Apathy, thy name is Wife

on 08 May 2008

**A note to my coworkers who reads this blog: PLEASE do not talk about the following post with other coworkers, or in front of other coworkers. I am kvetching. Is allowed. Also, hugs! Love you all!**

So I mentioned a while back that there were a bunch of people leaving the Workplace.

One of those people is our very much beloved business manager. Yesterday we met the top candidate for her job.

He's nice enough, I suppose. He's a Duke fan--which in North Carolina says A LOT (I don't do sports but the two teams I like are Carolina and who ever plays against Duke). He's very...chatty. And with lots of opinions about management and how offices should be run.

I will admit that I really didn't want to be in that meeting. I, being a realistic sort of girl, knew that my presence was entirely superfluous and I had work sitting on my desk. I KNOW that I could have spent that time better by actually working rather than sitting through a meeting for which my input would be unwanted and disregarded if given.

At some point the candidate was rambling about workers that he enjoys working with and he said something along the lines of, "show me someone who tries hard but screws up all the time and I'll be their best friend. I don't have time for APATHETIC people."

And yes, I sat up at that point.

He had a lot more to say about people who hate their jobs and are miserable and how they really need to find another job and blah blah blah. And there I sit. Stewing in rage.

Let me speak plainly, you can be apathetic and still do your work. Exhibit A. ME. I work as hard as I ever did but thankfully, no one in my office can read minds because my train of thought goes something along the lines of:

I don't care. I think you're an idiot. Grow up and make your own copies. Keep track of your own crap. I am not your MOTHER. Are you hands broken? Get your own damn paper for the copy machine. You empty it. You fill it. The copy machine works like this: lay originals face down, press start button. I don't care. I don't care. I don't care. I don't care. All I hear from you is blah blah blah. Stop talking now.

There are exceptions of course. Everyone has their favorite co-workers, and even their preferred bosses. My misfortune is that I don't often get to work directly with those people because they are (and this is a very innovative concept in academia) autonomous. Autonomy is a highly under-rated value in Universities.

He then went on to "be honest with us, because we're all grown." Which I thought was a great idea--one in fact that we should apply to EVERYONE in the department. Why don't we all act like ADULTS. Revolutionary, I know. And probably also impossible. Let's all speak plainly and honestly, tell each other what we really want, need and expect and most important of all--let's all take care of our own CRAP. Not foist it off on someone else. Not procrastinate to the very last minute. Not skip the instructions for a grant because that's what STAFF is for. Actually accept responsibility for our own choices and actions.

Now that right there is some novel thinking. It'll probably get me fired. Oh wait. No, they won't fire me because that means they'd have to take care of their own CRAP.

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