Thursday, September 18, 2008

S/he's very clever, is the person who says s/he's going to charge me with harassment. I was making a legitimate complaint and inquiry about the status of something that is incredibly urgent, and is impairing my ability to do my job, and the students' ability to do theirs. In saying s/he's going to charge me with harassment and go to my Dean, s/he knows s/he's going to scare me off. S/he doesn't have to provide me with an answer or explanation of why this job is not getting done. S/he has effectively silenced me.

The more I think about this, the more I seethe. Now I want to go to my Dean to make a complaint about this person, who is damaging the educational experience for some students with this nonsense.

And really, I also seethe because I have enough fucking stress right now as it is and I don't need to take on the shit of people who are too fucking lazy to do their jobs and rely on tactics like this because they can't own up to their own fuck-ups. Pardon my language.

11 comments:

Pantagruelle said...

You go girl!!! There are tons of incompetent people on university campuses who don't do their jobs, cause other people to suffer, and get away with it. I suspect this person might have used this scare tactic before. If your complaint was legitimate and connected to the quality of education on the campus and your ability to do your job, which is sure sounds like it was, then it makes perfect sense for you to take this to your chair or the Dean. Maybe this bully just expects people to back down, and it's only by standing up to hir for what's right that the situation is going to get corrected. Otherwise s/he can just pull these same bullying scare tactics again on someone else in the future and you'd be no closer to getting what you need to run your classroom properly. It doesn't sound like you've done anything wrong so far, so there's no need for you to be on the defensive just because this jerk lashed out.

Susan said...

You are right about how you are silenced. Maybe the way to handle this is to go to the dept chair (who already knows about this) and ask hir to contact Nutcase because this is an important educational function and s/he is protecting nutcase from Hilaire. . .(and, of course, Hilaire from Nutcase).

Psychgrad said...

I feel like it is harassement to falsely accuse someone of harassement. I'd like to see someone stand up to him/her, but with everything you've got going on, I hope you put what's best for you first. Fighting the good fight can be very stressful.

medieval woman said...

I actually think that may be a good idea - maybe you should contact the Dean pre-emptively. Or at the very least, ask your chair if you should contact the Dean. B/c you're right - it's a way of keeping things in stasis. But, this person brought the Dean into it (either as a bluff or not), so I think you have the right to *actually* go to the Dean, show them the correspondance and the threat therein, and give them a heads up!

Beat that shmuck to it!

What Now? said...

Oh Hilaire, how rotten! I am so sorry you're having to go through this. It sounds like you're handling it all well, and I'm glad you've got a really supportive chair in all of this, but honestly, you should NOT have to put up with this crap!

khora said...

Talk again with your chair. Go to the dean. Do NOT sit and seethe. I'm an expert on sitting and seething. Sitting and seething does absolutely no one absolutely any good.

xoxox

adjunct whore said...

If you've already spoken to your chair i would go directly to the Dean. And don't speak with the staff person at all. And contact your union.

Protect yourself from the nutjobs and don't let him/her intimidate you. It feels much better to stay calm and protect yourself with all of the resources you have available to you as a tenure-track faculty member.

Good luck, thinking of you.

Hilaire said...

Don't worry, Khora, seething led to action. I sent an email to my Chair about this after we had a face-to-face conversation, saying that I thought it needed to be taken up aggressively since I've been effectively silenced and prevented from even making an inquiry. He has taken it on; he thinks it's his job to fight this for me. So he's already made an intervention - taking up the matter with this staff person's manager - and has said he'll take it up with the Dean if I want him to. I may just do that myself. Although I've learned that academic personnel don't have any jurisdiction over the category of job that this person occupies, which makes me think that it would be pointless to go to my Dean; he couldn't do anything about it. I will, of course, go to him if the staffperson does indeed take it to the Dean. (With support from my union, who I called for advice, AW, and who would provide me with a representative at any such meeting, and legal counsel (!!) should it be warranted - which I don't think it ever could. The world would have seriously gone awry if this were treated as a legitimate claim of harassment.) So I think that I'm just going to keep at the Chair level for now, unless it gets taken to the Dean over my head. God - can you imagine???

I think you're right, Pantagruelle and MW, that this person may have used similar tactics before. *This* is what pisses me off so much. And you're right, Pan, that now is the time to (try to) nip it in the bud.

The thing that sucks about all this (well, one of the many things) is that in the future, I won't be able to use the services this person provides, because I will be concerned about sabotage. Which is going to put a significant cramp in my style, i.e. doing my job.

dbm/gaa said...

YES! good for you. And my gut tells me you are right about this person doing this before, you should put some feelers out to see if you are right and then perhaps there could be a pattern shown and this person could be shown the door and someone who could help you do your job brought in. Your ability to do your job shouldn't be compromised by a wingnut.

plam said...

Good to hear that things look good on this front. I have heard complaints in general about zombie evil staff persons at universities, so I suspect that it's difficult to show anyone the door. But it sounds like it's not going to be a big disaster, at least for you.

JustMe said...

omg, i'm so sorry hilaire. i wish you all the best in dealing with this nonsense.