Wednesday, October 11
So, I happen to be a visiting scholar somewhere presently. At first, I told myself, okay, different system, must get used to it. No use comparing it to other university I was at...

Day 1: Printer is out of ink. Can't get ink, since it requires filling out so many forms, and then where will the money come from, etc etc. Ok, fine I think, I will use the other printer. Things are laid back here, I like laid back.

Week 3: Colleague, who treats me as less than colleague, suggested that I find other person in other department to talk to re: certain thing that is his specialty. Ok, will do. Each department has a secretary/gatekeeper here. I go and ask for him, when he receives appointments, etc, as you can't actually get to the offices unless you get past the gatekeeper. Gatekeeper says: He's not here, I don't know, try another day. Fastforward to today. I see colleague and she asks if I met with him yet. I explain the situation.

SnarkyColleague: So is this how you do research?
Me: (What did I just say wrong?) I'm sorry, what?
SC: You just give up? You should just tell the gatekeeper where you are going and ask the dept. secretary for office hours.
Me: Oh, well I don't really know the system here, I didn't realize there were two
gatekeeper/ secretaries... (Shocked that she thinks I am a poor researcher simply because I
believed the first gatekeeper that person was not in when he called his office)
SC: (Proceeds to explain in a very condescending way how exactly one gets to this place, finds this person, what one asks to obtain this person, etc.)

Week 3, Later that same day: Go downstairs to the secretary person for our dept. and explain that I need to get some books that they do not have in their library. How does one get them from the other libraries? Do I need a card? (I have yet to receive one and my dept's library books are signed out by hand). Is there some sort of ILL situation?
He looks at me, seems frustrated. Oh I see. He has to start his computer again to find out. It is 3 hours before he leaves but he turned it off because "its so loud and annoying, sometimes you just need some peace and quiet."

What did I get myself into? I thought this would be dream position....


Apricot said...

Oh man, Strawberries, that SUCKS. The condescension, the weird incompetence of people that are suppose dto help, ugh.

Just keep reminding yourself: visiting means eventually, you get to leave!

But I feel for you. And, unfortuantely, I know exactly where you're coming from.

strawberries said...

thanks, apricot.

thankfully, after a day of sleep and good food and happy people has made me forget until monday, when i go back of course.

the part that sucks the most was that i had such high hopes for this place.

fraud, in denim said...

the part that sucks the most was that i had such high hopes for this place.
I once had a boyfriend who believed that it was better to be an optimist than a pessimist. His reasoning? You might be pleasantly surprised, but you're never disappointed.

fraud, in denim said...

Oops.. I meant a pessimist rather than an optimist. I'm taking that as a sign that I've graded entirely too much today!

strawberries said...

fraud -- i often think that too! life would be so much better if i was a pessimist! of course i am way too optimistic to be a pessimist...too bad b/c it sure would have helped me prepare for this.

Orange Ina said...

Sorry to hear all this, Strawberries. It sucks. Regarding the gatekeeping, any chance of sidestepping physical boundaries by sending the target person an email?

strawberries said...

they don't use email here...
enough said.