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"...another reason I'm intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels." Sarah Vowell, The partly cloudy patriot.


Fighting the desire to be passive aggressive

I have a teeny tiny office at the university where I am teaching. It is basically an adjunct office, and often has more than one person assigned to it, but I was told that they only assigned more than one person to it if the schedules were very different (like a tues/thurs person with a mon/wed/fri person) because it is so damned small (if there are two people in there, you bump into each other - literally).

So, a grad student who also teaches has apparently camped out in that office. I said this in my bad karma post - he has an office elsewhere that I think he shares with only one other person - but chooses to use the adjunct office because he is typically alone in there. Until I came.

It's not clear to me if he is supposed to be using the office or not.

On friday I tried to hold my office hour. I told him the first time we met when my office hour was so we could coordinate. When I showed up to my OH on friday, he was in there with a student and he was sitting at my desk. They didn't move when I came, and I didn't know what to do.

After the student left I asked if he had an office hour then, and he said no but that he had regular weekly meetings with students and that he would likely be meeting with students all friday afternoons. I guess I have to change my office hour.

Today I needed to meet with my TAs for a few minutes after class, so we went to my office. He showed up. After my TAs left, I asked when his office hours were so we could coordinate schedules better, and he basically said he has multiple office hours every day, and is in the office "from 1-6 monday, tuesdays from 9-2, wednesdays from 1 until I decide to leave, thursdays all day, and all friday afternoons."

So, basically I can only count on using the office monday, wednesday, and friday mornings. However, that is when I prepare my lectures and I don't want to have to also schedule any student or TA meetings then, and don't want to have morning office hours.

And I'm annoyed. I kind of want to passive aggressively go to the department person who handles this stuff and say, "Is there another room I could reserve to meet with students or my TAs?"

I don't want to be all territorial - but I feel like I need to be able to use the office too, and that some negotiating ought occur. But, I think since he has been squatting there for so long, he sees it as his office - and I am an interloper.

Plus, what if a student is upset and needs to talk to me after class? This was a huge issue at almostivy - whenever I wasn't in my office, a faculty person wanted to run subjects. Sometimes a student would want to talk with me after class, but we couldn't go to my office because they were running subjects. It can make an adjunct feel marginalized if they can't use their office when they need to.


At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Twirly said...

I think talking to someone about another room seems a reasonable thing to do! It is a win win situation - either the office situation gets resolved - or you get another meeting place

At 6:57 PM, Blogger shrinkykitten said...

except I really don't think he is supposed to be using the office - so it could cause him to be kicked out, and create some bad blood.

At 7:42 PM, Blogger Anastasia said...

can i just make an observation? the guy sounds like a total prick.

At 7:48 PM, Blogger shrinkykitten said...

Yeah, he is a totally entitled total prick. It is hard for me to tell if it is making up for hge insecurities or if he is just a prick.

I also cannot figure out how it is he has that much time to sit in the office. He is training to be a shrink (ugh), so should have a practicum, plus should be doing research. He acts like he is soooo busy. He also, as I have noted before, is very gassy.

At 5:49 AM, Blogger Ianqui said...

Well, maybe you can tell him that you only have certain hours available, that you need to meet with your TAs then, and that you plan on asking about another possible space. That way it looks like you're doing the right thing--letting him have the space and asking about another--but also subtly warning him that it might arouse some suspicion that he wouldn't want. Maybe that will get him out during your preferred hours?

At 4:06 PM, Blogger Queen of West Procrastination said...

So, would it be bad to ask him point-blank, "Were you actually assigned this office? Because I was not informed that we would be sharing this space. And I am aware that you do also have another space that you could be using."

Bad idea?

And I don't see it as being a bad thing if you look into things and he ends up being kicked out of your office.

At 6:19 AM, Blogger Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I think that asking if he's actually been assigned to that office is a good idea. Do it in the 'I'm confused, X told me that only one person is assigned to this office, and then only when their schedules don't usually conflict. We are clearly conflicting..."

I'd probably also check with X first to make sure he's not supposed to be there.... because then you can say, well, yesterday X told me that...

I'd also tell him when you want to use the office. Don't ask his permission and be explicit that when you want to use the office, he can't be there. Don't think this twit will catch a subtle message, because he won't.

Is he on the schedule to teach a class as an adjunct? If so, it is probably opposite of your schedule and thus X thought that it would be ok to assign you both to the office.

One way or the other, you need to use the office and his behavior isn't acceptable. I don't see a downside to putting him in his place. As it is, he effectively has his own office, something that TAs there don't seem to be entitled to. On the other hand, you are teaching there and don't have the office you are entitled to.


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