Friday, October 03, 2003

Hard Lessons
Lisbeth is frustrated with the way work is organised at itu. Her frustrations are too familiar. But Lisbeth is a quick learner. It took me five years to realise what she has learned: that there is no reward in Academia for saving somebody else's face.

But to the defense of Universities and Colleges as a workplace, and hopefully to give Lisbeth some hope, I want to point out that lessons once learned are not easily forgotten. Once people have learned to rely on Lisbeth, they will go on doing so, no matter how she behaves. Once the idea of Dr Klastrup as reliable is established, she can committ serious offenses, and still be reliable.

It's permitted to be sick, to be angry, to be stressed, to be frustrated - and to let your colleagues know about this - once your image as a hard worker who solve more problems than you create has been accepted. This gives you a slack that you would not have without that established faith.

That is when aggression is revealed as fear, manipulation as the last desperate attempt to save face vis á vis a competent and good looking young woman, disregard as wishful thinking. It just takes a while. And, young woman new to academic responsibility and intrigue, until you reach that point, maintain a good, positive and friendly network on your own. Take that extra little luxury of working with people who like you. That is where we can receive as much as we give.

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