Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The whining wheel

When I arrived on campus this morning, the very helpful woman who keeps my office clean accosted me with a question: "Are you going to try out every office in the building until you find one you like?"

Not a bad idea! But no, I hope this is my final move. Yesterday my husband and I painted my new office and packed up some boxes and this morning the carpenter came in to fix broken things before a student arrived with a bunch of library book carts to help me move all my books. I've now unpacked and put things where they belong, with the exception of a small pile of stuff on my desk, annoying papers that need to be filed and books that need to be returned to others. (There's nothing like an office move to make missing items miraculously appear.)

Yesterday I overheard a little grumbling about why I got to move upstairs to an office with a window when others who have been in the dungeon even longer were not offered the same option. I could present highly persuasive arguments involving seniority and the need to be close to the rest of my department, but what it all comes down to is whining. I complained--a lot--to the right people. Yes: for two years I have been the squeaky wheel, and finally I found some grease. I think the final straw was when the provost visited my dungeon office on a day when I was bundled up in a blanket and couldn't get my fingers to fly across the keyboard because they were so cold. A little drama, a lot of whining, and here I am in a lovely office with a big window and lots of light.

Hey, I can have plants again! This office seems like the perfect environment for growing things--maybe a philodendron or two and maybe, if I'm lucky, an end to whining and a whole lot of peace.

1 comment:

Contingent Cassandra said...

Seniority and being near your department (as well as the fact that human beings really don't thrive underground, let alone in badly-hvac-ed underground spaces) sound like good reasons for a move to me.

Have any of your still-endungeoned colleagues tried expressing concerns about possible radon contamination in the basement? That turned out to be a real problem in some basement spaces originally intended for occupation only by janitors at my grad institution(which opens a whole other, class-based, can of worms, with the possible offset that janitors generally don't spend a lot of time in their offices/supply closets compared to the very junior professors and TAs who had, at the university's behest, colonized their former space. That's also, of course, where they added some more women's bathrooms when the student body -- and faculty -- went coed, but one doesn't spend that long in a bathroom). Whether or not radon is a possibility may depend on local geology, but, if it is, administrators everywhere seem to have a similar fear of health-related lawsuits.