South Park Self

it's exhausting to live in the Meanwhile

It's been very illuminating, the last year or so. I slip far too easily into the self-loathing mindset where my current spectacularly unsuccessful career existence is the result of my multiple past failures, most notably not ever managing to land an academic post back when I was still vaguely competitive for same. But actually, it would not have been a magic bullet, if by some freak of circumstance I'd finangled my way past entrenched misogyny, redress hiring and the fetishisation of Africanised content to have become an English department lecturer. If I'd done that, I would actually, at my best guess, in 2018 be at least as unhappy as I am in my present existence, in that the department concerned is currently a heaving snake-pit of vile personality politics that has chewed up and spat out several HoDs in a row over the last five years. It's not only the kind of tense, backbiting environment which most bludgeons and drains me, it's also entirely likely that if I'd been a lecturer in 2008, one of the mowed-down HoDs would have been me. There are no magic bullets.

On the other hand, that department does contain at least one colleague who has been long-term friend and ally since we were both in Masters, and whose consolatory email upon learning that Minerva do not, at present, think I am a good fit for their operation, included the above lovely sentence of my subject line. My life right now feels very much like marking time, and it is, indeed, exhausting.The job hunt continues, with reeling, writhing and fainting in coils. 

My difficult boss has, with consummate skill in the navigation of university procedures and politics, managed to absent herself from her job for four months at the most pressurised time of year and arrange a return this week under circumstances which, by a spectacular feat of gaslighting, insist that the whole thing was All Our Fault, not hers. There are doomful HR warnings hanging, not over her, but over the rest of the faculty. I'm staggering slightly, partially with reluctant admiration at the sheer chutzpah, and am also a bit numb. I think it's going to get very bad from here on out, but i can't imagine how it's going to play out, the whole situation is so bizarre, so the future feels curiously blank. At this point a quick alien abduction (of me, rather than her) would probably sort the whole thing nicely, in the sense of resolving all ambiguities, at least. I am possibly to be found hereafter of a night standing in the back courtyard looking hopefully at the sky while brandishing a small placard reading "TAKE ME NOW". An interstellar career change would be just the ticket. If not, I hear Canada's nice.

This entry was originally posted at https://freckles-and-doubt.dreamwidth.org/958810.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Comments have been disabled for this post.