That was a close call! A student just asked for my help at a computer as she was trying to download files from her voice recorder to the computer. She had the audio cable plugged in and was frustrated that it wasn't working. I mentioned to her that she was using the wrong type of cable, that she needed a USB cable and pointed out the differences.
This student was very insistent that I was wrong and that she has done this just yesterday but today it was not working. I told her that it would be impossible to have transferred data with that cable, and asked her if perhaps she recalls a different cable again, pointing out where on both recorder and computer the cable would have attached; again, she insisted I was wrong and dis so in a rude manner.
At this point, I got upset. I actually know what I am talking about, and I am 100% certain that she was wrong. I should have let it go, even though she was pretty mean to me but I snapped back in a louder tone, "I'm sorry, I can't help you then, I have no idea how to transfer data with an audio cable and if you insist that you did so, you know more than me." I walked away, and went back to my desk.
I don't think what I said was all that bad and I'm not even sure my reaction was uncalled for, but in the context of where I work and what I do, I felt almost immediately guilty that I took her comments so personally.
I fumbled through my desk on a hunch and happened to have the correct type of data cable and I returned to her workstation and showed it to her, demonstrated how it would be connected and asked if she would like to borrow it. I told her I was sorry if I got huffy - she didn't choose to apologize in return but I felt better about what I did.
for those of you who work or have worked in learning environments, I suppose you can understand the occasional frustration. I am not beating up on myself for this, I feel good about my initial interaction up to the point where I allowed myself to get so upset over what really was nothing. However, I am glad that I was able to put it all into perspective so quickly.