Monday, September 30, 2002

Youch, I hit post/publish and simultaneously received an e-mail from her. I wonder if her ears were burning.
9:21 PM

I'm kind of...not wanting to go out to lunch on Wednesday. Because I know she's going to tell me how much better he will be at my old job than I was, and I'm going to have to sit there and pretend not to be annoyed. I will have to listen to one of three formulations, if not all:

"He'll do a better job because he's got more computer skills." Well, fuck that noise. He's using the books *I* discarded to do tech support in his current position. There is no way he knows more about computer systems than I do, there just isn't. I wrote my first computer program 22 years ago, he just started learning about computer systems last year.

"He'll be better because he's more proactive and will seek out new tasks." Well, fuck that noise as well. I was the most proactive person around for the first 1.5 years. I looked around, some something that could be improved, and did it. Designed databases, bought new equipment, took on new responsibilities. I asked and asked and asked my boss to redefine my position because I was running out of work, to no avail.

"He'll be better because he's more suited to working with people." Okay, this would be a fair enough complaint if I didn't bend over backwards to get along with everyone on a professional level. Hell, I even had the occasional conversation with Charlie! What more could anyone ask from me? I challenge her to find one person (besides Problem Co-worker A) with whom I wasn't friendly, polite or helpful. There ain't none. More suited to working with people? He blushes if you say his name. He makes my social anxieties look minor. He breaks out in a rash if you say Happy Birthday to him, seriously.

And it's completely stupid to get angry over it, because I am SO GLAD to be out of that job, and I don't wish my predecessor ill, nor think that I'm irreplacable. But on the other hand, I shouldn't have to listen to a friend tell me why her boyfriend is more suited to a job I did better than anyone else who'd ever held it to date.

9:20 PM

I've been carrying around the faculty newsletter all day simply because it makes me laugh. Today's helpful teaching hint comes under the heading, "Advice from the Ancient Texts--The Bhagavad Gita." Here's what I need to think about in order to get through my teaching day:

You have the right to work, but for the work's sake only. Desire for the fruits of work must never be your motive for working. Work done with anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender.

I didn't understand the Bhagavad Gita in grad school, and I don't get it now.

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