lot closer to actually being here.  Here’s the single sheet of paper with easy directions that you were expecting that magically covers everything you missed. 

Employee- I just, like, want the stuff that’s graded.

Boss- I totally understand.  Who needs full competence, well rounded experiences, a work ethic, or living up to commitments, right?  Those things are for suckers.  Just do some of this stuff that you should have done before, even though you missed all the meetings it was based on, and it will be just as good as if you were here the whole time.

Employee- Aw, man.  That still sounds hard.  Can’t I just be excused from it all, then?  It’s not even fair ‘cause I wasn’t even here. 

Boss- You know what?  You’re right!  It isn’t fair!  I think I’ll miss a month of work, too, so I don’t have to do it and still get paid!  Why doesn’t everyone think of this?


Scene 4

Mom- Excuse me, you’re the head of the hospital? 

Doctor- Yes.  What can I do for you?

Mom – I’m Mrs. Paulsen.  My son is Dr. Paulsen, on your staff.  Last week, he performed a surgery and the patient died. 

Doctor – Ah, yes.  I’m very sorry about that.

Mom – Well, I don’t think it’s fair.  He’s been very busy with his homeowners association, the PTA, his fantasy football league, and under a lot of pressure from coaching my granddaughter’s soccer team.

Doctor – Um…

Mom – And that patient was in very bad shape.  Some of the other doctors get patients with easy cases.  It’s not fair that my boy got one that was already dying. 

Doctor – So how can I help you? 

Mom – Don’t you get an attitude with me!  I want that dead patient to come back to life, because it’s not fair to my boy that he died.  It makes him feel bad. 

Doctor – Oh no!  Natural occurrences make someone feel bad?  Well, we can’t have that!  I’ll go right down to the morgue and straighten this out.

Mom – I hope this strategy works this well with the student loan officer…

5 comments on “If the Real World Worked the Way Students and Parents Think School Should Work

  1. LOL!! This is brilliant!! These days it appears that primary and secondary school children are so babied that they cannot understand the meaning of the word “no”, or the consequences for their detrimental actions.

    Your post needs to be read aloud at every PTA meeting across North America. :)

  2. This blog is so true. I am a college student, and all throughout school I heard excuses like this from all of my friends. I always took responsibility for my own work and only missed class if it was absolutely necessary. I am going to school to be a teacher, and I do not look forward to hearing excuses from parents who don’t want their kids to ever have to take responsibility for their own life. High-schoolers need to realize that once they go to college, their professors don’t care that they had the flu for two weeks. If you miss a test, you get a zero. Kudos to you for not being the kind of teacher that coddles students so they are not treated “unfairly”.

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