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One of the things that I don't get about China is that people seem more than willing to let others clean up after them (or generally not do stuff that they could do in a lickety split).

As an example, I work with a teacher who I share a lab with. She's a brilliant teacher, and genuinely seems to get very good results out of the kids. What drives me mad, however, is that she seems unwilling to get her class to clean up after themselves at the end of an lab she does. As I usually follow her into the lab (she usually translates the equipment requisition lists into Chinese, so it's fair she gets "first dibs"), it's down to my kids to clean up after her group. This usually involves cleaning the on-desk bins, wiping down the desks and straightening up all the equipment before they get to start.

I've dropped some incredibly broad hints about it to her, and the general response I get is "It's not my job to tidy up the lab." The implication being presumably that it's mine!

That "It's not my job" attitude seems to permeate society here (and not just where I work). Now strictly speaking on many it isn't, but my attitude has been if something is being done badly, step up, do it and then complain to whoever should be doing it, asking for it to be done better. If that fails, complain to their line manager.

The general response to this, however, is to hedge, fudge, deflect and avoid. Excuses that I've heard recently include "It's someone else's job to do that" (he's had a week and still not done it), "Students may come and ask me questions" (well we'll tell them where we are -after she admitted none had come this morning), "It's too far to walk with a bad back" (as she was going to lunch), "I can't stand for too long" (we'll get a seat), "The seats are uncomfy" (we'll get a cushion), "Why do we have to do it now?" (because it's a good habit to get into to clean up after yourself), and (my personal favourite) "We aren't going to any practicals till next term anyway" (well you might not, but I am as we have 3 weeks to kill after the exams).

The general unspoken attitude seems to be "You're earning more money than me, so you do it." That attitude needs addressing, I'm just not sure how. I'll be a bit more forceful about it next year I think when my position is formalised, but it still ticks me off no end.

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jamiebowen0306
jamiebowen0306

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