Monday, February 4, 2013

early thirsty: GODDAMNIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Q. Have you ever told your department chairman or dean (or the school president) to just GO FUCK HIMSELF?!?!

Have you?

Please narrate/describe/share the stream.

Please.

17 comments:

  1. Not in THOSE words, but I whisper it silently to myself after every sentence I say to one of them.

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  2. No, but it's on my list of Things to Do the Year Before I Retire.

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  3. I haven't, but one of my colleagues yelled FU at an upper administrator. He was so proud of himself that it was pretty ridiculous. I wish that I could tell the whole story without giving away my identity.

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  4. Yeah it went something like this:

    First, take a big step back... and literally, FUCK YOUR OWN FACE! I don't know what kind of pan-pacific bullshit power play you're trying to pull here, but Asia Jack is my territory. So whatever you're thinking, you'd better think again! Otherwise I'm gonna have to head down there and I will rain down in a Godly fucking firestorm upon you! You're gonna have to call the fucking United Nations and get a fucking binding resolution to keep me from fucking destroying you. I'm talking about a scorched earth, motherfucker! I will massacre you! I WILL FUCK YOU UP!

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  5. Ah, yes. Back in the days as Crumbling College. I was Vice Dean after a bizarre skirmish that I can't relate here without giving too many details. I had long applied to my current school, and suddenly the job offer came through and I signed.

    The conversation with the dean (whom I despised) ended with a smirking "Fuck you" as I held up my new contract to the light. The expression on his face was priceless, what a shame I didn't get a pic.

    The president called me in for a heart to heart and asked what he could do to make me stay. After some though I suggested (honestly!) tarring and feathering a specific colleague, X. The president thought for a moment and said: I'd love to, particularly because it would be X, but it's not permitted in the regulations. I smiled, shook hands, and pranced out.

    Yes, gender was at the bottom of the issues. And competency. And money.

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  6. Sorry; the closest I've come is nearly bursting into tears (not manipulative tears, tears of real shock and dismay) when a chair told me that the conditions of employment he could offer me in the spring term were very different from those that had been quasi-promised when they were recruiting me for the fall (these were two different schools, but yes, I should have been less surprised the second time, and, in fact was. I think I actually cried, or came even more perilously close, the first time). That might actually have been a more uncomfortable position for the chair.

    I've been angry (though less shocked) at even more unfair situations since, and have written a few strongly-worded emails to various people with more power than I, but the strength came from inconvenient facts brought out into the light of day, not cursing (though I've definitely done a bit of that inside my own head). Such is the plight of the contingent, I suppose.

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  7. Oh I so look forward to the day. (With my next appointment in hand.)

    In the meantime, a constant flow of passive-aggressive email (in both directions) will have to do, in which the chairman and I just about say it to each other in so many letters.

    This reminds me of a story. My PhD adviser at one point was very unhappy with this department chairman. Once at a party with his research group he uttered the unforgettable words, for all to hear:

    "Yesterday he little shit. Today he chairman. Tomorrow, he will be little shit again!

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    1. So your Putterer in the history of Denmark advisor was Russian? Or Polish? Chinese-Vietnamese-Japanese? Hungarian? A Buryat?

      Grammar gives things away.....

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    2. He has a charming directness I've always admired. See my soon-to-be-published blog post "You Have Psychological Problems".

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  8. I like my chair (he does more work than he gets credit for and never complains about it), can't understand what the hell my Dean is talking about half of the time, and am terrified to the point of paralysis of everyone above that on the chain of command. If I said "fuck you" to my chair, he'd probably apologize for my bad language. If I said it to my Dean, he would launch into a fifteen minute rant about beluga caviar or something. If I said it to the VP, he/she (I forgot what arbitrary gender I assigned earlier) would start beating me with a shoe, and if I said it to the President, some hunter would piss on my bones in three years.

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  9. When I quit my teaching job, I wrote a thank-you memo to my nemesis, the man who was behind all of the campaign to get rid of me. I outlined to him how, despite all his efforts to make my life miserable, I still managed to succeed, including finishing my second master's degree and my Ph. D. An attempt to "punish" me by ordering me to attend an in-service course on alternate learning styles eventually led to me writing the exams for Mensa.

    I left it for him on my last day and I sent copies to my department head and the dean, both of whom had their own axes to grind against me. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when they read that document.....

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  10. Yeah, I said it when I left my first job, but not in so many words. It was more like, "Don't treat whomever you hire to replace me the way you treated me if you expect to keep him/her."

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  11. As no less than John Lydon observes, "I don't need to swear. I have a big vocabulary." I've been given more than enough provocation to do it, particularly when I was an Accursed Visiting Assistant Professor. After the end of that job, I did call one of the most egregious offenders a "bloodsucking vampire" and "hypocrite." I think those terms were much more expressive.

    Once one gets tenure, of course, things like this can be remembered for decades. I therefore tend to be more cordial than perhaps I should be. Also, obscene language can constitute a "threatening workplace," so it might backfire.

    What I have done while facing a particularly odious university administrator is to have emitted a loud, nasty fart. It was a glorious thing, of the kind a trucker would be proud: the kind that burns off eyebrows, peels paint off the wall, and cracks windows from the overpressure. If that administrator was deaf, dumb, and had no olfactory sense whatsoever, there's still no way he could have missed it, since although he didn't acknowledge it voluntarily, his eyes were tearing.

    This is why, at least once previously in this forum, I counseled a junior faculty member that if there was indeed no adult way to handle an obnoxious colleague, the next time it was necessary to spend time in the same room as this person, load up beforehand on cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus, and baked beans, then sit next to or directly in front of this person, and let them HAVE IT.

    The beauty of this, of course, is that there's nothing they can pin on you. You can even get sympathy points, if you claim, "Sorry, but with all the stress, I'm not feeling well..."

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    1. That's beautiful. I learn so much from this blog.

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    2. Funnily enough, I wouldn't have thought this would impress a good-looking Bond girl. But then, James did tell you that it isn't a good idea to fire a gun in an airplane...if only Goldfinger had realized that. ;-)

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    3. Goldfinger was probably just WAITING to utter the line, "Pull my finger..."

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