Thursday, February 13, 2014
I just had one of those work experiences that I was not prepared for and didn't want and BAM! immediately I was reaching for the nearest snacks. I'll blog instead!
One of the things that I find to be very stressful about my job is when other faculty members treat me like a kid/student. This partly bothers me because students should be treated as adults as well, but I also feel very proud of my accomplishments and whenever one of my colleagues tries to give me a little pat on the head, I want to explode! I want to say, "I am your equal right now. I am a professor of English here at the college. Can I spell it out for you?"
So I have a new job at the college as well working in the "teacher's lounge" type area, but it also offers professional development opportunities as well as other programs and seminars for teachers. It is the safe haven for faculty.
Today I was put in charge of one of the seminars for the first time. I set out all of the refreshments, made extra coffee, set up the projector... 2:30 rolls around and no one, not even the presenter has showed up. At this point, I'm getting a little flustered because there is no one to ask where to go from this point. Then, a students shows up (which is this HUGE rule here, NO STUDENTS, no exceptions) so I had to ask him to leave, but he said his teacher, the presenter, told his class to show up for the presentation. AH! About 15 minutes later, the teacher showed up and said that he thought it was at 3:30. He said he found the information somewhere... I have no idea where... so I had to ask him to take the class somewhere else. He really had a hard time wrapping his head around the change, and was treating me a bit like I didn't know what I was doing - which I HATE! So there was that whole debacle.
THEN, someone came in and started trying to get in to my boss's office (instead of letting me know what he was doing) and when I asked if I could help him, he said he was doing inventory. I was a little confused because I didn't know if he meant storage inventory or what, so I said, "For...?" and he literally scoffed at me and said, "The printers." with a little laugh. Again, I have no idea what he was trying to say, so I tried to get some clarification and he just goes, "Whatever, you don't know, so we'll just get in. We have a key anyway." I just feel like he could have explained, and said something along the lines of the fact that he works in such-and-such department and is checking ink and toner for office printers (which it turns out that's what he was doing) and I would have been happy to open the door for him.
Also, I put out some snacks for the presentation and before 2:30, faculty kept coming in and grabbing food off the table which was clearly left out for some sort of meeting, and it wasn't out on the main table where faculty members can just grab some if they want. It was very obvious that it wasn't for them. And they're not children, so I don't really know what was going on there.
I also just got a bunch of Global Studies kids come in and ask me questions for my co-worker who doesn't come in on Thursdays. So, again, lost. Also, students keep trying to come in here and I'm pretty sure a student and her mom just came in and got a few big bowls of popcorn that is for faculty. So yeah.
I wonder if I have to have some grey hairs before anyone feels the need to give me any respect, even if I am an English instructor and the Adjunct Faculty Mentor. Is it not impressive that I've accomplished all that I have by the time I'm 26? Should I dye the pink in my hair to grey? Honestly. I try to be so respectful to everyone around me and I give my elders a little extra if I can... I tend to run to hold doors open for older people, but all I get in return is condescending and this, "You'll understand one day, you're still learning, students always have trouble, oh gosh do you need someone to tell you what to do" attitude.
I want to say, "I'm learning yes, but in the sense that we are all still learning and will hopefully be lifelong learners. You are also still learning. Also, I'm your colleague. I literally do the same job that you do, along with my bachelor's that I'm very proud of. I like to think critically and I often make good points at meetings and seminars. My leaders and students have pointed out that I am exceptional at what I do, and I am very passionate about it and they have rewarded me for that in multiple ways. I mean seriously... do you KNOW who I AM?!?"
Lol, I know I'm tooting my own horn here, but this is something that is very important to me, and it's so hard to be knocked down over and over for something I can't control. Whether it's my age, or style, or what. Even when I say, actually I'm an Adjunct Professor of English here!, 90% of the time I get, "Wow! Really! How long have you been teaching! Prove it to me!" And sure, it's meant to be 'good-natured' but it is still destructive. I figure by the time I am out of my master's program and have aged a good 10 or so years, then I might not get talked down to.
Okay, is this just me? Is it other successful people my age? Is the older generation actually impressed by my level of success at my age? Is it people of all ages whose faces aren't recognized all the time at their place of work? (I've been here a year and a half, folks.) What is it? What is going on here??
Oh and right, the point of this long venting blog. I reached straight for some popcorn and cupcakes when I was getting flustered and frustrated. I mean I was straight up stuffing handfuls of popcorn in my mouth without taking a breath. I had never really noticed how much I stress eat and it is starting to dawn on me that I do it all. the. time. I can't even imagine why. So nobody showed up. So what. I should have just kept calm and carried on. Nobody can blame me for things that other people do wrong. So he invited his class. I should have just said, "No sir, those are the rules. We simply cannot allow student in this faculty safe-zone." Why didn't I just keep a calm head and have confidence?
Oh god. Maybe they were reacting to my lack of confidence in the way they were treating me. But it still holds, because I have been confident and still shot down by colleagues, so it must be something bigger than that.
Although today, it might have been that.