Thursday, April 5, 2012

The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them

We push a lot of hurt and discontent way down deep in efforts to do what we need to do in our day to day lives.  I wish this wasn't true, but for the majority of us, I think, it is.  Today I heard a lot of discontent bubble to the surface.  Today I had lunch with all my peers at the college I work at.  There are some deep hurts that have been inflicted by the new administration of this college.  Was it good to allow these hurts to have a voice?  Will there be names attached to the comments spoken aloud?  What comes of a meeting like this?  Is it cleansing for the soul or will the administration cleanse itself of those employees who have been hurt?

We will see what the future will bring.  I know, for me, it felt good to have my feelings validated by other staff members of the college.  Our college has brought on, as president and first lady, the quintessential east coast intellectual liberal elite couple.  In the first few months as the new administration this man, at an all staff meeting, proceeded to tell the staff they were unnecessary to the running of a liberal arts college.  All that was needed was faculty.  Staff were non-essential.  I know he regretted this statement.  I know he didn't mean it the way it sounded.  Here's the thing, what kind of person could make a faux pas like this?  I'm guessing it is the kind of person who thinks he is above most of the rest of the people he meets.  I'm guessing we aren't talking about a humble person.

Later on in his tenure with the college the state provided on opportunity for a few staff members to receive pay raises.  This opportunity was really out of the administration's hands.  If they didn't give some of the staff the raises the state would take this to mean that raises were not necessary for anyone.  That is certainly not the case.  I haven't had a raise in five years.  The state has promised us a raise this year.  Yay, but wait, how much of a raise?  Answer, 2%.  Thanks State.  I'm so grateful I have a job.  Nevertheless, a few (18) staff  members received raises last December.  The fact that it was only 18 people was tough enough to take.  The president had to put a little salt in the wound.  He sent out an email informing ALL staff of what departments the 18 staff members worked and how many staff from each department got a raise.  (I wonder who it is?)  But wait, Mr. Sensitivity was not done.  In his email he shared to ALL staff (all the staff that didn't get raises) that these 18 individuals were ESSENTIAL staff members.  (I guess that makes the rest of us... not)

For the most part, I have pushed these hurt feelings down deep and continued to do my job.  I wasn't able to get them pushed down deep enough by Christmas, so I did not attend my boss's "holiday" party.  (btw, he was ESSENTIAL to the tune of $6K.  oh yeah, we are a state institution.  this information is public, even though they like to act as if it is not.)  Today these feelings bubbled up again.  It's tough to want to work hard for an administration with such obvious disregard for more than half of their employees.

I work in the same building as our new president.  I work in an office on the same floor as this man.  He comes into my office at least once a day on days he is in the office.  He doesn't know my name.  He never says good morning.  I wrote a post about Maya Angelou back in September.  In it I mentioned a quote of hers, “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

We need to take this quote to heart and believe who this man has told us he is.  I know I'm to forgive and turn the other cheek.  It's unfortunate that this "other cheek" is my employment status.  I felt most sorry for those women in the room who are single mothers and trapped in their jobs.  I know working for a paycheck is not nearly as rewarding as being respected for the work you do.  I know I should feel sorry or have compassion for this couple.  Somehow they have lost their capacity for empathy or maybe it's a superiority thing.  Regardless, they are lacking a portion of their humanity and this is a sad, sad thing.  It's funny, they seem to care more about the grass, flowers and trees on campus than they do about the people hired to take care of those things.  Maybe this is a characteristic of the liberal elite and we will just have to live with it.

Thanks for letting me blow off a bit of steam.  It does help to have an outlet.  Sadly, I did make a comment or two at the luncheon.  We will see if I will become eligible for those 99 weeks of unemployment entitlement our other president is handing out.

111.  Apple stock
112.  Kind people
113.  Knowledge that time heals old hurts
114.  Self confidence.
115.  Maundy Thursday church service  (I need to ask forgiveness)


  1. ugh i am sorry that you are stuck with this guy...i know often it is freeing to vent a bit...and to know that you are not the only one that feels that way...does the guy even know or is he clueless?

  2. And who does that guy think would do the adminstration of the college?  The faculty?  I'm pretty sure they wouldn't do that.  :)  I'll be interested to hear how this turns out.

  3. Interestingly, I can relate to so much of this as a former faculty member. I used to teach English for a for-profit technical institute where staff was valued over faculty in every respect. I don't know why administration can't recognize: in any given environment, it takes everyone.

  4. I wonder how the guy feels by getting more money while the other employees who get paid less than him didn't get one. That's embarassing.

  5. 4 of the 18 individuals are devastated  (they only received 2-3K raises).  The higher paid, like my boss and the other VP's are good with their raises and not embarrassed in any way.

  6.  I pretty sure you are right about that.

  7. It's a matter of respect.  Doncha think?

    1. You hit it on the nail there. Unfortunately stories like this is popping up everywhere due to current economy and some bosses live on a different planet than the rest of us

  8. Love reading your blog BTW as you say it like how you see it !

  9. Every person has a job and is important. Sounds as if a staff discussion with him would be worthwhile.  There is power in numbers. 

  10. Ouch friend.  I know what it's like to be stuck with a horrible boss/co-worker.  It can be torturous at times.


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