So I got a request. A request that came down from my dean through my chair. The request was to move my request for sabbatical from Fall semester to Spring semester.
The reasons for this were sound. Too many faculty were requesting sabbatical for Fall, and some of those faculty technically fall in the same teaching areas. Will there be courses for students who need to graduate? Will all faculty who apply for sabbatical in our department get it if we are competing amongst ourselves?
But let me tell you. I found myself massively pissed off at this request to accommodate when I found it in my in-box. And let me tell you why.
I am the only faculty member in recent memory (if ever) who has published a motherfucking book prior to tenure.
I am one of the most published members of my entire fucking department in reputable scholarly venues, even though I've only been here since Fall 2003. The most published person, in reputable scholarly venues, has been employed here since before I was motherfucking born (1972).
I have never had a sabbatical (one only qualifies at this establishment after tenure), and I have only had two courses of reassigned time for research since my arrival, and yet, the above is what I've accomplished.
I have a service record that is, compared to people at my rank, above and motherfucking beyond. Community service? Done it. Department service? I can't even count the ways I've served, and on important committees, too, in addition to in totally invisible ways. University-wide service? Been there done that, and particularly with MUWCI most recently, but other things, too. Professional service? Dude, I'm the president of a motherfucking MLA Allied Organization, I'm a peer reviewer for three journals (currently), and I've done more besides.
Dude, give me my sabbatical for the period of time in which I've requested it. I'm a good risk. I've never failed to deliver on promises I've made when requesting support (a) and I've delivered above and beyond even when I've motherfucking been denied support (b). You give me the sabbatical I request, and I'll clearly achieve what I've promised with that award. How do you know? Well, maybe because I'm one of the few people in my department who's ever produced anything worthy of note. Whether I'm obligated to do so by such an application or not. Oh, but also, the very few times I've been obligated by any small amount of institutional support? I've never failed to meet the goals I'd said I'd achieve.
You know what pissed me off so much about the request I'd received to change semesters? To compromise for the good of the department? I know, because of the tiny bit of effort that I put into thinking about this when I was asked.
1. The person who likely applied for the slot of "Competition #1" for the Fall semester because he's trying to extend the maternity leave/sabbatical situation that his partner (also in our department) has worked out for this year. Let's just note for the record that I was the one who insisted to both colleagues that the partner should get maternity leave plus the sabbatical leave that had already been awarded. I don't think that sabbaticals should be used for maternity leave. On the other hand, I also don't think that people who are not proven researchers should trump my motherfucking application for sabbatical at a particular time because they happen to have infants. Dude, sabbatical is about research and research potential. Period. And you, compared with me, don't compete.
2. The person who likely applied for the slot of "'Competition #2" for the Fall semester is likely the person who was the "internal candidate" for my position. (Times were flush, and they converted this person from lecturer to t-t, while at the same time hiring me from outside t-t.) Let's note that this person does not do scholarship in "our" field at all. Rather, he writes poems and fiction (which I've heard he forces students to listen to him read in literature courses - not creative writing ones) and he teaches One of the Most Difficult Novels of All Time, which at minimum in all contexts (grad and undergrad) takes 6 weeks to cover, in three. And then he gives his students a certificate congratulating them for "reading" it. I wish I were kidding. In other words, this person, seriously? Nice enough, on a personal level, but really, you're going to ask me to change my sabbatical request for this person? Seriously?
And you know what I wanted to respond, when I thought about the request that I received to change my plans to be a "team player" for the department?
Fuck you, fuck you, FUCK YOU.
What I actually responded with was a detailed, bulleted list that delineated my reasons for needing the sabbatical for the period in which I requested it. 'Cause, see, here's the thing: I already and really had reasons for requesting it for that period of time. Ones related to my potential to produce. Because isn't that what a motherfucking sabbatical application is supposed to be about? I know, I'm naive. How could I imagine that this would be the case.
To my chair's credit, he got my reply and he totally was all "I hear you" and he didn't try to persuade me to change after that. Have I mentioned recently how much I think my chair really rules? Dude, he rules. He is like the Uber-Chair. All that said though? How dare he try to get me to budge on this. How dare he even ask. Because, seriously? I deserve some motherfucking credit. I deserve some motherfucking acknowledgment. At the end of the day, it's totally clear that I am teh awesome. (Not in myself, but just according to CV criteria). With that being the case, being "equitable" doesn't involve asking me to fuck myself, knowing that I'm a good department citizen.
(FYI, I talked to my chair today, I learned that it was Colleague #2 who caved.)
2 years ago