In any class there is a cohort of students who are problematic. In my very limited experience, I would say that ~10% of the students in a given course are going to cause the instructor some sort of headache during the semester. I don't mean the students who need to make up an exam because they were actually sick, rather those who write you at 10:00 pm the night before the exam asking for an extension because they OMGareSOstressed or don't show up due to the death of their 6th grandmother in 2 years, etc. Sometimes these are easy to deal with and sometimes there is a metric ton of baggage that causes all sorts of complications.
It's kind of the hidden time suck of teaching. You know there is going to be the time you need to put lectures together, to give them and to grade exams and assignments, but then there are all of the "issues". Whether valid or not, they take time to deal with.
When it is 10% of the class you can mostly roll with it, assuming your class size isn't enormous. This semester, for whatever reason, my class is chock full of students with issues. Leading up to the exam this week I heard from ~30% of the class with some reason why they should be given a few extra days before taking the exam. Of those, 20% did not show up for the exam, either with valid excused absence, or not. And this is just this week!
Of course they won't all be able to make up the exam at the same time and now I have to be concerned about the advantage that these students will have over the others. Do I make a new exam? More of my time. Do I just say fuck it and give them the same thing? How many make up sessions do I allow? How many days later? Should I care? Do I care?
Based on the fact that I did the heavy lifting of putting all the lectures together last year and only have to modify/update them this year, the time I spend reacting to student issues this semester is more than the time it takes me to prep my lectures. I wish that was an exaggeration.
Life can get in the way of academics, jobs or anything. I am sensitive to that and I don't think for a minute that every student is out manipulate the system. At the same time, I'm starting to feel more like a manager than a teacher these days.
Not the kind of stuff that makes the recruiting highlight reel.