This repost is dedicated, variously, to Clarissa, Feminéma, Jonathan Mayhew, Historiann, New Kid on the Hallway, Tenured Radical, and Undine, to a few others I have forgotten, to some interesting assistant professor blogs like Paper Chase and Uentdenckt that have disappeared.
Remember, I am for the rights of adjuncts and I believe they should have real jobs with benefits. I am for the creation of more tenure track jobs, and for early tenure. But I am amazed by the poor behavior of some assistant professors. I never did appreciate being considered an oppressor by people whose continued employment I was trying to defend. I have even been harangued by such individuals about how I, as “privileged” senior faculty, ought to “show solidarity” by driving them to the grocery store, in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday, when I was on my way to meeting on the budget.
When I was an assistant professor I was more mistreated than you know. I have since spent a great deal of my time and energy trying and sometimes succeeding in protecting instructors, adjuncts, and junior faculty. I think I am within my rights not to be treated rudely by them now. In addition, it is an unfortunate fact that in some cases these people really only want help because they know giving it will cut into my leisure and research time. So no, just because you are a graduate student, an adjunct, an instructor, an untenured person, a foreigner, no, I do not owe you typing or rides.
Once I rented my house to a new assistant professor at half the cost of the mortgage, because we were paying her so little. Some months later she left it full of ants and filth, with a note saying she was sorry not to have cleaned, but was also sure I would understand that getting her articles out was more important. So, while I understand very well about oppression and poor working conditions, I also think some of the newer or more marginal people could also well afford to be less oppressive. And there is a lot of poor behavior I am not impressed with at all.