The closest to Normal (Illinois) that I've ever been.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I am decently happy most of the time, but today I was ALL-THE-WAY MAD for most of the day.

My team-teaching colleague is doing a crappy job. He needs to be reminded multiple times to do what he is supposed to do and creates stress by missing every TA meeting and deadline. And tomorrow he is going out of town for a vacation. I just realized that he was on the schedule to supervise lab next week and he is leaving without making any arrangements for his absence. Our TA is very anxious about this, and I don't want her to suffer, but I am infuriated that I will likely have to cover for him against my will.

My TA and I had little enough confidence that he would show up for lab today that I reassured her that I would help her out if he didn't show up. I had a dentist appointment for my cracked filling, and I actually had to put off having it repaired to be back in time for lab. My colleague showed up at the last minute for lab, acting as if everything was fabulous, and now I am stuck with a cracked filling until Tuesday.
He also finally brought in the data that he said that he would do. He is two weeks late on this data set, as well as two weeks late on the previous one, so I have processed all of the remaining data while waiting for him to finish. He (perhaps intentionally) takes so long to do anything that I am forced to do his work to stay on schedule.

So today he swans in and drops off the data, expecting that he will get a hero's welcome for his effort. But at this point, it is just too little too late. And then he starts making helpful suggestions/criticisms about the data processing--WHICH I HAVE ALREADY FINISHED minus the small set of data that he has finally returned to me. He professes interest in dividing up the effort on getting the papers written, which is when I went from being somewhat irritable to ALL-THE-WAY MAD. He and I have already been two cycles of this crap. First, he is enthusiastic about the project and we make plans, dividing up the work, etc. Then, he disappears, and I am stuck--unable to finish the work without knowing what he has done or will do. Somehow, when I am so pissed off that I am about to take desperate measures, he returns, full of enthusiasm and promises. This has already happened two times, and I am not going to participate in a third round.

So, all day I was just beside myself trying to deal with the ALL-THE-WAY MAD thing. I was so mad that I was making stupid distracted mistakes at work. So, I swam laps (I went so fast that I finished 5 min early). I commiserated with someone. I listened to attitude-adjusting music. I worked on fun busywork. I went for a run. But clearly, I am still mad, sitting here with the metallic taste of my broken filling.

Update 9/26: I felt more calm in the morning, but new developments have gotten me maximally MAD again. Re my colleague skipping town without finding a teaching lab replacement: I found out that my TA (probably under duress) told my colleague that I had offered to help her out with the lab. Thus, although my colleague never spoke to me, offered to trade labs or compensate me in any way, he can feel free to not show up knowing that the lab is covered.
Re my research project: I was processing his belated files and realized that he actually did all of the data processing yesterday and the day before. So, on Friday when he said that the left the data at home, he was lying. And on Monday when he gave me his thumb drive and told me that the data was on it, he was also lying!


Kim! said...

ALL THE WAY MAD SUSAN!!!! I commiserate with you, Susan. and also I derive the experience of humor and pleasure from your self-expression. Many thanks for sharing.

Yesterday I told my boss very kindly to please just give me a break, for crying out loud. He is a micromanager and a nitpicker, despite the fact that he is NEVER AROUND TO ANSWER QUESTIONS when I have them - he's off going to the swimming pool with his kids under the label of "working at home".

I enjoyed your self-expression here, despite the fact that you are miserably living what I am enjoying from the outside. But seriously, I appreciate it; I live in my own private hell over here in the giant urban sprawl. Each day IS indeed a most beautiful day for SHUT THE FUCK UP. Practicallly every single day!

Kim! said...

I appreciated your expository piece once again Susan. I'm sorry that you must deal with such a shithead. He's a wank and probably drives OHVs. Does he sport a mullet?

Beth said...

Oh, that sounds awful. Is there no one you can talk to you about this? The head of the lab? It sounds like you need a serious intervention.