I’m not a vengeful person. I’m really not. I promise.
When I was in graduate school I was in a class about teaching reading to adults. It was taught by an adjunct whose day job was teaching full-time in an adult basic education program. For the purpose of this blog I shall call her Miss Pickle. Miss Sour Dill Pickle.
She gave us a project that was to be presented to the class and was to be graded by our peers. OK. Fair enough. But when I got my four grades, they were A, A, B, and D. I knew who had given me the D, although the grades were anonymous. It was the creepy, dweeby guy named Donald. I mentioned to Miss Pickle, in front of the class, that perhaps everyone did not understand the assignment or how to grade it, because there was no way that my project was a D product. We had quite a long and somewhat confrontational conversation about it in class. I was rather adamant about it, but in no way did I use bad language or improper behavior; (I did not stand up, threaten to hit anyone, yell, etc.). But, I was rather strong about the fact that I did not deserve a D grade that was going to affect my final grade, which indeed it did.
Well, as a result, she referred me to the Dean and recommended that I be dismissed from the graduate program. She probably didn’t know that I worked as a graduate assistant for the Dean’s office. So, the next time I worked, the Dean called me in. “What happened in Miss Sour Dill Pickle’s class last Friday night?” “Oh……OK.” I recanted my side of the story. “Well, I just couldn’t imagine the story she told about ‘our little Dawn,’” he laughed. I gave him a sideways smile.
Of course, I didn’t get kicked out of the graduate program, but I did get a B in Miss Sour Dill Pickle’s course and I did just have to eat crow as I finished out her class for the rest of the semester.
Fast forward three years later……I was in another graduate program in another state, working on a Ph.D. My major professor called me into his office. Do you know Miss Sour Dill Pickle? “Yes,” I said hatefully. “Wow, tell me about her.” “Oh, I mean yes,” I softened my tone. “No, it’s OK. Just tell me what you really think.” I told him the whole bloody story. He thanked me for the truth.
Later I found out that she had applied for a fellowship in the same program that I was in. He was the decider of who would get the fellowships each year. Needless to say, I never saw Miss Sour Dill Pickle in our program.
I didn’t mean to be the one who would keep her from getting a fellowship in our program, but revenge is indeed best served up cold. She didn’t have to throw her weight around or her authority or supposed influence. I was just a student who felt I had been treated unfairly. All she had to do was listen and act like she cared.
So, take care how you treat everyone. You never know who they might be.
What’s your best revenge story?