Friday, July 23, 2010

99 bottles of beer on the wall...

As I don't want to be overtaxing your attention, I'll just keep it to the most outstanding event of this past week in the life of Dean Suzy. The beer.

I dragged into the dean's office rather tired, as I was up grading (yes, I have to teach and administer) until the wee hours. My secretary was hopping mad. "People are just so inconsiderate and stupid!" Sure, I'll sign that any hour of the morning. But what's up?

It took a few questions to understand what had transpired. When she went to put her lunch in our locked microkitchen, she discovered that someone had stocked the refrigerator with beer. Lots of beer. So much beer, that there was no room for her lunch.

Now, for many of our fair readers this would be a cause for celebration. But there is a problem here: we are a drug-free and an alcohol-free school. My secretary is a recovering alcoholic. We have another staff member just back from drying out. Not only were the (empty) cases blocking the closets, there was no space for people's lunches. I quickly decided to empty the fridge, lock the beer in my office, and put a note on the fridge: See Suzy about the beer.

I forgot to add "See Dean Suzy about the beer."

Next morning I had a nastygram in my box. From a colleague in another faculty. Addressed to "Mrs. Suzy". Turns out, all the staff keys fit our microkitchen. And he was having a party, he's new and was bringing a case of beer for his new colleagues to enjoy and where did I get off taking his beer and ruining his party for him (really - he sounded just like a snowflake!). I could have put a note on the fridge before he put his beer in it letting him know that was our private fridge. But no, I had to go and ruin his party yadda yadda yadda. I think he missed the bit about me being a professor and a dean when he looked up my email in the staff catalogue.

I replied first thing in the morning stating that I understood that he was upset, but was he aware of Ordinance 27/03 forbidding alcohol and other drugs in the workplace? I explained that we had believed that the kitchen was ours, not the whole school's. We paid for the fridge ourselves and it's for people's lunches. And we have alcoholics who should not be faced with a wall of beer first thing in the morning. Oh, and I noted that he could have put a note with his name on it on his beer, so we could have contacted him. And I cc'd his dean, sweetly offering to put the case in his dean's office so he can pick it up there.

He hasn't said a peep, but my dean colleague (with whom we are in a budget struggle) suggested Mr. Beer and I meet for a coffee and iron out our communication problems..... No way. Monday morning I lug the beer up to their offices.



  1. Well, for one, he *is* a snowflake. Nothing "like" about it.

    And, for two, dump it down the drain. I mean it.

    Or call him, tell him he has 1 hour to clear it out, and then have the wall of shame there to chastise him like the idiot he is for inconveniencing the entire department and assuming he had any right to use an entire fridge for himself.

    Don't let him off the hook. There are times to play nice, and this isn't one of them.

  2. don't you dare take his beer to him!!!!!

  3. I'd lodge a complaint with the next-higher-up person. Unless they had permission from the administration (like you sometimes get for conferences and stuff), rules are rules are rules are rules.

  4. I was just going to say! It's not your job to lug his beer to him. And as for your Dean "colleague", I don't see why you should waste any time having coffee with some little twerp to "iron out your communication differences". You don't HAVE any communication differences; you've already said anything you need to say. And he's taken up enough of your time already.

    I rather like the idea of dumping the beer in the nearest toilet, but perhaps you don't want to be that confrontational ...

  5. Am I the only one who's thinking WOOHOO FREE BEER?

  6. Dr. M, I'm with you. No notes, no emails, no nothing. Just a case of beer for me.

    Dean Suzy, it is my view that Deans do not carry beer for faculty and (forgive my chauvinism) ladies do not carry beer for men. Under no circumstances should you or your staff drag a loose case of beer across campus. Build up morale among your faculty by having a social hour.

    Or, if you happen to be the dean at my school, contact the office of the good looking and talented chemistry professor.

  7. OMFingG. Report the incident to whomever is in charge of overseeing Ordinance 27/03. And good gravy, don't you dare port his beer to him or his dean! You're not even supposed to have it in your possession, missy! Have you already forgotten? ORDINANCE 27/03. DUH.

    Maybe Campus Police could come pick it up. After all, it IS illegal there.

  8. I'd engage in 'counter-flakiness'. Put the case out in the hallway. Project complete and utter ignorance about its fate. "the case of beer? I dunno. it's gone? huh."

  9. Hey, you guys are great! And you're right, I'm still too new at this dean-ness. Deans don't cart beer around for idiots. I have to get rid of some of my Ms. Nice alter-ego. I really like the campus police idea. I bet they can figure out something useful to do with the case. If I don't get an email by Monday morning telling me when Dr. Booze will be by to pick it up, I'll call the campus cops and make their Monday.

  10. Can't wait to see the follow-up for this one! The politics here are too rich for this not to have a sequel.

  11. I can't tell you how many times I wanted a beer for breakfast before teaching class. And I'm not even an alcoholic! It would just smooth everything out so nicely... But I never did it. As for that teacher's stash? Take it and drink it all, leaving no note.

  12. I hadn't even thought of the moral-boosting Faculty Social Hour! Sounds like a great plan. Though I agree, the campus police are better.

  13. OK, it's been a few days, but something about the comments strikes me as a bit odd:

    What part of "no alcohol allowed on campus" are some of you not understanding?

    No "morale-boosting social hour" allowed.

    No "take it for yourself." (unless you suggest Suzy smuggle it to her car one six-pack at a time?)

    Dean Suzy could get in trouble for having it in *HER* office for even 1 hour.

    And what if some tee-totaling admin catches wind of this and thinks she did the wrong thing?

    Suzy, PLEASE give us an update soon!

  14. I wrote a sweet email to Other Dean and told him that I think that email is just dandy for communication and that Prof. Beer hasn't contacted me yet, so could he please send a slave to my office Monday morning at 9 to pick up the case.

    At midnight Sunday I get an email from Prof. Beer. He wants to meet with me to discuss all the allegations I have made (one for each bottle?). It's convenient for him Tuesday. But not for me, I'm not going in on Tuesday if I can help it. Gotta wait for a repair guy to maybe show up at home and fix some stuff.

    I wrote back that Wednesday would be better, so we will meet then. In my office, i.e. on my territory. I told my secretary and she had a good laugh - oh my, that Young Mr. Beer! His daddy was a professor here, too, you know. He could get so pumped up if he thought you were slighting him. Must be a chip off the block!

    So does this mean that professorships in Other Department are granted patrilinearly?

  15. Was the campus anti-alcohol when Daddy was there?

    I presume Daddy is an Emeritus, so how much power could he wield?

    If you haven't already, notify your superiors and gather allies.

    Sounds like you work at some inbred state U or private SLAC.

    P.S. As Dr. Snarky suggested above, find out who is in charge of Ordinance 27/03 and have them drop in to advise Beer-Boy about future consequences of his ignorance of the rule.

    P.P.S. Also see if you can find out if, indeed, that micro-kitchen is for your department alone (seems jurisdiction of the fridge is clear since your department paid for it.) I am sure such a petty concern was previously thought unnecessary since, after all, who could foresee an adult bonehead commandeering an entire room for his own personal raging kegger without finding out who uses the room and if he would be inconveniencing anyone.

    P.P.P.S. He's a snowflake. Melt him!

  16. Wait wait wait. . . I'm a little confused on the details here-- the O.P. is being overly vague--
    1) What *kind* of beer? Is it anything good?

  17. It was Coors Light, Lemurpants.

    And she took it out before it was cold.

    So it was piss-warm Coors Light.


  18. ". . . he's new and was bringing a case of beer for his new colleagues to enjoy..."

    Coors Light. Passive aggressive, then! Cheeky newcomer.
    Add scary-quote-marks liberally.

    ". . . he's new and was bringing a case of 'beer' for his new 'colleagues' to 'enjoy'..." Doesn't it read better now?


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