About 5:30 this AM I was sipping coffee, and dropped in to check my school e-mail account. There I found a missile missive from fearless leader...
It's an order to all instructors to have a certain committee meeting report to him by Monday morning. It was sent at the end of day on Friday, about 10 minutes before the entire staff bolted from the building. In other words.... it was sent after anyone on faculty could be expected to read it. They'll first see it after they sign in on this glorious Monday morning, and log in at their computers... If they log in.
A couple details.... Instructors 'official' day starts about ten minutes before kids begin arriving. Once students are in the program, instructors are required to concentrate their time on the kids (As they should). Instructors will be then be wrapped up with their students the entire day, excepting 20 minutes around lunch time.
Yes.... I did the same mathiness trick here that you probably did. Clearly, fearless leader issued a command from on high that physically cannot be done.... at least during contracted work hours.
Analyzing the possibilities here, I come up with three:
- Pointy Haired Boss knows the only way to follow that order is to have read the e-mail by luck, and then work on unpaid personal time to meet his requirements.
- Pointy Haired Boss is a complete idiot, and has no idea how to work a calendar or a clock.
- Pointy Haired Boss knows his fatwa can't possibly be done, and he issued it as a means of harassment.
Please note... this is not the first time such has happened. PHB does things like this fairly often.
Okay then, #1..... PHB expects us to work unpaid hours to complete a report we all know is almost completely ignored. Speaking solely from my experience, administration response to this committee report is almost always a resounding wave of silence, with no action. On very rare occasions, after years of prodding, they might buy our program needed equipment.... but only if grant money is available. As a normal course of business, these committee reports are filed and ignored by administration.
Given that, would PHB expect us to jump that hoop and work for free without any reason save satisfying his personal lust for authority over the peons? Um..... yes, he would.
#2.... PHB is a complete drooling idiot. This one I don't believe, personally. I knew him to be an excellent instructor before he donned the tie and had a leather swivel chair surgically attached to his behind. He's pulled some incredibly bone headed stunts while serving as administrator, but I won't blame any of them on a lack of mental ability. Mental instability... that is another issue. On that score, PHB is a clear contender.
#3.... PHB issued his impossible command as a means of harassing instructors. This one I'll buy into. He knows (because he caused it) that instructors are already ordered to do tasks equivalent to roughly 140% of their paid time. He knows the meaningless and unspecified deadline for this meaningless committee report is just one of many tasks like it, and all add up to far more hours in the day than contracted and paid for. Dropping a stress bomb in the form of an impossible command on top of all that... yes, that I can see PHB doing. It fits a pattern quite well.
What some might see as crude stupidity, incompetence, or just plain meanness.... I don't. Administration is not composed of stupid people, therefor when they do something like issue impossible commands and unreasonable demands on already overstretched instructors it's for a reason. I believe, at least from my own viewpoint, that it's a concerted effort to increase stress and encourage experienced instructors to simply quit.
Given the number of people who have done exactly that... I don't think I'm that far off base.