Et pour en finir…

The other practical reason I oppose going on about how work is suffering is that it makes for such an unprofessional atmosphere. Graduate students do it, secretaries do it, and instructors do it. Pink collars do it and ladies do it. “Oh, it is so hard.” “We aren’t getting any younger.” “How are you today, dear?” I am a working man; I have never seen tenured professor, no matter how old, go on about suffering; I am not interested in starting.

The janitors don’t do it, the groundsmen don’t do it, and only the most cliquish of professors and administrators do it as some sort of smoke signal to others that they were in on judging some secret matter together. Other people dress professionally, wear good haircuts, take care of their health for the long haul, and do things as efficiently as possible. I understand about not being in a mental or emotional state that allows for that, but I cannot approve of inviting others to share it.

I have a piece of advice for job candidates, too: invent an outside interest or hobby, or at least imagine one you might undertake here. When asked what you like to do for fun, please do not say that fun is not something you do since you are so dedicated to work. It is a really bad sign when people say that. If you truly have no answer it is better is to say something like: “You know, I never did [X], but I always wanted to try it; have you?”


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