Thursday, April 22, 2010

Professors are idiots/Will I be an idiot, too?

One more line in that post title, and I'd have some kind of academic haiku.

Anyway, I'm trying not to stress about Dr. Junior, the new-ish professor on my committee.  After all, I passed the defense, and there remains very little that zi can do to me at this point.  Except, of course, stall.  Since zi is hundreds and hundreds of miles away from DOU, I had to overnight (of course!) the signature pages for the university bureaucracy to hir, along with another (prepaid, of course!) overnight envelope so that zi could send them winging back to me the next day.  The speed is required (in a loose sense, anyway) because Dr. Sweetie is going to be in town over the weekend and into Monday morning for another defense.  Sweetie suggested that I overnight everything to Junior, have Junior send it all back to me PDQ, and then Sweetie can sign the pages without the need for another set of mailings.

In hindsight, perhaps I should have simply butted in and recommended that I hold onto the pages here until Sweetie flies in, get hir signatures, and only then send them to Junior.

Naturally, what has come to pass, as over right now, is that my apparently passive-aggressive committee member Junior has decided to do mail the (prepaid! all ready to go!) return envelope whenever the fuck zi feels like it, never mind that zi is needlessly creating more complications for Sweetie and me.  All zi had to do was drop by hir campus post office and hand over the envelope with the pages in it, and they would do the rest.  Sigh.  At the moment, USPS still has no tracking information on that envelope, whose number I have in front of me.  I know this is going to end with me getting the package days after Sweetie leaves DOU-Town, thereby forcing me to spend another $36 on the same procedure for Sweetie.

I just want to say out loud to someone that Junior is a fucking prima donna punk-ass bitch.  Who apparently is never around when you need hir at any of hir phone lines.  I can't believe that I originally envisioned Junior as the mellowest, most easygoing of my committee members.  Zi has been almost pure aggravation for me ever since I had to mail out the diss copies.

But, as I keep reminding myself, if I have to spend another $36 of my unemployment benefits in order to get Sweetie's signatures, then so be it.  At least I'm not running up against an imminent bureaucratic long as Junior slips that envelope into the mail in the next few days.  If Junior managed to lose the envelope and all the signature pages, then I'm really going to be angry.  There's no damn excuse to act like this; I can't imagine that Junior would endear hirself to colleagues with this sort of stupidity.  I haven't quite reached the point of hoping that zi fucks up hir chances for tenure by acting like a foolish diva, but I'm getting there.

The darkest fear in all of this, rather, is that I may someday turn into one of these people myself.  What makes professors like this?  Weren't they (...we?) all once responsible, time-managing people who had to contend with other people's carelessness?  Does getting a t-t job somehow increase the risk of early dementia?  It's a worn cliché that professors are hopeless dumbasses about every bit of mundane business outside their specialties, but damn it, that cliché arises again and again for a reason.  If Junior were always this passive-aggressive and careless, it's hard to believe that hir profs (and I know them!) would ever have given her a Ph.D.  At some point, Junior had to be on the ball.  How did zi become the kind of person who screws over a graduate student and needlessly jams up a fellow professor?  Whatever did it, is there a vaccine I can request?

ETA: Some hours after I posted this entry, I checked USPS' website again, and found the package in transit.  Ahem.  Now that I think about it, another stereotype of professors is paranoid fears of being undermined by colleagues, isn't it so?  Somebody get me that vaccine, fast.


  1. Wow, you sound exactly like me. Not that I have had this problem. But you know--that's precisely how I would react! Apparently I've been infected, too.

  2. Sounds like tense times trying to get the last bits tied up. When I or another committee member has been out of town and time is of the essence we just have someone else sign for us and send an email giving permission to do so. Nice and easy.