Oh, Yuck. Other People.

As an introvert, I feel like there may be some sort of bias when I say that I don’t like people and I want them all to go away and I want to live in a world where I’m not forced to interact with others. People can be real buttheads sometimes. But I don’t think I’ll ever get that world, so I deal with people in the best way I know how: in severe moderation.

I think another acceptable lesson might be, 'How to do everything yourself at the last minute because no one did their part and oh my god I'm panicking.'

I think another acceptable lesson might be, ‘How to do everything yourself at the last minute because no one did their part and it’s due in like 12 hours and oh my god I’m panicking.’

I came across this image, and I thought it described the fun of group projects quite adequately. Most of us will probably remember group projects from school in a rather negative way, especially if your groups were chosen for you. If you got to choose your own, at least you could pick people who you knew would do a better job than Lazy McClassDitcherson. (I suck at names shut up.) But when your teacher chose your groups, you sat awkwardly at the table with people you didn’t know, silently judging most of them. That guy is the class clown, he can’t possibly be very bright. This girl never does her work. That one smells funny. Clearly I am the smartest person at the table.

Some of us hated taking leadership, but we had to do it because otherwise no one would know what to do. All cognitive function would cease to function, and their presence was usually more of a hassle than a help. Eventually you started to think, if only they would all leave so I could do the work myself, then at least I know it’d be good quality. Well it turns out you were a prophet, because that’s exactly what you got to do. All of it. By yourself.

And then the due date rolled around and no one knew what they were doing. Even you didn’t know what you were doing because no one was on the same page anymore and it was a disaster.

With that in mind, I figured we could share some of our favorite stories of dealing with other people! One time I was in a group where everything went mostly okay. Some people didn’t do much, but they weren’t bad. All except one guy who kept making changes without telling anyone else. Then when the day for our presentation came around, he called us ten minutes before we were up to let us know he wouldn’t be there because his license was suspended and could someone else please take his part. The part that no one knew about because he changed it all.

Then there was the guy who assured us that he didn’t need to study or practice because he could improv it all. Then on presentation day he revealed he had no idea what to talk about.

Anyway. People are weird, and I’m interested in hearing funny stories. What are your experiences with group projects? What about people as a whole, whether it be from school or work or just day-to-day interactions? Were you ever the one holding back a group project?

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6 thoughts on “Oh, Yuck. Other People.

  1. I would’ve probably smacked those two. I hate people who don’t do work and get credit just the same. I was almost always the leader in groups, which is just as well because work would’ve never been done otherwise. =x

    • I didn’t smack them, but then again, we didn’t all get the same grade. Group evaluations played into it. We had to write about how each member did and what we learned. This is an excerpt from one of my evals when I was in a rather… ill-performing group. At least the teacher got a kick out of it.

      “So what did I learn from all this? Not that much this time around, nothing I didn’t know already, anyway. Except for maybe the fact that if someone decides not to show or doesn’t do their work it will be better to do their work for them and just have them stand there and look pretty, because having certain morons actually try to do work is more stress than it’s worth, like sending a baby to walk a tight rope over a lava chasm. They don’t actually accomplish anything, and the whole time you’re sitting there holding your breath hoping they don’t do something stupid.”

      Overall I was just very glad that we were also graded individually.

  2. I remember in sixth grade we had to do a presentation on… something. I don’t remember what it was, other than it was for history. The group I was in was probably THE WORST group of all groups, because three of the five members were involved in relationship drama with each other (it was rather ridiculous).

    I’ve always faired poorly in group projects, being “the smart one”. No one gave a rat’s butt about me in general, being “the weird one” who read all the time and didn’t follow contemporary music, until it came to group projects. Then everyone assumed I’d do everything. Of course, they were right. Not only was I concerned about getting a good grade, but so were my parents. And, of course, I was dying to ingratiate myself with “the cool kids” so I sucked it up and did their share too.

    The sixth grade was particularly memorable because it was one of the few times my parents didn’t insist on holding the project meetings at our house, which was off limits because my dad was working upstate and my mom was working full time. I remember doing absolutely nothing on the project when I got there, instead eating snacks, being the odd one out during a “not it” declamation over a particularly rancid fart (I never understood those games), and overall silently suffering as soda was spilled and greasy fingers got over my notebooks as the other girl flirted with two of the guys, sparking more relationship resentment (which started in fourth grade ffs).

    I made note cards for everyone, I remember, and we did well on the group presentation, but individual members failed when it came time for the answer-and-question portion from the class & teacher. Very satisfying to receive an A for my hard work and watch as they threw a fit to the teacher about receiving a different grade (read: a D. wish it was an ‘F’, but they presented their notecards well).

  3. I too am an introvert, so on a whole, people suck XD There are two stand outs in my mind of really bad group projects. First year uni, had a random assortment of people as a group, 2 girls too wrapped up in girly things and a guy who could barely speak English. By the end of it, I had done 99% of the work, the other 1% was done by the guy who was foreign, and then one of the girls comes out with ‘Oh we did such a good job!’ ………. WE?!?!?!?! 😛 Then the other was just recently, my group was picked for me (yay -__-), they were next to impossible to get into contact with, I literally force fed them the topics they needed to research, information, scientific papers and website. On the day of the presentation I met up with them a few hours before and get asked ‘Ok, so what is my bit again?’. THEY HAD DONE NOTHING!! D: Boy was I glad that when that project was over! 😛

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