Demeter's House

{May 6, 2009}   The Academy: Kinda Like Junior High but with Bigger Books

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!


Honey says:

Well, if you are talking about AMH then you should know she is a HUGE gossip. She once told me that she “would never ever” write a recommendation for a particular grad student for ANY position and further posited that perhaps he had undiagnosed Asperger’s. Ugh.

If you are talking about AKH then, while you obviously can’t control whoever said something to her in the first place, you can trust that she is very discreet. Unfortunately, discreet enough that she will never tell you who spilled the beans to her in the first place.

But I suppose I’m just as gossipy as BAA for sharing this with you.

demetershouse says:

LOL, I get it now! AKH, who knows my situation, must have talked to BAA/AMH. 🙂

Thinking about it, I realize you’re totally right about her being a gossip–I think I’ve heard at least two other people say that she said similar comments to them about the guy you mentioned.

demetershouse says:

BTW, he *absolutely* has Asperger’s!

kat says:

It’s not just your campus! Gossip is part of the academy. It’s shocking to work at a non-profit now and not have all the gossip I got used to at ASU!

demetershouse says:

How boring, Kat! 😉

Honey says:

Well you know, demeter, I always thought so, too – the difference is I wouldn’t pull someone aside COMPLETELY RANDOMLY in the hall and tell them that!

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