Doctors, lawyers, teachers and other professionals: would this bother you?

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Posted 3/16/2013 by BEF2008 in NSBR Board
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BEF2008
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Posted: 3/16/2013 7:43:10 PM
I have a friend who works within a profession but is not a professional. (She is a teacher aide, not a teacher.) She refers to herself as a teacher all the time.

I have a low tolerance for B.S. from her on a good day but this drives me nuts. I'm married to a teacher and I find it insulting. Sure, she's good at her job but she's NOT a teacher.

Just because you are a legal aide and/or work in a law office, you are not a lawyer.

Physicians assistants are not doctors.

WDTPT?

biochemipea
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Posted: 3/16/2013 7:44:39 PM
I don't work in any of the careers you listed, but hearing that bothers me too. It sounds like lying to me.







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styxgirl
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Posted: 3/16/2013 7:46:32 PM
Maybe she should get her teaching degree so she can speak the truth. LOL


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Posted: 3/16/2013 7:46:44 PM
Does she do it while at work or outside the workplace? Outside the workplace, I'd find it unethical and annoying. Doing so at work is probably completely unacceptable since she's misrepresenting her qualifications.



Carolina Girl 71
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Posted: 3/16/2013 7:47:46 PM
WWTPD?

This pea probably wouldn't do anything, but my opinion of the friend would definitely change - and I'd wonder if she is trustworthy in other things, too. I'd be careful in what I trusted her with. (Just wanted to answer the question you asked!)

I definitely think it's lying. My future (at the time) SIL told DH and I that she was a teacher the first time we met her - we already knew she was a TA - it definitely lowered our opinion of her.


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Posted: 3/16/2013 7:50:14 PM
Does she have teaching credentials? I have the degree and passed my teacher certification exams but my position is still that of a teaching assistant (not an aide). I do say that I am a teaching assistant because I am. My students call me their teacher (or other teacher) and I don't correct them. (They are only five and six years old.)


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Posted: 3/16/2013 7:51:21 PM
I'm going to get flamed to high heaven for this but for some reason I don't put teachers in the same category as other professionals IN THIS TYPE OF SITUATION. To clarify, many people can teach many things, but only doctors can practice medicine, lawyers practice law, and accountants practice accounting. So if she is teaching these kids anything, then to me she is a teacher, but if not then she is a liar.




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liasmommy2000
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Posted: 3/16/2013 7:52:59 PM
That's not right at all.

I work in a library but am not a librarian, nor do I call myself one, certainly not at work. My technical title is "information resources assistant" but when people outside of work ask me what I do I tell them I'm a library assistant because the actual title says nothing to most people. However it never fails that they will then consider me a librarian. I don't call myself one but nor do I correct them anymore because it doesn't work.

But that would bother me. I don't have my master's degree in information/library science so I don't use the title.



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Posted: 3/16/2013 7:57:22 PM
That's just wierd. And yes it would bother me. It's misrepresentation.

I work in an accounting firm and often will deliver personal tax returns because even though I'm an admin person, a lot of the clients know me and I can answer basic questions just from having worked there for so long. If a client asks me a question, I ALWAYS preface what I say with "well, I'm not an accountant, but"...


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Posted: 3/16/2013 7:57:42 PM

I'm going to get flamed to high heaven for this but for some reason I don't put teachers in the same category as other professionals IN THIS TYPE OF SITUATION.
This boggles my mind.

biochemipea
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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:06:53 PM
Most preschool teachers I've met don't have teaching degrees, but I've seen Peas here have near hissy fits if anyone ever suggests that they aren't REAL teachers.







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peapermint
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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:08:17 PM
That's odd to me.

Semi-related: I don't like it when people who aren't librarians refer to themselves as librarians.

tamhugh
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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:10:49 PM
I am a teacher's aide (para, IA, whatever you would like to call it). People refer to me as a teacher often and I always correct them. Interestingly enough, when I correct them in front of the teachers I work with, they are the first ones to say I am still a teacher. Again, I don't consider myself one. It may also make a difference in that we are required to have a degree here, and many of the IA's actually are licensed teachers.

biochemipea
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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:13:32 PM
I'm pretty sure preschool teachers here usually have Early Childhood Education degrees, not teaching degrees.







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ajsweetpea
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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:13:57 PM
Yes, I think that would bother me. Mostly the dishonesty of it all. I feel like when people need to brag about something that is untrue, they are clearly insecure. I know one person who brags about the successful business she used to run (it went out of business and actually did very poorly) and was hired on in an entry level at a business but brags about how she is in a director level role.


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tamhugh
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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:14:26 PM

In my area, in order to be an accredited preschool, you hire teachers with an teaching degree with an early childhood license.



And here, you have to be more qualified to be a teacher's aide in a public school than to be a preschool teacher. I have several friends who teach preschool and none of them have teaching degrees or licenses. They are also not required to do continuing education hours, but we are. My ED hours are dictated by the state DoE. However, unless it is affiliated with a daycare, the majority of preschools here are church affiliated.

MergeLeft
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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:16:15 PM
I have enormous respect for the paraprofessionals in our building. Frequently they have more experience than the teachers with whom they work, and can be invaluable in settings where a newer teacher is struggling. They do a very hard job with longer "set" hours and for less pay than I get.

But as someone who is frequently considered to be not a "real" teacher because I'm "only" a specialist teacher (kind of like saying your cardiologist isn't a "real" doctor, but I digress), I have to admit I'd be irritated to hear a para passing herself off as a teacher.



peapermint
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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:16:53 PM
Also semi-related: I have heard that some medical doctors get annoyed when people with Ph.Ds call themselves "doctor."

BEF2008
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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:17:17 PM

Does she have teaching credentials?


No. In fact she doesn't have ANY education-related education. I have no idea how she got this job, to be honest.

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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:17:33 PM
It would annoy the crap out of me. I am a law clerk and it burns my ass when secretaries or legal assistants call themselves clerks. Not the same thing AT ALL.


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Aggiemom92
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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:21:47 PM

Also semi-related: I have heard that some medical doctors get annoyed when people with Ph.Ds call themselves "doctor."


That's just ego run amok.

Frankly it annoys me when ANYONE calls themselves Dr. Smith, unless its instead of Mr. Smith. In other words, when others are using first names and you make a point of using Dr.


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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:21:58 PM
I can see this one from more than one direction.

I am a school admin with a really varied set of job duties, meaning I do more than an administrative assistant and less than a principal/director. When I say I am an administrator, it is the shorthand way of saying, I am part of the administrative staff. I'm not the director, but when the director is out, I am in charge. (somebody apparently thinks this is a good idea... ) I'm not a career administrator; I fell into this role and so I feel a little fraudulent sometimes when I say I am an administrator, like I think I am the principal/director or something, and I'm not. I wasn't even in education before this. But here I am.

on our staff, however, we do not differentiate overmuch between the teachers, the assistants, and the aides/shadows unless it is pertinent to the situation at hand. If we are talking about them as a group they are "the teachers", although I guess it would be more correct to say "teaching staff". There are material differences between the role of lead teacher and teaching assistant. Totally get that. But in most situations it is simpler, if not perfectly correct, to refer to them all as teachers, and aside from defining roles in the classroom, nobody ever makes sure to point out that there are teachers and assistants. It isn't functionally necessary to differentiate except when the title matters, or when the job duties matter.

NOt having a professional degree, a license, or a title, I don't care too much about any of those things.

Aggiemom92
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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:25:48 PM

I'm pretty sure preschool teachers here usually have Early Childhood Education degrees, not teaching degrees.


Around here they often have no degree. Or a BA in a totally unrelated field. I still call them teachers as that's their job title.


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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:27:08 PM
Yes, that would annoy me. If she was referring to some other situation...Sunday school, preschool, etc., then maybe she could call herself a teacher, but a regular school? No.

This reminds me of when my SIL met her future husband. She told us that he was a "chef." I was excited to meet a chef and get some cooking pointers. Turns out he was a cook at Chili's...not that there's anything wrong with being a cook at Chili's, but that's not a chef.


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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:28:19 PM
I am a Registered Nurse. I work with Nurses aides. I've called nurses aides out for telling patients they are a nurse, when in fact they aren't! In fact in a lot of states it is ILLEGAL for a person who is not licensed to practice nursing(RN, LPN/LVN) to call themselves a nurse. Same with Medical Assistants in Dr's offices. Most of the people there who take your blood pressure are not nurses. They're people who went to a 6 month training course. Because they can and do perform some of the same tasks that a nurse does, they think it's ok to refer to themselves as nurses.

Until you've sat for the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN and PASSED, you cannot call yourself a nurse or use the initials RN, LPN/LVN.




biochemipea
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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:28:34 PM

My general point is If you are hired as a teacher, call yourself a teacher. But if you are hired as a teacher's aid, don't try to pass yourself off with a different title.
I agree with you. All I was trying to say is that the title "teacher" isn't quite as clear-cut as lawyer or doctor.






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SMG in AZ
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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:42:17 PM

a teacher's aid

if you are hired as a teacher's aid,

Also, teachers should know the difference between a teacher's aid and a teacher's aide. Just sayin.




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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:49:45 PM
Mrs T, I'm not sure why you keep arguing with me. I'm agreeing with you.







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Posted: 3/16/2013 8:52:54 PM
I can see both sides of this, but I would not be terribly bothered by this.

When in a school, "teacher" usually refers to certified staff, but it can also indicate anyone who is teaching kids, whether that is as a certified teacher, an assistant, or a paraeducator. Schools also use the words "faculty" and "staff" to distinguish between the certified teaching staff/administrators (faculty) and all employees including support staff that may or may not ever have contact with students. Schools also use the terms "certified" and "classified" as demarcations between credentialed staff and those without credentials.

Unlike "lawyer," "doctor," "accountant," or even "professor," "teacher" is generic in use. One can be a Sunday school teacher or a water-aerobics teacher. Some states require substitute teachers to be licensed, but other states have very minimal requirements.

I might do an internal eye-roll, but I wouldn't say anything. Correcting her or reminding her that she is only an aide, in my opinion, would be a more grievous social faux pas.

KittenOnTheKeys
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Posted: 3/16/2013 9:04:35 PM
I can go either way with how I feel depending upon the actual situation and who she is trying to pass this off too. I think we all "get" that a certification makes it "official" and is required in many situations, but that doesn't mean the uncertified doesn't have the ability to teach.

Who is she trying to tell she is a teacher? I can see someone saying this to a group of young kids. There is no need to go into detail there. Even in casual conversation I wouldn't think much about it.

It would be completely different if it was a selection committee or other formal group of adults.



makingmemorieslast
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Posted: 3/16/2013 9:16:44 PM
I have 2 sisters. One is a teacher with 2 Master's Degrees and a zillion years of experience teaching, plus is constantly taking even MORE classes in the education field. The other one has a high school diploma and was a waitress for her whole life until 2 years ago when she became an aide in a local school.

The second sister refers to herself as a teacher now, and I always wonder how my other sister holds her tongue.

Maryland
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Posted: 3/16/2013 9:18:16 PM
I am a lawyer (well, have been a SAHM since I had kids) but have never heard anyone other than a lawyer call themselves a lawyer.


Cupcake
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Posted: 3/16/2013 9:38:11 PM
Yes, it would (and does) bother me. I am a librarian, I earned my master's degree in Library and Information Science. I know that one of my coworkers misrepresents herself as a librarian all the time. She really is clueless. If she wants to call herself one, then she needs to buck up the time, effort and money and earn her degree. Drives me NUTS!

When conducting personal business, I want to know exactly who I am dealing with. Working in an attorney's office does not make you a lawyer; working in a physician's office does not make you a doctor; working in a school does not make you a teacher. And working in a library does not make you a librarian!

Did I mention that it drives me NUTS?

Lisa B.


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HawkeyeGal
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Posted: 3/16/2013 9:44:10 PM
Well, at our school all of the aides are certified teachers, so in that case yes, they are teachers even if they are working as aides.


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Posted: 3/16/2013 9:45:47 PM

I am a lawyer (well, have been a SAHM since I had kids) but have never heard anyone other than a lawyer call themselves a lawyer.


There are instances, but I mostly read about it where someone gets sued .

I always think it is weird when a person misrepresents what they do.

lindywholoveskids
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Posted: 3/16/2013 10:08:37 PM
I have a degree in Early Childhood Education/ Psych ( double major)
My Credential entitles me to teach Preschool- 3rd grades. California may not issue ths particular Credential now.

There s a 2year degree program that trains people to teach preschool children.

I taught in a public school preschool, where all of the teachers were credentialed. And the Aides were asked to take 15 units of Child Development and curriculum classes.

There was clearly a difference in roles between teachers and aides.
Teachers led the teams, did evaluations ion the children ( standard) held parent teacher conferences, etc.

I'd not be happy if an aide called themselves a teacher, but despitethedifferences in education and responsibilities, we all"taught" children.


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Posted: 3/16/2013 10:23:26 PM
I have direct experience with this.

My special needs classroom had me (teacher) plus two aides. One of my aides had a Bachelor of Education 3 year degree and had taught about 20 or so years ago. She allowed her credentials to lapse while raising her family and did NOT hold a valid teaching certificate when she worked in my room -- hence she was an aide and not a teacher. She did have a degree, but it was no longer enough to obtain a provincial teaching certification. She needed to upgrade to a BEd 4 year degree to regain it.

One year she managed to get hold of a teacher's convention pass. Now, during our TC, the paras have their own convention which they are contractually obligated to go to. She wanted to go the teacher's, and managed to do so. During one session, she was sitting by a unknown lady, Janice, and they got to chatting. My aide told Janice that she was teaching in my school in my class.

Janice called her daughter, Shelley, a teacher in my school and told the story. Shelley is my friend and told me. Moral: It all comes around!

Was I pissed? No, it was par for the course. But I had zero respect for that behaviour.



*Angela
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Posted: 3/16/2013 10:28:45 PM
I would do absolutely nothing, but feel sad about her insecurity to lie about her profession. Similarly, I find it laughable when employees at H&R Block or similar prep services are referred to as "accountants," "CPAs," or "experts!"

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Posted: 3/17/2013 1:34:13 AM
I'm a CPA, and my Aunt would call her ex-DIL a CPA too. But she wasn't. She has an associates degree in accounting. She's got a good job and is an accountant but not a CPA. I didn't really care all that much but it did bug me a bit. I was always thinking "No. She didn't go thru the hell of that test and pass it. She's not even qualified to take it."


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Zella
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Posted: 3/17/2013 5:37:32 AM
Yes. As an RN BSN it bothers the heck out of me to her nursing assitants or techs call themselves nurses. No, you're not.

And a teacher's aide isn't a teacher. Unless they've got their teaching credentials and are only working as an aide because they can't find work as a teacher. Then they are a teacher.


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Posted: 3/17/2013 5:55:32 AM
Yeah it would bother me, not the same thing, the qualifications and duties are quite different.

*maureen*
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Posted: 3/17/2013 7:39:33 AM

And yes, there should be an E on the end of Aide in this situation. Good thing I don't teach English, spelling and grammar.


So serious question, do spelling and grammar not count in your class? When my son was in Jr. High (just last year) spelling and grammar counted in every class. He would lose points for poor sentence structure and bad spelling in each class not just English.

FarmDPea
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Posted: 3/17/2013 7:55:10 AM
Yes, that would bother me. One of my former techs took a 9 (?) month pharmacy tech course. She would refer to it as "pharmacy school". Uh, not even close, sister.

On a related note, it's unreal how many people call and ask to speak to the PHARMACY rather than the pharmacist. We always joke that we are going to hold the phone up to the wall and wait for a response.



Peabay
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Posted: 3/17/2013 8:04:04 AM
The MD vs. PhD "doctor" label is funny because "The practice of referring to college professors as doctors arose in medieval Europe. Gradually, the term "doctor" was reserved only for those professors with more than one college degree. Eventually that system has become standardized to three progressively difficult and irrelevant college degrees (although the particularly bright and/or shrewd can skip a masters degree).

Back to the dark ages... The medical profession was not the most respected back in those times, for obvious reasons (more trivia: it was sometime in the 1930s that a person going to an MD had greater odds of getting better than those who ate grandma's chicken soup). Some bright medical professional who should have had a career in marketing persuaded other medical "doctors" that calling themselves doctors would increase their professional standing.

Thus, the MDs coopted a term that had been solely the province of the over-educated."

So, we had it first.



Tommygirl
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Posted: 3/17/2013 8:04:48 AM
A girl I know is a medical assistant at a Dr's office. If you ask her what she does she says she is a nurse.
Then one day she was telling us about her new boyfriend who is in medical school becoming a Dr.
After a little clarification it came out that he is in school to become a physical therapist. So not the same thing!!!
I'm not sure in her case if it is ignorance. (She still think her boyfriend is going to be a MD when he gets out of physical therapy school) or if she is just embellishing.

maryannscraps
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Posted: 3/17/2013 8:11:10 AM

Thus, the MDs coopted a term that had been solely the province of the over-educated."
I didn't know that.

PhD's are often called Dr. in a professional setting. Pretty standard in some fields. They earned it, they get to be called it.

In college, my professors (none of whom were medical doctors) were always addressed by Professor or Doctor. I recently read a book that took place in Italy, and anyone with a university degree was addressed with the honorific "Dottore."

A teaching assistant is not a teacher. I've never heard any of the assistants in my kids' schools refer to themselves as a teacher. Sounds very unprofessional.

PierKiss
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Posted: 3/17/2013 8:11:18 AM
Yes, it bugs the crap out of me. But there isnt anything you can do about it. Though when I supervised my grad and under grad students and they referred to themselves as behavior analysts, I did correct them and explain the difference to them. This way they knew better for when they were writing their vitas, and when they were talking to more senior people in the field.

kimberly38
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Posted: 3/17/2013 8:19:34 AM
I was a special education aide and I never referred to myself as a teacher, always an aide.

But, just because I was an aide does not mean I was not teaching. I did teach. I may not have had the degrees the teacher had, but I did go to them for advice, etc. if I needed to do so.

So, either that may be what your friend is referring she is trying to build up her own self esteem.

But, as an aide, I did teach. Still never called myself a teacher though.

heltr
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Loc: Expat Aussie in CT

Posted: 3/17/2013 8:21:32 AM

Also semi-related: I have heard that some medical doctors get annoyed when people with Ph.D's call themselves "doctor."


I always understood it the way Peabay explained. That historically as physicians became more skilled and educated then the degree was created as a derivative of the original Ph.D.
Ph.D. = Doctor of Philosophy
M.D. = Doctor of Medicine

ilovecookies
PeaFixture

PeaNut 506,197
April 2011
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Posted: 3/17/2013 8:37:21 AM
It's dishonest and it's wrong, but it happens all the time-even here.
In the end, though, I think they're only making things more difficult for themselves. Instead of getting the respect they are so desperate for, it just backfires, and everything they say becomes suspect.
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