09 February 2020

Post-ThursdayNighter schism at work

It had been weeks since the big ThursdayNighter schism. And a lot of the dust had settled! Not all had been quiet; since the last update, one more had nailed his colours to the mast, and joined the ThursdayNighters' stance. He had been a bit ambivalent so far! I had seen him in the old year, and he had been glad to see me, but hadn't wanted to talk about what had happened. Later he seemed strangely reluctant to declare if he wanted to be involved in the trips of the new, so far unnamed, group. I wasn't sure what to make of that! I figured time would have to tell. And now it has. It's a pity, but well, after all that came before not much shocks me anymore.

Later that day I was also contacted by the wife of one of the men. She told me she thought my blog postings amounted to public shaming, and she didn't approve of that. But she added she also didn't approve of bullying. She said this sort of stuff should have been resolved with dialogue! And I quite agreed, but well, that ship had sailed with the first email. She was also the one who suggested the new group picks a name that isn't too combative. It was good to see we could just talk. But it was a bit of a painful contrast with the ThursdayNighter methods!

So since then life has been just nicely rolling along. They do their thing and I do mine! And that works well. But of course, that is only avoiding the ThursdayNighters as a whole! And they are individuals too. And they have jobs. Hypothetically, they could be colleagues! What would that be like?

If one or more of them were, then that could complicate things. They could be academic staff, that I would have to teach with. Or they could be support staff, and then you might need them for boat work, or they could come on field days and entire fieldworks! That could be uncomfortable. If someone or something causes you a lot of pain, you tend, as a rule of thumb, to be hyper-vigilant in their or its presence since. And that doesn't go together well with teaching.

One could only hope, in such a situation, that they would have their office is in a different building from mine. And don't attend the lunch- and coffee breaks I do. And as well; that the first contact would be something low key, like a meeting or something, to test the water. If that could be got through without risen adrenaline levels that would be a good sign!

So how is my working life since the big schism? It's fine! My work suffered the first few days when the blow was fresh. But it's been weeks and I'm on a roll. And I am confident that it will stay that way. Bring on the rest of the semester!

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