Yesterday I failed to live up to stoic ideals by becoming angry at a colleague.
The situation was the following:
The colleague in question had last week loudly proclaimed that they were not willing to do any extra work concerning working with the new computer system and remote teaching tools at our school, claiming they were too old to do that.
They also berated the head mistress, who was not present, for demanding too much.
When I came to my desk in the teachers room yesterday, I was quite surprised to find a heap of copied paper with a note by this teacher attached to it, demanding I upload the pile of paper, worksheets, into the system and make it available to certain pupils of a number of classes.
So, this teacher was at the same time unwilling to do what the current situation required, getting somewhat knowledgeable about remote teaching because of the COVID-19 crisis, while at the same time demanding of me, the school admin, to shoulder their part of the work. By doing this, they had accidentally triggered one of my few pet peeves:
I simply cannot stand people who are unwilling to do their part and then expect others to fill in for them.
As a result, I got angry. In fact, I got angry to a level nobody had expected of me. I am usually very calm. I was even commended by our head mistress recently for consistently remaining calm under pressure. This time I failed remaining calm and I failed in an object of life outlined by Marcus Aurelius:
Effectively, I was temporarily among the ranks of the insane. After I calmed down again, I had made it clear to my colleagues that I was unwilling to do anything for anybody that they were capable of doing but simply refused to, I was approached by several colleagues voicing their surprise of seeing me angry. One even stating they had not thought I had the capacity.
And that was the moment when I left the ranks of the insane again and realized I had failed living up to my stoic ideals.
Instead of getting angry, I should refused without getting angry and offered assistance. It is as simple as that.
I should have taken them aside and explain again how to upload files into our remote teaching system (we use a modified version of moodle, by the way). If they had again refused to listen and learn, I could have explained that I was unwilling to step in if they were unwilling to learn something that is essential in the current situation. Besides, I would not have been able to upload the printed paper anyway, since the school does not have a scanner, yet. This of course made my anger more futile. The task required was impossible to fulfill anyway.
I hope I will do better next time a situation like this arises. The good thing that came out of it is an interesting entry in my stoic diary, and I learned that pet peeves do not belong in the mind of a stoic.
There is still a long road ahead.