Thursday, March 25, 2010

A test in academic diplomacy

Here's a hypothetical situation for you.

You're on campus and in your office (except for teaching) all day long, eight or nine hours at a time, three and sometimes four days a week. In fact, when you stop by your colleagues' offices, no one is usually there.

However, by some invisible decree, meetings are held on the one day you're not there.

Someone mentions a committee that you've volunteered for but expresses concern about your "limited availability" and asks, "Which day [!] are you on campus?"

To use the title of that children's book, what do you say, dear?

4 comments:

tenthmedieval said...

Just tell them what days you're there. That should make the point by itself and leave you the moral high ground.

undine said...

That's good advice, tenthmedieval. I did tell them (and then told them again, since they didn't remember the first time).

profacero said...

How about this one: colleague X wants there to be a certain student activity one evening every third week and has roped me into being her partner on this. She knows I am doing it for her sake. Invariably she has a sick child and at the last minute, I have to run the activity alone. Next semester, when she will be on maternity leave, she wants the activity to go on and swears she will come in to run it even though she will be on leave. Do I (a) get out of it, (b) agree to partner, (c) decide to take over and really run it?

undine said...

profacero, you might as well take it over yourself if you want to do it. If she's not coming in to run it now, she certainly won't when she's on leave.