Ask Evan: People problems and social dilemmas edition

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By Evan Lu, Co-Editor-in-Chief Evan Lu offers readers lighthearted advice on day-to-day conundrums.   Group Project Nightmares   Q. My Econ teacher assigned us a podcast project, but my partner is just so clueless. What do you mean you “don’t know what GDP is?” We just had a test on it last week! Oh, you’re super busy...

By Evan Lu, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Evan Lu offers readers lighthearted advice on day-to-day conundrums.  

Group Project Nightmares 

 Q. My Econ teacher assigned us a podcast project, but my partner is just so clueless. What do you mean you “don’t know what GDP is?” We just had a test on it last week! Oh, you’re super busy this week? I’M BUSY TOO AND I’M NOT COMPLAINING! I don’t want to do the whole podcast on my own, but I also can’t afford to get a bad grade on this. Your thoughts? 

 A: No question, you’ve been dealt a doozy of a hand. The pain of slacking partners is universally felt, and this is no different. It’s not your responsibility to do their job – explain the situation to your teacher. But you can turn this gloomy predicament into an opportunity to shine: be the bigger person! Help your partner learn the economic principles they’re struggling with; troubleshoot their time management difficulties together. This way, you’ll end up with a great project, a new friend and a lasting positive impression on your Econ teacher for when you’re looking for a college rec letter down the road.

 Cafeteria Politics 

 Q: I’m finally a senior. Each year, my friend group sits at the same table. However, our lunchroom dominance is being challenged by a group of freshmen. With no respect for tradition, they’ve taken over our spot, relegating us to an inferior table across the cafeteria. How can we regain our rightful seats? 

 A: Ah, freshmen. I’m familiar – their ravenous little stomachs descend upon the cafeteria like a plague, pouring in from all doors and directions. If they’ve taken over your table, there’s little you can do. Try everything: negotiate, barter, bribe with pizza sticks. If all fails (freshmen, in my experience, are terribly stubborn), you may need to pivot. Find a new table, sit outside in the courtyard or use your senior privileges to leave campus for food. If you choose the latter, keep some of your takeout Chipotle to flex on the freshmen. Ha! Looks like you still get the last laugh. 

 

They’re Coming For My Job! 

 Q: I work as a part-time waitress at a local food place. My friends are looking for jobs and want to work with me. Nothing against them, but work is my only haven from the day-to-day drama of personal life, and I’d rather not interact with them on the job. How do I convince them to work somewhere else? 

 A: Dang. This sucks, but there are a few strategies you can try. First, attempt to find them an offer they can’t refuse: their dream job, like working at the Gateway Panera and getting free cookies after closing. If that doesn’t work, you’ll have to get more extreme. Tell them your boss is terribly annoying and borderline psychotic – there’s a good chance this is true anyways. 

Maybe you should rethink why you don’t want them working with you in the first place. Friends should make life fun, not stressful. You deserve better – don’t settle for less just because it’s available. 

If you have questions, submit them to [email protected] or @thespoke on Instagram.


Evan Lu can be reached at [email protected]

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