Friday, May 3, 2013

Filial cannibalism, i.e.- status, sacrifice and workplace relations in the academy

While waiting to see if anaphylaxis was in my near future during a routine doctor's visit, I overhead a conversation between two men.  Nominally it was a professional conversation about past jobs, present opportunities, and the difficulties of the job search.  In reality one was hoping that the other would help him acquire a job and the conversation had gotten a little awkward before the fully-employed gentleman caught on.  Mr. Employed soon started working to gently reduce expectations, but Mr. Hopeful was in a bind because he had to pretend he did not ask about work in the first place to maintain a sense of professional decorum.  Then the conversation generated this gem:

Mr. Employed: "... but we still have to find people to teach X".

Mr. Hopeful, interrupting: "Just hire adjuncts, they're cheap."

Well played Mr. Hopeful, well played.  Good luck with that job search.

Figure 1: Mr. Hopeful prepares for his final job interview and salary negotiations.

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