I really admire my husband, aka Daddy Sean in this site. Sometimes he receives the worst crap from others, but he handles them in the best way.
A couple of weeks ago, Sean received a new tuition assignment to teach Mathematics to a JC year 2 student, which he excitedly accepted because it was close to where we live. The Saturday morning of his first lesson, he kissed me after I booked him a Grab ride ($4 off!), and left promptly. I went about doing my mummy duties, when just half an hour later, I received a phone call from him, saying that he’s coming home because the assignment is off, and that he would tell me the full story when he gets home. Here’s his account of what happened…
Just as he arrived at the student’s doorstep (let’s call the student B), B’s father (let’s call him F) abruptly stopped him and exclaimed, “No! You’re not suitable to teach him!”
Shocked by F’s reaction, Sean calmly asked what was wrong. F told him he wanted an undergraduate student (but failed to inform the agent), and immediately asked, “Did you drive a Mercedes over?”
Sean replied, “Uhh no? I just got off a Grab ride.”
F continued ranting, “All you tutors just want to earn money! Taking my money and buying your big cars! This is why I wanted an undergraduate student to teach B! Which JC did you come from?”
All the while, B meekly stood behind his father, not daring to say a word.
“Yishun JC”, responded Sean.
F, “Yishun JC?! That’s such a lousy JC!”
F continued ranting on, while Sean patiently heard him out, even though he felt insulted by the man’s comments at that point. (B is in Tampines JC by the way. Not that it should matter, but the man’s judgement towards my husband’s alma mater just makes it all the more hypocritical.)
Sean thought to himself, since he was already there, why not ask if he could start with one lesson nonetheless; perhaps F would change his mind after observing his effective teaching methods. So he did, and promptly got rejected. B’s mum was standing close by, and added, “We have tried many different tutors for B, yet he’s still failing! We had a very good econs (economics) tutor, but we fired her because she was charging too much.” (Felt kind of ironic, since they were unwilling to pay for a good tutor, and was firing all the other not-so-good ones. Also, since they kept switching tutors, they did not give each tutor the time and chance to render help effectively.)
After 15 minutes or so, Sean decided to leave, since it was pointless to convince the already-biased parents.
I believe many people would think it was silly for my man to hear the man rant and insult him without retaliating. But this is one thing that I admire so much about Sean. Many times, it is futile to react negatively in such situations; in fact, it will only raise everyone’s blood pressure, and not solve anything. By remaining calm and composed, we prevent such potentially “explosive” situations from escalating. The only person looking like a fool would then be the one looking for trouble.
I recall my hubby describing a similar situation at work to me a few years ago, in which someone shouted at Sean in disagreement in front of an audience while he was doing a presentation. Sean remained composed, while the colleague ranted on to get his way. The other witnesses were surprised that Sean did not retaliate in any manner, and were full of praise for him. I am also glad he did not react in a negative manner, especially in his workplace. 🙂
There is so much for me to learn from my man! I am very proud of him in every way. Also, if anyone is looking for someone to tutor in Mathematics and Physics (JC level), feel free to ping us. 🙂