Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I'm a little tired of it, frankly. Our department has a very strong culture of mutual support and friendliness and, yes, collegiality, whatever that means. Lots of polite. But it becomes more clear to me all the time that the politeness is a veneer over the top of real backstabbing, sly perpetuations of professionally and personally unproductive [intellectual, pedagogical, generational, ethical] divides, and the most backhanded compliments. I don't think I knew, when I hired on six years ago, that I would need to be very, very circumspect in what I said and to whom. In many ways, I wish I were back in the department where I did my PhD, which was openly rancorous and territorial, but where you felt you actually knew where you stood with everyone. The rancor was, oddly, a kind of respect. I don't pussyfoot very well, and I find myself getting weary of the cheerful treachery of my cheshire coworkers.