Tag Archives: frustration

October 14, 2010, 4:57 pm

Titles and respect

I see a lot of bloggers complaining that their students do not call them “Dr. So-and-so” and how that is disrespectful – and how it happens far more often to female faculty than it does to male faculty. Having done quite a bit of teaching myself, I understand the problem very well and sympathize.

But I would argue that it is worse when you are in an administrative position and the faculty members that you are managing assume you are staff, and address you as “Ms.” in their emails. Even when your email signature clearly points out that you have a Ph.D. When I was hired for this position, they were looking for someone who had a Ph.D. and who would continue to do active research, because they felt that it would be valuable for many of the responsibilities of this job. They are even giving me a faculty appointment in one of the departments to assist with things like getting funding. However…

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October 8, 2010, 10:12 am

Things that fill me with rage

Day 1: I send an email to all faculty with Request 1 for information.

Days 1-9: No response.

Day 10: I send an email to all faculty with Request 1 for information (Repeated), this time making it sound more urgent.

Days 10-15: A few responses dribble in.

Day 16: I send an email to 4 faculty members with Request 2 for something else needed for an upcoming event.

Day 18: One of the 4 faculty members – WHO NEVER RESPONDED TO REQUEST 1 – responded to Request 2, saying “This would be a lot easier if we had a list of info [that I asked for in Request 1].”


September 29, 2010, 7:00 am

On scheduling meetings

I work with very busy and important people, and I have to schedule meetings for them all to attend.

This is pretty much impossible.

(By the way, if you need to do the same, I highly recommend whenisgood.net.)

Anyway, I had to set up a meeting with many busy and important people, and of course there was no time that everyone could meet in the next couple of weeks. After days of back and forth, I finally picked a time that only three people would miss, and sent out an email with that time.

Within 10 minutes, two of the three people who were not available for that time slot sheepishly sent me an email saying that they could, in fact, be there for that meeting.

September 28, 2010, 7:00 am

Writing these emails wouldn't be so bad if somebody READ them

The text of an email I sent yesterday:

For the [funding agency name redacted] report, I need “brief biographical information in one page or less” from all of you. Basically, this is a one-page version of your [redacted]; the conflict of interest info is not required. I am attaching examples from [redacted]. Please send me your 1-page bios in the next week or so.


1. How many pages should this bio be?

2. How many people got the wrong answer to #1 yesterday??


September 27, 2010, 11:01 am

Re: Fwd: Fwd: Re: Email

Lately, if someone were to ask me what my job is, I would answer “Writing emails.”

I write emails. Then I wait for people to answer them. Most people don’t, so I have to write another email to follow up on the first email. Sometimes I make phone calls about why my emails weren’t answered.

When I do get responses to my emails, half the time the responders don’t actually give me the information I requested but instead either 1) ask me a different question or 2) explain why they can’t/haven’t yet/don’t have time yet/don’t know/are not the right people to give me the requested information.

Then I respond to that email and the cycle starts again.

I am pretty sure this is not the most efficient way to get work done.