04 November 2009

The Games Are On

Turns out that the coordinator is everything I said she is in my last post. And she's a backstabber on top of that.

Today I got a tongue-lashing from my department chair because the coordinator told her I did something I didn't do, and that I said something I never said. Of course, the department chair will always take her word over mine. That's how it is when someone has more ambition than intelligence or talent and has a title that you don't.

It looks like I'm going to revert to an old way of mine: On the job, I simply won't talk to anyone unless I must. That's how I used to be on previous jobs. Of course, that limited my networking opportunities, but that wasn't so bad for me, really. I mean, is the hobnobbing really worth having someone do what this coordinator did to me? Look where being open and friendly with co-workers got me!

The only thing that's worthwhile about being an educator is actually educating people. Sometimes that happens in the classroom; other times it happens in other contact you have with your students. But the rest of being an educator is not worth what you have to go through to become one: The pay sucks and you find yourself dealing with pettiness and vindictiveness you simply don't see in any other sort of endeavor.

And English departments are, I'm convinced, the worst of all. Well, maybe some philosophy departments are worse, but I can't imagine any other sort of department that can be so bad.

At times like this, I think my students who are accounting majors have the right idea!


EdMcGon said...

You'd be surprised how much pettiness and vindictiveness you can find in the business world. ;)

That said, I've found that karma usually comes back to haunt people like that. When they are in positions of power, that can mean bad things for an entire organization.

Justine Nicholas Valinotti said...

Hi Ed: I think any time people's egos are wrapped around whatever they do, there will be pettiness.

I've been in the business world as well as in nonprofits and academia. Each milieu has its own kind of pettiness. In the academic world, you have people with wonderful paper credentials that aren't recognized outside the ivory tower. So they fight each other over things that are completely inconsequential and will bring personalities into the battle.

And, when you're in an English Department, most of the things on which you're evaluated are subjective, so people can be vindictive in ways that, I believe, they can't be in endeavors where what people do is more quantifiable. Not that I think numbers are always better, or would want such an evaluation: The things I do best are, for the most part, not quantifiable.

Still...I can't help but to wonder whether someone with a PhD from one of the best programs in the country and a record of scholarship would have better things to do.

EdMcGon said...

If I've learned nothing else, but the quantity of one's education doesn't necessarily equate to the quality of one's education. If someone was an ass before their schooling, they will probably be an ass afterwards too. Education does nothing to improve the character of an individual.