Happy New Year

K and I (its only K and I these days) went to a fourth of July party last night. Some friends of ours are house sitting in a picturesque part of the city. The living room overlooks the fireworks.

It was kind of a fun party. It was fun to be in the city. I liked the longish walk from where we finally found a parking spot. The house was charming. I like A and A’s friends. Although — the fireworks, although probably lovely, disappeared in the fog. And somehow this morning I am haunted by conversations that may not have gone exactly as planned. Odd.

I am probably just missing the kids, who at this moment are probably going for a swim in the warm Atlantic, while it’s cold enough here to be contemplating resuming my knitting.

One of the conversations gone astray had me feeling rebuked at not having stood up for myself and the people for whom I’m responsible regarding our working conditions. The fact is, ours are not even the worst in the library. I think the rebuker is right, and that somebody somewhere has to say, this is intolerable. But it seems odd to me that nobody else seems to have noticed. It’s like we’ve got this contest going on to see who can withstand the worst mistreatment, and to do otherwise is to admit that you’re just not tough enough. Which, honestly, is insane.

She quoted Dr. Phil at me — apparently he says, “You teach people how to treat you.” Which is awful, but possibly true. Well, actually, I don’t really feel responsible for the fact that I’m not being treated especially well, but she is right that I don’t have to put up with it.

Perhaps she has changed my life. I feel sort of bad about the conversation at all — she left right afterward, and it’s possible I was a bit hysterical. But maybe things can be done — actually, I’m pretty sure things can be done, and doing them will make me feel a lot better.

Hmm. I’m going to get her address from A and drop her a note saying, thanks. It is possible you have changed my life.

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4 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. Funny, Chris, something much like that goes on at my work. One co-worker often bemoans, somewhat hysterically, that she worked 100 hours of overtime at the end of last semester. I refuse to sympathize and of course do not do likewise myself for which our immediate supervisor seems to consider the martyr a hero and me a slacker (even though my work gets finished in the allotted time while martyr’s work is often completed by the supervisor, hmmm). I wonder if A’s friend might be willing to consult with me as well, Dr. Phil is booked and I could clearly use the help. XO, K.

    • It does seem to be true that the reward for getting your work done seems to be the feeling that maybe your department is too large. Another retired colleague of mine used to say that it was important to not get all your work done or people would assume you didn’t have enough to do. I always thought he was crazy, but it’s possible that he was right. You too should work 100 extra hours! You don’t have to tell anyone that you spent them reading comic books.

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