Some of you may be familiar with the theory of gravity, or the theory of relativity, well…I’m going to educate you on my Group Project Theory.
Gather round boys and girls, this is an important story. So many regrets, tears, and frustrating all-nighters can been attributed to my experience with group projects.
Since I’ve had years of schooling, kindergarten to the mess of debt I’m in now, you would think that I would have mastered being a member in a group project.
You would be wrong.
What I have mastered is the fine, ancient art of DOING ALL THE SHIT MYSELF (DATSM for short). It’s a special skill that I’ve acquired and cultivated. Like wine, it is perfected with age and is done while crying hysterically out of pure, drunk rage. I’m just kidding, I’m not an angry drunk. The rage, however, the rage is very real.
As a child I was a little, introverted, bloke whenever I was thrown into group projects. I would just sit there until I was assigned something, hopefully not a speaking part. I was like a clip board – you just pinned whatever task you wanted me to do and I’d do it without saying a word back to you. I call this the “productive rock.”
Ideally, I think everyone wants to have productive rocks in their group. You give them something to do, they’d do it, and then you’d put all the rock notes together and turn it in. Done. Fast, simple, logical.
Turns out, and I learned this the hard way, that in order for a team of productive rocks to really shine, they need a PRODUCTIVE team leader.
You can’t just throw in any old asshole into the role of team leader. Oh, no. No, no, no. That’s a terrible idea. Do you know what people do with power? They take that power and they run. I don’t mean metaphorically. I mean they literally boss people into doing the project and physically disappear until the day its due; and then expect the damn thing to be perfect.
See, a team of PRs can’t always run shit by themselves. They don’t speak to each other. So maybe one of them assumes that the other would do a certain part of the project, or one of them accidentally missed something during their research. You gotta have people check that shit. Or else PRs just roll around in a panic on the ground like weebles.
The team leader is the one who has to check the project. A PRODUCTIVE TEAM LEADER.
Now, as the years went on, I grew to be a bit more outgoing in group projects. But to my dismay, I found that group project members had evolved. Instead of leaders being more leader-y and productive rocks being more productive-y, they all morphed into un-productive, excuse-making, responsibility dodging douche bags.
There were new breeds of team members that I couldn’t, in my wildest of dreams, even fathom existing.
There was the Employed Complainer: a member of your group who has a very hecktic work schedule and thus cannot come to your group meetings. They turn in their portions of the assignments late and you can’t get them to shut up about the hardships of their job.
The Technologically Inept: I can’t be the only one who met these guys. They claim they don’t know how anything relating to a computer works. They tell you stories about how they use Jurassic technology. So you give them a research portion for like gathering the book references for the project – turns out they don’t know how to use a library either.
The Invisible Member: the guy who you literally haven’t seen since the day this project has been assigned. I just realized the title sounds like a transparent penis.
The Bullshitting Plagiarizer the team member who gives you their project part and you find out that it was copy pasted from wikipedia and is basically worthless for you to use.
The Sassy Pants: they’ll do their part, but they’ll also send you fifty million messages about how they don’t like anyone else’s part and how you’re all going to fail if you turn it in this way.
The Data Eraser: this kid – be it valid or not – claims that their portion of the project was erased due to some hardware, software, whatever-ware problem. As sad as their situation is, this just means more work for everyone else.
The Printer/Power Pointer (Tripple P): this is the guy who doesn’t want to do any work, so they volunteer to print out color pictures or paper via their printer. OR EVEN WORSE – THEY VOLUNTEER TO DO THE POWER POINT.
Okay folks, let me just share something with you. Power point is the easiest fucking program to use. 8 year olds use it to convince their parents to get puppies. I swear I’m not making that up. A basic calculator is more complicated than power point.
Look, this is how you use power point.
- Step 1: Open power point
- Step 2: Type words into the ALREADY PRE-FORMATEED FOR CHRIST’S SAKE templates
- Step 3: Copy-paste images so people don’t fall asleep
- Step 4: You’re done. There is no step 4.
You don’t need to add weird fly-in slides or fancy noises! I’m serious. ANYONE CAN DO THIS. THEY COULDN’T MAKE THIS PROGRAM ANY EASIER IF THEY TRIED.
Okay, now I’m going to make a note that I’m gonna come back to this power point business later on in this post…just make a mental note, right about here. Got it? Good. Let’s move on.
Finally, the last kind of member in modern group projects is The Group Finisher. Group finisher is NOT chosen by the group, oh no – don’t be fooled by that title. The group finisher is the person who gets stuck doing all the work. They have to go back and fact-check their group member’s parts, they have to rewrite the paper or power point because it doesn’t match the rubric. They’re the only one who knows how to properly cite sources. They basically do the entire thing. OH AND THEY WILL DO IT TOO! This person has masted DATSM, because they care about their grade. They know that as glorious as it would be to see each and every one of those lazy team members get a failing grade for their crap efforts, that failing grade would also be given to the Group Finisher as well.
Now, the reason I wanted you to make mental note about that power point thing is because of this. Although power point is a stupidly easy program to use, people end up giving you their portion of the project in a large, wordy, unbroken, multi-page file.
Guess what. That means you have to do their part for them, because not only do you have to read and summarize their “summary” but you also have to cite everything as well.
So sometimes the Triple P has an easy job, sometimes they do a lazy job and it gets done by The Group Finisher, but its almost always a guarantee that its not going to be done according to the rubric.
Did I cover all the group project fiends? Or have you guys met others???