You offer your hand but they want the whole arm!


I’ve encountered a professor and a clinical instructor recently who I find to be lacking in social decorum.

A few months ago my classmates decided (I just decided to go along with their plan) that our class of 8 people would bring some food on our last day to celebrate the end of summer class. It was supposed to be a class celebration and the food we be brought with us was limited as we were all students on a very tight budget.

I bought some fried chicken and my classmates bought different food that was enough for us eight students plus the teacher. The professor was not asked to bring anything.

To our surprise, when the day came, he brought his children, a maid and invited his co-teachers as well. He was acting as if he was the one giving the get-together and told us who else he wanted food to be given to, aside from those he invited to the classroom!

Then, yesterday, another school clinical instructor did the same thing.

You see, the day before yesterday, my group conducted a “mother’s class” (teaching about a medical topic appilcable to their family) as part of our requirements for school. and had to bring food (sandwiches) and juices for about fifty people, excluding my eleven groupmates and our clinical instructor and other instructors who watched our lecture. It was our incentive for the mothers to take time out to listen to us.

After the lecture, the clinical instructor was like a “politician” happily dictating who she wanted the sandwiches and juices (which my group paid for) distributed to.

Then yesterday, being our last class duty under her, the group again decided to celebrate. We gave her a more expensive family sized pizza, plus two orders of lasagna and two big bottles of coke. We figured that that was enough to keep her and her three other colleagues in her floor happy.

Our group of ten ended up sharing 2 cheaper family sized-pizza and a big bottle of ice tea. While we were cutting into our pizza, the clinical instructor came in and said that the food we gave her wasn’t enough as she wanted to give some of her friends on the other floors as well. Then, she proceeded to to cut a whole row from our square pizza.

I really felt that the professor and clinical instructor were trying to get “pretty-points” with their friends, colleagues and family at our expense!

What’s more, not satisfied with that, she instructed that as a “project”, we were supposed to make 19 hard card-board folders for her to be used in the hospital where she works. This, to me has nothing to do with Nursing education! I told my groupmates so, because it would have meant yet another monetary contribution from us when we were all on a tight budget. Also, it was not required of the other groups who finished ahead of us.


I think I said it a tad too loudly and the clinical instructor heard it and decided that the group will not have to pay for it—she just zoomed in on one guy member of the group who is, in my opinion, too kind to the extreme. She required him to provide the folders.

He reported to me that she even asked him to do the assignment of her grandchild–would you belive! I told him, “What does that got to do with Nursing?”

But then, this guy would not say anything to stop her from abusing his good graces because he likes to keep peace with everyone all the time.

I told my groupmates that we are not indebted to her as she was being paid on an hourly basis to teach us. So, to me, there shouldn’t be any compulsion as to how much we should give her to show our appreciation.

How do you deal with people like these whom “you offer your hand but want to take your whole arm?” :confused:


I agree that these instructors seemed to take advantage of the situation in a greedy or at least gauche manner. There is only one solution, in my experience with similar types, since direct confrontation is sometimes equally innapropriate: just stop giving them the opportunity to take advantage. As the saying goes, “you cheat me once, shame on you. Cheat me twice, shame on me.”

So: Your third celebration/pizza party should have been held off-campus if you wanted to avoid repeat behavior. And your “overly kind” classmate has no one to blame but himself for his lack of assertiveness. Ditto for the folder project as a whole: if the class deemed it innapropriate, the class (or at least you) should have confronted her, or gone to her superior with your concerns.


(1) Stop letting the “group” decide things for you. Don’t go along with them.

(2) Stop bringing food to class.

(3) The next time an instructor requires you to bring food or purchase something unrelated to class- report them to their supervisor.


This is an en excellent answer.

You asked what do you do when you offer your hand and they want the whole arm?

Answer: You still give them only the hand. The only one that can give the arm is you.


You should arrange any future parties at a restaurant, dorm room or other location. Then, only invite the students that you wish to invite. Do not invite the professors or their families.


Hi everyone!

Thanks for your eye-opening advises.

I guess, the group and I are part to blame for not speaking out. Nobody wanted to be the spokesperson for the group, no one wanted to be the one to “rock the boat”–so we suffered in silence and let things slide—and let the professor and clinical instructor walk all over us.

Majority of the group are second-coursers (meaning, we are working in the businesses outside schools already)—so, I guess, that’s the reason why they assume that we can afford more than the other students.

Still, that meant that we pay our own way in school, unlike the younger students who were being supported by parents. Every penny we spent–we felt it, because we earned it.

To be frank, I am wary of taking the cudgels for everyone when they aren’t willing to speak out and just want to be by-standers.

I have done this before regarding anomalies that could affect patient care (taking the initiative to speak out) at work and got targeted by management and got forced out of work—while those who remained quiet, reaped the benefits of my speaking out and retained their good standing with them.

Then again, in school, something similar happened. No one in class supported me, I ended up having the image of the “squeeler”–but everyone in class benefited from it.

At this point, I am sick and tired of reaping the consequences for others. I’ve been the voice of contradiction too many times and I’ve suffered hard for it, and to this day, the pain of what happened isn’t easy to erase, while others went on their merry way but expecting to benefit from my sacrifice.

I guess, that’s why I was so willing to take the backseat in this and refuse to be the one to speak out for everyone. I sounded out my groupmates on why what is being done is wrong–but if they don’t want to say anything about it to the superiors, as a whole group, one for all and all for one, then I guess we deserved what we got and we suffer together.

I keep in mind what **maendem **said,

As the saying goes, “you cheat me once, shame on you. Cheat me twice, shame on me.”

I realized that some people seem to think being nice and kind is a sign of weakness and should be taken advantage of. Shame on them! But if we allow them to get away with it, then we allow ourselves to become their “doormats”.

I agree that we should not give those professors any oppurtunity to take advantage of us.

I will suggest to the group that from now on, we have our celebrations outside the classroom minus the professor/clinical instructor. They should be happy to accept the token of our appreciation and not dictate to us how much we have to give them.

I have learned a lot from your answers, thank you very much. :slight_smile:


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