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So your group member is a ghost - who you gonna call?

source // giphy

So I decided to do one of those ghost hunting tours the other day. It was freezing, the sky was pitch Blackstone pitch black and the wind was howling “Corporations Act, Corporations Act”, which I thought odd, but I exuberantly carried on.

There was a group of us, which should have made the experience less tense. But as we crept through the halls of this abandoned textbook factory I all of a sudden found myself alone. Could I have taken a wrong turn? As I tried to find where the group had gone the atmosphere became more and more unsettling. The floor was making the strangest creaking noise, an eerie sound akin to that of an insurance company collapsing. Then BAM! Out of nowhere I saw something, could it be? Could it be the ghost of the very much alive Rodney Adler?! It was at this point I realised, what I thought was a wonderful evening that I had planned turned into a dark reality, I was in a group assignment, and the group had run away.

So how do you know when you’re dealing with ghost group members?

There are key criteria you have to be on the look out for:

  • You’ve never heard of them before;

  • They don’t attend lectures or tutorials; and

  • You always make the first move to plan the assignment…and the second move, and third…

But if these criteria don’t suffice, I’m sure you’ll discover the truth soon enough.

So what do you do?

Grab a coat, beanie, scarf, make a tea, do anything to get warm! (Because ghosts make you cold, c’mon go watch the sixth sense) Get to work, you’re in for the long haul now!

Now, it can be helpful to do as much as possible to get in contact with your deceased learned friends, and then use this as some sought of material to show to your lecturer, to achieve requisite sympathy so that they may grant you an extension, or consider being your partner… However, I must caution you, the lecturer’s response is likely to suggest that this is something you must sort out yourself, and you will encounter such scenarios in the work place (I assume you frequently use Ouija boards as a lawyer – I point you towards R v Young [1995] QB 324 for some Ouija board shenanigans). You therefore really only have two options; Cry, or post angry rants on the unit discussion boards, which while unhelpful to yourself, will bring amusement to fellow classmates, so that’s a plus. To be honest though we’ve all been here, and there really are limited options available. If group members are not going to do work, it is hard to change that. My best advice is to take ownership of the group, step up as the leader and be extremely organised, to make sure that regardless, the assignment is completed, and completed well.

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