Saturday, October 5, 2013

Second Chance Saturday. "Miserable Little Sycophant."

We're floating a new feature, Second Chance Saturday. We've picked a post that did not receive much love the first time around, and are re-posting it in the dead zone of Saturday...


Dear Sniveling Sycophant,

 You will, no doubt, someday be made dean. I don't particularly look
forward to that day, but at least I have the consolation that you are -- as we all quite clearly recognize -- an absolute idiot. We have read your emails with all their, let us say, nonstandard grammar. We have heard you hold forth at faculty meetings. Why, pray tell, do the stupidest members of the faculty always adopt that "you are all idiots and so I must tell ye," tone? We have all (most of us, actually, but parallelism is important) served with you on committees. You, sir, are stupid.

 Yes, well, conceded: you are actually of average intelligence. But you are surrounded by highly intelligent people, most of whom see through you. So while the administration lies to us, screws us over, and guts our programs, you smile and applaud it all. Yes, the administration has made some good decisions. Our doors are still open, after all. Students (kind of) come in. We get paid. But didn't you notice a few things? Like, course caps raising slowly but surely? Increased numbers of exploited adjuncts? A gutting of some academic programs to pay for athletics? Lack of funds for research and conferences? Are you blind? Have you no values?

 Someday, you will be reading my student evaluations and writing my annual review. But you should know a few things. I know you. I know what you are, and I have tenure. Moreover, I have always wanted to move to Seattle and open an indie bookstore/recordshop. You can't frighten me. So, good luck with that, you ass kissing sniveling miserable sycophant.


  1. Ah, the Suit of average intelligence. Or, if female, the Heels and Hose of average intelligence. Anyone on a campus who wears a suit or heels and hose (or all three!) is suspect, particularly if he/she is careful about enunciation. I've served on a few high muckety-muck committees with this subspecies. They're all about form and miss the point on substance.

    We inexplicably elected one president of the academic senate a few years back, and within six months the entire rest of the board resigned.

  2. They're all about form and miss the point on substance.

    That's one of my pet peeves about academia. There is a very common kind of person, who in public settings (dept meetings, or as chairs, or in committee discussions) feels a burning need to mouth off politically correct nonsense, which they must know is utterly false, or overstated. And most people stay quiet in the hope the idiocy will go way, and people like me have to look "contrarian" and call bullshit, and become known as "un-collegial" for stating the obvious.

    As for the sycophants the OP describes: one interesting feature of such people is being so self-absorbed and convinced of the rightfulness of their opinions, it is relatively easy to give them rope so they'll make public fools of themselves. It can become a kind of sport, even.

  3. Until their numbers reach critical mass; then we're all doomed.

  4. Great idea! Great post!

  5. Super letter. One day all of us will start sending these letters and things will get better. Of course I have a drawer full I haven't sent...yet.

  6. I didn't ask for a second chance Saturday, but I'm flattered. Sometimes, you just gotta vent, and this little pissant gets on all my nerves. He's such a short-sighted little lickspittle.

    1. No, to be clear, this is something the moderators chose to do. We want to make sure good stuff doesn't get missed, and the comment/hit count on this was a little low. Chiltepin didn't lobby for this.

  7. Great idea to recycle the ones that get overlooked. I liked this the first time and like it again now. :)


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