Free Day – Sort of…/Office Space Woes

Today we did not have any scheduled meetings and we were ‘free’ to work on whatever we needed to do in order to get ready to teach by next Tuesday. This week has been an exhausting experience mentally  and slightly physically. Today I finished filling out the rest of the paperwork regarding retirement plans, committee assignments, etc. This evening I will be working on the syllabi for my classes and will continue to read the the books I finally received for the classes I will teach.

I am still enjoying getting to know everyone thus far, old and new, however, I had to ruffle a few feathers concerning some of the backlash I received from the old chair leaving (who made a lot of promises) and the new chair coming in (knowing nothing about them).

I was originally slated to teach on another campus of the college, but another faculty member wanted to work in that location because it was nearer that faculty member’s home. I was asked if I wanted to switch with that member and I would teach on the main campus. They wanted me to really consider it because the new campus was a state of the art location and the suite of offices would be nice, etc. I told them that no the main campus would be fine. After working out that arrangement I was told that I would be given the leaving faculty member’s office, courses on that campus and would be receiving a brand new computer with a flat screen monitor, etc (It was really hyped up). I was taken to the faculty member’s office that was switching with me and I was told verbatim, “This will be your office.”

Now let’s come back to a couple of days ago. I arrive on campus and the old chairman is gone, the faculty member has received the transfer to the new location and is raving about the new office space. I am now teaching the faculty member’s courses and then some. When I inquire about my office space I was told I was assigned a new office. I was cool with it at first, because an office is an office, – right. However, it was directly in front of the lady’s bathroom (about 5 feet away) and when I finally saw the size of it (the size of a broom and mop closet) I was upset. First, I was told that I would be teaching 4 or 5 courses and then assigned 6, then I was not going to recieve the office space I was promised and so I was thinking what is next.

I started to talk to everyone involved from the new chair down and let everyone know, hey, this is not what I was promised. I told one guy it felt like a ‘bait and switch.’ I wasn’t overbearing or irate but I was upfront that this was not how things should be handled. I understand that as a rookie I would be doing some grunt work, but at the same time I made life-altering decisions based upon promises made by the former chair. Environment is everything.

Long story short: I received a nice, new, very spacious office that I could feel comfortable to work in, be creative, perform research and meet with students. With the other office I felt that all I would do is use it as a place to sit in between classes and then go home.

I smoothed everything out (I think) with the chair and everyone else I approached (including the guy that got the office I was promised) and I am looking forward to moving forward. 


2 responses to “Free Day – Sort of…/Office Space Woes

  1. I’ve found that there is a balance that I like to call being assertively friendly. It allows one to be accommodating without being a pushover.

    Glad you have a nice space in which to work.

  2. newjackprofessor

    Thanks, I am enjoying it.

    Yeah, as a rookie I have to be willing to accept the grunt assignments to a certain extent, but I know I will be here for a while and I have to be satisfied too.

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