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Is that a bridge I see going up in smoke?

“Hey, Moebius Stripper, any updates on the job front?”

Funny you should ask! Let’s take a look: so far, we have a school that doesn’t screen applications before the job is scheduled to begin; a school that advertizes for nonexistent positions; and a school whose employees are all on vacation around screening time. Anything else? Why, yes: we also have a school whose employment contact email was rendered nonfunctional sometime between the time I applied back in March and yesterday morning.

Now there’s a clever way to avoid being pestered. Also, an outright rejection from a college looking for an instructor to do, for the next eight months, the exact same thing that I did (skillfully! conscientiously! with a smile on my face!) for the past eight months. Apparently “after careful consideration”, they decided that I fell so far short of their lofty academic standards that I wasn’t even worth interviewing. The day’s not over yet, but as of this writing, I haven’t responded that excuse me, what in the goddamned fuck are they talking about, they couldn’t even spell my name correctly in their three-line reply, and they’re snotting about standards?

Suspicion that I can’t back up, but that makes me feel better about myself: my incompetent former colleague, the Nice Teacher, whom I know for a fact was at some point employed by Standards U (and who might be employed by them now), was asked for feedback about me by that school’s math department head, who’d considered getting me to come into town for an interview. Either that, or he provided it voluntarily. In any case, I suspect that he approached this task with a level of skill and enthusiasm such that, had either been present when he was actually working with me, he’d certainly have gotten his contract extended.

But neither had been, and so midway into the semester I found myself sitting in Department Head’s office, explaining that my colleague, as a consequence of his particular brand of ineptitude, was undermining my work. Thanks for telling me! replied Department Head. We certainly can’t have that! I’ll have a talk with him right away. And no way will he be back here next term. So I guess we’ll have work for YOU.

“Moebius Stripper?” (I’m guessing) said Nice Teacher. “I remember her.” The damned bitch! I’d still have that job at Island U if it weren’t for her! “Oh,” (I’m guessing) continued Nice Teacher, “She’s certainly a nice person. But, she didn’t teach appropriately. She misjudged her students. And I got better evaluations than she did.” Because I basically let my students see their tests in the day before they wrote them, but who’s keeping track?

“Thank you for your input,” (I’m guessing) said the department chair at Standards U. “We won’t waste time with an interview then.”

So, if this is how things went down, I suppose this could be construed as poetic justice of some sort: I screwed Nice Teacher out of a job, and then he screwed me out of a job. Except that it isn’t, because the difference was that I was right, and the Nice Teacher was wrong. No good deed, yadda. I could also get all self-righteous and say that it’s good this happened, because I don’t want to work for an institution that would not only hire my school’s sloppy seconds, but listen to him, anyway, so there; except that I still do want to work for them.

Even if that’s not how it went, feh. Fortunately, I have some technical writing work lined up for the coming months, and I’ve decided I want to visit all of the major Gulf Islands. (Five down, eight to go.) I’ve also decided to work on a math book I’ve been thinking about for a long time; more about that in a bit.

In the meantime, I guess I should be prepared to be in this for the long haul.

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