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Very satisfying

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by David Getling, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Yesterday I got a message from a parent (well off, because her kid goes to a private school and she owns some stables) who had previously contacted me in October, asked me lots of questions and then disappeared. So I told her that as she had previously wasted my time I was not prepared to tutor her son.

    From the reply I got today, she was absolutely furious. She told me that I was arrogant, there were lots of other tutors, and that I could stick my tutoring. It was very satisfying to see how annoyed this uppity parent was to find someone who wasn't prepared to tolerate being messed around.

    Putting people with a sense of entitlement in their place gives me that nice warm feeling:D.
    JL48, Mrsmumbles and tonymars like this.
  2. doctoryes

    doctoryes Occasional commenter

    So why did the parent contact you rather than one of these other tutors?
    JL48 and tonymars like this.
  3. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    I get this a lot too. I’ve had to get really ruthless this year and extricate myself from time wasters. I bet the reason the mother called David was because either her child isn’t failing so badly now, they annot fudge it anymore, or, more probably, the tutor they chose over David has fired them. I get time waster on the website introductions who buy my details after I tell them I have nothing for the next four months. Then a month or so later they start hassling me for non existent slots. Now I block out everything so the online timetable looks as if I’m booked up. I still get calls, but I have more control over the genuinely interested and the crazies. Demand is huge. If parents don’t take it seriously and don’t come in to the game organised and with a genuine desire to get started, they get just as bad a rep as a poor tutor. Cuts both ways.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  4. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Oh dear, how did she waste your time if she just asked questions and disappeared? She didn't book and not turn up she was making enquiries, is that not normal and better than booking only to cancel. I am confused.
    ah3069 likes this.
  5. ah3069

    ah3069 Occasional commenter

    Please don't waste David's time with messages that he will not agree with ;)
    adamcreen, theluckycat and needabreak like this.
  6. hs9981

    hs9981 Established commenter

    I can imagine you in a stable with a whip, maybe you could have negotiated a discount. ;)
  7. Jolly_Roger12

    Jolly_Roger12 Occasional commenter

    I know the sort of parent about whom @David Getling is complaining. They engage you in frequent and protracted phone or email conversations:

    1. Asking the impossible of you ("No. I can't get hold of this year's GCSE papers!").
    2. Trying to weedle you into doing the tuition as and when they want it, assuming you will be on standby for them,
    3. Being unable to agree on a date and time due to their own, and their child's, social life.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  8. Jolly_Roger12

    Jolly_Roger12 Occasional commenter

    sorry. duplicate post
  9. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Well he didn't say he was contacted several times just that he was contacted in October asked questions and then had no further contact, this could be for any number of reasons such as finding a more local or suitable person or indeed deciding they didn't want tuition at that time, perhaps after discussing it with her child she decided against it.

    I am not sure how the persons financial background impacts other than to contribute to the OP's idea that people who have a certain lifestyle which can afford them tuition gives them a sense of entitlement. To be honest if he responded to the parent as he posts here I am not surprised he was called arrogant.

    They are clearly a source of his income and if he is so dismissive and critical of them it might be an idea to find a different source of income relieving him of the burden of having to deal with such parents. It is simply a service provision to them after all, not a friendship or contract of employment both parties are free to walk away... and yes many of these students are being tutored for several subjects, take part in sports, play instruments and have a social life, so what? If you want the job work around it if you can and don't if you don't want to, that is the key benefit for this sort of self employment.
  10. doctoryes

    doctoryes Occasional commenter

    Agree with @Jolly_Roger12 here. But sometimes for A level tuition you are dealing with the students themselves rather than the parents.
    At this stage in the year I would tell such a parent that I was full and not taking on new tutees until September implying that they should have made their mind up earlier.
    needabreak likes this.
  11. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Yes, that's exactly right.

    And NO, needabreak, it's not simply service provision. With a lot of very poor teaching in so many schools (including private ones) a good tutor is doing students a massive favour, and can afford to turn away those who incur his displeasure.
  12. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Most tutors I know (and I know quite a few) are able to turn away tutees since demand outstrips supply in many parts of London and the South East your area included.

    Really... you don't charge? How generous of you, most tutors do charge in return for supplying a service, not unlike dentists and accountants most of whom do not publicly criticise their clients as you do.
  13. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Having had many expensive crowns and a root canal done by one of the best specialists in the country I have paid out a large amount of money. However, unlike you and entitled parents and students, I have the sense to realise that there is enough demand for these people's services that they don't need my money. So, they are indeed doing me a massive favour, which I very much appreciate.
  14. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    This is rather confused, you don't know me and I personally know some very senior dentists globally (Wimpole St included) they practice because they can and it brings with it an income, some also train others for less money and this may well be a favour to the profession.

    Clearly you have no idea about why people do things, just because they earn more than you and live in nice homes and areas that you quite possibly cannot comprehend doesn't mean that they have your lifestyle or expectations and thus are doing your dentistry as a favour to you, many of them have a high maintenance lifestyles which require and rely on the high incomes they earn in their professional lives. No matter how high profile your dentist they really are not doing your dental work as a favour to you and the idea that they are is somewhat deluded, but if it makes you happy (which I very much doubt) to think as you do go ahead, just don't assume others are wrong in thinking very differently to you.
  15. NoSuchThingAsNormal

    NoSuchThingAsNormal New commenter

    I don't know any dentists.

    I think I save myself lots of grief by offering regular fixed time slots - "All I have is Wednesday at 4 or Thursday at 8. Will either of those work?"
    Mrsmumbles and needabreak like this.
  16. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    that is pretty much what I do.
    If I get a new request, the answer is I have ABC . They take it or leave it. If I get a request from an existing client, say for a different day, I will ask others if they can swap but make no promises. I lose the odd one here and there as I can't accommodate them but I am pretty much full in the after school / work slots so the space is never available for long, it soon gets filled
    Mrsmumbles and needabreak like this.
  17. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    It’s more that they ask for a slot when I have one, so I used to yes ‘yes, I have one, please give me a time to come over and do the assessment’..then zero reply. Lots of parents just do not get that tuition turnover is very different to schools...I work week to week and am doing pretty well if I can get bookings of a month ahead blocked up. So then, predictably, I’ve set up a slot with a more reliable and organised parent in the one to three month interim period that parent one took to call me back. Slot has now gone. I’m not paid to chase the parents for work. I already do a lot unpaid. So then it’s my fault I didn’t hold the slot open. You honestly cannot win with some people.
    needabreak likes this.
  18. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Indeed but that wasn't what was described. I'd be warey of anyone seeking tuition this late in the day unless it is for Sept anyway.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  19. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Me too. I’m now able to spot a regrettably identifiable ‘type’ of parent who:
    1) tries to haggle the price. Repeatedly. Most weeks!
    2) thinks they can do a better job than I can...their child is usually really embarrassed by their parent doing this and both of us wish that that said parent would fleck off to do the shopping so we can get on with the lesson...
    3) blames me for their child’s low marks achieved in the subject I teach them, but the marks aren’t mine, they’re from rigged intentionally low marks from different and frankly inferior tuition centres. Unbelievable.
    4) blames me for their lower school reports in my subject. We all know that many year 6 reports have a lot of copy and paste, are graded 9n a distributional curve and, nowadays, have the ridiculous 1-9 grading biz, which makes my blood boil. Shock, horror! Ten year old Fred would get a D if he sat his English GCSE tomorrow! ( hang on in there Fred, that’s actually quite an impressive indicator)
    5) thinks I can read whole Classic English novels ‘into’ the brains of their book -phobic child, like some bizarre voodoo vocab ritual. Not gonna happen.
    JohnJCazorla and tonymars like this.
  20. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Too tired, just cross purposed, apologies!

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