January 04, 2008


My benefits as an employee of the State of Oregon include, should I have a need, 3 free and confidential counseling sessions with the Oregon Potato Commission. Or 5 sessions with the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. No one is more shocked than I to discover that I am not making this up.

I am learning (even without the counsel of the Potato Commission) something very important about me and jobs: I really don't like being in a position to fuck other people's shit up. I don't want to be hiring anyone. I don't want to be responsible for anyone's pay. I don't want the ability to do anything that will cost anyone anything. I don't want anything to do with anything that will ever affect anyone's career or future. I don't want any risk of having to say to someone, hey, I just fucked up your last paycheck of the year and now your tax return is going to be a nightmare, uh, sorry.

Not that I've ever done that, of course. Nor did I ever do anything like the time I had a stack of mysterious books sitting on my desk at the library and in the time it took me to get around to them somebody got erroneously charged $800 in replacement fees for all of them. Er, I mean they didn't get charged, because I never did that.

It is really, critically, overwhelmingly important for the good of everyone ever that I get myself out of the administrative sector as soon as possible and into a nice, irrelevant academic field where there's no money moving around anyway. I should probably reconsider my plan to work in cultural resource management and head straight for academic archaeology, where some not-very-esteemed university can begrudge me a dingy little office and occasional donations for tent-and-dental-pick expenses from well-meaning and out-of-touch philanthropists who require nothing in return except to see themselves thanked in my articles in The Quarterly Journal of 5th-Century Uzbekistanian Archaeology.

Sidenote: in my stress this morning over the abovementioned paycheck issue and the employee's less-than-thrilled reaction to it, I gave myself a nasty hangnail which, combined with my somewhat violent typing style, caused me to splatter blood all over my keyboard in the middle of that last paragraph. Having my computer peripherals suddenly resemble props in a horror movie is not really helping with either my stress or my guilt.

I'd be thanking fuck that it's Friday if not for the fact that this shit will still be waiting for me on Monday. You know, one of the other nice things about archaeology is that once you dig something up, if you messed it up, well, it's gone now and nobody can make you go back and fix it. Schliemann, I suddenly sympathize.

Posted by dianna at January 4, 2008 10:00 AM

You mock the Potato Commission consultation now, but you won't be so glib if you ever get diagnosed with tuberculosis.

Posted by: MoltenBoron at January 4, 2008 01:24 PM

GROOOOOAAAANNNNN. Oh my god. The pain. The pun. The punpain. It hurts me right in my pun glands.

That was actually kind of good. Jeez.

Posted by: Dianna at January 4, 2008 02:54 PM

Waitwaitwait, you want to switch to an academic job so that you won't, and I quote, have anything to do with anything that will ever affect anyone's career or future?

Hahahahaha! I laugh! I don't normally make a practice of laughing at my darling baby sister, but you know what? I laugh! Hahahaha!

The reason I'm getting apoplectic about this is not that I've decided to interpret you as meaning that I don't, you know, cause little minds to blossom on a daily basis or something. Because obviously I do. The reason this is cracking me up is that right now I'm in the middle of a shitstorm involving three separate students who all want my head on a spike. Do you know why? Because as a result of my decision to uphold course policies and standards, these students failed the class, and now one is being kicked off her athletic team (apparently we do have a few of those here -- who knew?), one is on academic probation and her scholarship is in jeopardy, and one is now unable to complete her transfer to another school that offers the major she wants. I didn't do this to any of them -- each put herself in this position -- but I do have the really unsavory task of following through with something that has really unpleasant long-term consequences for these kids, and then explaining, clarifying, justifying, and sticking to that decision over and over. Oh, and something like this happens almost every term. And, understandably, a lot of students tend not to take this kind of thing quietly and nicely. They tend to get really, really confrontational and upset. Oh man.

So I'm just saying that you should probably make sure you don't have any students out in the field with you. To me, solitary mummy digging sounds kind of spooky, but you probably don't want to be in a position where you have to evaluate someone on their field work in case it fucks up their future chances of having a career as a backhoe driver, TNT placer, toothbrush-user, or whatever, and they call down the mummy's curse upon you.

Oh, and Zach? Groan!

Posted by: katie at January 4, 2008 05:16 PM

I yam glad those Potato Commission sessions are confidential. That's pretty sweet.

Posted by: sean at January 4, 2008 08:10 PM

Groan! How many potato jokes can you guys mash in here?

Posted by: katie at January 5, 2008 01:54 AM

Well, I for one can't think of any more. My brain is totally fried.

Posted by: Dianna at January 6, 2008 09:43 PM

That really is a whole latke puns.

Posted by: sean at January 7, 2008 12:32 AM