Tuesday, December 04, 2007

What's the deal?

So you know what I find really problematic? I've been volunteered for something, without being consulted. This really bothers me. I find it incredibly rude. I woke up to a flurry of emails the other morning, about bringing a VIP speaker to campus - I was included on the list because I am the campus "point person" for Issue; that, it has already become clear, is my perennial role. Anyway, so I was keeping silent in this email discussion for a few hours, because I was feeling completely swamped - I have a hell of a lot of work to do, as we all do - and because I don't really give a fig about this person. I really just don't. I couldn't get excited about it. Anyway, next thing I know, somebody is saying I and this other person will take this to the next level of investigation! What the hell? How is that okay?

The thing is, this volunteering-me email was sent to a good half dozen people, including a Dean, etc. (Not my Dean, but still.) As an untenured faculty member, this essentially puts me in a position from which I can't say no. I really, really resent that. I have enough to do right now without working to bring to campus someone I really could not care less about. Especially given that it is SUCH a long shot...this is just going to be going through the motions, and it is not going to pan out in the end, mark my words.

I am coordinating three freaking DAYS of speakers and events and off-campus shindigs in March...as well as running a program, even though I'm a brand new hire. I feel as if I'm more than covered, thanks, in the service department. Blech.


Belle said...

Are you sure you can't say no? My provost told me I could, after I'd been killing self for several years. He said it never occurred to him that untenured faculty felt they couldn't say no.

I've always wondered what planet administrators live on...

Hilaire said...

It's kind of one of those things where I wasn't really *asked*. I was just volunteered. So there was really no opportunity to say no, and to do so in front of all these important people would have really looked bad. Oh well. I emailed the VIP this morning...still haven't heard back...and don't really expect to, given that the timeline is so tight. Anyway, it's likely that all I'll have to do on this is send that one email, because I don't think it will pan out. So in the end it won't take that much time - it's just the principle of the thing, you know?

Yeah, what planet *do* administrators live on?? My own Dean is enough to make me want to quit this job!

plam said...

Saying "no" appears to be an important skill. At some orientation events, the Dean of Science encouraged us to push back if we thought that the school was making unreasonable demands, with an example from his first tenure-track job.