Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Academics Can Be Real Jerks

Not you, dear reader. Dr. S's boss. She epitomizes the petty-fiefdom ideal, complete with serfs of varying castes.

Dr. S has just departed for a week-long conference. In general, his boss refuses to pay cab fare. But! She will pay for parking at the airport!

We have one car. So:

1) I drive 3 hours, with angry toddler, to and from the airport. My gas, time, and annoyance are not recompensed. I must leave the house at, respectively, 5 AM on a Sunday and 8 PM on a Friday, which is Shabbat, when I don't !@#$ing roll.

2) We park the car at the airport all week, leaving me on foot, or by deeply-inconvenient bus. (It takes a bus hour to go 15 minutes away. Don't even ask.) I can walk to: the drugstore, the library, the gas station, and the hardware store. I cannot walk to: anywhere useful.

3) Dr. S takes the bus. For 3 hours. Each way.

4) Dr. S, his luggage, and his poster ride his bike 14 miles. Each way. At 4:30 AM, and then back in the dark.

Or, what we actually did:

5) He takes a damn taxi anyways, and harasses his boss until she pays him back. And if she doesn't like it, SHE can a) lend me a car all week or b) take my spouse to the airport herself.

This is so amazingly unprofessional. How do academics get away with this? (No, I know. It is rhetorical.)


  1. Wow, that is SUPER petty. Why not just say "Here's your allowance for travel, spend it as you like"? Or in the case of my students, "There is no money. Suck it up." Seems like unless she's gotten extremely specific in her grants or there's some weird university regulation, she's just a HO!

  2. She's a fucking HHMI lab, and science conference registration is $1000, and a cab is $40. Pretty much.

  3. Ouch. And yes on the rhetorical questions, too often. Though I have hope that there are others.


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