Thursday, March 21, 2013

Still Filled with Bitter, Seething Anger, But Trying Really Hard to Get Over It.

Let me state for the record, again, in case you missed the last post, that if Colleague were out because ze had cancer or a heart attack or a stroke or was in a terrible accident, I wouldn't be such and insufferable bitch about this. I would be more than willing to pull the extra weight because it would be the right thing to do.

And my apologies to those of you who may have struggled with addiction, but honestly, I have extremely little sympathy or regard in this case. I have a cousin who's an alcoholic and I see the way she has quite literally destroyed her family in abusing her children so horribly to the point that her children used her as a model and then became heroin and pill addicts. I've seen what she and three of her four children (one was smart enough to get the fuck out of dodge and join the army because it really was either that or get sucked into the same trap they were in) and she did to my poor cousin who worked so hard to keep his family together that the stress caused him to have a massive heart attack and none of them stepped up to his aid. I've seen the way my other cousin, also addicted to pills, nearly drained his family dry and treated them like shit all the while playing the victim. I admit that I am horribly judgmental in this regard. I fully admit it. But I make no apologies for it.

So yes, right now I hold my Colleague in bitter, seething contempt right now. And I'm pissed off that I have to sign hir "Get Well Soon" card. Fuck that. And fuck you.

At least my response to the stress at this point has moved from uncontrollable crying to laughter because what the fuck else can I do?

Here's the other thing that is filling me with hate about this. Because I had a MWF schedule, I, in good faith, made doctor's appointments and travel arrangements on these days so that I would not have to miss work and use my leave time for these things so that I could save as much as possible for the fall. I told my boss about these days, and that all of this stuff had been made in good faith so that I'd only have to miss one day of work. I am absolutely positively pissed the fuck off that I'm going to be charged for these days now, and will now lose FOUR fucking days of my leave time because of this! Four fucking days. So not only, for this additional class am I making HALF THE PAY of what I make per class (which is clearly not what my time is worth), this is now also going to COST me A WEEK'S WORTH OF PAY in the Fall. Because of this colleague, who didn't want to do an outpatient rehab thing or AA or NA or whatever the fuck, and needs to be at an in-house treatment facility only AN HOUR away, I am actually losing money now over two fucking quarters. FUCK YOU! I cannot find any love or compassion or goodwill in my heart at all right now.

I'm also tired of hearing how because I was productive last year, and even though I was promised my release, and every one else has gotten their release on schedule, that it was more important for D00D hired with me to get his because "he really needs it." Wait, so I'm being punished for being productive, and he's being rewarded for not having time to write because of our teaching load? Shouldn't I be the one rewarded because it's clear that I'll actually get some shit done? And a lot at that?  Yeah, if hear that one more fucking time this quarter, I'm going to punch someone. I NEED my release time too mother fuckers.

Yes, I am very, very, very bitter. I think there's a misunderstanding here that because I'm pregnant and now seen as a mother rather than a scholar, that I have a desire to take care of everything and everyone and should be self-sacrificing. No. I only want to take care of my own shit. If everyone else gets to take care of themselves, then why do I have to be a "team player" and and why am I the selfish one for wanting the same things? Wait. Yes, I have a vagina that has obviously been used to fill my reproductive mission here. Fuck that. Yeah, all the chair's and dean's appreciation in the world isn't going to get me tenure, so I don't really give a shit about your appreciation.

All of that being said, several of my colleagues are being really nice to me because of this and have offered to help with my classes if I need a sub or something, which is very kind of them, but which really doesn't actually help me because it's not like I can afford to lose even more time from my leave by not teaching, even if I do have someone willing to come in and take over for me. Yeah, it might get me an extra hour of sleep, but it's not going to do me any good in the long run, so really, I'm fucked there, too, in that I can't even really accept their very generous offers of help. It's nice to know though that my colleagues are taking this to heart for me, even though very few of them know the real reason why Colleague is gone for the quarter, so while I don't give a shit really about the gratitude of the chair or the dean, I appreciate that my colleagues care and feel for me.

Also, the other thing is that after class on Tuesday, it's clear, that even though this class is a century out of my field, I'm going to give the students a better class than the one they signed up for. We are in week three right now. They didn't have a syllabus. They had a book list and a list of assignments, like: 8 quizzes.  Research portfolio. Final paper. Critical Responses, and some percentages of what they were worth. No reading schedule. No due dates for anything. Nothing. They were like, "we get a syllabus? Really? You'll give us a schedule of assignments and due dates? Really?" Good lord. These poor kids. Several of them thanked me for teaching the class. One whom I had never met said she was glad that I was the one now teaching it. While I am bitter and angry and stressed, at the heart of the matter is that clearly, at least, I'm what's best for these students. Egotistical? Perhaps, but it's true. The collective sigh of relief and the look of relief on their faces nearly broke my heart. I will endure all of this shit for them. I feel bad because all four classes are going to get shafted a bit and not get my best, and I've apologized to most of them for that explaining that the shitty part of this is that they will be affected and it's not right, but I'll do my best.

I just wish I could relax and get over this. I'm trying. Really, that's why I'm ranting on here about it because I've got to vent somewhere (and it's not like I can really say all of these hateful things to my colleagues about Colleague), and I'm hoping by letting it out it won't fester because the fact of the matter is that I hate Colleague so much right now that I've been sick for the last three days, and I hate hir for making me sick because it's not good for me or the Magpie. I put a damper on my poor mom's bday because she said, "Oh, hey! This is your day off!" and I just cried for like 20 fucking minutes on the phone on her birthday. I hate Colleague even more for all of these things. But I'm trying hard to get over it for my own sake. And maybe if I can get everything done this week, get ahead this weekend, and sleep, then maybe by Monday I'll mellow out a bit.


  1. This is just my humble opinion, but it's your chair and maybe the dean who are responsible for this unfair treatment, not your colleague. The chair should NOT lay this burden on you--because you are untenured and pregnant--but should find another way to cover the class. Period. Hire an adjunct. You should not have to change your doctor's appointments, either. If anyone around there with tenure were a mensch, they would go to the chair and tell hir this. I understand you can't do that, for all the reasons you lay out. It has taken me many years to realize my colleagues and chairs have taken advantage of the fact that I don't want the students to suffer or be deprived of what they deserve from us. That's where our colleagues/chairs catch us, and we end up carrying more of the common burden than we should.

  2. I'm pissed at Colleague for putting myself and another person in this position.But yes, I'm totally and completely irate with the chair and the dean who have insisted that I'm "the only one." It was the same reason given for my not getting my course release this quarter--I'm the "ONLY ONE" who can teach this poetry class. Bullshit. There are lots of fucking poets in the department who are far more qualified than I am for that. But, it's cheaper to pay me the piddly overload pay than it would be to bring in someone to teach it. And the other person who got saddled with the survey class--I know they went to her first because her daughter is best friends with Colleague's son, so I know that relationship was totally exploited. And I know she's pissed and overwhelmed right now, too, which makes me feel a little bit better. But yeah. And I know that they knew, too, that I would feel obligated because I'm taking maternity leave in the fall, and they were working really really hard to basically bully me into not taking that. And like I said, if Colleague were out for hospitalization, all of my anger would be directed at chair and dean, neither of whom are competent at their jobs, in my opinion. But oh well. If I can get caught up, get ahead, get some sleep, and get to a work out, I'll be okay. It will be a real test to my organizational skills.

  3. I basically agree with Rose, that this is not actually on the Colleague to worry about staffing when he/she needs to take medical leave (though I also understand your irritation that the colleague has chosen this moment for his/her recovery, as I think that irritation is human, though, frankly, I'd be irritated at a colleague who did this for ANY reason - heart attack, carpel tunnel, back surgery, even maternity leave, if I got screwed in the service of it).

    1) Is there any room for negotiation about the time that you're losing because of doctor's appointments? Have you asked? If you haven't asked, I'd totally ask. Because here's the thing: you are, actually, helping them out of a bind - you aren't *required* to take an overload. Can't the dean find it in his or her budget to keep your sick time intact for your maternity leave? The worst they can say is no. (They may have already done, but I'd ask for that if they haven't already said no.) Also, I'd ask why I'm losing four full days when the appointments don't take full work days. Shouldn't you only lose the few hours of the appointment? Also, isn't there a way that you could move instruction online for those days so as not to lose the sick time (so, participating in a discussion board, doing out-of-class research, or something else) so that you aren't penalized for something that was totally out of your control? I am asking these questions because I know you're stuck with the crappy situation, but I'm wondering if it has to be SO crappy.

    2) Ok, so they didn't give you the course release for this term, and next term you have maternity leave, but are you getting the release the term after that? You should be. And I would make the chair and the dean put that in writing, right now. Maternity leave does not equal research leave. Use of sick time does not equal research leave. I would actually really push for them to commit to the research leave - in writing - for the winter term. And when they try to screw you out of it again, you can come back to them with that written commitment, and you can bring that written commitment to HR if necessary.

    Yes, you need to be a "team player" because you are untenured. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't look out for your own interests (within reason).

  4. ARGH! I had this really long response and blogger ate it. The short of it is, yes, I agree with both you and Rose. I will reiterate to my boss that charging me for these days is bogus, and if I miss teaching and office hours, I do get charged for a full day. No one will commit to my course release (I've been trying since last summer) because it's not "official policy," so while everyone else is getting theirs, there is a possibility of getting fucked. However, if other male colleague gets his second one again in the spring, I'm going to HR anyway. I am more than happy to be a team player, and if Colleague had decided before the quarter started that ze needed to be in recovery, then I'd be less filled with hate towards hir, Chair, and Dean. I could have at least planned and rearrange stuff. And I know other person who is taking over hir other class is filled with anger and anxiety as well.

    However, what is really sticking in my craw is that, and I'm very very very sensitive about using pregnancy as a reason or excuse for anything, I have my own health concerns about this added stress. Because of the stress, I've had a cramp since Monday and a stomach ache, and I'm starting to get concerned. If I were fully abled at this point, I wouldn't be so irate, but I do feel like asking me to take on an overload in my last trimester of pregnancy is like saying "Colleague's health and recovery is more important than yours." And since Male Colleague got his course release, and other untenured Male Colleague got his last spring, I am starting to get pissed off regarding the expectations put on me and not my male peers. And to be quite honest, fucking yoga and meditation don't work for me as stress management tools. And I think I have every to be concerned about trying to take care of myself. Thus far, it hasn't affected my job, and I'd like to keep it that way. But working 14-16 hours days with no time to cook good food and exercise, well, I'm just really stressed out about that, too, which is my own problem, but I just don't want to hurt the Magpie.

    I have cut down on the reading for the upper division classes which makes me feel like a punk, but the students don't feel shafted. And at least in the survey classes I can do those with my eyes closed. But I hate being this pissed. I hate looking like a bitch. And I hate that the students are getting screwed, too.Not to mention the countless grad students who are being hung out to dry right now because Colleague is also Grad Chair, and a lot of them are pissed off, too.

    Oh well. If I can get some sleep and get ahead, next week might be better.