September 8, 2010
Because drunk dialing is uncool at any age
I am truly sorry you're fighting the demons of addiction. I grew up in a household where I was exposed to it every day, so I know how miserable you must be and how much pain you've caused your family. I was even more sorry when our department watched you add painkillers to the mix and nearly kill yourself. When you finally realized you had a problem in the middle of last term and checked yourself into rehab, I hoped this would help you get your life and your career back on track.
Sadly, that has not proved to be the case. I understand that while you were in rehab, you missed some important changes that took place at work that affected your online courses. The solution to that problem was to visit our tech center and get help from the people whose job it is to do this. Going on a bender, waiting until two days before your classes were due to start, and then calling our Luddite department chair to complain loudly was not a good solution, namely because her solution was to pawn you off on me. I have my own tech issues to deal with and my own courses to teach. You, however, seem to think that your courses should be my priority.
I just checked my caller ID. You called me 13 times over five days. Of those 13 times, you were intoxicated during at least eight conversations. Did you start to notice some recurring themes, namely that after I'd answered the same question more than twice and noticed your speech was slurred, I referred you to the tech center and that I stopped picking up the phone when I saw your number appear? Did you not hear the anger in my voice when, as I struggled through reloading my calendar for the fifth time and had been cooped up in my house for nearly eight hours, you called me during one of your sober moments to tell me what a great colleague I am and how my advice gave you time to go for a run and then to play golf with your son later that day?
When I ran into you in the hall yesterday, you told me again how wonderful I am, and I told you that while I appreciated the compliment, you should take a refresher course with the tech center. That is my nice way of telling you to STOP CALLING ME, particularly when you're drunk. You helped me a lot early in my career, so I feel a certain sense of obligation to you, but it stops at the point where your obligation to yourself begins. Get to AA, go back to rehab if you need to, but do something. Your family, your colleagues, and your students will all be much happier.