Thursday, December 19, 2013
"Just a Job," From Allan in Akron.
I know my colleagues think I'm lazy because I'm not standing in the hallways like them all day and night. When I do show up to work - on time and before my class - the "veterans," who are always huddled together talking about how hard their lives all are, swivel their heads, say a begrudinging hello, and turn their noses up as if they caught a whiff of something bad.
For a time I let it bother me and felt a little out of place, but I got over it. I know I'm doing my job well and have the student evaluations to prove it.
And since I've only been in the profession for 3 1/2 years, and I'm stuck in a way-about place, I really don't have much experience with how other departments work.
But I found this website from a link at a friend's blog, and now I'm a lot wiser. You're posts are funny, and I love the way you skewer the "snowflakes." But just like the people in my department, you let it all bother you so much. I spend a lot more days NOT being an assistant professor, and that's really where my life is: my friends, my activities, my family. So when a student acts up or something goes wrong with a Dean, I shrug it off. It's something that will get fixed or worried over by someone else - I know that from experience.
If a crisis occurs in my department, I know the email will fly starting at 5 am, and there will be meetings and ridiculously overwrought machinations by everyone. I skim the email, take the long way around the building to my office, sip coffee, and wait until the "decision" comes through. They've all wasted a day in hand wringing and I've appropriately just had my say when the final news came down. Some of them I can imagine scrambling to their computers to write the latest post for College Misery about the trauma!
What I'm saying is that this is an important profession and we do important work, but it's just a job, people. I think that a lot of you would be a lot happier if you'd just relax a bit. If your student doesn't staple his paper? Staple it. What's the big deal. They take a phone call in class? You mean you're that insecure that you can't just shut them down and keep going. And seriously, what's the deal with being upset when a student asks for next semester's books. You don't have a link to the bookstore you can send them?
Put it all in perspective, is what I'm saying. It's what my own colleagues need. They need to get off campus and go fishing or whatever they like to do, and let the job be the job and the LIFE be the life.
Thus endeth this particular lesson.