Re: ATM: egregious analogy ban violation edition

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Bust ass because that's key to good recommendations (especially be seen to be busting ass). Keep pecking away at the dean about the pay unfairness, and try to build allies with people who might have pull with the dean (who will also presumably be potential sources of recommendations). If all you get is sterling recommendations towards a good job at least you aren't completely hosed by this.

You are obviously getting the shaft here, but that seems to be the way of things in academia.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:03 AM
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If all you get is sterling recommendations towards a good job at least you aren't completely hosed by this.

While bearing in mind that you might not get those. Because it sounds like you are being taken for granted, and the whatever-cute-animal-name-we-are-choosing-for-management-types may not give a shit. The quid pro quo of busting ass while being underpaid in return for a hand up into a better job only works if the hand up actually materialises. Only you are in a position to assess whether you are likely to get that hand up or not. If you are pretty sure not ....


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:12 AM
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Also, do as much as you can to get titles like "Interim Program Director" official and acknowledged by everyone. You'll definitely want to list them on your c.v. that way, and for all your recommenders to write letters for the Interim Program Director instead of this one adjunct we had.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:12 AM
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3 is also good practical advice.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:12 AM
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I have no idea about the pet care world, but document document document. Log everything you're doing that's outside of what you're getting hired and paid for -- don't just step up transparently and make problems disappear invisibly, make it clear what you're doing.

Maybe (pet care people should correct me if this is a terrible idea) pressure the dean into coming through with an interim job title by talking about authorization? "Look, Dean, there's no one running Hand Signals, so people are coming to me to make decisions. I understand that you're in a spot, but I can't take responsibility for running things without authorization from the pet store -- if I just do stuff, without any official authority, I'm screwed if something goes wrong. Give me an interim director (or whatever it would be) title, or I sit in my office and just do the work you actually pay me for."

Say it nicely, and frame it as coming from a fear of liability place, and I think it could get you something.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:13 AM
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3 and 5- this is what my initial meeting with the dean was about. I was hopeful right after that; I'm less hopeful now that she hasn't responded for 3 weeks.

(The dean and the provost are both interim for this semester only because of awesome coincidences, so neither of them were involved with the whole series of events. She seemed surprised to hear that I was the only one left in the program.)


Posted by: President Yertle | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:17 AM
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3 is good advice!

I am more of the "Oh, I'm sorry, that person was clearly mistaken; obviously I cannot be the acting chair/director/whatever -- ho ho! -- you see, I'm just a turtle-keeper" style, but I guess that's not the most responsible or CV-assisting approach to the situation.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:18 AM
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My main fear at this point is that our guinea pig search is going to fail and I'm going to be in the same position in the fall. I've been practicing emails and speeches in my head about how to avoid that.


Posted by: President Yertle | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:18 AM
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And if I'm right that Hand Signals is meant semi-literally, I bet that's an area where litigation over compliance with federal law is less unlikely than it might be in another program, so you can work up some realistic worry.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:19 AM
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5 is smart. So is 3.

2: I agree that there's a danger here, especially since this situation seems to have come about by convenient-for-the-management incompetence. It's not unusual for people in authority to tolerate incompetence that just happens to serve their ends in situations where if the same outcome had been achieved by explicit intention it would be obviously very unjust.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:20 AM
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9- Completely literally, in fact.

But I'm not sure I understand the point about federal law since there aren't any hand-signal-specific issues in play*.

*There are tons of accessibility and compliance issues. They just aren't what I'm complaining about right now.


Posted by: President Yertle | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:21 AM
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6: Do it again by email and copy anyone relevant. HR, legal, one level of management up. Give a deadline -- "I asked about this X weeks ago and haven't got a response. I'll cover [whatever specific thing you were already asked to do] but I can't do any more without the title, I can't afford the responsibility if something goes wrong." Get in a dig about the pay: "I understand that I may end up doing work outside the scope of my employment without being paid additionally for it; you can't expect me to do that and also assume the risk of liability if something goes wrong."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:26 AM
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I agree that there's a danger here, especially since this situation seems to have come about by convenient-for-the-management incompetence.

Yep.

As I was saying, my natural inclination would be to help students who appeared at my door but to bounce all admin/faculty requests and alerts and whatnot with a very cheerful but impenetrable Not My Problem. Oh gee! How weird for all of you that there is no mammal-track person clearly set up to deal with this! Good luck figuring it out!

It might be too late to pull that off, though, and it sounds like that's not really quite how you wanted to play it, anyhow. Nor would it necessarily be a great idea.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:26 AM
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11: You're serving a population of students with rights under federal law. Sounds as if your school is serving them kind of badly right now. And you're the face out in front, serving them badly, without clear authorization to be acting in the capacity you're acting in.

I, for real, wouldn't be too worried about it. But I think there's enough of a worry to use as leverage.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:29 AM
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Management should clearly be referred to as weasels.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:32 AM
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12- well, that's certainly possible, but I don't think it's a method that's likely to get me any reference-writers in the fall.

Also, HR's role in the world of pet emporia is not very clear to me. For whatever reason I imagine HR being more involved with issues related to non-faculty staff. Is that wrong?


Posted by: President Yertle | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:33 AM
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14: nope. I'm teaching the normal students. The ones with specially protected rights already know all the hand signals.


Posted by: President Yertle | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:34 AM
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15: I was going to go with pigs, as in Animal Farm.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:34 AM
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17: whoops.


Posted by: President Yertle | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:35 AM
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re: 16.1

Sounds like they have you over a barrel, or you are being effectively blackmailed, as is the common way in academia. I'd go with something like 3 for sure. At least it's a thing for your CV. And with 13 if you are fairly sure you aren't going to get the stellar references and recognition of your supererogatory level of service.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:40 AM
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Fixed.

The thing about the fear of liability is that it doesn't have to be all that wellfounded, it just has to be convincing enough to give you an excuse to hide behind for being pushy.

"Give me a job title because I deserve it," is going to get pushback. "Give me a job title because I'm too scared to function without it, so I'll stop unless you come through," gives you a position to be inflexible from, without sounding unwilling or like you're not a team player.

Also, while you really don't want to bring this up directly at all, you personally have rights under federal law that are arguably getting infringed here -- are they treating you worse than they'd treat an adjunct who wasn't in the category of people who tends to use Hand Signals fluently? If you get the right sort of person's attention as a person in your category who is talking about fear of litigation, it might spark a thought about how the school is making themselves look bad vis-a-vis you. And what you want is free.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:42 AM
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14

You're serving a population of students with rights under federal law ...

This is of course another reason UC is more expensive, students didn't use to have so many expensive rights under federal law.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:44 AM
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Oh, put a sock in it, Shearer.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:44 AM
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12 sounds right to me. An intermediate step is to draft the letter, send only to the nonresponding manager with "Please respond, I will resend and cc: legal in one week" phrased politely as the first sentence.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:45 AM
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Can I just say also, selfishly, that this ATM makes me feel better about my own turn during grad school as basically the director of the language program for a year? No special title and no official authority except for, you know, the kind you have to exercise on a daily basis. I have since then wondered if I couldn't have played that whole situation better, and this ATM is making me realize that other than not doing it at all, I really couldn't have.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:45 AM
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21

... And what you want is free.

More pay is free?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:46 AM
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16.1: Also, while you're there and dealing with the personalities, so it depends on your specifics, IME this is the kind of pushy that's possible to get away with without much punishment -- combining chipper, useful enthusiasm with inflexibility that you've framed as really not your fault.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:48 AM
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I'm okay with rfts's approach for the fall (if this is still happening in the fall). But right now I am starting to think I'm stuck with things, out of a possibly overzealous sense of obligation to the students.

I guess I'll email people again next week. I don't really have a clear sense of what a normal response time is for things, but 3 weeks with zero communication, even after multiple follow-up inquiries, is kind of long, right?

I haven't been silent or acquiescent about any of this. I've been asking for (but not receiving) more money and more official recognition since December, before it all started. The multiple administrative turnovers and vacancies is what made me fall through the cracks I think. Or what I thought until this week. Now I'm starting to get cranky again.


Posted by: President Yertle | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:48 AM
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21: I'd already given up on the more pay -- I was thinking about how to haggle for the job title. Haggling for more pay comes in the fall, if they don't find a guinea pig.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:49 AM
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Possible ways to put it: "Given the subject matter, there are all sorts of ADA compliance issues, and I simply don't know what kinds of liability I'm exposed to. I'm afraid to assume the responsibility for the program without an official statement that this is my job title, and I'm authorized by the school to do so." You're not claiming anything other than ignorance and fear of the legal issues.

Then if you get the job title now, and they don't find a guinea pig in the fall, you get to be in a meeting where you say "But, I don't understand. There's a budget to pay a director. I've been functioning in that position for months. You haven't filled it, and you're now hiring me, on a non-emergency basis, to continue to function in that position. I can understand why I wouldn't get what you'd pay a permanent hire, but I should be getting more than I get for turtle care."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:54 AM
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A mitigating factor (I think? Maybe it's an exacerbating factor!) is that I'm getting tons and tons of praise from all over the place. Students, my Practice Center employees, the adjuncts, people in other departments, are all full of nice things to say about what a great job I'm doing and how many positive comments they've heard about it all. And I think everyone is kind of disappointed that I did not apply for the guinea pig. They really like me and want me to stay forever, as far as I can tell.

I'm sure this has been impacting my decisions about how to deal with things.


Posted by: President Yertle | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:54 AM
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22 made me LOL.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:54 AM
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16 Also, HR's role in the world of pet emporia is not very clear to me.

What about, say, a department administrative assistant? I'm reaching here and not completely sure what you could try to do, but it seems like there are often such people who've been around for decades and know how the university works and might be sympathetic to your situation and able to somehow exert some influence.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:55 AM
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Sorry, how the "pet emporium" works.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:55 AM
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30

Possible ways to put it: "Given the subject matter, there are all sorts of ADA compliance issues, and I simply don't know what kinds of liability I'm exposed to. I'm afraid to assume the responsibility for the program without an official statement that this is my job title, and I'm authorized by the school to do so." You're not claiming anything other than ignorance and fear of the legal issues.

I realize this is just a ploy but in reality doesn't having an official title and position make you more liable not less.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:00 AM
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I think part of the problem might be that program directors are supposed to have guinea pigs. I might not be technically eligible to have the official title. (Someone said this in an unrelated meeting last week, I don't know if it is true or not).

I'm not an adjunct, I'm a permanent half-time turtlesitter. It's not a very standard arrangement on many fronts. Especially the part about there not being anyone else in the stupid program.

As time goes on, I become increasingly irritated that I did not fight harder in December to get bumped to a temporary full time position for this semester. I asked, but either the Vacationing Program Director didn't really bring it to the outgoing boss man or the outgoing boss man said no.


Posted by: Yertle | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:00 AM
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God damn it.


Posted by: Yertle | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:01 AM
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I'm off to drive to the Pet Emporium; back online in a couple of hours.


Posted by: President Yertle | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:03 AM
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35: Not usually. You do something that you get sued for, if you're doing your job and your employer doesn't think you're wildly in the wrong, you usually are going to be indemnified. Doing something that's way outside the scope of your duties, things are going to be less clear.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:10 AM
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22 made me LOL.

That was definitely one of his better ones.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:16 AM
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Isn't next year definitely solved by the return of the person vacationing (!!) in Haiti? Whether or not there's a new full time guinea pig?

If you asked them for an interim position and they said no (or didn't do anything before the person went on vacation) it seems to me that there's no longer a presumption of good faith here. The dean is avoiding you because having discovered that they are intentionally screwing you, it's too embarrassing to actually face you. So you're left with (a) work to rule, and give up on getting over-the-top recommendations or (b) be a patsy, hoping for (i) recommendations that (ii) work because there's some other animal you want, and the difference between getting it or not getting it is how wonderfully these exploitive people write.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:38 AM
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[LB, I believe that 37 can be understood as a request to intervene wrt 36]


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:40 AM
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Okay I haven't left yet but now I'm dressed and really about to.

I don't care too much about 36/37. As long as things stay moderately googleproof, I'm good. (Anyone who knows the story is going to recognize it/me anyway, I think.) It's embarrassing that I can't remember how to work a comment box though.

41: Maybe. One of the things the new hire is supposed to do is take over as (Hand Signals) program director. The current program director wants, very badly, to no longer direct this program and just focus on the (TPOCSN) umbrella one.

He's not really in Haiti (although he's nearby) and he's not really on vacation, he's supervising students and doing some research and presentations. This semester, he's supposed to be on a periodic time of no teaching obligations where pet owners can focus on research and not deal with the day-to-day demands of the Pet Emporium.


Posted by: Yertle | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:02 AM
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I am never shopping in the Pet Emporium again!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:05 AM
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This semester, he's supposed to be on a periodic time of no teaching obligations where pet owners can focus on research and not deal with the day-to-day demands of the Pet Emporium.

"Sabbaticat"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:10 AM
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Something I should say is that the hardball negotiating advice I was giving above may have sounded like "If you just stand up for yourself, this'll work." Of course, like anything else, it might work or it might not -- sometimes you're just screwed. But to keep on polishing bits of it, you're supervising the goldfish wranglers. I've lost the analogy, so god knows what they are, but you can get in real trouble supervising people.

Also, you said that you're getting emails from people calling you the interim director? If they're from people inside the school, bring that up. "Look, I just need official confirmation that this is the capacity I'm authorized to be acting in. [Person X] thinks I am, but it's not their call, it's your call. If this is my current job title/responsibility, I just need you to confirm that, or I can't keep doing it."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:12 AM
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"Sabbaticat"

That sounds ... familiar.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:12 AM
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44: What's gratifying to me is that I understood this one. The one about the wolf cubs happened while I was severely anemic and the thread made very little sense at the time. Off to clean the litter boxes.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:16 AM
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Let me be the first to recommend a silent protest.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:19 AM
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||
Some words which should never have gone out of style. Maybe. I like "with squirrel" and "englishable" but some of them are just silly.
|>


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:34 AM
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I'm sure this is clear, but I think the question is which you want more: a better rec or more pay/a better title. If the former, and if you think the weasel supervising you is a decent mustela caught in a bad spot, I think you've probably done all you can do, though I'd send one more e-mail, noting that you understand the badness of the spot in which said decent mustela is caught, and that you hope s/he, in turn, understands that you're going to keep fighting for the children, the lovely and innocent children, even though you're not being compensated, because of the bad spot, for your hard work on behalf of the children, the lovely and innocent children.

If, though, you think the weasel really is a weasel and thus won't write you the letter you want regardless, I'd forget about the letter entirely and begin employing either rtfs's truly excellent advice -- "Gee, there's just no way I can help you. My hands are tied, I'm afraid. You might want to see the weasel in charge about that thing you need." -- or LB's less good (in my view*) advice.

* But only because I don't think it's likely to work.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:01 AM
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Also, that sucks, and you have my sympathies. Faculty unions for everyone!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:03 AM
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Being unfamiliar with the pet store world, I bow to anyone who knows more in terms of what's likely to work. I was looking for leverage that would make not giving the title a real problem for them without making Yertle look unreasonable, but if it wouldn't work, it wouldn't work.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:07 AM
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Update: I have now been copied on an email from Sabbaticat Man to the person who sent me the email thinking I was the interim director. In this email he says "Yertle is not the interim director, please cancel our program's spots in the weekend activities".

(a) I had forwarded this message to the dean but not to the director-on-leave. This means that someone is talking about things, although they are not talking to me about them. I'm both relieved and irritated.

(b) No idea if this is a positive or negative development overall. At least I don't have to worry about the weekend programming!


Posted by: Yertle | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:13 AM
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The goldfish wranglers are adjuncts.


Posted by: Analogy Dictionary | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:15 AM
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Anyway it seems like I'm probably stuck for this semester, whatever happens. But all of the advice here is helpful as far as thinking about potential developments over the summer.


Posted by: Yertle | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:17 AM
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I'd take it as negative in terms of your shot at getting a job title. I would be tempted to try to figure out what part of what you're doing is arguably what you've been hired for, and what is clearly the director's job, and reply to Mr. Sabbaticat with "Given that I'm not functioning as the interim director, should I stop doing X, Y, and Z?" But I think that's probably not useful -- I'd be tempted to do it out of pissiness, rather than in service of any crafty plan.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:18 AM
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22: Shearer does have an important point here -- the students have rights, the turtles do not.

OTOH turtles do have hard shells.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:25 AM
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I'd be tempted to do it out of pissiness

I feel like I've been giving in to public or semi-public pissiness really often lately, and yet several people have recently told me "you know, the reason the students take your opinions less seriously than those of the other faculty is you don't sound as condescending and annoyed when you say things". Academia: it's a strange stupid world.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:32 AM
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OTOH turtles do have hard shells.

And powerful horny beaks which can do a lot of damage.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:44 AM
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And surely we shouldn't forget that they're cold-blooded.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:55 AM
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Turtles have beaks? Like tsetse flies?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 10:35 AM
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62: The tsetse of Guatemala?!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 10:42 AM
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63: the very ones. In the bush, I recall, they grow to the size of eagles. The only defense against the Flamenco Dancers of Death, as the locals call them, is crudely fashioned brooms. As you may know, the red tape in the bush is very thick.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 10:46 AM
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(Next time I suppose I'll click the link before commenting.*)

* No, I won't.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 10:47 AM
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There's nothing you can do, Wafer. They're protected under the provisions of the Guacamole Act of 1937.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 10:56 AM
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57
I would be tempted to try to figure out what part of what you're doing is arguably what you've been hired for, and what is clearly the director's job, and reply to Mr. Sabbaticat with "Given that I'm not functioning as the interim director, should I stop doing X, Y, and Z?" But I think that's probably not useful -- I'd be tempted to do it out of pissiness, rather than in service of any crafty plan.

I'd be tempted to just stop, not say anything until someone asks, and cite that e-mail as why. But that's probably even less productive than most advice.

I would say, though, that I wouldn't be inclined to put up with this much for the sake of recommendations, and there must be some way to get good recommendations while also standing up for yourself. There might be some way to spin it as assertiveness or leadership abilities, right? I'd hope.

To merge threads, this reminds me of something I meant to ask a couple days ago, but didn't get around to, and this is kind of related, so I'll do it here: how does the state of the, um, pet shop industry in California compare with that in the rest of the country? I mean, I know the pet shop industry has always been a rough, not-very-renumerative place to work and the economy in general is bad these days, but I was curious about the details.

1. Is it the problem that the pet shop industry in California used to be great, but now it's getting as bad as everywhere else?

2. Is the pet shop industry in California getting worse faster or more permanently than in the rest of the country, due to the screwed-up political system there?

3. How much of it is a public vs. private pet shop thing?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:06 AM
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67: I don't know what the pet shop industry is supposed to mean. Sorry, I'm a bit dense about these kinds of things.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:14 AM
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Academia generally, no?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:27 AM
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@67

Assuming that I correctly understand what you mean by pet shop industry, I'd say

1. It's very state dependent, although there's a general pessimism all over the country.

2. The decline is particularly obvious in California in part because they had an excellent system and so have far to fall.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:30 AM
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69: ah, okay. Thanks. In that case, here's one person's view...

1) Public higher education in California used to be the best in the world by quite a lot. It's been suffering since Reagan, and suffering a lot in the last ten years. It's still probably the best system in the world, but it's nowhere near what it once once -- not even close.

2) This is a very good question and much tougher to answer. Public higher ed is getting squeezed everywhere, so I think the difference here is that it used to be so incredibly good. Is it getting worse here faster than elsewhere? My sense -- and this is very much based on anecdata -- is that other state systems, especially in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Virginia, began the process of privatatization earlier than the UC, and thus are farther along the path and into the period during which the pace of the slide is decreasing rather than increasing. But they're still sliding.

3) Private and public higher ed are entirely different beasties. Private higher ed, except at the very top tier, is, in my view at least, in even deeper longterm shit than public higher ed, but nobody -- except maybe professionals in the field, predatory corporations, and some policy makers -- notices that there's anything but the top tier in private higher ed. This is true in CA and nationwide.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:37 AM
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Yes, 69 is what I meant.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:38 AM
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Lemme tell you, this thread was about to make my head explode before I finally figured out what the damn guinea pig and turtle are. (I missed the tumorous puppy thread.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:47 AM
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I really should have been exiled for not only grossly violating the analogy ban but prompting this whole string of follow-up analogy ban violations.

Or, I mean, Unserious should have been exiled. Whoever that was.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 1:42 PM
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For a mere $366, you, too, can have an innovative and exciting reference book on the medicine and surgery of tortoises and turtles!

But seriously, what I wanted to comment on was Cyrus's: there must be some way to get good recommendations while also standing up for yourself. There might be some way to spin it as assertiveness or leadership abilities, right? I'd hope.

One might hope to get a good rec out of this, but ultimately, Yertle has absolutely no control over what recommendation is written, and I'd worry that when the actual writing of recommendations happens, La Rochefoucauld's "we can never pardon those that we have injured" mechanism is at least as likely to come into play, psychologically speaking, as the more just "boy, we really screwed her over; we really owe her a great rec" one.

It's not just that this exploitation is convenient for management, it's positively what management is structurally demanded to do. Your exploitation will show up as a bullet-pointed achievement on their list of achievements the next time the dean wants to argue that they are actually due a raise and/or better title. They already know you're leaving, so they'd be chumps not to exploit you to the fullest, at least according to the logic of the age. There isn't even any cost to be paid in departmental bad feelings, because you're the only one there, and you'll be gone; no one who matters will remember your mistreatment.

Anyway. LB's advice sounds reasonable enough, but there's also some value in cultivating a sense of equanimity about the possibility that there's absolutely nothing you can do about being completely fucked.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 3:08 PM
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(I should say now that I feel bad about writing that comment, since it's obviously 97% my own emotional state right now, and 3% AWB's tales about academic mistreatment of non-TT faculty, as against 0% real, actionable knowledge.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 4:08 PM
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Why should your comments be different from anyone else's?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 4:18 PM
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77: that question sounds much better in Hebrew and tastes better washed down with matzoh and Kosher wine.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 4:45 PM
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77 belongs in the Kid Interview thread too.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:02 PM
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39

35: Not usually. You do something that you get sued for, if you're doing your job and your employer doesn't think you're wildly in the wrong, you usually are going to be indemnified. Doing something that's way outside the scope of your duties, things are going to be less clear.

Not really seeing it. If you are going to get in trouble for failing to perform some legal duty (like reporting suspected child abuse) you have more legal duties in an official position. And while of course anyone can sue anybody for anything in general people will want to sue the university and its authorized representatives as they have deeper pockets.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 1:32 AM
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80: Imagine one of the goldfish wranglers sues the Pet Shop for some type of workplace discrimination. At the time of the alleged discrimination, was Yertle in a position to discriminate officially on behalf of the Pet Shop? In the present arrangement, it's not entirely clear. (Er, at least I think that's what LB is going at.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:10 AM
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81

80: Imagine one of the goldfish wranglers sues the Pet Shop for some type of workplace discrimination. At the time of the alleged discrimination, was Yertle in a position to discriminate officially on behalf of the Pet Shop? In the present arrangement, it's not entirely clear. (Er, at least I think that's what LB is going at.)

But how does making it clear that Yertle does have the official power to discriminate make Yertle less likely to be sued?

For example IANAL but as I understand it if I have a party at my house and invite some of my coworkers but not you and you get upset and sue the courts will throw it out. But if I am a supervisor and invite some of the people I supervise but not you to a party at my house and you get upset and sue the courts will pay more attention.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:32 AM
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make Yertle less likely to be sued

Not Yertle—it makes the *Pet Shop* less exposed to liability, I think. But I am also NAL (even worse), and I know basically squat about this area of the law.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:40 AM
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83

Not Yertle--it makes the *Pet Shop* less exposed to liability ...

I don't see this either. If the Pet Shop has officially granted Yertle some authority then they are usually responsible for what Yertle does with it. But if they haven't they may not be (there are complications about apparent authority, if they haven't granted Yertle authority but Yertle is acting as if they had and the Pet Shop hasn't done anything about it then they may still be responsible for Yertle's actions).


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:57 AM
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It makes the Pet Shop less likely to assume responsibility for paying for Yertle's defense and indemnifying Yertle for any damages against her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 3:21 PM
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85

It makes the Pet Shop less likely to assume responsibility for paying for Yertle's defense and indemnifying Yertle for any damages against her.

Absent an explicit provision in Yertle's employment contract this is at their discretion right? They will only do this if they think it is to their benefit. And Yertle is already a Pet Shop employee. So I am not seeing a big advantage (in this respect) to Yertle. And Yertle will become more exposed to complaints and Pet Shop sanctions for violating their internal code of conduct.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 4:00 PM
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Yertle is a Pet Shop Boy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 4:05 PM
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Update (sort of)- Last Wednesday, the dean offered me a small but nonzero amount of money (.03 guinea pigs) as compensation for all my extra labor. She did not mention anything about clarification of responsibilities, and hasn't responded yet to the email I sent back asking for some.

I think it's time to shift focus to research and application materials for the fall, this pet store is a train wreck waiting to happen.


Posted by: Yertle | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 8:19 AM
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I think it's time to shift focus to research and application materials for the fall, this pet store is a train wreck waiting to happen.

Yeah, that sounds right.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 8:45 AM
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hasn't responded yet to the email I sent back asking for some.

Still! Good lord.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 8:47 AM
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