Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I think I've touched briefly upon all the flapdoodle at work. Yes? It's been going on in some form or another for almost 17 months now, and an end (at least for one of my colleagues and me) is finally in sight. The dean stepped in last month and decided that as of May 1, my colleague and I will be part of another department.

Initially I was a bit upset, but upon reflection I think that was just vocational Stockholm Syndrome. A few weeks back, we had a very good meeting with our (soon to be) new supervisor and her department head. They seem to be reasonable people, with a management style that seems to be pretty hands-off (hurray!). They're thrilled we'll be joining them, and everyone else we've talked to in the new place is just as happy about it -- though they very sweetly tried not to appear so at first, in case it looked like gloating.

The morning after this meeting with The New Boss, I woke up an hour before the alarm, was showered, dressed, breakfasted, and sitting by the radio embroidering before 6:30. I took the early bus in, had a nice leisurely cup of coffee before heading to work, and just marvelled at how I felt: good. Really, really good. Better than I've felt in over a year. Optimistic, happy, cheerful, hopeful, insert your favorite positive adjective here. It was like I've been living in a fog and didn't notice it until it cleared away. I'm sure the meeting and the mood are related because it's been almost a month now, and I still feel good.

My current supervisor and department head are both doing their best to subtly poison us against the people we will be working with and for. It's not working, though. I wish I'd recognized sooner that I was being used as a weapon, but at least I've figured it out now. All of the trying-to-push-my-buttons is having exactly the opposite effect, in fact. I wish I could switch departments right now, instead of in May.

I was informed this morning that my new cubicle is ready for me. I started moving my tschotchkes into the new space on my afternoon break. M'colleague (any Fry and Laurie fans out there?) came with me, mainly to see what the new space looked like. We were there maybe ten minutes before the welcome wagon came 'round. And 'round. And 'round. At least four people stopped by to say howdy and (probably) to get some juicy gossip about life in Purgatory.

That's going to take a little getting used to. I'm accustomed to a work room that has at most six people in it at one time. This place has probably around one hundred, in various teams. Classic cube farm, complete with prairie dogging co-workers.

The only thing I'm really going to miss in my new job is the reference desk. I won't be doing any, at least for a while. Instead, I will be cataloging serials all day. Though they did say that if I wanted to I could be part of the job enrichment program, and work on a reference desk for two hours a week. For someone who's used to ten hours a week, two seems a bit small.

I'm sure I'll have plenty to keep me busy though.

And now I'm off to dinner, and to go see some actors from Juliard perform a stage adaptation of Jane Eyre.


G said...

Great news, V - but who will look up my orphan words for me now?

Like "snithing" - commonly used when I was at school to mean "crowded", "lots of", "teeming with", and heard here yesterday for the first time in several decades.

--V said...

I can still do that, G. One of my neighbors pointed out the shelf full of dictionaries near where I'll be living. He said they're very good ones. He's never had to go to the stacks to look up a word. He works with the rare materials, so I'm thinking he must run into some pretty funky words.

--V said...

Found it! OED, under "sny."

sny, v.2

Now dial.

(snai) Forms: 7 snithe, 9 snive; 7, 9 snie, 8-9 sny, 9 snye; 7, 9 snee. [Of obscure origin.]

intr. To abound, swarm, teem, be infested, with something.
1674 RAY N.C. Words 44 To Snee or snie, to abound or swarm. He snies with Lice, he swarms with them. 1675 V. ALSOP Anti-sozzo 503 Certainly never did man so snithe with prejudices against Truth. c1746 J. COLLIER (Tim Bobbin) View Lanc. Dial. Gloss., Snye, to swarm. 1849 HOWITT Year Bk. Country 242/32 The villages in the forest sny with children. 1882 Echo 16 Jan. 4/1 The place literally ‘snives’ with rabbits. 1897 J. PRIOR Ripple & Flood xix, The watter snies wi' fish.

G said...

Amazing. 1674. V, you are a valuable resource. I think I'll start naming you at the end of essays. Thank you.