Land of the Touchy

So. I’ve given up my beloved job in the very far southness of this land and taken one in its northeastness. Most things about this new job are just fine/great. However, I think there’s a larger proportion of really irritable, sensitive people in the administration and service sectors of this school. Actually, I don’t know if that’s true, but that’s what it feels like.

Here are the ways I have apparently annoyed/angered/hurt individuals so far:

  • Asking if there were any unused surplus computers available for my research.
  • Telling students to come see me personally for advice about whether X class is ‘the best choice right now.’
  • Asking whether I could hold my statistics course in a computer lab.
  • Requesting administrator rights on my office computer so I can install programs and, um, remove icons from the desktop.
  • Most recently: submitting a request to the IT department to get a VGA cable for the room I teach in, so I can connect my laptop to the projection system.

To be a bit more fair, I don’t know whether the admin rights request annoyed anyone, but I was warned away from asking by several people, and since I made the request (no answer, yet) I’ve heard from various third parties about it, as if the request were some monumental thing–it’s not, because I know others have requested the same thing… and the IT guy with the VGA cable: I have heard that he’s just irritable in general.

Still, I heave a huge sigh. I feel like any request I make, or even tentative question I ask, has about an 80% chance of being met with concerned, worried, or openly annoyed faces and phrases like, “I don’t know… we’ve never done it like that before,” or “there’s no rule against it, but I wouldn’t if I were you.”

Sigh. The adjustment continues. Luckily, my faculty colleagues seem to be pretty high-quality people, though admittedly they include a good dose of the expected diversity of faculty quirks. which mostly makes them more awesome, as a group.