Much depends on the particulars, not given here. One way that sometimes does work would be "...whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."But if, by "asshole," you specifically mean someone who picks on their underlings by demeaning them (as defined in "The No Asshole Rule," by Robert I. Sutton), it may not be necessary to worry about turning into an asshole yourself. Chances are good that you'll be cheered by all the junior faculty, staff, and students that have been picked on by this person, as well as all the senior faculty who like them. Always remember, however, that you may use your power only for good or evil!
I wouldn't bet on it. Look up the subject of academic mobbing. Often, when someone is singled out by, say, a supervisor for "special" treatment, that person's colleagues often use that as an opportunity to unburden themselves on him or her, compounding the misery. In situations like that, one finds out how many friends one really has in that institution.By the way, going to one's union or staff association may help, depending on whether anyone in that organization is willing to get themselves dirty in what could be a nasty fight, but don't count on its support. Quite often, that same union or staff association would be more than willing to sacrifice that poor individual as a means of purchasing long-term peace with the powers that be.
It's true that by Sutton's wonderful definition, I am not an asshole and nobody will ever see me as one. So I don't need to worry. Thank you for reminding me and reassuring me on that point. I think I would be cheered on, but covertly (see the "everyone needs to try to at least appear to get along" issue, below). I should say, I have tenure, so my job is not on the line. I may talk to my Faculty Association.
Somebody sleeping in my bed has an old book like that on her desk. "Nasty People: How to Stop Being Hurt by Them Without Becoming One of Them" is what it says on the cover. I haven't read it, but she seems to sleep peacefully.
Ooh! thank you. Sadly not available in Kindle (for instant gratification) but I will check the library.
The Kindle version is available to us here. Is Canada is censoring Amazon?
Copyright issues, probably.
I have a colleague in another department whom I don't speak to or even make eye contact with. More than two years ago he did something stunningly rude,cruel, hostile, and demeaning to me, very much on purpose and in public. Apparently the reasons had to do with his anger that I am social friends with a departmental enemy of his and he assumed that I was scheming against him. Totally cray-cray. His behavior was so beyond the pale I spoke to a supervisor about it. I was told that "it's very important that we all get along, so you're just going to have to smile and pretend everything's fine, even if that's hard for you." Right. I figured my priority was protecting myself from hostile dirtbags and the stress that comes from dealing with them. I have no professional commerce with this guy, so I just cut him off completely. Rude on my part? Yeah, probably. Some of my colleagues certainly think so (we're a very small campus). But I don't see how I should be forced to be a martyr in my own workplace. I have a right to be here and do my job without psychotic freaks trying to give me ulcers.
OK, if there's no adult way to settle this, I recommend that the next time you need to be in close proximity with this person (e.g. a meeting or colloquium), for a day or two beforehand, eat a large quantity of cauliflower, cabbage, baked beans, asparagus. Then, sit directly in front of him or next to him, and LET HIM HAVE IT. The beauty of this plan is that no one can pin anything on you. I'm learning all kinds of things, since taking over as department Chair.
It says something about my state of mind, and probably not a good thing, that I am giggling helplessly at this image ...
You need to provide more info as to your position and theirs, and the nature of their assholery. Different situations will elicit very, very different responses. A junior colleague that repeatedly steals your lunch is different than a senior colleague that repeatedly hits on you. So, details? If you can provide them, anyway...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I was blindsided, like Surly, by an experience much like Michael from Manchester's, authored by the departmental narcissistic personality disorder. I have tenure, and an otherwise excellent file, and if I were to go up for promotion it would stand out like a sore thumb and reflect badly on the writer, not me. My department already knows he's an asshole. So there are no actual consequences, except that he thinks he's gotten away with something, and having to say hello to his smug, self-satisfied face when I run into him in the hall (because doing otherwise would "cause trouble" and then I'd be the bad guy, you see) is making me sick. I mean physically.
You don't need to do anything at all. Anyone who gets his jollies from a cheap shot like this has other problems. This is really a low form of humor, like teasing the dog: "Hey, I got food for you...no I don't!" Sad, isn't it?If it's any consolation, behavior like this in men is quite possibly the result of having a very small penis. If you still feel sick when you see him, vomit on him. If that doesn't remove his smug expression, he has even worse problems.
Oh, I figured the microdick. You are full of wonderful images today though Frodo and I want to thank you. Cheers me no end.
There are plenty of straight forward ways to solve this problem without becoming an asshole. Now, if you are concerned about not becoming a felon, that's a different story.
Embrace your own assholery.
Or not. Keep in mind that there is no real way to punish or reform crazy people. They are crazy, and actually not much in control of the damage they do. My mantra is "as terrible as it is to be around this person, it is probably infinitely worse to BE him/her." Smile out of compassion, if you can.
When I get over my current mood, this is definitely the one I'm going with.
Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.