a) enough of this no-cussing-on-my-blog crap
b) yet, I'll try not to let it take over

(That's probably been another facet of my not consistently relating current life ickinesses on here, come to think of it.)

Anyway... it's either ironic or completely par for the course (depending on how realistic my outlook is on any given day) that a school like this one, where technological advances are great in theory or as a science to be studied, but in practical applications or at least support of same, um, NOTSOMUCH, the F*S Fucking Ass Shit oops I mean F*culty *ctivity System should be such a big deal and keep so many people so stressed (both on the demand end and the execution end) and so busy for so long. (I bet a couple of email accounts self-destructed along the way.) It is yet one more thing on an already lengthy list of admin/dept crapola which makes this place remind me of nothing so much as Japan, where much professional bureaucratic wheel-spinning also took place under the guise of efficiency and left most of my colleagues there, as here, somewhat frazzled to say the least.

What's F*S!?, you ask. It sounds really cool!

It is, supposing you like doing online itemization of all your tasks and activities and responsibilities, current and projected, for the entire academic year, AND providing you are dying to assign percentage-of-effort labels to same, and ESPECIALLY providing you can do this without completely depressing yourself by seeing finally in print just why it is you're so completely busy and yet only being allowed to assign 100% effort, total, to these tasks which - based on how draining they seem - couldn't possibly only add up to 100%, could they? Two or three of them alone I know for a fact are using up a couple hundred percent of my life, each. Energy deficit has to account for something, and if there's a deficit there it must be because of an overage somewhere, no?

Added bitter pill: you're not allowed to put any extra effort for any course/teaching overages, either. That's even crazier - I mean it's even called "overage" - you're even paid overage pay, for crying out loud, but on the F*S it might as well be an imaginary task. (Come to think of it there are plenty of those, too, if I factor in all the things I would be getting done in a perfect world, making me the best little department member in tarnation, not many of which are coming to fruition and yet are still biting into my self-respect and ego. Further unrepresented deficit. Even tho it's my own perspective at fault in this case.)

All this means that the more extra stuff you're doing (yes, all that really potentially hopefully someday soon fulfilling work like Paris, French Club, Convo Table, blah blah blah) the more you have to play with the numbers so that both you and the department are happy with the effort spread. Every extra thing you do takes points away somewhere else of course consequently you play with the numbers for about an hour so that it looks like everything is worthy and you're working really hard while not detracting overmuch from your main job (um, er, teaching).

I'm sure a lot of this is quite familiar to some of you. I've heard slightly similar tunes from friends in the business world, and certainly from family & friends in the public school system, over the years. Guess I've just been really lucky up to now. With all its drawbacks, Aub*rn, or at least our dept. there, didn't come close to anything like this. The most similar thing I've experienced in fact was at Borders when we'd do manager evaluations of employees. Of course they were nowhere near as crazy, plus I got paid by the hour :)

Thank goodness a couple of other lecturers in the office piped up that the first two years they did theirs wrong and that if something is messed up, the committee will simply contact you and someone will tell you what's wrong and you can redo it. Wow! Compassion will out, apparently, at least a bit. I was pretty surprised to hear this but it's a huge relief knowing that, regardless of what they've been saying in all the recent department emails, the world will not, in fact, come to a firy end this week if everyone's frigging F*S's aren't completed Just So by today noon. (Completed mine with an hour to spare just in case. Definitely couldn't take an apocalypse on my conscience with all the stuff I'm already feeling crappy about just now.)


Whatever. Where would the rest of us be if there weren't entities (people, committees, departments...) taking themselves WAY too seriously?! (Oh, I don't know, doing our actual jobs and having way less stress in our lives maybe?)

I got a free pen from the publisher's rep who stopped by today.

Just trying to keep things in perspective. :)

And some mints.

But they kinda suck. (npi)

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Applecart T. a dit…

oh, honey …

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