I had a meeting this morning with Bad Ass Administrator. I’m one of the couple hundred people who work for her, so it’s not a big shock that I haven’t had much of a chance to work one-on-one with her before now. Since I really respect Bad Ass Administrator, I was super-excited for the opportunity to work closely with her on a project (thus our coffee meeting this morning).
BAA is a super-star academic, but she’s also a mom. Maybe that’s why it happened, why talk shifted away from the project early-on in our conversation. She was asking me about how I was managing childcare and if the DH was helping at all with the kids since the split. She offered her support and encouragement.
Then we returned to the project . . . but my mind was still hanging back on that first part of the conversation. As I said, BAA and I really haven’t had the chance to work together at all. And I know that I certainly wasn’t chummy enough to have chatted with her about my marital demise during any of the ten-second greetings we exchanged in the hallway.
Um, how the hell did she know about my domestic situation? It was kind of creeping me out.
The intellectual side of me was thinking, well, this is a department that studies communication, so it would make total sense for people to be communicating about one another. The stay-out-of-my-shit side of me, on the other hand, was thinking “what the hell!”
It’s not that I was mad at BAA for bringing up my personal life in a business meeting (though that IS kind of weird); I was annoyed at whomever decided my domestic dramas were interesting enough to share with BAA . . . and god knows who else. Heck, maybe the provost and president know all my shit.
It made me wonder about all the other secrets, the ones my friends thought were safe. I wondered if BAA knew about the affairs (carnal and otherwise) that seemed to be so very-well concealed. Perhaps she does know the secrets of all two hundred-something of us. Because, apparently, there’s as much gossip going on in the academy as in a junior high school hallway.
Dang, I guess I need to catch up on my gossip game!