Friday, March 28, 2008

No Good Deed Left Unpunished.....

Someone just please kill me now. Use your weapon of choice, make good and sure that I am dead, and then dump my body some place where no one will ever find it. Especially not a committee. Because then they would forcibly reanimate me and want to go over the wording on page 4, paragraph C, sub paragraph B, line 5. "I don't think you can say that unless you also say this...." And this, my friends, is how a simple 3-page document morphs into a 100-page nightmare that you need a team of lawyers and a psychic to interpret.

The whole process began with the noble goal of changing and clarifying our current current RTP (rentention, tenure and promotion) document to more accurately reflect the goals of our department. We were full of grand dreams and plans to create a set of standards that was stalwart yet realistic, that would encourage us to be good departmental citizens and recognize all the hard work we do but for which we (as of now) do not receive credit. God were we stupid. Somehow, somewhere things went horribly horribly wrong......and I can now honestly say that this is about as much fun as getting hit in the face with a shovel. Seriously, had I known that this was going to be the hair-pulling teeth-gnashing exercise that it has turned in to I would have run screaming in the other direction the moment it was proposed.

The document itself has become a virtual spiderweb of edits, insertions, word substitutions and strike throughs (gotta love Track Changes!) - it looks like a drawing by a monkey on crack. Thank God for my friend and fellow committee member, Sue, who is kind enough to return my agonized glances and has a definite knack for keeping everyone on track (she can say things like"That is an interesting suggestion. Let's return to the paragraph we were working on." and not sound like a complete bitch). I think we have a shot at the gold in the synchronized eye-rolling competition.

Okay, I need to go find that monkey and see if he has any crack to share.

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