Scenario: You took your first exam on ExamSoft and your file failed to upload. You waited in agony for 20 minutes while your computer decided whether or not to accept the file. In anger, you began verbalizing your stress saying “I really hate Exam Soft” and “Whoever decided to buy this software sucks”. The Associate Dean overheard you. You continued to carry on and typed a long worded complaint to the Dean’s Student Liaison Committee. After you sent it, the ExamSoft file uploaded and you suddenly felt relieved. However, you couldn’t take back all of the unprofessional criticism and nasty email you just sent. In this situation- what should you have done?
Answer: Instead of taking out immediate frustration when a problem occurs it is important to remain calm. Acting impulsively can result in actions or words being said “in the heat of the moment”. Once you have vocalized an opinion or complaint, it can not be taken back. In this situation the student should have been patient with the new software and not vocalized their frustration. Do your best to keep opinions and comments to a minimum and if they are necessary, keep them very professional.
Take Away Message: There are times where you may become flustered or aggravated. It is essential to keep a professional attitude at all times, you never know who is watching. There is a fine line between constructive criticism and complaining.