Thursday, April 21, 2016


(Wittering about my job, or lack thereof.)

Two falls ago, the Other University here had a sudden need for someone to teach four lab sections, for boring reasons (which I know, but will not bore you with).  Starting in four weeks.  Despite knowing I could only teach for one semester and then I was having a baby, I took the job.*

The second semester, they hired an ABD grad student** to take over.

One fall ago, the department chair*** gave all but one section back to Mr. ABD, after pulling some dodgy underhanded shenanigans  Mr. ABD doesn't have a PhD from his third-rate grad program.****  I not only do have a PhD, from a fancy school literally everyone in this country has heard of, but I am stuck here in town indefinitely.  But fine. I told myself it was totally understandable and okay and that I wasn't annoyed.

This spring, the department chair gave all but one section to Mr. ABD again.  I told him^ I wanted more; he didn't feel like it, for whatever reason (I annoyed him by being pregnant^^; Mr. ABD had to 'support his family'; whatever).  I told myself again that the sections were his to dispose of, whatever, etc., and started applying for other jobs.

Two weeks ago, the department chair announced his departure for greener pastures and I realized, you know what?  I was really fucking annoyed.  I'm better qualified, I have more experience, and I'm stuck here.  So yeah!  PoPiss me off!   EXCELLENT PLAN!  Because it's so easy to find part-time biochem PhDs floating around here.^^^

(The department now needs to find a visiting instructor in Uncommon Specialty- it is April! - AND they will have at least five sections of various things, each semester, left over.  Mr. ABD studied Uncommon Specialty!  They should hire him, give me back my !@#% sections, and we'd all be happy.  Also, he should fucking finish.)

(I have no idea what is actually going to happen.)

* Adjuncting = a one semester contract = I don't owe you anything.
** With MAJOR issues with his grad program, and who, a full year later, has still not received a PhD.
*** Who is a jerk.
**** Think... New Mexico State. For chemistry.  That's right! You've never heard of their chemistry program! 
^ Of course it's a dude.
^^^ I am literally the only one at loose ends for 20 miles in any direction.


  1. Anonymous9:41 AM

    Do you know the department's associate chair for undergraduate studies, or equivalent position? (I ask, knowing it is a small town and the answer is probably yes on several levels). It might be worth an informal coffee with this person in which you casually drop this elegant solution to their staffing woes into their lap. If this chair is a jerk and scattered with you, that probably trickles down, and maybe talking to the person whose job it is to fix this mess might be worth exploring. Departmental politics are a disaster, usually.
    Mr. ABD needs to get his shit together. It is infuriating they are taking the less qualified male candidate on what appears to be the "he won't get pregnant and leave" justification, which is outrageous bullsh*t.

    1. I think you overestimate the size of this school! ;) If the new chair is who I think it'll be, I'm just going to go talk to them and have a "This is how it is" chat.

      Department politics ARE a disaster. The scope is smaller when the whole department is <10 people though.

      Mr. ABD needs to tell his committee where to step off - it's actually been 16 months since he physically left!!! - and get his fucking degree already. I think it was more vindictiveness than future-proofing (NO MORE BABIES HERE THREE IS A LOT OF BABIES) but still extremely irritating. To me.

  2. Just don't let them talk Mr. S into becoming chair. 'Cause this sounds like the kind of place that would try to talk a pretenure faculty member into it. Well, see ya, jerky chair! Let's hope whoever takes over will be more receptive to the obvious logic of your suggestion. I can see the benefits even though you insulted my home state.

    1. It's NOT actually New Mexico! Which has a crappy chem grad program, sorry. But many other excellent qualities! (This is the college my spouse does NOT teach at. Plus there's a rule only full profs can be chair.)

  3. Anonymous5:49 AM

    Argh. This all sounds extremely frustrating. Good luck.


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