May 18, 2010

Crabby comments from a higher-ed union activist

I'm in a slightly cranky mood from spending most of the last two days' work hours on copyediting. This says little about the material I was copyediting and more about the nature of the task (and why I did not get a job to spend all of my time copyediting). So I'm ending the day in a crabby mood and still want to be productive, but I may not want to contact any people about current issues. So it's time for crabby comments about situations that popped up in the semi-distant past (at least 12 months ago), and I'll refer to them vaguely enough that they could apply to all sorts of situations. If you think any of the following is about you, you're probably wrong.

  • Did you realize that if you hadn't tried the procedural short-cut, you would have won the argument on the merits?
  • You can probably get away with half of the stuff you're loading on your faculty. Which half do you care about? 
  • The union has membership, staff, institutional memory, and access to lawyers. We're plum out of magic wands. 
  • I know you've got a Ph.D. and a winning smile, but other people can remember things, too, and sometimes we check factual claims.
  • Your hallway is not the whole university. 
  • I don't care what Gordon's or Drew's trustees let them do.  
  • You've got several very smart administrators in your office. We've got several hundred members. Maybe you could outthink the lot of us, but your behavior makes me suspect you've never played a role-playing game. 
  • If wishes were fishes and gripes were wet wipes... no, let's not go there.
  • Yes, you've got academic freedom and I'll defend that to the hilt, but it may not be wise for assistant professors to run up a large debt in deviance credits. The interest alone is murder.
  • You didn't take advantage of the opportunity when it was in your lap, and you're now hoping the expired opportunity returns and doubles or triples in size. On your way out, could you please pick up my jaw and hand it back to me?
  • I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate you.  
  • Your strategic vision appears to rely on throwing everything against the wall and seeing what sticks. Pardon my brashness, but not even the most tendentious Soviet/corporate five-year plan has had "al dente" as a bullet point.
  • I see you're trying out the new Elizabeth Taylor fragrance, "Entitlement." I may be overstepping the bounds of friendship by saying this, but I think you've applied a bit too much. 
  • I'll give you 10 out of 10 for venomous intent, but my long-term exposure to teenagers has immunized me.
  • I'm sure I can take this horrible day and turn it into a conference presentation or article.

My thanks to G.K.R. for the model.

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Posted in Union on May 18, 2010 8:47 PM |