Last fall I posted about my ex, JZ. How she had switched the area of her research and ended up doing a PhD on stuff that majorly overlapped with my own research area - an area that I'd been working on for years...Y'all confirmed that it was a little freaky.
I couldn't be in touch with her over the job search season, because I knew we were competing for the same jobs and I couldn't handle it - my oogliness about her colonizing my area really won out for a few months. But we have been back in touch recently, a little.
Yesterday, she sent me an email with the subject line "Ha".
Why "ha"? Because she was telling me that she'd just applied for my job. I mean my current job, at Dream Uni. They are hiring more contractually limited FT people for next year, while they await some TT positions being thrown their way. This is the job I would have stayed in, had I not gotten my TT, or had I turned down the TT (as I considered doing because I love it here so much).
I felt sick to my stomach upon reading this. The thought of her getting that job...moving into my office...teaching some of my students from this year, with whom I have such a bond. It makes me want to retch.
This is more acute because, as I have mentioned here before, a tenure line will probably open up in my general area in the not too distant future - perhaps the fall of 2008, if they're lucky. I would be very interested in applying for it and coming back here, of course. And even my Chair has mentioned this as a possibility. The thought of JZ getting in here, charming them all to death, and being positioned to just slide right into that job from the contract makes me want to poke my eyes out.
A, the friend I live with, is really bothered by this email. My first thought was that I was really overreacting, that of course I couldn't stop her from applying for this job, since she doesn't have anything lined up. But A pointed out that JZ knows how much I love this job - I have told her so - and knows how much I don't want to go to Very Bad Uni City. And so the non-creepy thing to do would be to simply check in with me before she sent off the application, just to see how I felt about it. To send me an email titled "Ha", saying "hee hee, look what I've done" is pretty grotesque.