Updated: Feb 22
At the beginning of the semester, we were assigned groups for a project in my SD module. There are three of us, and one of the girls is not pulling her weight at all. I wouldn’t mind, but I’m in my third year, so grades count, and it’s 45%. I know full well she’ll end up taking all the credit having done none of the work. Help!
You’ve presented me with a classic conundrum. You’ve found yourself a proverbial pillow princess and the way things are developing isn’t so sustainable… (sorry, I had to). Anger, frustration, and disappointment. This is how I feel when Sallie’s minions don’t pull through. But I’ve come to realise that those emotions only last for a short time, and sometimes you just need to get a grip and snap out of it. There’s no easy solution, but luckily for you, I’ve narrowed it down to two:
Give her nothing to take credit for. If she’s tapped out mentally, so should you. It’s not fair if you are spending your days slaving away in Main Lib, while she’s swanning around town going to Spoiled and getting her nails done. Frankly Donna, she sounds like a brat and she doesn’t deserve to be living in your head rent-free (didn’t you know there’s a housing crisis?). You need to teach her a lesson, and make her regret ever wronging you. Delete all the work you’ve already done, block her on every platform and make sure when you next go to class you’re so stressed you’re crying. Get the other person in on it too. Start holding team meetings very loudly in Spoiled and Top A Nails, but ignore her completely if she confronts you. Freeze her out, after all, revenge is a dish best-served cold. Worse comes to worst, you’ll all fail the assignment — that’ll teach her. Both of you can fail the assignment — that’ll teach her!
Now, to take a slightly more reasonable approach. You probably don’t want to fail, even if it would be satisfying to see her take the fall. Don’t stoop to her level, ask yourself WWMOD (What Would Michelle Obama Do?). When they go low, we go high. So let’s go high, Donna (not get high, go high). Subtly keep her informed of the progress you’re making, and follow up each of these updates with a slightly passive-aggressive smiley face and a request to meet to chat about what she’s contributing (preferably not in Spoiled). Don’t worry Donna, karma’s a bitch and it’ll come back to bite her. Think of this as a self-preservation thing, a bad grade is also going to hurt you, and while being petty might feel fun in the moment, it’ll still go on your transcript and you’ll regret it in a couple of months time. Focus on yourself, Donna, you’ve got to look after number one.
In any case, you can always privately email your professor letting them know (be sure to CC me in, firstname.lastname@example.org) and they’ll probably give you a gold star.
All my love,
Illustration: Kate Lau