Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Fuck You Post

Hiram and others want a little of that frisson that the site used to give them. Before it was dying, I mean. They want it to be a little less like a Crampicle Forum with extra swearing.

Well Fuck You.

And while I'm busy handing out the Fuck You's, here's a few more:

To Little Snowy the underflake: You're upset that you scored a C- on the midterm, even though you simply failed to answer the last question (worth 20% of the total grade)? Well Fuck You (and please invest in a calculator).

To Big Snowy the Grad-avalanche: My comments on your chapter make you want to change careers? You think I should be "a little more generous and a little less perfectionist?" Well Fuck You (and get a backbone for fuck's sake).

To Unicorn the Junior Colleague: You don't have the time or patience to do any undergrad advising? You think that your time is better spent on the grads? Well Fuck You (and here's a list of my undergrad advisees for you to contemplate).

To T-Rex the senior colleague: You think that Fifty Shades of Grey is a how-to-manual for relating to the junior faculty? Well Fuck You (and not in the fun way).

To the colleague from another department who showed up, completely out of the blue at the University Committee I'm on: You aren't on the committee, and you haven't actually done any of the work we did, but you still want to come in here and tell us what we should decide? Well Fuck You (and if you want to make these decisions so badly here's my spot on the committee. Please to fucking enjoy).

To Dean Dumbass: You do realize that when you say that all vacated tenure-stream positions in the department will be replaced with new tenure-stream hires that some of us are able to do basic addition and subtraction right? Well Fuck You (preferably with a copy of the salary schedule for the vast army of administrators the university employs).

To the Physical Plant Peckerhead who keeps sending me hate mail: You are angry that I am not obeying your instructions to stop setting snap traps in my office? Yes, I get that the building is really fucking old and that we do live in a modern urban vermin environment. But did you see the size of the mouse I caught this morning? Well Fuck You (with a really big snap trap).


  1. I have a student who signs all of her work "Tanya T-Rex." (if Tanya were her name) She doesn't know it, but every time she does that, I find a reason to deduct an extra two points from her grade.

    Wish you were an animal instead of a college student? Well Fuck You.

    1. Animal or college student? Sometimes it's hard to see the difference.

    2. I had a student once who signed all of his work "HRH His Name." He was some minor Saudi prince.

      Want me to call you Your Royal Highness? Well Fuck You.

    3. I like yours better than mine, Proffie G.

    4. Well, one is eccentric (verging on nuts, but we won't go there), and the other is culturally tone-deaf.

      I'm no great fan of the British royal family, but I believe the younger (now youngest-but-one) generation goes by "[firstname] Windsor," and appropriate variations thereof, while attending college, serving in the military, etc., etc. Nobody forgets who they are, I'm sure, but at least it's a gesture in the direction of being one among equals.

      Some college proffies are soon going to have the fun of teaching the Obama girls -- no titles, but they're not exactly going to blend into the crowd, for a whole list of reasons. Fortunately, there's every reason to think that they're well-prepared academically, and they certainly have plenty of practice at being on the edge of the limelight (and, as far as I can tell, managing to avoid doing anything foolish enough to push them to the center of same).

  2. So are you catching the occasional physical plant employee in your snap traps? Or somehow speeding the evolution of a race of snap trap resistant supermice? If not, why does the peckerhead care? Does his cousin have an extremely lucrative pest-control contract with the university, on which he receives a kickback?

    If you want to really infuriate him, try filling up entrance holes with that expanding-foam stuff. This won't work as well if the mice are sliding under the door (or simply sauntering in from the hall). In that case, you may have to get them to enroll as students (at which point they'll presumably follow the example of their peers and avoid your office like the plague).

    1. P.S. I think there might be built-in calculators on smart phones (I'm not entirely sure, since I only own a dumb phone. But there's one right here on my 2-year-old refurbished Windows 7 netbook, so probably so). If not, there's undoubtedly an app. Whether the student has the math skills to make use of any of the above is another question.

    2. The mice are moving through the electrical service conduits. So there is no entrance hole to fill unless I decided to spray foam the entire service panel behind my desk. When I look out the window of my office I am staring at the bio labs across a wide alley. I sometimes wonder if the problem isn't that the lab animals are making a break for it.

      Our buildings people are generally into micromanaging us. I got into a flap with them about ten years ago over the desk chair in my office. I brought my own chair from home and gave the one that was in the office to one of the department secretaries who thought it better than the one she had. Turns out those chairs had been "specially chosen for faculty offices" and had to stay there. I pointed out to the guy that the chair was still in the building and therefore still accounted for on his inventory sheet. He retorted that I was missing the point, which apparently was that faculty offices needed to have a uniform look or some such nonsense. I replied that if I had cared about a uniform look I would have gone into a much more lucrative line of work and that given that I was sacrificing income I was going to choose my own office furniture. I thought his head was going to explode.

      So the bottom line is they are always on the lookout for unauthorized activities, and apparently trapping your own rodents falls under that category.

    3. And yes, the calculator joke is dated, but so am I. I used to use that line on actual students, but that was before they owned cell phones of any description.

    4. Office furniture is my equivalent of Frod's stapler...
      My place has a policy of inheriting the previous incumbent's furniture, which would be fine except for the fact that I'm 6 foot 2, and the guy I took over from was, at most, 5 foot plus the comb-over. In the decades he'd been in his office, he'd collected furniture that worked for him. I literally could not get into his chair, or my knees under his desk, but "rules are rules" said the buildings people.

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    6. Our furniture is very, very old (but not old enough to be vintage or charming or anything like that; the university is younger than even the youngest currently-popular "vintage" period -- mid-century modern). The only advantage is that, while there is, indeed, an inventory system to be followed (even when one is trying to discard a chair with rusty springs poking out of the seat), there's a lot of extra furniture floating around (and apparently in a warehouse somewhere), and, as long as records are (more or less) kept, we're welcome to keep it moving around until everyone is (a bit more) satisfied.

      I'm not sure there's anything to be done about the similar-vintage (in a very vintage-specific color) carpeting, laid straight over concrete, that is gradually detaching itself from my office floor. Or the bees inhabiting the area above the ceiling tile. Apparently we're due for a renovation and/or tear-down/reconstruction soon. If I read the last declaration of success regarding the budget correctly, they've funded the "design stage." I think that's the stage where they hire outside consultants (who probably don't talk to us) but no actual physical changes to anything take place. I'm ambivalent about this; when we finally get to later stages, I'll have to actually clean out my office, and move somewhere else for a while, and there's every chance that I'll end up with a less-pleasant office when the whole thing is over (notwithstanding the issues mentioned above, a have a window which looks out directly on a couple of very nice trees, which provide seasonal interest, perches for visiting birds and squirrels, etc. If I were given any input in the design stage, I'd stress the importance of natural light and views to the outside for all, which would admittedly be hard to manage given the shape/location of the building. I'd also argue that all professors need private offices, but I think FERPA may do that for me, at least to the point of making sure I don't end up in some sort of open-plan monstrosity.)