The Fora: A Higher Education Community

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: polly_mer on May 20, 2019, 07:03:27 PM

Title: The Venting Thread
Post by: polly_mer on May 20, 2019, 07:03:27 PM
You know you have complaints.  Go ahead and vent here.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mystictechgal on May 20, 2019, 09:22:37 PM
My 96yo friend was recovering beautifully from the hip replacement surgery he had two weeks ago — that’s after recovering completely from his broken neck (C-1). Then he tried to walk to the car to go to lunch using the standard-issue, small wheel, aluminum walker they insist you use after hip replacement surgery. (I gather that they fear that the larger-wheeled up-grade walkers will get away from them.)

His walker caught on an uneven patch of sidewalk at his graduated living facility. (He has one of their condos.) It pitched forward, he went backward, breaking the femur on his recently replaced hip. He spent 3 hours in surgery where they reassembled his femur and wrapped it in heavy-grade piano wire half-way down his thigh and replaced the hip shaft with a longer one; he had to receive 3 units of blood and spent 3 days in the hospital (as opposed to going home — to his own home — the day following the initial replacement surgery.

He now has a UTI, which has affected his electrolyte balance and has made him confused, and is living in the rehabilitation wing of his facility. Grrrr.

The facility claims that they always re-level their sidewalks after the winter [achoo]bullshit[/achoo] — this one was “undoubtedly on the list”. They have also spray painted all uneven spots bright yellow (but haven’t actually fixed any of them).

My friend is blaming himself. His daughter, also my friend, who was with him at the time, is blaming herself. I’m just royally PISSED OFF on their behalf. This sucks and it isn’t the fault of either one of them.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on May 21, 2019, 01:39:10 AM
I'm very sorry for all involved.

There are just so many ways in which that's not fair.

Hoping for a full uneventful further recovery, and for the center to indeed fix its sidewalks.

It's  May, right? Winter's been over, more or less, for awhile, now. You'd think they'd be all over the frost-heaved sidewalk panels issue, it's predictable, easily fixed, and a clear means to the avoidance of a lawsuit....ahem.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: hoopyfrood on May 22, 2019, 09:28:08 AM
Arrrrgggh.  A member of the department has filed an official complaint against another member.  I was asked to be interviewed by an external investigator as my name came up in the complaint as someone who has been affected.  And during the interview it turns out the person making the complaint just lied her butt off about things that I have said.  I had no idea she thought these things about the department and me.  Why are the people at my institution so determined to act like my kids (who act like toddlers despite their ages)?  Can't they use their words and just sort things out like adults are supposed to be able to do?  (Oh wait, we're academics with the social adeptness of mayflies)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 22, 2019, 11:11:22 AM
My 96yo friend was recovering beautifully from the hip replacement surgery he had two weeks ago — that’s after recovering completely from his broken neck (C-1). Then he tried to walk to the car to go to lunch using the standard-issue, small wheel, aluminum walker they insist you use after hip replacement surgery. (I gather that they fear that the larger-wheeled up-grade walkers will get away from them.)

His walker caught on an uneven patch of sidewalk at his graduated living facility. (He has one of their condos.) It pitched forward, he went backward, breaking the femur on his recently replaced hip. He spent 3 hours in surgery where they reassembled his femur and wrapped it in heavy-grade piano wire half-way down his thigh and replaced the hip shaft with a longer one; he had to receive 3 units of blood and spent 3 days in the hospital (as opposed to going home — to his own home — the day following the initial replacement surgery.

He now has a UTI, which has affected his electrolyte balance and has made him confused, and is living in the rehabilitation wing of his facility. Grrrr.

The facility claims that they always re-level their sidewalks after the winter [achoo]bullshit[/achoo] — this one was “undoubtedly on the list”. They have also spray painted all uneven spots bright yellow (but haven’t actually fixed any of them).

My friend is blaming himself. His daughter, also my friend, who was with him at the time, is blaming herself. I’m just royally PISSED OFF on their behalf. This sucks and it isn’t the fault of either one of them.

That's so, so awful, and I'm so sorry for your friend.

FWIW, my stepbrother had an accident that left him quadriplegic a few years ago. One of the things we all learned, during that process, was that it's apparently easier for people to cope with these kinds of accidents when they're plausibly contruable as being at fault (even if it's not actually true); apparently, it's the people who are straight-up victims of misfortune who have the hardest time. I don't know whether it's true, but from what I saw it seems like it at least holds some water. So... hopefully, your friend's morale will improve without too many hiccups, and perhaps the current feelings of self-blame aren't as harmful as they first appear.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: paultuttle on June 03, 2019, 08:10:57 AM
I've been sick with allergy- and sinus-related problems since early March. When the HELL will it stop??
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on June 03, 2019, 04:43:38 PM
Um....October?

<ducks and hides>

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on June 15, 2019, 02:56:36 PM
I have just discovered that my institution only conducts student course evaluations for some classes. *facepalm*

I mean, I know that they're not especially good or trustworthy. And we do have regular peer evaluations. But... if we have student evaluations at all, then I'd like to be able to compare things for a given course over time. And if for whatever reason I need to seek another job, I'm going to need recent course evaluations. Sigh.

Guess I'll just conduct them myself, then, and find the time to crunch the numbers.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: polly_mer on June 15, 2019, 05:44:57 PM
Guess I'll just conduct them myself, then, and find the time to crunch the numbers.

Is there any way to volunteer your courses to be on the administered list every time?  Sort of an opt-in to ensure that the institution has a representative sample every term.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: bioteacher on June 15, 2019, 06:01:28 PM
In my search to try to find out how to make the forum's minimum font larger on my computer, I discovered that Safari no longer has a minimum font size setting like it used to. My options are now zoom or the computer glasses I had purchased for work (where the font is tiny and my eyes were dying). I do not mind getting older. I strongly object to having to wear glasses.

I've never needed glasses before this year. Now I wear them at work. I can deal. But needing them for the fora is a step too far.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: polly_mer on June 15, 2019, 06:09:37 PM
In my search to try to find out how to make the forum's minimum font larger on my computer, I discovered that Safari no longer has a minimum font size setting like it used to. My options are now zoom

Can you not leave the zoom at something good like 150% for a given page?  That's what I have and it seems to work.

I sympathize with not wanting to wear glasses.  I was talked into getting progressives a few years ago and I dislike them immensely because nothing is ever in focus so I keep tilting my head and moving the glasses up and down my face. 

I'm thinking about going to another eye doctor and getting true bifocals or trifocals.  When I was a kid, I had bifocals and they were great.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: bioteacher on June 16, 2019, 07:50:34 PM
I can, Polly, I just don't want to. I want 20/20 vision w/o glasses or fiddling with settings for different pages.

My vent: the weekend is over. I have to rot my brain in the job from hell tomorrow.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: histchick on June 23, 2019, 03:06:57 PM
For various reasons, I just want to throw things, at multiple people.  Large things.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on June 23, 2019, 03:43:12 PM
For various reasons, I just want to throw things, at multiple people.  Large things.

Would you like help painting a target?

I just want to take a turn with a few of the large things, too....and I almost never feel this way...

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: histchick on June 23, 2019, 05:09:03 PM
For various reasons, I just want to throw things, at multiple people.  Large things.

Would you like help painting a target?

I just want to take a turn with a few of the large things, too....and I almost never feel this way...

M.

I would LOVE it!  Feel free to incorporate your choice of paint colors! 

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on June 23, 2019, 05:15:42 PM
Gladly.

I've been propping up a situation that isn't likely to last much longer, and I'm getting tired of it. It also looks as if I'll be washed out with the tide if it goes, so I'm scrambling now to do CV and resume updates on my various online sites, and to start thinking about how nimble I can be if things go as they look like they could.

So...let's see....RED for rage at the center (because...well, just because)...and maybe GREEN next because it's the complementary opposite so it will make the strongest contrast...and...I dunno...what do you suggest for tier three??

And do we need a couple of whetstones to sharpen the darts on? Or how do you sharpen darts?

Boy, didn't think I was this mad, but apparently the imagaic options brings it out...!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on June 24, 2019, 07:02:42 AM
So... to turn in my final grades, i have to:


And because it's the summer session, I have one day (today) to do it, rather than the usual two weeks. Sigh. I wonder if anyone will even be around.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on June 24, 2019, 07:19:54 AM
So... to turn in my final grades, i have to:

  • Manually enter them into an online form that's not part of the regular CMS. (Fine, that's not entirely unusual, apart from the manual part.)
  • Fill out one of those exam booklets and have a colleague counter-sign it. (!)

And because it's the summer session, I have one day (today) to do it, rather than the usual two weeks. Sigh. I wonder if anyone will even be around.

#2 seems cruel and unusual. The one day deadline is the kind of thing that would lead me to put the final exam 2 weeks before the end of the session.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on June 24, 2019, 11:40:18 AM
Just did it. Not only did I have to list every assignment and grade for each student, but the final grades list is alphabetized differently from what Moodle gives me. So... major hubting and pecking.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on June 24, 2019, 12:43:59 PM
Is "hubting" something only Parasaurolophi do?

   ,<...ducks and runs...>

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: histchick on June 25, 2019, 08:16:15 AM

So...let's see....RED for rage at the center (because...well, just because)...and maybe GREEN next because it's the complementary opposite so it will make the strongest contrast...and...I dunno...what do you suggest for tier three??

And do we need a couple of whetstones to sharpen the darts on? Or how do you sharpen darts?

Superduperspecial Snowflake Opaque Paint (works for students, administrators, and and other doofuses we encounter!) As for the darts, I'm thinking that a Swiss Army Knife can do anything, but I will defer to those  with more experience in such matters. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on June 25, 2019, 08:24:50 AM
Definitely need that paint for my Ex. Dir. right now.

He's trying to paddle up two creeks at once and wants me to navigate.

I'm bailing (all meanings intended...)

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Bbmaj7b5 on June 26, 2019, 03:41:33 PM
I was asked to approve a proposal in routing on which I am a co-PI. Budget was suddenly very different than what I had agreed to. A few tense emails later, all was set to right. This made me think of all the other times I just sort of approved stuff.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on June 26, 2019, 04:46:58 PM
Is "hubting" something only Parasaurolophi do?

   ,<...ducks and runs...>

M.

Avakyrwkt!

(Absolutely!)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: drbrt on June 26, 2019, 07:57:15 PM
I somehow was allowed to book an insanely short layover on tomorrow’s international flight and thunderstorms are forecast. Now I have to get up at the crack of dawn to get on standby for earlier connecting flights. Self, you really need to stop doing this to yourself. Flying is stressful enough without help.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on June 27, 2019, 05:17:09 AM
I somehow was allowed to book an insanely short layover on tomorrow’s international flight and thunderstorms are forecast. Now I have to get up at the crack of dawn to get on standby for earlier connecting flights. Self, you really need to stop doing this to yourself. Flying is stressful enough without help.

I didn't know you could do that. Good luck!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: drbrt on June 27, 2019, 05:45:42 AM
I somehow was allowed to book an insanely short layover on tomorrow’s international flight and thunderstorms are forecast. Now I have to get up at the crack of dawn to get on standby for earlier connecting flights. Self, you really need to stop doing this to yourself. Flying is stressful enough without help.

I didn't know you could do that. Good luck!
Oh, there’s a fee to do it, but I’m not risking a 56 minute layover on an international flight through Atlanta if I don’t have to. I’m mostly mad I didn’t notice when I booked. I didn’t pay enough attention to the minutes and thought I had a more reasonable two hours. I got on a better connecting flight. Hanging out at Atlanta all afternoon but that’s better than missing my flight.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: histchick on June 27, 2019, 11:25:13 AM
I somehow was allowed to book an insanely short layover on tomorrow’s international flight and thunderstorms are forecast. Now I have to get up at the crack of dawn to get on standby for earlier connecting flights. Self, you really need to stop doing this to yourself. Flying is stressful enough without help.

I didn't know you could do that. Good luck!
Oh, there’s a fee to do it, but I’m not risking a 56 minute layover on an international flight through Atlanta if I don’t have to. I’m mostly mad I didn’t notice when I booked. I didn’t pay enough attention to the minutes and thought I had a more reasonable two hours. I got on a better connecting flight. Hanging out at Atlanta all afternoon but that’s better than missing my flight.

As they say down here, "To get to Hell, one must first change planes in Hartsfield-Jackson." 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Thursday's_Child on June 27, 2019, 11:28:38 AM
Toys whose use requires supervision by a responsible adult.  What is this world coming to?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: bioteacher on June 30, 2019, 06:50:50 PM
Dear Neighbors,

It is Sunday, June 30th. Some of us have to be up at O-Dark-Thirty to go to our jobs. We do NOT need your fireworks. It is not a holiday. Tomorrow is not a holiday, either. There is no reason to subject all of the neighborhood to the sound of things that go BOOM and KABAM. Many veterans, housepets, and groups of wildlife find the noise alarming and traumatizing. Leave it to the professionals.

I say this as a parent to a pair of kids (one nineteen) who will be permitted to watch their father set off some very low-level stuff in the driveway, during daylight, with proper eye protection and fire safety gear in hand on July 4th. None of it will be very noisy. None of it will pose a disruption to sleep.

Thank you,
The Grumpy Old Lady

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: drbrt on July 01, 2019, 05:19:46 AM
Self,

Before you get the brilliant idea to just buy lenses for your iPhone to save the bulk of a camera on safari, double check with the tour guide that iPhones are allowed on game drives. The time to find out about this fact was not when you arrived at base camp.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: bioteacher on July 01, 2019, 03:06:50 PM
Spousal unit, 19 year old progeny, 15 year old progeny:
WTF?

I staggered out of bed at O Dark Thirty and put raw beast into the crock pot. I added the necessary ingredients to make one of your favorite dishes. ALL you had to do was make rice. That's it. You were home all day, aside from some errands. THREE people at home, all of them perfectly capable and actually experienced in the absurdly difficult task of making a pot of rice.

Spousal unit just came inside from taking out the trash and said, "I just noticed the crock pot on the counter."

SERIOUSLY? Are you all congested to the point of no sense of smell? Can you not SEE that device taking up most of the limited working space we have in our small kitchen? Returning from said errands should have ensured you hit a wall of goodness when you opened the front door and realized dinner was in progress.

I am tempted to take all of the leftovers to work tomorrow to hide in the work fridge. I got three fracking hours of sleep and am not a happy camper right now. 

... stomps off to check the rice. (Biokids are at Magic the Gathering game night, so they are out of range of my wrath for the moment. My displeasure was already made clear to them, however. )
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ergative on July 02, 2019, 05:02:45 AM
I sent in my tax forms, properly filled out and signed and everything. IRS just sent them backing, saying that we need an ''original signature''. Dude, that was an original signature! Just because I didn't bother printing the forms in color doesn't mean the whole thing was a photocopy! I'm tempted to sign the replacement copy with bright pink or something, just to make a point.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: paultuttle on July 15, 2019, 01:03:54 PM
A cricket in the attic woke me at 5:00 a.m. today.

I could swear . . .




[continuing with the sentence <grin>]



. . . that it moved around while we went looking for it.

Enough that if we were in the front room, it sounded as though it was about 60 feet long and on the porch, and if we then walked to the back bedroom, it sounded as though it was the same size and sitting on our cars (our parking spots are just behind our back bedroom).

Zreep zreep! Zreep zreep! Of course, it echoed throughout the house. (Why do such small things make so much noise??)

I'm hoping the high temps in our attic over the next few days will (ahem!) solve the noise problem.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on July 15, 2019, 09:01:44 PM
Whelp. It's confirmed: that "full-time" job is, in fact, sessional work. And not even very much of it, in the end.

At least I didn't turn anything down for it. Back to the alt-ac drawing board, then. Sigh.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on July 16, 2019, 07:41:19 AM
Ouch. Sorry that has happened.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Scout on August 15, 2019, 08:03:13 AM
My spouse is traveling so I'm on my own. Our elderly dog, who is developing dementia and symptoms of sundowning, did not sleep all last night. This was after an extremely long day of opening week activities. Woke up exhausted, fed the animals, walked the dog. Went to leave for a morning meeting.

Our new house has a door to the garage that you can open from the inside, but it's still really locked. I went to my car and realized I forgot my purse. Of course the door was locked. We have a back 4 season room with an unlocked screen door. Hoping that I had forgotten to lock the door from the porch to the house, I headed there. No good. That was locked.

I have done this so many times, but managed to to luck out (a spare key was in the garage, the backdoor was open etc).

Not today.

Waited an hour for a locksmith.

Missed my morning meeting. And now that everyone's back, coming in at 9:30 means that parking is grind.

Went to print something very important I need this morning and the printer is dead.

Off to Title IX training. Whee.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on August 15, 2019, 09:11:04 AM
Well--maybe the only thing to say is that you hope you've had all the bad news you had to look forward to in one fell swoop....??

Or maybe not...just so as not to be seeming to put a Pollyanna touch on things...

-=-=-=-=

My vent/wish I could say/can't figure out what else to say that I haven't already said...:

This conference you want to do STILL doesn't have a room, or a set agenda, or the backing of the people you said were going to back it, OR the backing of the group we represent...and we do NOT have the funds to assist with it as we you had promised.

We need to BACK OUT now....not keep going.

Some people just can't seem to tell the difference between heroism and stupidity, and I'm getting tired of being the canary in the mine pointing out that we've hit the "stupid" side of the dial....

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on August 15, 2019, 09:35:49 AM
Someone asks for a book to be sent to them but does not give their address.
I ask for the address and they give it.
I arrange for the book to be sent.
I tell the person I have arranged for the book to be sent.
They write back saying that they won't be there for 3 months.

I refrain from writing back "are you fucking serious?"
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: LibbyG on August 15, 2019, 10:49:52 AM
Dear president, provost, and dean,

Please accept my warm invitation for coffee so that you three can get acquainted. Apparently you don't know each other. Why else, in the last two years, would ALL THREE OF YOU add all-but-mandatory re-education professional development sessions, each one four-six hours long, in the week before classes start?

Don't get me wrong. I love, with the heat of a thousand suns, those exercises that reveal to me with rapturous revelation what kind of leader I am. I'll laugh, I'll cry, I'll never be the same. And those table-by-table summaries of break-out discussion! I must stop talking about it, lest I audibly groan with pleasure.

But, y'know, maybe I should be at my desk instead? Fielding calls from students needing last-minute scheduling changes and, I dunno, prepping my own classes?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on August 15, 2019, 12:52:04 PM
LibbyG, that is truly Hall of Fame worthy!  Just added.

So eloquent, so true.

Thank you and congrats on your entry into the Hall of Fame.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on August 15, 2019, 01:56:21 PM
I was thinking the same thing!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: wareagle on August 15, 2019, 02:32:04 PM
Dear president, provost, and dean,

Please accept my warm invitation for coffee so that you three can get acquainted. Apparently you don't know each other. Why else, in the last two years, would ALL THREE OF YOU add all-but-mandatory re-education professional development sessions, each one four-six hours long, in the week before classes start?

Don't get me wrong. I love, with the heat of a thousand suns, those exercises that reveal to me with rapturous revelation what kind of leader I am. I'll laugh, I'll cry, I'll never be the same. And those table-by-table summaries of break-out discussion! I must stop talking about it, lest I audibly groan with pleasure.

But, y'know, maybe I should be at my desk instead? Fielding calls from students needing last-minute scheduling changes and, I dunno, prepping my own classes?

There's a McSweeney piece in there somewhere.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: LibbyG on August 16, 2019, 06:25:38 AM
LibbyG, that is truly Hall of Fame worthy!  Just added.

So eloquent, so true.

Thank you and congrats on your entry into the Hall of Fame.

Aw, thanks! My years of lurking have paid off. And this one only costs me 14 hours of professional development!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on August 16, 2019, 12:02:52 PM
The univesity email is broken, which makes it hard to do some of the things I set out to do (and actually felt like doing). Sigh.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on August 19, 2019, 10:44:35 PM
Dear editorial assistants,

Anonymizing my paper does not necessarily require me to remove all mentions of my name. It's true, I cite another paper of mine for corroborating evidence. But I did so third-personally, as I would and do invoke anyone (and everyone) else in my paper. I could easily have cited it as [redacted for review], as you suggest I do, but I judged that doing so would compromise review, because it's obvious which paper is being cited (hint: it's the only other one on this topic in our whole discipline). So, you know. Worth a thought.

Your zealousness does you credit, but you are wrong. Nonetheless, I've now resubmitted it as you instructed.


Yours,
-[redacted for review]
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on August 27, 2019, 06:05:27 AM
Linked In, you're a useful pain at times, but has it ever occurred to anyone there that there might be a REASON I don't want to be linked to, congratulate, or otherwise associate with certain former co-workers?

One was a make-work fluffernutter, on was actively dangerous, and one was a well-meaning, clueless idiot who didn't back me up when they could have, and made me decide I didn't need the cachet of writing for them after all.

Oh and that other one? A true raspberry-filled flakeypuff who smiled and spoke inanities that set ones teeth on edge.

So, no. Please just stop suggesting them.

I even hit "Ignore," and you still drag them back before my eyes.

Just. Stop. Now. Please!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ergative on August 28, 2019, 10:59:22 PM
Mmm--raspberry-filled flakeypuff. Want.

Or rather, I would want if I could taste it. Right now I have the tail end of a cold that a student gave to me. She asked for a meeting, and then marched into teeny office, announced she'd been in bed the previous day, and could barely speak as a result, and then proceeded to sit right next to me for an hour and breathe on me. And now I'm sick.

My colds always last the same amount of time from beginning to end (about a week), with an odd break in the middle. For a really bad cold, the break is short---half a day or so, between the time my throat stops hurting and my nose stuffs up. With this cold, my throat stopped hurting on Sunday, and then on Wednesday my nose stuffed up. I really hate that mid-cold break. It always lulls me into thinking I've fought off the infection (how funny--this time I didn't get a stuffy nose!), and then I always get worse again with the remainder of the symptoms.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on August 31, 2019, 12:13:58 PM
The 90 minutes I spent on documenting the plagiarism in a Comp I student's first paper* this morning could have been spent grading 7-8 other students' papers, and I could have been all done by now.  Yes, I know:  if I weren't here on the fora, I could be done already, too.  Don't get all logical with me.  I'm grumpy.

*No, I don't usually pursue plagiarism charges on a first paper, either in Comp I or II; I usually give a stern talking to, record a zero, and hope to scare the hell out of the writer. 

In this case, though, the guy lost those considerations.  He clearly knows everything and tried to teach the class each of the the first three days. (That finally stopped after I took him aside--for the third time!--after the third class and and explained, essentially, that if he didn't STFU and settle down, I was taking him to see the dean so she could meet him before she'd come in to observe him teaching the next two class meetings while I sat in the back corner).

That, plus the fact that all but 16 words of his 523-word paper was copied verbatim from two extremely crappy websites, made me feel less than generous. Oh, and the paper he gave me was poorly written, poorly organized, vague. . . and an explanation of the S.M.A.R.T. decision-making technique used in business. 

Did I mention that the assignment was to write an informal personal plan for succeeding in my class, complete with four specific questions that need to be answered (What do you expect to get out of this class?  How will you reach that goal? What are bad habits affecting your academic work and how will you break those? What will you do if you struggle in the class?)

Other than that, what he submitted--and what I still need to do another 30 minutes'-worth of documentation on-- was just dandy.

--Sorry.  I'll stop now, and finish those last few papers.  (I told you I'm grumpy.)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: bioteacher on August 31, 2019, 01:49:43 PM
AmLitHist, it sounds like you have earned a pitcher of Dear Ladies. Free refills, too.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: bioteacher on September 01, 2019, 02:11:43 PM
First world problem? Yes. But changing my bed today raised my blood pressure. My less than 2 year old cotton sheets are now worn thin to the point where there are holes. It's in the area where my feet are. This is the second or third time I've had this happen in recent years, coinciding with my switch to 100% cottons sheets. I prefer the all cotton. But seriously, king size bed sheets are not cheap! And going online to figure out why this is happening is not helpful. All I find is ten gazillion articles on how to choose better sheets for your budget.
All I want are sheets that are soft, last a long time, free of polyester, and cost less than my mortgage.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Bede the Vulnerable on September 01, 2019, 10:26:46 PM
I'm ready to start writing the final chapter of my manuscript.  But I can't get going, because I'm in the middle of an arthritis flare-up.  Even sitting for any length of time hurts badly. 

I'm mid-career, so in no way under the gun with a publication deadline.  But still . . .
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 02, 2019, 04:39:21 AM
Very sorry to hear of the arthritis issues.

A friend incapacitated by serious RMI in her wrists "wrote" her whole diss. on DragonSys (voice-activated software; you could even stroll around the room, or stand, if sitting were painful)

I think they (then, anyway) used to have a discount for issues related to physical disability. The learning center at one campus I worked at also had people who helped faculty with such issues; I wonder if they might be able to help?

Very painful in any case; again, my best thoughts to you.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Bede the Vulnerable on September 02, 2019, 01:07:31 PM
Thanks, mamselle!  I appreciate the good wishes and the advice.  I’ll check this out with IT soon.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on September 03, 2019, 02:20:14 PM
Really, Administration?!  The day before classes start was the day to hand down suspensions for ongoing investigations?  I have to staff those classes you fools!

And no heads up?  A complaint was made in MAY and you didn't act until today, but you also didn't tell us in advance.  Thanks.

And it wasn't just me.  You handed down four today that I know of.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on September 03, 2019, 05:06:17 PM
First world problem? Yes. But changing my bed today raised my blood pressure. My less than 2 year old cotton sheets are now worn thin to the point where there are holes. It's in the area where my feet are. This is the second or third time I've had this happen in recent years, coinciding with my switch to 100% cottons sheets. I prefer the all cotton. But seriously, king size bed sheets are not cheap! And going online to figure out why this is happening is not helpful. All I find is ten gazillion articles on how to choose better sheets for your budget.
All I want are sheets that are soft, last a long time, free of polyester, and cost less than my mortgage.

Are they equally worn top and bottom? If not, try rotating to make them last longer.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Thursday's_Child on September 04, 2019, 07:23:41 AM
First world problem? Yes. But changing my bed today raised my blood pressure. My less than 2 year old cotton sheets are now worn thin to the point where there are holes. It's in the area where my feet are. This is the second or third time I've had this happen in recent years, coinciding with my switch to 100% cottons sheets. I prefer the all cotton. But seriously, king size bed sheets are not cheap! And going online to figure out why this is happening is not helpful. All I find is ten gazillion articles on how to choose better sheets for your budget.
All I want are sheets that are soft, last a long time, free of polyester, and cost less than my mortgage.

Would you please 'name and shame' the inferior brands?  My decade-plus old flannel sheets are finally wearing out and, since Sears bought and ruined Lands End, I'm at a loss to know where to find equivalent quality.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 04, 2019, 08:16:46 AM
Apropos of nothing above...

OK, this is not the fun it once was.

I'm either going to retire, move to France, or get another job.

Maybe all of the above.

Actually, that nice French pharma is hiring...

Hmm....

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ciao_yall on September 04, 2019, 09:22:26 AM
First world problem? Yes. But changing my bed today raised my blood pressure. My less than 2 year old cotton sheets are now worn thin to the point where there are holes. It's in the area where my feet are. This is the second or third time I've had this happen in recent years, coinciding with my switch to 100% cottons sheets. I prefer the all cotton. But seriously, king size bed sheets are not cheap! And going online to figure out why this is happening is not helpful. All I find is ten gazillion articles on how to choose better sheets for your budget.
All I want are sheets that are soft, last a long time, free of polyester, and cost less than my mortgage.

Would you please 'name and shame' the inferior brands?  My decade-plus old flannel sheets are finally wearing out and, since Sears bought and ruined Lands End, I'm at a loss to know where to find equivalent quality.

We splurged on some super-expensive sheets 3 years ago and they are already worn out - holes, rips, etc. Is that a reasonable lifetime for sheets?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: archaeo42 on September 04, 2019, 10:42:55 AM
Hiccups. That is all.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on September 04, 2019, 05:35:31 PM
Dean sends out memo with IMPORTANT INFO highlighted in the subject line.

The memo says that sometimes classes are moved to different rooms and faculty should check where their classes are. And that sometimes the roster changes in the first weeks.

I'll be ignoring the next "important" email from this dean.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: bioteacher on September 04, 2019, 06:43:14 PM
I'm using sheets from Kohls, and those are all in-house brands. It's the fitted sheets that are wearing... I am not wrestling with flat sheets on a king mattress.
I'm getting 2 years at most out of them, which is unacceptable. Poly-cotton sheets from the past have lasted me a decade at least. I understand that eliminating synthetics can affect the life span, but the money I'm putting into these makes the short lifespan unacceptable.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: cathwen on September 05, 2019, 05:13:56 AM
I have Calvin Klein 100% cotton sheets that I bought at Macy's when we lived in Big City--so they must be around eleven or twelve years old by now.  They've been great, but now the elastic at the corners of the fitted sheets is beginning to lose its stretchiness, and they're fading.  To say I've been pleased with them would be an understatement.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 05, 2019, 06:22:17 AM
If it's any consolation, there's an18th or 19th c. diary (can't recall the citation at the moment, sorry!) that refers to the process of turning sheets this way:

Sheets= 2 halves stitched together along the BF/CG seam thus:

        A‐--------------‐-----------B   C--------------------------D
          |                               |   |                               |
          |                               |   |                               |
          |                               |   |                               |
          ¿                              ¿  ¿                              ¿
          ¿                              ¿  ¿                              ¿
          |                               |   |                               |
        E----------------------------F  G--------------------------H

This was, at some regular interval, probably every 2-3 years, reversed, with the central seam ripped out and the  AE/DH edges joined and seamed instead.

Gave the sheets longer life and probably addressed the issue you're seeing.

M.










Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ciao_yall on September 05, 2019, 07:42:44 AM
If it's any consolation, there's an18th or 19th c. diary (can't recall the citation at the moment, sorry!) that refers to the process of turning sheets this way:

Sheets= 2 halves stitched together along the BF/CG seam thus:

        A‐--------------‐-----------B   C--------------------------D
          |                               |   |                               |
          |                               |   |                               |
          |                               |   |                               |
          ¿                              ¿  ¿                              ¿
          ¿                              ¿  ¿                              ¿
          |                               |   |                               |
        E----------------------------F  G--------------------------H

This was, at some regular interval, probably every 2-3 years, reversed, with the central seam ripped out and the  AE/DH edges joined and seamed instead.

Gave the sheets longer life and probably addressed the issue you're seeing.

M.

A sewing machine would cost more than new sheets.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Thursday's_Child on September 05, 2019, 07:50:52 AM
If it's any consolation, there's an18th or 19th c. diary (can't recall the citation at the moment, sorry!) that refers to the process of turning sheets this way:

Sheets= 2 halves stitched together along the BF/CG seam thus:

        A‐--------------‐-----------B   C--------------------------D
          |                               |   |                               |
          |                               |   |                               |
          |                               |   |                               |
          ¿                              ¿  ¿                              ¿
          ¿                              ¿  ¿                              ¿
          |                               |   |                               |
        E----------------------------F  G--------------------------H

This was, at some regular interval, probably every 2-3 years, reversed, with the central seam ripped out and the  AE/DH edges joined and seamed instead.

Gave the sheets longer life and probably addressed the issue you're seeing.

M.

A sewing machine would cost more than new sheets.

I'm sure that with a little practice you could do the sewing by hand in less time than it would take to walk to the store to buy new ones!

<ducks quickly and skurries off>
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ciao_yall on September 05, 2019, 08:17:58 AM
If it's any consolation, there's an18th or 19th c. diary (can't recall the citation at the moment, sorry!) that refers to the process of turning sheets this way:

Sheets= 2 halves stitched together along the BF/CG seam thus:

        A‐--------------‐-----------B   C--------------------------D
          |                               |   |                               |
          |                               |   |                               |
          |                               |   |                               |
          ¿                              ¿  ¿                              ¿
          ¿                              ¿  ¿                              ¿
          |                               |   |                               |
        E----------------------------F  G--------------------------H

This was, at some regular interval, probably every 2-3 years, reversed, with the central seam ripped out and the  AE/DH edges joined and seamed instead.

Gave the sheets longer life and probably addressed the issue you're seeing.

M.

A sewing machine would cost more than new sheets.

I'm sure that with a little practice you could do the sewing by hand in less time than it would take to walk to the store to buy new ones!

<ducks quickly and skurries off>

I'll take my covered wagon to the dry goods store for a new spinning wheel while my husband picks the cotton.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 05, 2019, 10:56:02 AM
Actually, yes, it would take less than a half-hour to do the sewing by hand.

And the amount of labor/time/available thread/spinning expertise to make the cloth was the reason the turnings were done to begin with.

I was just teaching a child to spin wool last Saturday, and he covered all the relevant questions as well: How much wool did it take for a good, warm winter coat or cape? How long to spin it? Would you knit, crochet, or weave it? How long would it last?

I was impressed that an 8-year-old had that much insight into the process of cloth-making.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: lillipat on September 05, 2019, 11:40:29 AM
My mother used to turn sheets that way, and after a while she'd patch sheets to deal with the worn-out-where-the feet-are issue.  And no, we weren't particularly impoverished, and while the patched areas were noticeable, she took great care to use a fairly large patch and secure the loose, frayed, and torn places to the patch and not leave openings for unconscious feet to rip further holes.  (I have not continued her practice. I use the sound sections of the fitted sheets as muslins for costume patterns. Costs just as much as anyone else to buy the new sheet, but at least they get a second life.)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Scout on September 05, 2019, 01:11:55 PM
If it's any consolation, there's an18th or 19th c. diary (can't recall the citation at the moment, sorry!) that refers to the process of turning sheets this way:

Sheets= 2 halves stitched together along the BF/CG seam thus:

        A‐--------------‐-----------B   C--------------------------D
          |                               |   |                               |
          |                               |   |                               |
          |                               |   |                               |
          ¿                              ¿  ¿                              ¿
          ¿                              ¿  ¿                              ¿
          |                               |   |                               |
        E----------------------------F  G--------------------------H

This was, at some regular interval, probably every 2-3 years, reversed, with the central seam ripped out and the  AE/DH edges joined and seamed instead.

Gave the sheets longer life and probably addressed the issue you're seeing.

M.


I remember reading this in some book- maybe Little House on the Prairie, or Little Women, or some such. Driving me bonkers that I can't recall the book.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 05, 2019, 01:39:44 PM
I know, same here.

I don't recall it from Wilder's books, though it could have been described in that era as well....it was a longstanding practice.

I was thinking one of the diaries I've read, maybe Anna Green Winslow's---but now I'm thinking earlier than that.

It might have been much earlier, in fact...if you're thinking historical fiction/nonfiction, it might have been mentioned in one of Penniman's books; she's fairly detailed about domestic issues.

Or...maybe the Sister Frevisse books?

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: bioteacher on September 05, 2019, 04:42:46 PM
I have a sewing machine but am as of yet unwilling to patch sheets that should not be falling apart this quickly. I am heading to my mom’s tomorrow for a long weekend of sewing and “girl time” but I am not mending my sheets. The fabric was too narrow to fit a mattresses, which is why Laura stressed the need to get the stitching done well so the sheer would lie flat. I am not going to make my own king size sheets for the same reason. I just want to buy quality to start with.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 05, 2019, 06:02:41 PM
Sorry--I wasn't saying you had to, just ruminating on how long it's been a problem!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on September 06, 2019, 07:53:46 AM
Logging in to my email takes me to Moodle... eLearn... instead. Argh.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 06, 2019, 08:39:28 AM
Unrelated to anything above....

So, in June you send a long, excited email asking if I'll be part of an upcoming program.

Yes, I'd be glad to.

Three months go by, and I've forgotten about it.

Then, last week, you ask if I'm still interested.

Well, yeah, maybe...but when and what exactly do you want?

Oh, in October? I have major amounts of nonsense going on in October....what day, what time?

If I'm prepping a whole program, it has to start now.

No, something else?

Well...what?

You want to meet...but when?

I give times; no reply.

If this isn't settled today, I can't...too much else going on.

Town historical societies can be great....or awful..

 This one's shaping up to the latter, and it's too bad because I'd actually be very glad to do follow up work on the spring article I just wrote, even doing a more extensive study of the whole burying ground (with several very early stones that appear to have gone unstudied).

La vie...c'est toujours qqchose!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Scout on September 06, 2019, 12:15:02 PM
I do not accept friend requests from folks I do not know. I really, really don't accept friend requests when these folks are messianic Jews.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 08, 2019, 01:22:55 PM
I don't see the categorical basis for your objection, but I'll allow you your right to it.

Once again, not all members of any religious group can be lumped together as having either this or that "good" or "bad" trait. But you're free to believe so if it seems to simplify your life in some way.

My vent, unrelated: my trip to Europe in December is booked with Am. Airlines.

Guess whose homecoming layover just went from less than 1 hour to ten hours, leaving at almost midnight?

A-hem.

I'll have to see if there are any better options, I suppose.

But I'm glad NOT to be flying on birds that go down too easily...

M.

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 08, 2019, 05:18:21 PM
I don't see the categorical basis for your objection, but I'll allow you your right to it.

Once again, not all members of any religious group can be lumped together as having either this or that "good" or "bad" trait. But you're free to believe so if it seems to simplify your life in some way.

My vent, unrelated: my trip to Europe in December is booked with Am. Airlines.

Guess whose homecoming layover just went from less than 1 hour to ten hours, leaving at almost midnight?

A-hem.

I'll have to see if there are any better options, I suppose.

But I'm glad NOT to be flying on birds that go down too easily...

M.

Double grumble. The way they listed it, it looked at first as if the outbound flight was still reasonable.

It's not. Seven hour layover at JFK outbound, 10 hours inbound.

Either I'm going to have to hit a couple museums in between or take the train home.

Or call AmAirlines.....(groans)....tomorrow...and be on hold while all the others do the same.

Hmmmmmmm......

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr........

Hmmm....

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Bede the Vulnerable on September 09, 2019, 02:29:56 AM
Follow-Up Vent:

My arthritis was so bad last week that I had to let a class out rather early.  I couldn't stand up anymore, and I can't lecture sitting down:  No one could see me beyond the front row.  Plus if I sat down for twenty minutes, I'd need help getting up again.

Groan.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 09, 2019, 07:53:54 AM
Very, very sorry to hear this!

What options do you have at this point in the semester/school year?

(We may also need a thread on chronic pain/health conditions and teaching....I don't think one has been set up here).

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Bede the Vulnerable on September 09, 2019, 08:43:52 AM
mamselle--

I need to have both knees replaced,  But I've been to multiple surgeons, all of whom want me to hold off:  It seems they all think I'm "too young."  Artificial knees only last about twenty years, which would mean more knee-replacement surgery in my seventies, and they don't recommend that.  So I take steroids when it's unbearable.  In addition to that--I vent to colleagues!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 09, 2019, 08:48:12 AM
Yikes, what a decision tree to face!

One wonders if it would be worth it now, in hopes that some later solution might develop in the next 20 years, just to be able to get on with things in the present.

But you've probably thought of that, too.

All good thoughts.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ursula on September 09, 2019, 04:28:55 PM
A vent? A grump? A rant? A sob? who knows?

But I'm both angry and sad about (again!) not making the shortlist for a job I really want, at a university and in a city where I really want to be.

I think they just see my name and can see the curse upon it. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: science.expat on September 09, 2019, 06:07:41 PM
Yikes, what a decision tree to face!

One wonders if it would be worth it now, in hopes that some later solution might develop in the next 20 years, just to be able to get on with things in the present.

But you've probably thought of that, too.

All good thoughts.

M.

My thoughts as well. Delaying needed surgery in anticipation of events 20 years hence seems dubious to me.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Bede the Vulnerable on September 11, 2019, 02:22:05 AM
science.expat:

To me too.  But I've actually been to four surgeons, none of whom want to do it.  I am reluctant to seek a fourth "second opinion"; I don't want to doc shop until I find a surgeon who is willing to cut.

The argument--related to the age issue--is that new replacement knees are now being developed which would last my lifetime.  So if I hold out, the logic goes, my new knees will last as long as I do.

Last week, I was desperate for the surgery.  Now that the flare-up has largely subsided, my innate cowardice has again asserted itself.  That's the cycle.

And so I vent.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on September 11, 2019, 04:46:03 AM
So if I hold out, the logic goes, my new knees will last as long as I do.

If you wait long enough, your old knees will last as long as you do.

That doesn't sound like the optimal choice.  My parents both had both knees done.  Now they are enjoying immensely all the life they have left.  They both say if their new knees wear out, they 'll weigh their options then. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Bede the Vulnerable on September 11, 2019, 05:27:44 AM
Thanks, Fish Prof!  I'm glad that your parents are doing well; those stories help.

This problem is affecting my quality of life--e.g., Mrs. Bede and I will be vacationing in Paris over the holidays, and the knees will limit what I can do.  She'll climb the 300+ stairs to the top of Sacre Coeur.  I'll wait for her in the nave.  Which isn't as much fun.   I'd like to be "repaired" in time for next year's trip to . . . Well, wherever.  I'm taking suggestions, but that's a different thread.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: backatit on September 11, 2019, 07:51:18 AM
Ugh, yes, I think we need such a forum. I sometimes wonder whether it would be better to try to think about disability of some sort. I have really bad arthritis in my hands, and there just isn't much I can do about it. I try assistive technologies, but they're just not great stopgaps (voice to text is ok, but I find it clunky and the vocabulary tweaks are not that great). I've found a temporary solution with a 13" apple laptop - the keyboard is so soft, that I can manage if I'm careful and take frequent breaks.

And mamselle, that really stinks about the flight. Our daughter just came back from the UK and had such a flight, and it took her forever to get in due to flight displays. I am thinking about flying up to NYC the next time (obviously a first world solution) just because I cannot bear the night flights. I go nearly 24 hours without sleep, and it's miserable.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 11, 2019, 08:00:54 AM
Thanks for the commiseration and sympathy. I was snowed with editing and writing tasks so haven't called yet.

What would the title of the thread discussed above be? "Decision-making around chronic pain and conditions indicating surgery"?

 Or something shorter?

Glad to start it if it's useful...or anyone else can....

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: paultuttle on September 11, 2019, 08:25:21 AM
My 13-year old Mazda6 hatchback--my baby, which just hit 190K miles--has in the last 18-24 months become a money pit. The last fix was a $1000 passenger-side headlight assembly. Yes, those are three zeroes after the "one" in the previous sentence. And now, it requires an "ABS control module" that is both $2300 and back-ordered nationally with no firm date by which it'll next be available.

The upshot: planned obsolescence has got me by the throat. I've got to get another car, and very soon.

The good: Honda's now selling a bright red Accord sedan that is approximately 95% of what I had in my "volcanic red" 2006 Mazda6 hatchback. The new Accord is laden with all sorts of electronic doohickeys (most of which I'll probably turn off once I buy it), so resale value might still be decent in a decade. It's comfy, fast, large, commodious, and (can't forget this!) bright flaming red. It also handles very well.

(Yes, I drove one yesterday. Yes, the salesman judged me accurately--without my having said a word about my need for speed--and pinned me back into the passenger seat with acceleration immediately upon getting on the highway. And yes, I played cool and said "I'll have to think about it," when inside I was experiencing a complicated mixture of emotions.)

The bad: It's not a hatchback, and its electronic thingamabobs ("lane keeping assistance," "smart cruise control," etc.) will probably be obsolete well before the car itself dies. Oh, and it doesn't have a 6-CD player in the dash or a subwoofer in the trunk, as my Mazda6 hatchback does. And we're back to having a car payment--which we weren't really ready for, because we were focused on paying down debt.

But by far the worst is having to give up my Mazda6, which is 99% of what I want in a car (sans heated leather seats and heated mirrors). Is it so crazy that I'm . . . grieving?

Certainly I'm ticked off that a car that's only 13 years old can't be kept alive indefinitely, which is why this post is in this thread, but I suppose I do have to admit that I'm filled with sadness as well. My Mazda is the only car I've ever had that acted like a sports car when I wanted it to (at triple-digit speeds, it was calm and unflustered, regardless of its age) and acted like a wagon when I needed it to (we carried home a full-size washing machine in it once, with the hatch closed; it has several times held 6-foot fishing poles, again with the hatch closed, when we went camping all over the Southeast).

My husband's and my relationship is only 2 years older than my car. We have a lot of history in it: For instance, I still have the video on my iPhone from when the odometer passed the 100K mark. (Yes, I'm that kind of guy.)

So there you have it--I'm sad to have to consign it to the Great Automotive Graveyard in the Sky, and I'm upset that circumstances are conspiring to push me into a new car with lots of (too many?) digital bells and whistles before I'm really ready to make that transition.

/self-pitying vent over; now onward to calling our credit union and seeing about setting up a loan
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: archaeo42 on September 11, 2019, 09:13:20 AM
paultuttle, why not get another Mazda 6?

When I had a zipcar membership the Mazda was my favorite to drive - zippy and handled well. The only downside was headroom for my spouse. He often felt cramped. But this was a Mazda 3.

edited to add: it's not at all weird that you're grieving either.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: 0susanna on September 11, 2019, 12:19:33 PM
paultuttle, why not get another Mazda 6?

edited to add: it's not at all weird that you're grieving either.
What archaeo42 said. Also, my colleague swears by her Mazda 3--their second one. She'd probably have bought a Mazda 6 if she could justify the expense.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: paultuttle on September 12, 2019, 06:40:06 AM
Thanks, archaeo42 and Osusanna, for being sympathetic to my first-world problems!

I did think about the newest Mazda6, but they don't seem to come with manual transmissions in any model any more. And thanks for suggesting the Mazda3, but my legs are longer than my torso, so cars that size are a tight fit. Ironically, the tiniest economy cars are an excellent fit, but judging from my rental car history, they tend to be sold without essentials like armrests or understandable instrument panels and typically handle like elephants on ice skates and accelerate like sloths with sleep deprivation, so they're beyond consideration.

But thanks for the sympathy!

____

New vent: Continued "very high" ragweed pollen in my area per Weather.com warnings.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: science.expat on September 12, 2019, 03:38:12 PM
You might consider an automatic. Modern ones are much better than the old ones were. I made the move a few years ago and am happy, even when driving off road.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 13, 2019, 04:00:34 PM
I misread that as "driving off the road," and thought...oh, dear, hope he wasn't in an accident!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on September 14, 2019, 10:18:50 AM
Paultuttle, thanks for giving me an excellent description of how I feel at the end of Week 4: sloths with sleep deprivation.

In part this is due to my two F2F classes which consist of herding cats in addition to trying to teach skills; combined with 2019 being the Health Year from Hell for me, including being among those getting hammered by the ragweed counts this year, I'll now return to grading in this sloth-like state.  (Note my enthusiasm?)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 14, 2019, 12:53:29 PM
I do not accept friend requests from folks I do not know. I really, really don't accept friend requests when these folks are messianic Jews.

Coming back to this because one of the articles I'm currently editing is a very-well-researched and written essay on time, rest, and the redemptive life by a young man who identifies with both Hebrew and Christian texts in the way he lives his life, and articulates their interactions well.

He's read a lot of Heschel, Soloveitchik, and Hegel, and studies Talmudic as well as the canonical Hebrew and Christian scriptures in their original languages. I'm really enjoying his growing erudition and the respectful care with which he handles his materials.

This thread just kept coming to mind, had to point out the fallacy in generalizations that don't generalize from all the specifics ....

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 17, 2019, 08:20:00 PM
I even have a suitable candidate, the writer whose 3-times-too-long, sloppily documented piece I'm working on.

Edit is a 4-letter word.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on September 19, 2019, 06:51:32 AM
I got a phone call from an unknown number. I don't normally answer these, but I was grading so I welcomed any damn distraction. I was surprised to get a live person on the other end.

It was from someone  from a company offering me information about some service to use in conjunction with my LMS.

The caller seemed surprised when I said that I would only be prepared to talk with him if they paid me to do so.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on September 19, 2019, 09:54:28 AM
In the stating-the-obvious category of vents, having one's water shut off midway through one's shower does not make for the start of a good day.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 19, 2019, 11:14:30 AM
EEek!

Did it turn cold before it shut off, or did it just go from whoosh to drip?

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on September 19, 2019, 11:52:48 AM
It went from whoosh to barely there until there was so little pressure that the shower turned itself off.  I had conditioner in my hair at the time and tried desperately and in a rising panic to rinse it out when the water dwindled, but it all happened too fast, and longer hair can take a while to rinse no matter how fervently one tries.  An angry call to the water company took place shortly thereafter, as you might imagine.  Eventually (fortunately, not an hour later as the company predicted), I tried the water to see if I could at least wash the soap off my face with a trickle of water.  Eureka! Water had been turned back on, and I rushed back into the shower for a quick rinse.  First world problems, I guess. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on September 19, 2019, 12:23:12 PM
Turned the Furnace on for the first time today.  Or I tried to.  Nothing happened.

Then, I remembered the fuse that goes out regularly.  Fixed!

Then water started spilling from radiators b/c the automatic water shutoff didn't.

So I turned it off and drained it, but this was going to be an expensive fix!

Then I realized I had opened the autofeed bypass.

So, problem solved, except for me being a dumbass.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: science.expat on September 19, 2019, 12:24:16 PM
Cellulitis
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: bioteacher on September 19, 2019, 05:15:39 PM
I've had chronic knee pain (both knees) since doing 3 years of retail work standing on concrete floors for 40+hrs a week. I finally hit my limit of waiting to heal and went to a specialist this morning.
The good news is my knee pain is reversible. No arthritis. The bad news: 8 weeks of physical therapy and the requisite copays to get me back to "normal." I think this is good news. Except for getting up early AM for PT, the copays, and you know, exercise. Ugh.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Scotia on September 19, 2019, 11:41:35 PM
Cellulitis

Oh no!. My sympathies. I've had it  once (just above my knee, as a result of an insect bite going bad) and it wasn't fun. But it did respond quickly to antibiotics once I started on them - I hope yours is the same.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: science.expat on September 20, 2019, 12:11:47 AM
Cellulitis

Oh no!. My sympathies. I've had it  once (just above my knee, as a result of an insect bite going bad) and it wasn't fun. But it did respond quickly to antibiotics once I started on them - I hope yours is the same.

It’s very slowly improving but seems more systemic than your version. In the course of two days I went from a swollen foot to a badly swollen and very shiny red foot and lower leg. The GP sent me to A&E who wanted to admit me. We compromised on two doses of intravenous antibiotics and a box of horse pills.

Objectively it’s getting better, the swelling and redness are decreasing. But my leg is also weeping fluids which is damn nuisance. In an ideal world, I’d stay home with my leg up - and in utopia someone would be ferrying me food and drink on demand. In this reality, however, I flew to New City this morning to view a house and have a day and half of meetings at New Job at the beginning of the week. But at least the weekend is free!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on September 20, 2019, 10:20:57 AM
Cellulitis

Oh no!. My sympathies. I've had it  once (just above my knee, as a result of an insect bite going bad) and it wasn't fun. But it did respond quickly to antibiotics once I started on them - I hope yours is the same.

It’s very slowly improving but seems more systemic than your version. In the course of two days I went from a swollen foot to a badly swollen and very shiny red foot and lower leg. The GP sent me to A&E who wanted to admit me. We compromised on two doses of intravenous antibiotics and a box of horse pills.

Objectively it’s getting better, the swelling and redness are decreasing. But my leg is also weeping fluids which is damn nuisance. In an ideal world, I’d stay home with my leg up - and in utopia someone would be ferrying me food and drink on demand. In this reality, however, I flew to New City this morning to view a house and have a day and half of meetings at New Job at the beginning of the week. But at least the weekend is free!

Sorry to hear about the cellulitis and busy schedule.  I hope you get to relax with your leg up this weekend and that it clears up soon.  That doesn't sound fun at all.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: sprout on September 20, 2019, 01:41:58 PM
Hey, maybe when you start a new job you should try asking people why things are they way they are before you go around cleaning everything up and "fixing" all the problems you see?  Huh, maybe?  Maybe there was a d**n good reason for having some things over there instead of all over here? 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 29, 2019, 03:31:49 PM
People, the stupid Evite thing won't open on this phone.

So please put the Date, Day, Time, and Location in the email header as well, wouldja?

I just missed a student's Bar Mitzvah because I couldn't get an address for the site in time to set out transport.

I should, indeed, have set it up sooner, but this week wasn't lending itself well to advance planning.

The Evite apparently closed down at midnight, and the email had no info.

I'm really sorry to have missed it, I was looking forward to it.

Electronics are NOT always the be-all/end-all of good social communication.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Thursday's_Child on October 02, 2019, 09:30:08 AM
Cats who have prolonged bouts of noisy barfing.   At 6:05 a.m.   While under the bed.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on October 02, 2019, 09:40:33 AM
Ooohhh, dear.

Been there. Remember that.

Do take it seriously, though. I lost a sweet, gray-haired smoky tabby to an obstruction neither I nor the vet realized was causing the up-chucking... we thought it was something in her food,, was all.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Thursday's_Child on October 02, 2019, 09:57:11 AM
Ooohhh, dear.

Been there. Remember that.

Do take it seriously, though. I lost a sweet, gray-haired smoky tabby to an obstruction neither I nor the vet realized was causing the up-chucking... we thought it was something in her food,, was all.

M.

I'll be sure to keep an eye on him!  However, he has a long history of up-chucking every week or so - usually including either lots of grass or an obvious mat of hair.  Combing, and periodic Furminator-ing, reduces the frequency and severity, but doesn't completely put a stop to it.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on October 02, 2019, 12:45:07 PM
I forget if you're already on the cat-herding thread, but updates are welcome there, too....

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: archaeo42 on October 02, 2019, 12:57:48 PM
New laptop and it's seeming inability to stay connected to our exchange server...even when our VPN still appears to be connected.

IT has done what they can remotely. I think this may be a case of requiring a replacement (already). I'm pissed because other than the connection stuff it works fine.

If anyone has suggestions here's everything I've tired:

Connect to the VPN after logging on to my desktop (normally connect before logging on to the desktop)
Connect through a hardwired connection
Connect through my wireless connection
Connect while not plugged in to the docking station

Same issue keeps happening. I'm currently on my old computer so that I can actually get some work done. :/
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on October 03, 2019, 07:12:43 AM
2019 needs to just go away, already.

•   Diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in January
•   Hospitalized with MRSA/cellulitis leading to sepsis in February
•   Debilitating sciatica (right hip) in March – April
•   Enough x-rays/CT scans to make me glow in the dark May-June
•   Diagnosed with sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction (left hip) in May, confirmed by orthopedist in early July
•   Useless treatment (cortisone injection under $7000 of live CT scans—after weeks of arguing with Cigna for authorization) in late July
•   Hobbling around on walker/cane all semester (permanent condition)

I thought the bright spot had come on Tuesday, when I finally got a meting with HR to establish an ADA file with accommodations—after I started requesting this meeting on JULY 19.  Oh, hell, no. Instead of coming out of the meeting with my accommodation (as my union’s state director assured me I would), I came out instead with more papers to get signed by my orthopedist. These papers require the exact same information he included and signed on the other ADA forms, but it has to be on this form. Then we have to schedule another meeting with HR (if we all live long enough to see it happen) when they will approve the accommodations.  Or maybe they won’t.  If/when I ever get what I need, I’m grieving/suing HR to high heaven; my union president and the state director already have the lawyers warming up in the bullpen.

And just to keep things interesting, I have an appointment this afternoon with an oncologist after referral by my internist, following several wonky blood tests.  Sure, why not?  Literally everybody in the family dies of cancer, so I’m ready for it. Hopefully it’s the kind that my numbers strongly suggest it is, in which case it’s more of a PitA with 20+ years survival being the norm. I'd better live that long, just to have time to get another ADA file set up.

Still.  I’m so done with this year. It’s also included major surgery for ALHS and the loss of three close colleagues all within a three-month span.   

Sorry.  This is way too long. I’m just feeling aggravated as hell this morning, and since the ortho and cancer issues are nobody’s business and I’m only talking to my BFF and ALHS about them, I’m about to melt down if I don’t tell somebody. Thanks for indulging me.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: archaeo42 on October 03, 2019, 07:37:55 AM
Oof ALH that is A LOT. Sending positive thoughts your way. I hope the ADA accommodation from your HR proves to be less of a hassle than it sounds like it will be.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Puget on October 03, 2019, 07:51:11 AM
AmLitHist I'm so sorry-- vent to us all you want! I also wonder if a support group for people living with chronic illness /pain might be available through a local hospital or elsewhere? You shouldn't have to deal with this without more support than it sounds like you're getting currently.

2019 needs to just go away, already.

•   Diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in January
•   Hospitalized with MRSA/cellulitis leading to sepsis in February
•   Debilitating sciatica (right hip) in March – April
•   Enough x-rays/CT scans to make me glow in the dark May-June
•   Diagnosed with sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction (left hip) in May, confirmed by orthopedist in early July
•   Useless treatment (cortisone injection under $7000 of live CT scans—after weeks of arguing with Cigna for authorization) in late July
•   Hobbling around on walker/cane all semester (permanent condition)

I thought the bright spot had come on Tuesday, when I finally got a meting with HR to establish an ADA file with accommodations—after I started requesting this meeting on JULY 19.  Oh, hell, no. Instead of coming out of the meeting with my accommodation (as my union’s state director assured me I would), I came out instead with more papers to get signed by my orthopedist. These papers require the exact same information he included and signed on the other ADA forms, but it has to be on this form. Then we have to schedule another meeting with HR (if we all live long enough to see it happen) when they will approve the accommodations.  Or maybe they won’t.  If/when I ever get what I need, I’m grieving/suing HR to high heaven; my union president and the state director already have the lawyers warming up in the bullpen.

And just to keep things interesting, I have an appointment this afternoon with an oncologist after referral by my internist, following several wonky blood tests.  Sure, why not?  Literally everybody in the family dies of cancer, so I’m ready for it. Hopefully it’s the kind that my numbers strongly suggest it is, in which case it’s more of a PitA with 20+ years survival being the norm. I'd better live that long, just to have time to get another ADA file set up.

Still.  I’m so done with this year. It’s also included major surgery for ALHS and the loss of three close colleagues all within a three-month span.   

Sorry.  This is way too long. I’m just feeling aggravated as hell this morning, and since the ortho and cancer issues are nobody’s business and I’m only talking to my BFF and ALHS about them, I’m about to melt down if I don’t tell somebody. Thanks for indulging me.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on October 03, 2019, 09:14:42 AM
Oh, no. I recall your earlier post and was thinking about that; hoped that you hadn't been back because things had been resolved.

People who hide behind paperwork are just mean.

The frustration is torturous, and the pettiness is sadistic.

I'm very sorry you're having to deal with all this.

It's like punishment for putting up with all that you've already put up with....the cosmos is certainly out of joint.

I add my good thoughts, prayers, wishes and hopes that it is resolved soon, and positively.

Also, I think someone has recently started a chronic pain thread here.

I know there was one that was very important to people on the old CHE Forum.

I'll poke around and see if I can find them both.

     <......tries search engine on this forum.....it works rather well, in fact...>

OK, here's the most recent one here:

   https://thefora.org/index.php?topic=599.msg10579#msg10579

On the old forum, one brief one was at:

   https://www.chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,196316.0.html

   (started by gennimom, it linked via PM to her to a Facebook page for academics dealing with chronic pain).

I think there was another one, but need to propitiate the search engine gods further, it appears...

I'll poke around there a bit more: there is an off-putting "error"-like message (that I've noticed recently when doing other searches there) but you can get around it by refreshing or repeating your search; dunno if they're trying to discourage use, or if it's just a by-product of the archiving process.

    In all cases, you are cared for and people are thinking of you and wishing the best for you.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on October 09, 2019, 06:06:09 AM
Back later, to vent, myself...

No, I can't now "summarize" the article you told me would be fine for a blog entry at the length it ended up at...if anything, I just found more info and would if anything lengthen it and just submit somewhere.

Meanwhile, it goes into the orphanage with all the other deserving, lovely, sweet articles that deserve "just a little fixing" to be submitted elsewhere...when and if an "elsewhere" appears.

Grumble....

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on October 14, 2019, 12:06:42 PM
Am I the only one griping?

Hmmm....

Small mini-vent...

I've been pushing myself all AM to get things done so I could hit the local library and use its subscription link to the state archives to do more book-work.

Oooppsss....

Holiday.

M.

(Or maybe this is a vinhale: At least there's wifi in other more commercial places...!)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: fishbrains on October 19, 2019, 07:46:49 AM
Why are we forced to use the term "the data" as a synonym for "facts"--as if it is just not possible that numbers could be another language people use to be dishonest? If we aren't allowed to see the raw data (including the original questions), we aren't allowed to see how the raw data was aggregated (if that is the correct term), and we aren't allowed to question why "the data" was interpreted (by you) in a particular way all because it is "the data," then why did I have to attend this meeting? Drop the dog-and-pony show, and just tell me the party line I'm supposed to mindlessly regurgitate so I can get on with my life.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: paultuttle on October 19, 2019, 03:52:00 PM
Nestor is coming, so the scar tissue in my left ankle--a legacy of playing rather aggressive soccer when I was in high school, resulting in an opposing player taking me out of the game with a perfectly timed slide that created a horribly "sprained" ankle necessitating a short while on crutches--has started the pain-and-inflammation process.

(Sometimes I want to be a cyborg.)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: science.expat on October 19, 2019, 09:38:19 PM
I HATE moving
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ergative on October 20, 2019, 01:24:41 AM
I HATE moving

You poor thing. I hear and sympathize, and I'm so sorry.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: polly_mer on October 20, 2019, 06:27:55 AM
Nestor is coming, so the scar tissue in my left ankle--a legacy of playing rather aggressive soccer when I was in high school, resulting in an opposing player taking me out of the game with a perfectly timed slide that created a horribly "sprained" ankle necessitating a short while on crutches--has started the pain-and-inflammation process.

(Sometimes I want to be a cyborg.)

I'm with you on being a cyborg as a solution to some of those joints that tell me exactly how cold and damp the weather is.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: science.expat on October 20, 2019, 07:59:16 PM
I HATE moving

You poor thing. I hear and sympathize, and I'm so sorry.

Thanks. I AM moving to a new good job so shouldn’t complain...
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on October 21, 2019, 10:31:39 AM
Updates:

I finally got my ADA accommodations!  It came in at just under three months, from first inquiry to the actual grant, but not before the HR woman tried during the last meeting to make me to back and get even more redundant paperwork from my doctor.  Happily, the local director of my national union was there and told HR in no uncertain terms that more paperwork was NOT going to happen. Happily, other admins in the room, including my dean, were reasonable and very willing to allow my request and actually offer other assistance as well.

Also, all the bloodwork with the hematologist came back relatively OK.  Some numbers are still high, but there are several plausible factors that could explain them; the good news is that, at the moment, the genetic tests don't show the mutation that defines this particular cancer. So my internist will monitor my general numbers over the next few months, and I go back for more detailed bloodwork at the hematologist in six months. Of course, if other symptoms come up, I'll go back sooner. All of this isn't permanent proof against cancer, as the mutation status/numbers can change (given my family history of other cancers), but for the moment, it's one less thing to worry about.

Thanks to all for your support!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on October 21, 2019, 12:23:14 PM
Wow. Very good news.

I'm glad your support team put the kaibosh on the paperwork runaround, and that they were supportive.

AND that the bloodwork is in the "better-than-it-might-otherwise-have-been" range.

All good thoughts.

Stay calm and carry on!

;--}

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: science.expat on October 21, 2019, 04:06:36 PM
Great news, ALH. Fingers crossed that things continue to go well.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ergative on October 22, 2019, 11:11:13 AM
Absolutive's meatsuit has decided to update the software in his inner ear and completely bricked the firmware. He's been puking every time he tries to sit up, and that makes it difficult to drink water.

Making matters more complicated, we're in a rental cottage on vacation.

Making matters less complicated, the cottage is actually really clean and comfortable, much quieter than our apartment in the city, and has lots of spare towels and blankets and laundry facilities. We have it until Saturday, and the nice doctors we called think it's likely he'll feel better by then when his inner ear adjusts. He was able to keep down the medicine long enough for it to get absorbed before puking again.

I've also solved the drinking water problem: Our lovely well-appointed cottage had baby bottles in the kitchen, perfectly suited for imbibing fluids while lying utterly still in bed. We'll see how things go tonight.

I'm desperately worried, tired from being up most of last night, and periodically crying from stress.  I'm also getting really sick of washing out the puke basin.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Puget on October 22, 2019, 11:36:30 AM
Absolutive's meatsuit has decided to update the software in his inner ear and completely bricked the firmware. He's been puking every time he tries to sit up, and that makes it difficult to drink water.

Making matters more complicated, we're in a rental cottage on vacation.

Making matters less complicated, the cottage is actually really clean and comfortable, much quieter than our apartment in the city, and has lots of spare towels and blankets and laundry facilities. We have it until Saturday, and the nice doctors we called think it's likely he'll feel better by then when his inner ear adjusts. He was able to keep down the medicine long enough for it to get absorbed before puking again.

I've also solved the drinking water problem: Our lovely well-appointed cottage had baby bottles in the kitchen, perfectly suited for imbibing fluids while lying utterly still in bed. We'll see how things go tonight.

I'm desperately worried, tired from being up most of last night, and periodically crying from stress.  I'm also getting really sick of washing out the puke basin.

Likely you've already identified the cause with the doctors, but if not it sounds a lot like benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, which I had never heard of until my grandmother had it, but apparently is fairly common--basically the calcium crystals in your inner ear get loose and cause extreme vertigo when moving or tilting your head. Luckily there are a set of maneuvers that are usually successful in re-positioning them and resolving the problem (though it tends to re-occur)-- google Epley maneuver.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ergative on October 22, 2019, 11:46:20 AM
Absolutive's meatsuit has decided to update the software in his inner ear and completely bricked the firmware. He's been puking every time he tries to sit up, and that makes it difficult to drink water.

Making matters more complicated, we're in a rental cottage on vacation.

Making matters less complicated, the cottage is actually really clean and comfortable, much quieter than our apartment in the city, and has lots of spare towels and blankets and laundry facilities. We have it until Saturday, and the nice doctors we called think it's likely he'll feel better by then when his inner ear adjusts. He was able to keep down the medicine long enough for it to get absorbed before puking again.

I've also solved the drinking water problem: Our lovely well-appointed cottage had baby bottles in the kitchen, perfectly suited for imbibing fluids while lying utterly still in bed. We'll see how things go tonight.

I'm desperately worried, tired from being up most of last night, and periodically crying from stress.  I'm also getting really sick of washing out the puke basin.

Likely you've already identified the cause with the doctors, but if not it sounds a lot like benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, which I had never heard of until my grandmother had it, but apparently is fairly common--basically the calcium crystals in your inner ear get loose and cause extreme vertigo when moving or tilting your head. Luckily there are a set of maneuvers that are usually successful in re-positioning them and resolving the problem (though it tends to re-occur)-- google Epley maneuver.

[back from another basin-scrubbing festival]

 The vertigo has mostly gone away, and only the movement-induced vomiting remains. The doctor didn't seem concerned, and thinks it's a one-time mechanical thing in the inner ear that his brain needs to readjust to. It's just been phone calls because he's too sick to move, but the doctor said to give it 24-48 hours and it should clear up on its own, with instructions to call them if it doesn't by the time he's finished his medicine.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on October 22, 2019, 12:13:12 PM
I hope it does resolve soon. No fun at all.

My (more petty) gripe: Why, why, why does it take 5 bounces to look up an account, set up an account, pay a bill, or talk to a human being who actually knows what's going on???????

I've been on a chat line for 1/2 hour to set up the account, then on the phone for another 45 min. with one, then another, then another, and then another(!) person who only knows part of something, not all of it, and has to pass me on "to someone who can REALLY help me."

The last guy was the worst. First, he tries to upgrade everything I chose, even after twice telling him I only wanted the one item, and no others. Then, he asks a bunch of truly inane questions about something that I explained was impossible - twice - and he kept saying "bear with me, I have to ask this," and I kept saying, "but what I'm telling you answers it!"

Meanwhile my tea was getting cold and the 6 piles of stuff on the desk morphed into 8...they do that, if you don't start on them right away...so now I have more to do than when I started on the phone with them.

AND I still have other calls to make. I might, just might, at least get to do the copying and printing I came to do, but even that's in doubt now.

Grumble.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: paultuttle on October 25, 2019, 10:42:44 AM
Thanks, archaeo42 and Osusanna, for being sympathetic to my first-world problems!

I did think about the newest Mazda6, but they don't seem to come with manual transmissions in any model any more. And thanks for suggesting the Mazda3, but my legs are longer than my torso, so cars that size are a tight fit. Ironically, the tiniest economy cars are an excellent fit, but judging from my rental car history, they tend to be sold without essentials like armrests or understandable instrument panels and typically handle like elephants on ice skates and accelerate like sloths with sleep deprivation, so they're beyond consideration.

But thanks for the sympathy!

____

New vent: Continued "very high" ragweed pollen in my area per Weather.com warnings.

Update: Bought the Accord. It's pretty damn fast, but the steering feel is numb, the seats are too low, the electronic nannies are too intrusive, and the whole car feels like it's a size larger than my Mazda6.

Which I miss.

Every.

Single.

Time.

I.

Drive.

The.

Accord.

<wishing some car manufacturer sold new (in the USA) a handsome mid-sized four-door hatchback with a stick, point-and-shoot steering, athletic handling married to a supple/comfortable ride, seriously good fuel economy, and enough space to for a six-footer like me to sleep overnight in the back; saddened that this became unavailable when the last USA-bound Mazda6 hatchback was sold in the 2008 model year>

<shutting my mouth before grumpily shouting "Get off my lawn!" :) >
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: nescafe on November 03, 2019, 05:04:44 PM
I have a student who failed to complete an undergrad thesis project last year. He took an incomplete, and he has 1 more academic year to complete the thesis in order to graduate. Instead of working on the thesis, he is sending me a barrage of emails making increasingly unreasonable demands on my time.

Today, he suggested (for the third time!) that I drive to his city 2.5 away from campus to meet with him to discuss his thesis project because his job doesn't bring him to campus. I've told him twice before that no, this is not an option. His response was to loop in a second faculty member in my dept and suggest we "co-mentor" him.

I'm so tired.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on November 03, 2019, 05:09:16 PM
I have a student who failed to complete an undergrad thesis project last year. He took an incomplete, and he has 1 more academic year to complete the thesis in order to graduate. Instead of working on the thesis, he is sending me a barrage of emails making increasingly unreasonable demands on my time.

Today, he suggested (for the third time!) that I drive to his city 2.5 away from campus to meet with him to discuss his thesis project because his job doesn't bring him to campus. I've told him twice before that no, this is not an option. His response was to loop in a second faculty member in my dept and suggest we "co-mentor" him.

I'm so tired.

The main explanations I can imagine are that this person has a great sense of entitlement or is mentally ill. These are not mutually exclusive, but they do suggest different reactions to their behavior. Either way, my sympathies!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: nescafe on November 04, 2019, 07:12:59 AM
The main explanations I can imagine are that this person has a great sense of entitlement or is mentally ill.

There is definitely a blend of both issues at work here. He also alternates between these sorts of requests and accusatory language that is also pretty alarming.

I've got the admin looped in here, and they'll help take care of him. But I feel my compassion meter being run down by this student daily.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on November 04, 2019, 08:07:04 AM
The main explanations I can imagine are that this person has a great sense of entitlement or is mentally ill.

There is definitely a blend of both issues at work here. He also alternates between these sorts of requests and accusatory language that is also pretty alarming.

I've got the admin looped in here, and they'll help take care of him. But I feel my compassion meter being run down by this student daily.

Maybe there is an advantage in acting compassionately. Or maybe it would be better to be strict and focus on boundaries and rules. It's hard to tell. I tend to prefer clear boundaries.

Personally, I'm not sure that feeling empathy or compassion is called for, and it is very easy to get worn out by difficult behavior. I'd work to minimize my interaction with the student. Seems that they have already done more than enough to say that you are not prepared to have anything more to do with them.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on November 05, 2019, 05:50:18 AM
Why is the VP of administration sending out emails telling people to buy stuff from the campus Dunkin'?

I'd find any promotion of a campus franchise by a VP problematic, but promoting Dunkin' is beyond the pale.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Thesneezyone on November 06, 2019, 07:12:55 AM
Part of my job is to cajole professors to develop courses for a particular program. This is hard to do because they don't get a reduction in their current commitments, but there is a nice stipend at the end of the process.

The stipend is supposed to be released as soon as the courses are through development. EVERYONE who I got to develop courses this past summer should have been paid in AUGUST. It is now NOVEMBER and the stipends are still not paid out (a combination of HR bureaucracy and the dept that actually pays the stipends taking their sweet-ass time releasing them).

And you want me to get MORE people to develop courses for this program?!

Sneezy
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: onehappyunicorn on November 07, 2019, 10:45:32 AM
Our bookstore rep sends out surveys to students in order to assess the efficacy of their delivery systems, particularly the ebooks and online only materials.

When a student uses the survey as an opportunity to vent about an instructor it is really not appropriate for you to email me and cc the director of the Office of Civility about the complaint. It is especially not appropriate for you to ask me "now will you contact the instructor and student to take care of this or do I?"

The college has a clearly established grievance and complaint policy and procedure. Surveys sent out from the bookstore, along with bookstore reps, are not found anywhere within that process. This bookstore rep has already, in the short time they been working with our institution, established a troubling pattern of hitting the nuclear option first on every issue.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: paultuttle on November 08, 2019, 12:31:54 PM
How's this for "trivial"?  The letter "i" is sticking on my laptop keyboard.  I have to hammer it hard to get it to work.

It HAD TO be a vowel . . .

My ever-so-slightly irreverent translation: Bede the Vulnerable is having some difficulty in producing a vowel movement.

<ducks and runs>
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on November 08, 2019, 02:52:22 PM
Was it always "Vulnerable?"

What happened to "Venerable"?

<wanders off, perplexed...>

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Juvenal on November 08, 2019, 04:39:37 PM
Was it always "Vulnerable?"

What happened to "Venerable"?

<wanders off, perplexed...>

M.

I do believe the Bede has always been Vulnerable.  And I expect some people take me to be Juvenile.  Been there, done that.  Ah, well.  What a difference a letter or two makes.  I tell my students (when talking of mutation) about the story of "Goldilocks and the the Three Beads."  Doesn't have quite the same punch.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on November 08, 2019, 05:55:05 PM
No, I always had you pegged for a satiric Roman poet....

You had that air about you...

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on November 09, 2019, 07:32:15 AM
For a YEAR you got emails saying we were purging old stuff and that if you wanted it, you should claim it.  We tied up the conference room for two weeks to lay out all the stuff on the tables so you could claim it.

You didn't.

It got thrown out.

I have zero *%&#s to give now, years later, after you retired, that you are hurt it is gone and you wish "someone had let me know".

We did.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on November 09, 2019, 10:07:13 AM
Last night I was in the mood to copy all those scans and title them.

But the wifi at Panera's was dragging its heels.

(All my good libraries close at 5 or 6 PM...)

Now I'm in a decent library with good wifi.

And I don't feeeeeeelllll like it!

Don't wanna. Hafta.

Grumble.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on November 09, 2019, 02:00:46 PM
Vent 2a/today...

If you needed me to take out the text boxes along with the pictures for your blog, why didn't you say so three weeks ago when I first sent them??????

I thought you needed them for placement and for the captions. If not, I can easily de-supply them.

It's not that hard to do, I turned them around in 1/2 hour.

I'm waiting to give several interested parties the links; maybe before year's end?

Grrrrr........

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Porcupine on November 10, 2019, 11:42:33 AM
Blaming me for doing my job, exactly as I am supposed to do it, is profoundly unfair. Not that you care.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on November 11, 2019, 07:44:48 AM
Two years ago, we registered you students using method X.  You f'd it up.

Last year, we used method x.  Still, you f'd it up.

This year, wanna take a guess?  Yup, YOU f'd up method X, again. 

And now you wan't to blame me with the "When did we discuss that?" email.

Your poor poor students.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ciao_yall on November 11, 2019, 08:24:23 AM
How many people have been telling you this was a bad idea for how long? Please don't circle back to me again on this.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: paddington_bear on November 11, 2019, 09:30:48 AM
Chairperson, if you had been paying more attention to what's going on in the department, you would have done the committee  memberships 10 weeks ago instead of now!  Colleague, if you weren't either so self-centered or so egotistical, you would have checked what committee were you were on already, instead of waiting for 10 weeks! You know that every person has to be on a committee. What the f*ck were you waiting for ?!?!?!?!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ergative on November 13, 2019, 08:47:05 AM
I just had a meeting with a PhD student who's working on a project that is tangentially related to a collaboration I've got going with some people in a sort-of neighboring field. She met our project team and told us about her work. She was smart and enthusiastic, her project was great, and we all had a great conversation. Towards the end of the meeting, she was describing how a visiting lecturer offered to let this student use her classroom to test out some ideas she's developing for her dissertation, and that she was trying to think of how she could return the favor.

Girl.

Girl!

Girl

When someone says, 'sure, PhD student, I'm happy to do you this academic favor,' you say, 'Thank you!' and take the favor! You do not try to think up more work for yourself to do something that the nice visiting lecturer doesn't ask for! You get your work done, put her in the acknowledgments, and maybe offer her a co-authorship depending on the amount of help she gives you when you start publishing the work! If she needs a favor later, you return it when she asks for it. And then when you have your own lab or classroom or whatever, you do the same favor for PhD students after you. DO NOT MAKE MORE WORK FOR YOURSELF! Not at this stage. Let's be honest: lecturers and professors do not (or rather, should not) expect PhD students to be in a position to do them favors.

She seemed very surprised by this suggestion. Who is mentoring these children? How is her supervisor not telling her how to look after herself? I wanted to put my wing over her and pat her head and give her a fluffy blanket, but all I had to offer was advice.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on November 26, 2019, 08:50:15 AM
Yesterday, the class before mine overran by eleven minutes. There's a ten minute break between classes, so not a huge deal--it only cut into mine by one minute. But with two minutes to go before my class started, I popped into the classroom to let them know that my class was starting in two minutes. I apologized for the interruption, of course. They were completely unmoved and carried on, unhurried. Incidentally, it was a group of students presenting, meaning the instructor really failed at time management.

So they've eaten a minute into my class when they start shuffling out. Still not in any hurry. I get my powerpoint set up and start my class while people are still getting sorted. Finally, everyone settles down (and out), when a student from the previous class barges in. We're four or five minutes in at this point.

Student: "Are you the instructor?"
Me: "Yup."
S: "What's your name?"
M: "[Full name]."
S (confused): "What's your name?"
M: "[Full name]."
S (more confused): "OK but what's your first name?"
M: "First name."
S (in total incomprehension as it dawns on her it's not an Anglophone name): "OK. What's your last name, then?"
M: "Last name." (note: it's strange, non-Anglo, and the pronunciation bears no resemblance to the spelling)

By this point, my class is laughing pretty hard.

S: "OK." (starts to leave)
M: "Why do you ask?"
S: "Oh, well, you swore at us."
M: "I beg your pardon?"
S (gaining steam): "You swore at us and that's really unprofessional."
M: "I did no such thing."
S: "Yes, you did."
M: "I absolutely did not."
S: "Well." (walks out, talks to people around the corner)

I grabbed my ID and followed, and offered to let her take a picture of it because my name is apparently impossible for most people, even if they've (supposedly) had five to ten years of French-language education.

After a brief reiteration of the last exchange above, her friends intervene and say: "Oh, it wasn't him. It wasn't the instructor, it was one of the students." (I assume they mistook an older student for the me, because how could the instructor have a mohawk?)


I mean. Thanks for interrupting my class and publicly accusing me of unprofessional behaviour. That was fun. I apologized on behalf of my students, because she's right, they shouldn't have told the other class to "get the fuck out". At the same time, this isn't daycare, and I'm not here to police what happens in the hallways and out of my earshot.

But I'll end by noting that no apology was offered to me. Just redoubling on the misdirected outrage for another minute until I cut it short by returning to my class.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on December 02, 2019, 07:09:14 AM
Not so much a vent as a, "Really? Seriously?" kind of day.

My 8 a.m. class had a full day of student presentations scheduled.  Since I'd have no prep, I decided to (for the first time all semester) NOT leave home my usual 15 minutes ahead of the "absolutely must leave by" time.  When I walked out the back door, I was greeted by a car covered in about 3/4-1 inch of ice (rain frozen to the windows and doors) and snow.  No, it wasn't in the forecast, and the car was completely clean when I went to bed.  So, I proceeded to scrape and cuss in the dark at 6 a.m.

I then headed for work, thinking, "I wonder if the roads are slick?" They were completely dry until about 10 miles into the trip, at which time it started sleeting like mad and continued for 10 miles.  The sleet then stopped, but the next 10 miles of interstate were wet but the car thermometer said 30 degrees, so we all crept along at about 55 m.p.h. in the dark.  Then the radio traffic report said all the ramps and overpasses on my main route were ice covered and treacherous, with major accidents blocking the primary 3-interstate exchange I have to pass through.  So, it was off the main drag and onto the country roads as a scenic by-pass, still in the dark. (Those roads were dry, at least, though the uni town I had to transit has many stop lights, all of which I hit on red.)

Fine. Figuring I'd be late for my 7 a.m. office hour anyway, I stopped for a fast-food breakfast sandwich to go. I swear they had to chase down the chickens to find the eggs to make my order, since I sat in the drive-thru 12 minutes.  Fast food, my foot.

All in all, I got here by 7:20, none the worse for wear except for some aggravation.

I set up the classroom at 7:30, went back at 8, and had a decent post-holiday crowd of 9 out of 13 students.  One woman said, "I thought this was due on the 11th."  Um, no, that's the final exam; you were supposed to present today.  And two of those missing were also supposed to present today.  So. . . . after 2 presentations, with nothing else left to do (after final papers came in yesterday), I did some reminders about final exams, registration, when grades will be posted and when classes resume in January, then let them out at 8:30.

Gee, that was really worth all the hassles of getting here today, right?  Like I said, it's not a genuine vent or really a major problem; it's just been a, "Well of course all this stuff happened--it's a MONDAY!" kind of start to the last regular week of the semester.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: citrine on December 02, 2019, 03:23:50 PM
Oh, ALH, I am so sorry, but I had almost exactly the same day, complete with chipping my car out of the ice, but I also had a wiper blade pop off when I was trying to free it from its icy prison. Then I came back into the house to change for work and couldn't find my phone, which was concerning because Nephew is getting over a cold and I was worried that he might want to come home and have the nurse call me. 20 minutes of searching later, I found that it had fallen off the shelf where I put it on and ended up inside one of the shoes on the shoe rack. I finally did make it to work in time for some of my office hour, and my office was yet again a toasty 58 degrees Fahrenheit (we've been having temperature problems all semester) so I was frozen by the time I got to my classroom. My students are also doing presentations and I had a variety of them who were trapped elsewhere due to the storms or sick and emailed me at the last minute to tell me so.

So, I totally sympathize!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on December 05, 2019, 05:10:21 PM
This is kind of a dumb vent, but I feel as though my head is about to fly off my shoulders right now at my own ineptitude.  Somehow, despite the many, many years of education (lots of technical know how! really!), the prior preparatory discussion with my spouse (who had just done the procedure correctly on his phone recently), the reading of the instructions numerous times, and the watching of many videos (some also numerous times), I still managed to put my &^#*&@%$*& new phone's ^@(#&@*(& screen protector on upside down.  I even googled this occurrence, and I guess the typical reply is to ask whether this is a joke.  Nope.  I know I can't be the only one (well, clearly that guy who sparked the reply did it, too), but although it didn't look quite right to me I went with it.  Seriously the hardest part of setting up this phone.   Feel free to laugh at me, or with me.  I am having a vat of wine and rethinking my abilities.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: archaeo42 on December 06, 2019, 05:00:52 AM
I have a PhD in digging and yet I still managed to screw up my back shoveling snow this week.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on December 06, 2019, 11:23:45 AM
I'm feeling a bit burnt out. 2 more lectures next week. And then there is the setting up of the LMS for next semester.

I think I can.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on December 07, 2019, 06:43:55 PM
This is kind of a dumb vent, but I feel as though my head is about to fly off my shoulders right now at my own ineptitude.  Somehow, despite the many, many years of education (lots of technical know how! really!), the prior preparatory discussion with my spouse (who had just done the procedure correctly on his phone recently), the reading of the instructions numerous times, and the watching of many videos (some also numerous times), I still managed to put my &^#*&@%$*& new phone's ^@(#&@*(& screen protector on upside down.  I even googled this occurrence, and I guess the typical reply is to ask whether this is a joke.  Nope.  I know I can't be the only one (well, clearly that guy who sparked the reply did it, too), but although it didn't look quite right to me I went with it.  Seriously the hardest part of setting up this phone.   Feel free to laugh at me, or with me.  I am having a vat of wine and rethinking my abilities.

The folks who set up my new phone a couple months ago got it so wrong it kept falling off.  I finally gave up bringing it back to be fixed and am using it without the added shield.

So far, I'm becoming strongly convinced it's just an extra piece of plastic they want to scare you into buying so they can meet their monthly sales quotas.

So, you're at least in good, robust company....

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on December 08, 2019, 06:28:53 AM
Doubling to say....

OK, Polly...you might have had a point there.....no gilets-jaunes at the moment but many greves(strikes), manifs(demonstrations) and perturbations(social actions/disruptions, like banging a loud kettle drum and shouting slogans in the echo-y halls of the Gare de Lyons for hours on end...just because Macron proposed rationalizing the patchwork quilt of retirement schemes that drain bureaucrats' brains dry in administering them (thus providing more bureaucrats with administrative jobs to retire early from...).

Pas mal (not too bad)...I know there will always be selective strikes to work around in late December in France...(when else would transport workers get their holiday shopping done?)

But I'm now creating backup plans A (rent a car and drive to all my library towns), B (Hang out at my cousin's in Belgium for two more days, maybe go back to Bruxelles, work in the library there and try to get to CDG at some point just before I have to leave) or C (call the airlines, see if I can leave from Bruxelles instead of Paris...)

Or, D, go as far as I can, do as much as I can, see what works each day as it comes (which is what I usually do, anyway...!)

Why couldn't he have waited until after I got home to take all this on, though??

It'll be interesting...

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on December 10, 2019, 01:18:46 PM
This is kind of a dumb vent, but I feel as though my head is about to fly off my shoulders right now at my own ineptitude.  Somehow, despite the many, many years of education (lots of technical know how! really!), the prior preparatory discussion with my spouse (who had just done the procedure correctly on his phone recently), the reading of the instructions numerous times, and the watching of many videos (some also numerous times), I still managed to put my &^#*&@%$*& new phone's ^@(#&@*(& screen protector on upside down.  I even googled this occurrence, and I guess the typical reply is to ask whether this is a joke.  Nope.  I know I can't be the only one (well, clearly that guy who sparked the reply did it, too), but although it didn't look quite right to me I went with it.  Seriously the hardest part of setting up this phone.   Feel free to laugh at me, or with me.  I am having a vat of wine and rethinking my abilities.

The folks who set up my new phone a couple months ago got it so wrong it kept falling off.  I finally gave up bringing it back to be fixed and am using it without the added shield.

So far, I'm becoming strongly convinced it's just an extra piece of plastic they want to scare you into buying so they can meet their monthly sales quotas.

So, you're at least in good, robust company....

M.

Thanks, Mamselle.  I'm sorry you had a similar issue.  For what it's worth, the day after, somewhat recovered from the enormous tantrum I had because I was so mad at myself, I ended up taking the cover off so that I could finally use the microphone needed for dictation (the other mics worked but not for that).  Then I thought well what the heck, and I decided to just try to plop it back on.  I didn't even use the "ez" application kit.  And it went on fine! I had to adjust it a wee bit at first, but then it aligned and went on with no bubbles or other troubles.  Naturally, it has some dust under it because I wasn't exactly careful when I detached it and put it on my desk, thinking I would not be re-applying it.  But, I am satisfied for now.  It sounds as though you may have a different type? But I agree, they do charge quite a bit for them, and it seems like a racket.  Still, most of us tend to fall for the extra "protection" they may impart. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on December 11, 2019, 05:54:01 AM
I don't know how Microsoft makes a profit these days. I'm moving to Chromebooks as much as I can and using Google docs/sheets instead of MS Office. It is a lot easier.

Presumably some of their profit comes from getting universities to use their Outlook 365 Onedrive packages. I have to say that at every step working with these is an exercise in frustration. I just was unable to download an image from an email. I had to forward it to my yahoo account to get it to work. Though I do concede that their Outlook app is working pretty well on my phone, and handles 3 simultaneous accounts better than gmail does.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ciao_yall on December 11, 2019, 06:31:09 AM
Too much for one post...
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on December 11, 2019, 07:09:28 AM
The colleague who has ONE task on their plate but keeps up a constant barrage of inquiries and cajoling to push me to work solely on that project.  Helloooo!  Finals! Grading! Your project needs to be done in MAY.  Back off Jack!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: citrine on December 11, 2019, 07:43:09 AM
There was no snow when I got up and put Nephew on the bus this morning. Now the Lake Effect has come for us all. I'm hoping the buses can get him and all the rest of the children home this afternoon...
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: paultuttle on December 12, 2019, 04:03:51 AM
Very sick with powerful sinus infection just before long vacation. Second round of antibiotics started yesterday.

Husband recently rear-ended by young university student driving old Jeep on rain-slick roads not paying attention to stopped traffic. Husband mostly OK but some residual neck/back pain.

No heat in the house yesterday morning. Quickest service was 6 hours after diagnosis. Maintenance guy replaced a part. Said he "hoped this will fix everything." Really reassuring right before long vacation (insert sarcasm emoticon here).

Surely it will all get better?!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Economizer on December 13, 2019, 06:06:58 AM
Here I go again!

A number of years back I wrote on the old CHE Fora about a banking difficulty that I had encountered.  I described the situation fully and, to my oblivious surprise, a law firm (which I think was a very successful one at "class action suits" [by which was run by a former Frat Bro {by whom, to begin with, I was unloved}]), picked my idea and settled one of the, at that time, largest such suits ever settled.  Incidentally, something caused the FORA to crash in such a way that I had to change my screen name shortly thereafter (any connection?  Hell, I don't know!).

So now, as I try to pay [and it is a struggle] my credit card bills, I will go on to discuss another financial worry that I, and perhaps a few million [or hundreds of million] others have in common.  My concern is that when I call to pay a said type bill, I am asked for my bank account number by an automated payment system. Often, there is a message included which instructs me that I cannot pay by giving my debit card information and that I must enter my banking info into the system.  But, I am not sure that I want to do this as I:   1.  Do not know who I am giving the account info to
                        2.  Do not know the association or connection of the entity by which I am asked to the
                             firm to which I actually owe the money.
                        3.  Do not know which country the submission operation is located (laws/security/
                             communication procedures not as reliable as they would be if operated in the
                             U.S.A.?).
                        4.  Do not know if "customer service agents" to whom I am referred 'ditto'.

To be fair, often when I pursue other payment options, most times subject systems, although the automated systems deny it, will offer, when and if I get to a "human" customer service person, often offer other payment alternatives [often, to go directly to a chain store location].

Oh, by the way, in the initial class action suit that developed, I think, from my CHE FORA remarks, I did receive a check for $7.21.  WOW!

P.S.  By the way, I am also thinking that, if interlopers can squeeze enough numerical sequences from gathered financial info, they will eventually be able to break into international banking codes and such. That would be a beeg problem, huh!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on December 13, 2019, 07:12:06 AM
Just continuing to fuss about strikes, travel planning, the fact that three papers depend on working with the materials I've planned to see, and I have no way to foretell if I'll be able to get to France, in the second half of my trip, let alone travel about as I usually/do need to do once/if there.

If I postponed, it would be until March, the soonest I could next go. Unpicking all my plans would be a huge pain.
It's very unfair...a French friend says, "selfish," even, that a proposed change unlikely to affect anyone now living in any terrible way is being used as an excuse to leverage all this havoc.

And Boor-is just got in. Yuck.

A yellow-capped dingbat and on orange-tufted gooney bird are just the sort of leaders the world needs right now.

I'm going off to do a balance sheet on costs-benefits of my options, after checking more websites for travel info.

NOT what I wanted to do this AM!

《toddles off, grumbling..》

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: scamp on December 13, 2019, 09:10:06 AM
P.S.  By the way, I am also thinking that, if interlopers can squeeze enough numerical sequences from gathered financial info, they will eventually be able to break into international banking codes and such. That would be a beeg problem, huh!

Outside the US, people freely give their bank account numbers for transferring money for all sorts of reasons (e.g., for personal to person transactions, rent payments, etc.). Just having someone's bank account info doesn't mean you can take money from their account (although you can put money into their account).
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Economizer on December 13, 2019, 09:46:17 AM
Re: Previous post.

Well, I guess I'll take your word for it. My concern is only recent and it is due to the requiring additional banking information that has become quite common.  Previously, my debit card was all that was required for payments almost all the time.  Why is it now that there is an increase in companies asking for the additional banking information and the requirement that one no longer can make payments by debit card?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Economizer on December 13, 2019, 10:49:15 AM

Although I try to be independent in political comments, I do have an couple of oddball questions to ask re the current hearings in the House of Representatives.  The first is about payments to witnesses and other relevant personnel for appearing or working in these matters. How much money do they make for their efforts?  Is it in addition to regular wages? Is there overtime paid.  Is there some sort of wage structure for those appearing yet not being part of the HOUSE or HOUSE staff?  The weird idea came to my mind to question if cronies working on this are just being allowed to accumulate a lot of extra Christmas money.  Well, to some degree that is going to happen, is it not?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: robear on December 13, 2019, 07:36:17 PM
Generally, witnesses aren't paid, and public servants do not get compensated for their testimonies in public hearings. The lawyers surrounding witnesses, I don't know, but I doubt they work for free.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: paultuttle on December 17, 2019, 07:14:30 AM
Very sick with powerful sinus infection just before long vacation. Second round of antibiotics started yesterday.

Husband recently rear-ended by young university student driving old Jeep on rain-slick roads not paying attention to stopped traffic. Husband mostly OK but some residual neck/back pain.

No heat in the house yesterday morning. Quickest service was 6 hours after diagnosis. Maintenance guy replaced a part. Said he "hoped this will fix everything." Really reassuring right before long vacation (insert sarcasm emoticon here).

Surely it will all get better?!

Now in a completely different part of the world. Much less congestion from allergies. Husband and I both doing better, and the house will (ahem!) take care of itself (although we have arranged for someone to stop by a few times).

Now listening to wild parrots and other flashy tropical birds hanging out in the backyard's avocado, lime, and banana trees . . . .
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: science.expat on December 18, 2019, 02:25:45 AM
I’m two months into my new job and today is our last day of work before the Christmas closedown. (I’m in Australia.) Late today my colleagues got hit with the I need a favour, buy gift cards scam. I think - hope - they all recognise the scam and several have reported it to IT.

I just hope everyone realises that it is a scam and that it has nothing to do with me.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: onehappyunicorn on December 18, 2019, 06:45:51 AM
Dear part-time faculty,
When I say that you must be available the day grades and attendance are due I do actually mean it. When I have called you five times over the course of four hours because you have errors in both your attendance and grading I admit I will be a bit grumpy, especially since your voicemail is full and I cannot leave a message. What is especially fantastic is that you were unavailable because you were interviewing for another part-time position at a different college. To put the cherry on top the chair at the other college reached out to me, while I was trying to get a hold of you, to ask me for a reference for you as you sat in her office.

You are otherwise a very nice person who normally does not play the part of a moron so I did not rat you out but please, please, please don't do this again.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: RatGuy on December 19, 2019, 09:49:04 AM
I place an Amazon order on Nov 30. I get a shipping notification, and a note that they've shipped some of my stuff separately. Most of my stuff arrives. A board game does not arrive. In fact, when I track the package through Amazon, it hasn't moved from Maryland. When I enter that tracking info on the UPS site, I'm told that the package never arrived at the shipping facility. Indeed, UPS says that Amazon requested a label be created, but nothing was ever shipped. I contact Amazon, who denies this. They claim that they know where the parcel is, it's been delayed, and I'll receive it on Dec 11. It doesn't arrive. I make a claim, and they offer to refund or replace. Since this game is for my group's Secret Santa next week, I ask for a replacement. This time it ships USPS from Georgia.

Guess what? USPS says the package was never mailed, but Amazon claims they're tracking it en route.

What sort of crap is this?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on December 20, 2019, 02:05:02 AM
It's what happens when very tired, very stressed workers are forced to do even more work, faster, because the company's advertising has promised physical, mental impossibilities.

I've seen a couple of articles in passing on this.

The work speed-up has taken a huge toll on the workers. And the company, obviously, has no plans or motivation to reduce its profit margins by hiring more help.

You shouldn't be on the receiving end of their false economies, either. But it sounds like that's what is happening...

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on December 20, 2019, 06:39:03 AM
What sort of crap is this?

This is what happens when brick and mortar stores close because people instead support a juggernaut called Amazon.  Somewhat similar to the Walmart phenomenon but the consequences of Amazon are much larger than the Walmart case.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: RatGuy on December 20, 2019, 08:04:43 AM
What sort of crap is this?

This is what happens when brick and mortar stores close because people instead support a juggernaut called Amazon.  Somewhat similar to the Walmart phenomenon but the consequences of Amazon are much larger than the Walmart case.

Generally I order my games from Miniature Market. But in this case, Amazon is the only online retailer who has this particularly thing in stock. I'm guessing that some of their affiliates -- FLGSes in Maryland and Georgia, in this case -- think they have this in stock when they don't, or aren't actually shipping the game. I asked my FLGS, but they said they weren't able to get this particular game from the distributor. It's from 2015, so I didn't think it'd be this hard to find.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on December 20, 2019, 09:01:33 AM
Generally I order my games from Miniature Market. But in this case, Amazon is the only online retailer who has this particularly thing in stock. I'm guessing that some of their affiliates -- FLGSes in Maryland and Georgia, in this case -- think they have this in stock when they don't, or aren't actually shipping the game. I asked my FLGS, but they said they weren't able to get this particular game from the distributor. It's from 2015, so I didn't think it'd be this hard to find.

Apologies if I implied I was blaming you for buying from Amazon.  Hope their tracking data are correct and you get the game in time.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on January 02, 2020, 04:17:35 AM
Chronicles of unnecessary security.

The school emails me my contract in a password protected PDF. They also separately email me instructions for the password, which they put in the title of the PDF.

Anyone who hacks my email will be able to get both the instructions and the PDF.

It is not as if it needed to be secured in the first place. It contains no senstive info, unless the pathetic pay counts.

What a waste of time.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 02, 2020, 10:39:14 AM
That's like the instructions in the employee handbook to report a malfunctioning desktop computer by filing a ticket on the IT website.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mythbuster on January 06, 2020, 12:41:59 PM
Decided this is better here than the various dog threads.
      Dear neighborhood dog owners. Please don't just let your dog out your front door without being on a leash! I have now had three encounters  in the last two weeks while walking my dog. In all three cases the dog bounds out the door and comes running up to mine- all three times running into/across the street in the process. Your dog may be friendly (called out to me three times), but mine does not like the power imbalance of being the one on a leash. She loves people and even little kids, but is defensive around other dogs. In once case we had a tussle as a result. The other two the owners were able to call back their dog before a full encounter, in part because I was yelling at their dog to stay back.
   The real kicker is that one of these dogs actually was quite aggressive to mine about a month ago when they both encountered each other on leashes. So "friendly" my ass- really it's a poorly trained dog.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on January 07, 2020, 10:04:36 AM
We have a WAITLIST so we know what the unsatisfied demand is.  Why are you asking me to add you into a full course when you aren't even ON the waitlist?!  Why would you think that would work?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 07, 2020, 12:41:32 PM
Well....waiting is for all those other people.

I'm special.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: bibliothecula on January 07, 2020, 01:15:56 PM
There was coconut in that chocolate candy. BLEEECH.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 07, 2020, 06:39:24 PM
Oh, oh, oh!

I'll take it (but not if you've taken a bite out of it first).

My little brother used to poke a hole with his thumb into the bottom of all the candies in the Russel Stover's special mixed box of chocolates.

My mom had told him he couldn't take a bite out of them to try them, so he figured it was better to check them out before he had to eat something he didn't like.

But we all liked the coconut ones...especially if they had DARK chocolate...

M
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on January 08, 2020, 06:24:29 AM
There was coconut in that chocolate candy. BLEEECH.

AAAUUUGGGHHH!!!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: lillipat on January 08, 2020, 06:27:47 AM
New protocols from HR, which seems determined to operate as though we're a manufacturing facility rather than an educational institution, are making my job more difficult.  The petty tyrannies of functionaries who don't understand how adjuncts are found and vetted for qualifications are aggravating me this week.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ciao_yall on January 08, 2020, 06:33:50 AM
Apparently someone has a "new vision" for my group, which involves telling a client we can't meet their federal grant needs and numerous students that their class is cancelled so here's your refund.

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 09, 2020, 09:27:40 AM
Sounds like the third part of this vision is closing down the school....

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ciao_yall on January 09, 2020, 10:53:25 AM
Sounds like the third part of this vision is closing down the school....

M.

The whole thing is getting a bit comical, actually. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: paultuttle on January 10, 2020, 10:56:05 AM
Oh, oh, oh!

I'll take it (but not if you've taken a bite out of it first).


My little brother used to poke a hole with his thumb into the bottom of all the candies in the Russel Stover's special mixed box of chocolates.

My mom had told him he couldn't take a bite out of them to try them, so he figured it was better to check them out before he had to eat something he didn't like.

But we all liked the coconut ones...especially if they had DARK chocolate...

M

Bolded for emphasis.

signed, someone who LOVES coconut and chocolate in the same mouthful
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on January 10, 2020, 07:14:14 PM
This book I'm refereeing for a very low-tier press is vile.

It's also completely without scholarly merit. But mostly, it's just vile.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Thursday's_Child on January 11, 2020, 08:58:20 AM
This book I'm refereeing for a very low-tier press is vile.

It's also completely without scholarly merit. But mostly, it's just vile.

Time to get out that red pen and really blow off some steam?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on January 11, 2020, 10:07:48 AM
This book I'm refereeing for a very low-tier press is vile.

It's also completely without scholarly merit. But mostly, it's just vile.

Time to get out that red pen and really blow off some steam?

Mos def.

But honestly, it's so bad that it's hard to slog through, and hard to summon the wherewithal to even comment. My report will, of course, be even-handed in tone, but... well, I can tell that the author will just ignore the problems I point out. This is clearly a case of a kook from another field deciding to grace us with his Grand Unified Theory of Everything which, of course, does justice to none of the disciplines it claims to unify, and which also happens to be shockingly misogynist, racist, and features a thinly-disguised fascination with child abuse material.

On the plus side, a few years ago this press published a book of very rare maps that I've been coveting ever since, and I can claim that book as a reward for my labours.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 11, 2020, 12:03:01 PM
Ooohhh...a map person!

I have to get the USGS maps for any new place I visit.

I have the older two-part US map but need the updated one.

The online Boston Public Library's Leventhal collection is a place I can spend hours in.

And medieval maps?

Come to Hereford with me....

;--}

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Thursday's_Child on January 12, 2020, 07:51:54 AM
Ooohhh...a map person!

I have to get the USGS maps for any new place I visit.

I have the older two-part US map but need the updated one.

The online Boston Public Library's Leventhal collection is a place I can spend hours in.

And medieval maps?

Come to Hereford with me....

;--}

M.

I assume you are familiar with Raven maps?  https://www.ravenmaps.com/  If not, I apologize for perhaps distracting you from other important activities.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 12, 2020, 08:07:47 AM
Uh-ohhhh....(shields eyes with hand).....

Danger, danger, Will Smith!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Economizer on January 12, 2020, 02:55:07 PM
I have notice some that young folks, many of them writers or journalists, have developed a kind low pitched croaking accompanying their voices as a sort of undertone. This especially when they seem to be speculating about someone or some thing.  Why is this?  Vaping or other smoking?  Atmospheric conditions?  Global warming?  Flavored water,  Starbucks?

Who else would recognize the speech condition.  Language pathologists or Speech therapists maybe?  Other views, comments, or note of recognition of same by others, please respond!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: cathwen on January 12, 2020, 03:07:31 PM
I have notice some that young folks, many of them writers or journalists, have developed a kind low pitched croaking accompanying their voices as a sort of undertone. This especially when they seem to be speculating about someone or some thing.  Why is this?  Vaping or other smoking?  Atmospheric conditions?  Global warming?  Flavored water,  Starbucks?

Who else would recognize the speech condition.  Language pathologists or Speech therapists maybe?  Other views, comments, or note of recognition of same by others, please respond!

This is called vocal fry.  Here is a Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocal_fry_register), but if you do a search, you'll find other articles as well. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ergative on January 13, 2020, 12:37:33 AM
I have notice some that young folks, many of them writers or journalists, have developed a kind low pitched croaking accompanying their voices as a sort of undertone. This especially when they seem to be speculating about someone or some thing.  Why is this?  Vaping or other smoking?  Atmospheric conditions?  Global warming?  Flavored water,  Starbucks?

Who else would recognize the speech condition.  Language pathologists or Speech therapists maybe?  Other views, comments, or note of recognition of same by others, please respond!

This is called vocal fry.  Here is a Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocal_fry_register), but if you do a search, you'll find other articles as well.

Yes.Many languages use exactly this sort of voice quality to distinguish words, in the same way that different pitchs in Chinese tones do. Hmong, for example, makes a distinction between creaky voice and breathy voice that distinguishes words from each other (e.g., po-creaky = to throw; po-breathy = 'grandmother' (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3574099/)). It is common to criticize this speaking style, which is characteristic of young, west-coast people, but it is not harmful to your voice, and there is absolutely no objective reason to avoid it, beyond standard old-farts-dislike-how-kids-talk-these-days thinking.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 13, 2020, 06:24:32 AM
Actually (as the article also points out) it can weaken the cords, cause a loss of range, and impair clearer communication over time.

A culture that values or uses that element of speech as a communicative mechanism (as mentioned above) may value it enough not to care about those issues, or even see them as valorous in some way.

But structrual/habitual changes do occur.

So, not "no" affect...and wariness about voice use overall is not just being stodgy.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on January 14, 2020, 07:53:31 AM
"I need a higher grade for my program" is no basis for a grade appeal.  Just stop.

Also, I now have a major grade inflation issue to deal with (the not-unexpected consequence of adjunctifying the service courses in my department).
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: archaeo42 on January 14, 2020, 01:47:58 PM
Don't send me a follow up email THIS AFTERNOON to see if I saw your email from THIS MORNING. Give me at least 24 hours. That request is not time sensitive in any form whatsoever.

(As an aside, I'm going to request that we use this guideline at our staff meeting, barring an actual drop everything and focus on X situation)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on January 14, 2020, 02:27:37 PM
Your desire to turn every situation into a potential negative is really draining.  Yes, things sometimes don't go as planned/hit a block/fail utterly and completely, but it's unkind to say that about everyone's ideas or plans (including your own). 
Sometimes it takes a bit of idealistic/naive optimism/enthusiasm to take risks and get results!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on January 15, 2020, 03:26:07 PM
This has been an absolute crap day, starting with a pretty devastating professional blow.  But, on the bright side... I thought I had reached the end of the delicious nonpareils my mom sent me for Christmas (despite only allotting myself two or three mini ones per day), and it turns out there was another bag underneath! I actually am tearing up right now about this.  And I shouldn't say that the day started out as crap, as it started with my very loving and supportive spouse, for whom I am eternally grateful.  And, fortunately, that's how it will end.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 15, 2020, 08:27:33 PM
Sounds like a vinhale.

Glad for your nonpareil spouse and more hidden sweets to enjoy!

M.

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on January 16, 2020, 11:13:45 AM
Sounds like a vinhale.

Glad for your nonpareil spouse and more hidden sweets to enjoy!

M.

I guess I should have checked for a vinhale thread here, but my intentions about venting were pure and good at the outset.  Thanks for the kind words.  Sending you a virtual nonpareil!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Economizer on January 17, 2020, 06:10:48 AM

Thank you for replies 202,203,204, 205 to my reply 201.  Although short, those were very informative conversation.  I have a strong clear voice, also my children have that quality.  On this subject, I do fear that they are damaging that and wish to advise them (to what effect?).
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on January 21, 2020, 07:35:25 AM
I received your request to present in my department classes. While your particular student group or pet cause is all well and good, but using 10-15 minutes of class time is not appropriate. 

No, going to the Dean won't help.  If you do go, can I watch?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 23, 2020, 02:37:03 AM
On the "wish I could say" side of venting:

I'm getting tired of plowing through your excess verbiage and making windows in the brick walls of your sentences.

Some days, "edit" is a four-letter word...

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on January 23, 2020, 04:39:31 AM
Jesus H Christ. I have to tell people not to share files with me via MS OneDrive. What a disastrously user unfriendly interface. Took me 15 mins to work out how to download the file. Death to Microsoft.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 23, 2020, 07:26:11 AM
More serious vent.

I hope I only sprained my ankle when I slipped on that black ice on the neighbor's sidewalk across the street.

I wrapped it, called a cab, got to the place I need to be first today, and got set up.

Have to get through this meeting, then decisions must be made.

Teach or not? Cancel the last student, or not??

Hmmm....

Grrr....

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on January 23, 2020, 08:01:16 AM
Dear difficult faculty member,
Policies change.  That they have changed isn't a grand conspiracy, and it certainly isn't directed at you.  You don't have to participate.  Someone else can supervise your students, and  get the compensation, if you won't.

Also, if you "aren't the only one who feels this way" why are you the only one I EVER hear from about this?

Fishprof
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on January 23, 2020, 08:50:33 AM
More serious vent.

I hope I only sprained my ankle when I slipped on that black ice on the neighbor's sidewalk across the street.

I wrapped it, called a cab, got to the place I need to be first today, and got set up.

Have to get through this meeting, then decisions must be made.

Teach or not? Cancel the last student, or not??

Hmmm....

Grrr....

M.

Sorry to hear about your ankle, Mamselle.  I hope it's nothing too serious and feels better soon.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 24, 2020, 09:15:59 AM
Well, it's broken at the lowest end of the tibia, but it doesn't hurt.

They splinted it, and I'm crutching (or crawling backwards when I'm too lazy to fight with the crutches), but no great pain is involved.

Except the need to go to an orthopedic office for actual casting (why couldn't they be in-house???) and the threat of surgery if it proves too hard to cast...grrrrr....

Definitely NOT  what I'd planned for....

At least the editing, research and writing will get done...can't go traipsing around to do much else at the moment!

And oddly, it really doesn't hurt. I slept fine, only find getting around to be a hassle, but that's relatively painless, too...just tiresome and tiring!

Thanks for your kind thoughts!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: namazu on January 24, 2020, 10:27:03 AM
Best wishes for speedy and complete healing, mamselle!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 24, 2020, 10:57:02 AM
Thanks. It usually takes six weeks, from all I've ever heard, so I'm planning accordingly!

The fun part may be the need to fly out for a board meeting in a couple weeks.

I asked about it, and the PA said, yes, but you'll have to ride around in one of those golf carts to your gate.

I've always thought that would be fun, having the thing go "beep-beep" and having people let you go by!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: PTonTT on January 24, 2020, 12:00:36 PM
Mamselle, Sorry about your ankle.  I think that a break is actually better than a sprained ankle in terms of healing time and structural integrity after it is healed.  They don't cast broken bones right away because they have to wait for the swelling to go down (and make sure that the swelling won't go up).  Either way, not fun. Wishing you well.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 24, 2020, 01:09:42 PM
Thanks! I didn't realize that...makes better sense.

I'll have to find something else to fuss about now...

;--}

M.

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on January 24, 2020, 03:31:13 PM
Glad you're not in pain, mamselle.

Be good to yourself and get well soon!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on January 28, 2020, 03:00:42 PM
Wishing you a speedy recovery and much fun making the horn "beep! beep!" on your airport travels.
You could get one of those wheeled bench-type leg scooters.  Those are popular for our students since it's hard to have both a backpack and crutches.  Just resist the urge to ride it downhill at high speed.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 28, 2020, 11:06:33 PM
Thanks! I'm doing absolutely nothing at high speed now!

I booked a train for the outbound trip and will probably do the same for the return, now, too.

I asked the orthopedist (the cast is on, it's better than the splint for comfort, and they were very good about explaining the injuries, which are both contained, chip-and split-like small things, nothing terrible) about air travel, phlebitis, etc., andvthey said an aspirin the morning before a flight would be enough to deal with that.

But I've also figured I like trains, it'll take longer but be more restful, they're easier to get on and off, no security hassels, etc.

So I may pass up the little golf carts for more peace of mind....!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on January 30, 2020, 01:45:05 PM
Student said they needed help, but were in class during my office hours. I agreed to be in my office for an hour before class right now (which necessitated leaving home two hours early). Predictably, the student hasn't shown up. Sigh.

No big deal, but it's annoying that I set this trap up for myself.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on January 31, 2020, 07:31:24 PM
Really feeling a need to vent; I'm tired of having to lie and say "fine" when someone asks the ubiquitous greeting/small talk question "how are you doing?"

This week was a bad one in terms of pain, and productivity was pathetic. I'm sad, exhausted, and I just can't muster up the usual forbearance and optimism I try to maintain to avoid falling into a pit of self-pity. I know flare-ups don't last forever, and I know I'm lucky to have health insurance and access to treatment. But there are days when I try to remind myself that I've been through all this before and got through it, while the predominant thought is "yes...but how long will things stay better before I have to go through it all over again?"

I'm disgusted with myself when I get like this, because I know there are lots of other people dealing with chronic illnesses far more serious, more debilitating, and more painful than mine. But I don't know how else to deal with the despair other than to let it run its course.

I think it's finally sinking in after nearly 15 years that this is stuff I may have to deal with for the rest of my life. I kept telling myself I would work really hard to get healthy, stay that way, and get past all this. But the reality may be there's no getting past it, so much as learning (and relearning) to live with it. Besides that, I'm aging out of my young adulthood which is when things often start to go a bit downhill anyway even for healthy people. There may be times that are better than others, but I'll never be as able as I used to be.

I feel grief for all the time I've lost to medical leaves and hospitalizations; and I am apprehensive about my future. I'm afraid I may never be strong enough to have children and raise a family. I'm afraid that any career I am able to forge won't last long, as my shaky health will make me unreliable or eventually render me too sick to work. I'm afraid I won't be able to maintain close relationships as people get tired of having to deal with my issues.

I know if I can just get a decent chunk of work done in the coming week that my mood and outlook will improve (I do have the great good fortune to be in a lab and research area that I love), but for now...I needed The Venting Thread.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 31, 2020, 08:32:59 PM
Yee-ouch!!!

All best thoughts and good wishes for an upturn in all you're dealing with.

There used to be a thread for forumites with chronic pain and fatigue: on the old site it was:

   https://www.chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,42234.0.html

There was another shorter-lived one here: '

   https://www.chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,13959.0.html

Searches for "Chronic" and "Pain" brought out several others.

But maybe it's just time to start one here.

I don't think you're alone...

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 02, 2020, 10:21:31 AM
Thanks for the links, mamselle.

I do recall there was a child category attached to the work/life balance category related to health issues on the job.

Not sure if that's a good option for this new site, or if it would work best as a thread in the General Discussion category (maybe a broad Dealing with Chronic Illness/Disability topic?).

I've tried a few support/skills groups (led by licensed psychologists) at my university, but I felt out of place there. All the other members were undergrads who were considerably younger and thus at different stages of life/academic career than I was. It was a place to discuss immediate strategies for getting through school life and making good use of the student counseling services; there wasn't really room to discuss how to deal with the long-term. They were also groups designed for people with psychiatric or learning disability diagnoses, so no discussion of dealing with non-emotional distress/pain or declining physical health.

Honestly, it helped just to post here. I think I really needed the catharsis of saying "I'm not fine right now; I feel awful." It gets wearing trying to stay positive for the sake of those around you when all you really want to do is find a corner to cry in.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on February 02, 2020, 10:53:25 AM
Thanks for the links, mamselle.

I do recall there was a child category attached to the work/life balance category related to health issues on the job.

Not sure if that's a good option for this new site, or if it would work best as a thread in the General Discussion category (maybe a broad Dealing with Chronic Illness/Disability topic?).

I've tried a few support/skills groups (led by licensed psychologists) at my university, but I felt out of place there. All the other members were undergrads who were considerably younger and thus at different stages of life/academic career than I was. It was a place to discuss immediate strategies for getting through school life and making good use of the student counseling services; there wasn't really room to discuss how to deal with the long-term. They were also groups designed for people with psychiatric or learning disability diagnoses, so no discussion of dealing with non-emotional distress/pain or declining physical health.

Honestly, it helped just to post here. I think I really needed the catharsis of saying "I'm not fine right now; I feel awful." It gets wearing trying to stay positive for the sake of those around you when all you really want to do is find a corner to cry in.

I think you're right.

It's sometimes hard to do these things for yourself.

So starting one for you...

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on February 04, 2020, 10:03:20 AM
Pretty inconsequential vent, but it was 68 Sunday and 74 yesterday (NOT the vent).

I just got a text from city Emergency Services, forecasting 3-6 inches of snow by tomorrow afternoon.

If you don't like the weather in St. Louis, just wait a day......
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on February 04, 2020, 07:13:17 PM
Yes, they say that about my place, too....

My vent:

IF you had the materials over the weekend and didn't look at them, after I spent a whole day printing and prepping them, it's not my fault if the missing budget page didn't show up until just before dinner.

In any case,

1. Don't throw a hissy fit, say you're not going to dinner, say I'm not going until it's fixed, etc.....when people are waiting on you to drive them to dinner and they won't even be looking for the budget until tomorrow, by which time I can easily have fixed the formatting issue that you didn't fix to begin with, that I noted before all the packets were being done. (And that you did last cycle, too....because when I went back to my files for that, the same formatting mess had showed up in your original and I had to re-do it....so you never worked from the "fixed" file, which I sent you, but your old one, which may look fine on your computer, but is a mess, with lines jumping all over the place, every time I open it. 

2. Don't tell the hotel clerk to print something they can't print because you don't understand how their printing queue works. Someone else is on their computer, I can't (and won't) bump them, and, again....no-one needs it until the AM.

3. Stop making all kinds of positively saccharine, glowing comments about my work when we've just had said hissy fit at the elevators, and you're all nice and smilely when we get out and the board is all there. Yuck.

4. They're doing a search, and it really is time for you to step back and retire (the above is only one example of the craziness going on). Do NOT imagine they're going to ask you back...they're moving on, as they should...that conversation felt as if it were taking place in la-la-land....as if you could just go on forever and it would be OK.

They've been kind about letting you stay on a full year longer than you originally negotiated for (and pushed your way into at that...I heard the phone conversation) but the combined hamartia and hubris are no longer sustainable.

5. Don't think I'm not aware of the nonsense of all this,  and that I'll just hang out forever. I'm getting very close to the edge of quitting, with or without something else to go to, and it will be the accumulated nonsense like this--where I do quite a lot of work, get myself to the meeting site, and then have hissy fits and megalamanic imaginings to deal with--that will lead to the decision (really already made, I just keep trying to find a workable time).

I get there are health issues, regrets about things that are not likely to happen anymore, difficulties in an earlier setting that was very unfortunate and unfair....and I was willing for awhile to help try to be a part of the healing.

But the lack of realism and the hissy fits should have gone away by now, and they havent.

So I may have to.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ciao_yall on February 04, 2020, 07:19:42 PM
Yeah, that was obviously a half-assed, last-minute attempt.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 21, 2020, 12:04:12 PM
I keep a cold pack in the communal fridge/freezer unit at the lab for when I get nauseous headaches. Today, my cold pack smells strongly of ranch dressing gone slightly off. Normally the smell wouldn’t bother me, but when I’m already nauseated... Right now I’m trying to decide if I need a new cold pack or if I can restore this one to its odor-neutral state by letting it air out.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on February 21, 2020, 02:55:04 PM
Ooohhh, I'm with you there, I hate ranch dressing!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: namazu on February 21, 2020, 03:53:03 PM
I keep a cold pack in the communal fridge/freezer unit at the lab for when I get nauseous headaches. Today, my cold pack smells strongly of ranch dressing gone slightly off. Normally the smell wouldn’t bother me, but when I’m already nauseated... Right now I’m trying to decide if I need a new cold pack or if I can restore this one to its odor-neutral state by letting it air out.
Eww.  I wonder if leaving it in baking soda for a few days would help absorb the odor.

Hope the migraine is short-lived.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on February 21, 2020, 08:53:12 PM
I keep a cold pack in the communal fridge/freezer unit at the lab for when I get nauseous headaches. Today, my cold pack smells strongly of ranch dressing gone slightly off. Normally the smell wouldn’t bother me, but when I’m already nauseated... Right now I’m trying to decide if I need a new cold pack or if I can restore this one to its odor-neutral state by letting it air out.

Ick.

You can probably salvage it by letting it sit in vinegar (or vinegary water) for a while. Or even by coating it in baking soda for a day or two.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: alto_stratus on February 23, 2020, 02:00:42 PM
Ugh, today my husband and I took my aunt-in-law out for lunch and she was terrible.  First, she was sick, and didn't stay home.  Second, she helped herself to the passenger seat and told my husband I had insisted (not true).  Then at lunch, she told me I was lucky because her friend's cancer was worse than mine.  And she said my hair was getting so dark (yeah, I'm not dying my hair because, chemicals & cancer) and then she said her hair was that dark but it was so unattractive, she always highlighted it. And she also commented on how thin my hair was. I think I showed remarkable control in not dumping the ice from my tea into her lap.  I have given my husband a cold shoulder he doesn't deserve - I feel sorry he's had to put up with such a mean, crappy bunch of family members.  But I am just so frickin' mad.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on February 23, 2020, 02:01:39 PM
The racism on display on Cross-Country Checkup today is (1) nauseating, and (2) so, so dispiriting. Holy shit.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on February 23, 2020, 04:33:06 PM
Ugh, today my husband and I took my aunt-in-law out for lunch and she was terrible.  First, she was sick, and didn't stay home.  Second, she helped herself to the passenger seat and told my husband I had insisted (not true).  Then at lunch, she told me I was lucky because her friend's cancer was worse than mine.  And she said my hair was getting so dark (yeah, I'm not dying my hair because, chemicals & cancer) and then she said her hair was that dark but it was so unattractive, she always highlighted it. And she also commented on how thin my hair was. I think I showed remarkable control in not dumping the ice from my tea into her lap.  I have given my husband a cold shoulder he doesn't deserve - I feel sorry he's had to put up with such a mean, crappy bunch of family members.  But I am just so frickin' mad.

I am sorry you suffered from the "no good deed goes unpunished" bug that's going around.

Iced tea in the lap...hmmm....I can (sorry to say) understand it!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: alto_stratus on February 23, 2020, 06:04:10 PM
Thank you, Mamselle.  My steamy cloud of anger has settled, thanks to time, beer, and pizza.  Sadly, I don't think she can change being the bearer of inappropriate comments, but I can learn to care much less. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on February 24, 2020, 08:33:54 AM
My turn for a steamy cloud of..frustration, maybe.

True torture is having to do a near-verbatim transcription of a meeting you could barely stand to sit through the first time...

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on February 24, 2020, 09:07:42 AM
I am doing a teaching evaluation and I am so furious with the students.  (The professor is no great shakes, but hardly the problem).

Students - did you read the book?  Have you EVER read a book.  You don't know the most basic of things, don't speak up, don't ask questions, and generally are grumpy lumps.  I'm here to observe because several of you complained.  I now think your complaint has no merit because YOU did't really even show up.  You were AWOL (Absent WithOut Leaving).

I don't have time to waste on this petty crap.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on February 24, 2020, 09:10:11 AM
Nothing like getting kicked when you're down, and when you've gone out of your way to do something nice to begin with.  Been there, done that, with various in-laws. Sending you BIG hugs, alto_stratus. 

ETA:

Fish Prof, my dean is coming in for my 3-year eval next week, and I already kind of presume that's how this group of students will act.  Nobody's gone yelling to her about me yet, but still, she needs to see for herself.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on February 24, 2020, 09:17:57 AM
Fish Prof, my dean is coming in for my 3-year eval next week, and I already kind of presume that's how this group of students will act.  Nobody's gone yelling to her about me yet, but still, she needs to see for herself.

These students have so undermined their case that I will be going to their department chair to discuss solutions.  They are in a pre-professional program and they do not belong there, based on my observation of the class.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Aster on February 25, 2020, 10:44:04 AM
I found another professor's midterm exam abandoned in a classroom. I looked it over and found that it was in my field. Looking more closely at it, I was horrified to notice that the overall exam was bad. Very, very bad.

- 25% of the exam was nothing but True/False questions.
- 5% of the exam was joke questions (where anything is correct)
- one question just said "free point Bonus!" on it... wtf...
- All of the questions lack proper grammar (no periods, no commas, everything is just sentence fragments
- diagrams were all badly pixelated. Sloppy.
- some of the academic content is not applicable to this course type and is not found in our textbook or our (college-standardized) lesson plans
- over half of the academic content that is *supposed* to be assessed on this particular exam was missing. That's appallingly lazy.

The abandoned exam didn't have any identifiers as to who it came from, but I can probably narrow down who it is to two or three people. Nobody in my department is supposed to be behaving this irresponsibly. We all use identical resources, have identical curriculum schedules for specific topics, and we're supposed to all have very similar assessments. Someone has been lying to me about his/her assessments. I chose not to rehire the last two professors who behaved this way.

I feel disgusted.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: hamburger on February 25, 2020, 11:54:26 AM
Every class in my CC is like this. I repeatedly told them both verbally and in writing in the tests to put down their name and student ID on both the question sheet and answer booklet. 80% of the students did not listen. Every time a student did not do that, I talked loudly about it for everybody to listen. Yet, the remaining students repeated the same mistake. Last week, we had a test in the middle of the semester. Even I had my name written on the board in BIG letters, two students told me that they did not know my name! They don't know my name in the middle of the term?  Even I told them endless number of times to remember a special symbol and I made it clear that it would be asked on the test many many times, half of them made a mistake. Am I teaching pigs?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Ruralguy on February 25, 2020, 12:11:00 PM
They are young (mostly, I'm guessing for your CC--not always the case), not very highly skilled, distracted, and only care enough to kind of sort of show up sometimes. It happens at all levels of education, but can be worse at certain schools due to campus culture, professors "giving up", etc.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 25, 2020, 03:04:15 PM
Airing out the cold pack seems to have gotten rid of the rancid ranch smell. Maybe I should pop a box of baking soda into the fridge to keep it from getting smelly again.

Ugh, today my husband and I took my aunt-in-law out for lunch and she was terrible.  First, she was sick, and didn't stay home.  Second, she helped herself to the passenger seat and told my husband I had insisted (not true).  Then at lunch, she told me I was lucky because her friend's cancer was worse than mine.  And she said my hair was getting so dark (yeah, I'm not dying my hair because, chemicals & cancer) and then she said her hair was that dark but it was so unattractive, she always highlighted it. And she also commented on how thin my hair was. I think I showed remarkable control in not dumping the ice from my tea into her lap.  I have given my husband a cold shoulder he doesn't deserve - I feel sorry he's had to put up with such a mean, crappy bunch of family members.  But I am just so frickin' mad.

Sheesh...I hope you don't have to see this person very often. Does she even realize how insulting and irritating she is being, or is she just that oblivious?

I have a few like her in my family. It may not be a kind thought, but sometimes I can't help but wonder "How is it that no one has bludgeoned this person to death yet?"
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on February 25, 2020, 05:14:57 PM
Airing out the cold pack seems to have gotten rid of the rancid ranch smell. Maybe I should pop a box of baking soda into the fridge to keep it from getting smelly again.


Phew!

And: definitely!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: hamburger on February 25, 2020, 05:32:46 PM
They are young (mostly, I'm guessing for your CC--not always the case), not very highly skilled, distracted, and only care enough to kind of sort of show up sometimes. It happens at all levels of education, but can be worse at certain schools due to campus culture, professors "giving up", etc.

Some students in this CC also like to ask me and my colleagues if they got the right answers before they handed in their test papers! I had two guys coming to the front and kept pressing me to answer them in front of other students during the test.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Aster on February 26, 2020, 06:07:02 AM
Every class in my CC is like this. I repeatedly told them both verbally and in writing in the tests to put down their name and student ID on both the question sheet and answer booklet. 80% of the students did not listen. Every time a student did not do that, I talked loudly about it for everybody to listen. Yet, the remaining students repeated the same mistake. Last week, we had a test in the middle of the semester. Even I had my name written on the board in BIG letters, two students told me that they did not know my name! They don't know my name in the middle of the term?  Even I told them endless number of times to remember a special symbol and I made it clear that it would be asked on the test many many times, half of them made a mistake. Am I teaching pigs?

Open enrollment institutions operate more as filters for the college-ready vs. not-ready than any other institutional type.

The "not-ready" are not ready for often many reasons. There is only so much you can do. If they can't perform adequately, they don't pass.

For people that don't write the proper ID's on their exams, I just leave their grade blank on the gradebook, and leave it up to them to come in during office hours and get it fixed. Oddly, lots of people never ask, never get it fixed, and seem perfectly content to keep those zeroes and flunk out. That's their choice.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: archaeo42 on February 26, 2020, 09:54:30 AM
I think I'm getting sick. I do not wish to be sick.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: hamburger on February 27, 2020, 06:20:24 AM
Every class in my CC is like this. I repeatedly told them both verbally and in writing in the tests to put down their name and student ID on both the question sheet and answer booklet. 80% of the students did not listen. Every time a student did not do that, I talked loudly about it for everybody to listen. Yet, the remaining students repeated the same mistake. Last week, we had a test in the middle of the semester. Even I had my name written on the board in BIG letters, two students told me that they did not know my name! They don't know my name in the middle of the term?  Even I told them endless number of times to remember a special symbol and I made it clear that it would be asked on the test many many times, half of them made a mistake. Am I teaching pigs?

Open enrollment institutions operate more as filters for the college-ready vs. not-ready than any other institutional type.

The "not-ready" are not ready for often many reasons. There is only so much you can do. If they can't perform adequately, they don't pass.

For people that don't write the proper ID's on their exams, I just leave their grade blank on the gradebook, and leave it up to them to come in during office hours and get it fixed. Oddly, lots of people never ask, never get it fixed, and seem perfectly content to keep those zeroes and flunk out. That's their choice.

You are absolutely right. What I found out is that if I continue to care about my students, I am asking for unhappiness, have extreme mental distress and have my life shortened. Now I understand why some senior colleagues called them "rubbish".

We had a programming test. At first I planned to ask them to answer two questions each with 5 tasks. Knowing their level, I wasted my time to revise the paper. I asked them to choose only one question to answer and each had only four tasks. The tasks were as following:

a) Ask the user to input six numbers. Store those numbers in an array. (3 marks)
b) Print out the numbers stored in that array. (3 marks)
c) Calculate the average of the numbers. (2 marks)
d) Sort the numbers and print the sorted list (2 marks)

I believe that these are some of the simplest programming questions. Note that sorting is more difficult. It should have worth 3-5 marks but I made it 2 marks expecting that most of them could not answer. I also made b) to kind of give them 3 marks for free. It was a close book exam. I made it clear a few times both in writing and verbally. Within a few minutes of the test, the guy who said that he pays for my salary pulled out a pdf file and copied and pasted. I pointed out that it was unacceptable. He played dumb saying that he did not know. In other schools, I just asked IT to disable the internet connection. In this CC, it cannot be done as the students are not be able to use the compiler to compile their programs. It means that students could cheat easily as I could not watch their screens all at once.

In the middle of the test, a few students argued with me about why they had to do part b). They wanted to negotiate! A student said that he did not see the point of doing it and asked if he could get half the marks skipping it. At the end, a few of them did not submit part b. A few students also told me that they did not know how to calculate the average. They are 2nd year STEM students and they don't know how to calculate the average!!!!! They are worse than elementary school children. Interestingly, almost all of them got part d which was the most difficult part. Part d involved printing numbers in the sorted array. So they knew how to do that but they did not know how to do part b?! Few minutes before the end of the test, a girl started to cry saying that she did the work but suddenly her computer failed and she lost all the work. I asked her if she saved her work and she said no. I told her that it would be her problem as I reminded the class to save their programs regularly in case of computer failure. Interestingly, within a few minutes, she could start all over and got 10 out of 10! One student told me that she completed her work. When I asked her to show me Part a. She did not know how to input the numbers from the keyboard. I had to tell her what to press on the keyboard key by key. Yet, she got perfect score. How could this happen? In the first half of the test, most students were sitting there looking completely lost. Suddenly a lot of them were able to complete and got perfect or almost perfect scores. Some students were trying to distract me throughout the test. I also caught a student using cellphone which he was not supposed to. I believe that they coordinated with each other and wide spread cheating happened. I noticed that the student who finished first and got a perfect score was sitting outside the room for the remaining 1.5 hours.

If I talk about it, my students will team up against me. I will also lose my job if many students fail. So I just have to play dumb and make simple questions for them to pass.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on February 27, 2020, 09:36:37 AM
Every class in my CC is like this. I repeatedly told them both verbally and in writing in the tests to put down their name and student ID on both the question sheet and answer booklet. 80% of the students did not listen. Every time a student did not do that, I talked loudly about it for everybody to listen. Yet, the remaining students repeated the same mistake. Last week, we had a test in the middle of the semester. Even I had my name written on the board in BIG letters, two students told me that they did not know my name! They don't know my name in the middle of the term?  Even I told them endless number of times to remember a special symbol and I made it clear that it would be asked on the test many many times, half of them made a mistake. Am I teaching pigs?

No, you are teaching students.  They have lots to learn, but they are not "pigs".  You obviously have a lot of anger and contempt for your students.  Don't let two students who admitted they didn't know your name ruin your opinion of your entire class.  Let it go.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on February 27, 2020, 09:43:51 AM
Hamburger was venting. This is a venting threat. I'm not enthusiastic about people telling others not to be so upset on this thread.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: hamburger on February 27, 2020, 10:13:10 AM
Hamburger was venting. This is a venting threat. I'm not enthusiastic about people telling others not to be so upset on this thread.

Exactly! My issue with them is not about not knowing my name but not writing down their name and ID regardless of the endless number of times I have told them to do so. The same group of students did the same thing in another test. I just gave another example about their ignorant.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on February 27, 2020, 10:40:41 AM
Sorry (unrelated to above), but no, a blog site with big pictures and large text do not an "informational hub" make.

Most blogs like that are just displaying their own ignorance--it's "new!" And "exciting!" only because they have no knowledge of the field and have no idea how much serious, deep work has gone into studying the stuff they're bloviating about.

In fact, I won't even open 'em.

I'm all for encouraging interest and enthusiasm but we're supposed to represent over 100 years of work on this topic...not yesterday's nonsense.

Sheesh!

(Thank you. This is what comes from transcribing meeting minutes for a group whose work you've come to care about...you get to hear the good stuff twice, but the fact that the idiocracy seems to be winning is also doubly painful...)

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on February 28, 2020, 03:50:41 PM
Hamburger was venting. This is a venting threat. I'm not enthusiastic about people telling others not to be so upset on this thread.

Exactly! My issue with them is not about not knowing my name but not writing down their name and ID regardless of the endless number of times I have told them to do so. The same group of students did the same thing in another test. I just gave another example about their ignorant.

It is the venting thread.  Sorry. 
I was upset by you referring to your students as pigs (very offensive in some cultures/regions).
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 29, 2020, 12:56:17 PM
Stupid mistake. Messed up an experiment. Need to redo. Think I can make up for it next week so it shouldn't put me behind schedule. But I hate when I make stupid mistakes, which seems to be often these days. I hate having to tell my PI I made a stupid mistake.

I miss the days when my brain worked better.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on March 01, 2020, 11:24:26 AM
I get seasons of befuddled brain sometimes, too.

Scariest was when I went through early menopause at age 37 and suddenly couldn't recall dance combinations (always taught on the fly, in class, and I used to be 'first-up' in line, ready to perform them correctly)...then, suddenly I was goofing them up and didn't know why my short-term memory had vanished.

I was also, as it happened, working on my thesis, and was terrified, after I realized what the issue was, that I was doomed not to be able to write it. (I did.)

I did, also, find work-arounds: better record-keeping since my old ability to see a reference on a page (and know the book and page no.) were gone; saying things out loud to myself, saying all the "wrong words" when hit with a "tip-of-the-tongue" moment until I worked my way through to the right one, etc.

My aural short-term memory was better than my visual idetic imagery, as it turned out, but the time to discovery on that compensation was wearying.

And it required honest mourning.

Not quite the same, maybe, but way will open.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: alto_stratus on March 01, 2020, 01:15:39 PM
(unrelated)  You know, there are ways not to spread illness. #1 is stay home when you are sick. #2 don't hug people. #3 don't cough into your hand and stick your hand in the potato chips. #4 if your doctor told you "DON'T, under any circumstances, touch your eye," don't touch your eye while you are quoting your doctor... and breaking rules 1-3. *facepalm*
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on March 01, 2020, 01:48:37 PM
Sorry for the ongoing vent: I have NO interest in this transcription. Zero.

No-one will read it, no-one will take any of the brilliance it records into account, they won't even recall their own scintillating contributions at the next meeting (after 4 years' experience with twice-yearly meetings, I have observational evidence).

I have the attention span of a flea for it (hence all my posts in the last few hours...ahem).

It's getting done slowly but surely and I'll have it ready as promised, on time.

But it's truly like pulling teeth, one at a time, by the roots without novocaine.

   OK, back to work...

Oh--a second vent: Doesn't ANYBODY ever edit the online news entries anymore???  They're HORRIBLE!

I should get a job editing for them, but I'd go nuts for sure, then.

(Guess what else I've been doing when I don't want to transcribe...Google Newsfeed draws my eye...and again....and again...)

   OK, back to work for real, now.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on March 01, 2020, 02:28:40 PM
I am just going to say that various aches and pains that come from merely existing sure make getting older fun.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on March 01, 2020, 02:36:27 PM
I am just going to say that various aches and pains that come from merely existing sure make getting older fun.

OUCH!

Sorry to hear you're going through that.

All good thoughts.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on March 04, 2020, 07:15:56 PM
Thank you, Mamselle, for the kind thoughts.  I am feeling a bit whiny as this week is my anniversary trip around the sun kind of thing, and between these different mysterious injuries (which I'd guess are related... compensate for this, get that, then compensate and get the other thing) plus early mornings and unrelated dentist and doctor appointments and other US and global worries, argh.  I just feel a little run down in a lot of ways.  I know I've probably got the least of it.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on March 05, 2020, 12:55:44 AM
I hope your year-to-date analysis allows for some tracking of your accomplishments--which will have occurred, in fact, in spite of the pain, anxiety, frustration at the truculence of moving b9dy parts, etc.

Many satisfactory returns of the day, whichever one it is, this week.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on March 06, 2020, 03:19:01 PM
Thank you Mamselle, it was yesterday, so your post was well timed.  I haven't done the year in review yet but am very much looking forward to trying to celebrate this weekend if I don't sleep through it.  But, the week is over! And, as my youngest (15yo) wrote on the card she made for me, "[Me]: [# Years on Earth], Death: 0".  Fortunately she's a better artist than greeting card content designer, and I do appreciate the sentiment. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 09, 2020, 03:51:15 PM
Y'know that feeling when you assigned a reading because it looked interesting, but you read it the night before you have to teach it and it turns out to be (1) bad on formal grounds, (2) straight-up anti-feminist backlash, (3) one giant straw man, (4) ill-informed, and (5) has a super(!)-racist aside near the end?

Yup. Just had to teach that. Sigh.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on March 09, 2020, 05:03:32 PM
Is that what they call a "learning experience?"

(ducks and runs...)

Me...I've just been a bit grumpy and bored all day, despite having a lot to do.

Just figured it out, thanks to a friend's transformative listening: I'm endorphin-deprived from a month's lack of seriously good dancing.

Have to get some alternatives going....chair-dqnces, maybe?

Something....

(Wanders...well, crutches...off...)

M.

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: zuzu_ on March 09, 2020, 08:37:05 PM
Y'know that feeling when you assigned a reading because it looked interesting, but you read it the night before you have to teach it and it turns out to be (1) bad on formal grounds, (2) straight-up anti-feminist backlash, (3) one giant straw man, (4) ill-informed, and (5) has a super(!)-racist aside near the end?

Yup. Just had to teach that. Sigh.

Ugh.

Reminds me of the semester a few years ago when I had an entire unit in my online course that focused on The Cosby Show. You know how this story ends. Even all the links I had to video clips were suddenly dead.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ciao_yall on March 10, 2020, 08:18:13 AM
Y'know that feeling when you assigned a reading because it looked interesting, but you read it the night before you have to teach it and it turns out to be (1) bad on formal grounds, (2) straight-up anti-feminist backlash, (3) one giant straw man, (4) ill-informed, and (5) has a super(!)-racist aside near the end?

Yup. Just had to teach that. Sigh.

Ugh.

Reminds me of the semester a few years ago when I had an entire unit in my online course that focused on The Cosby Show. You know how this story ends. Even all the links I had to video clips were suddenly dead.

Once had to change a whole textbook mid-summer and restart the prep.

8th edition had been really good. 9th edition - cheese was sliding off the cracker in spots. By the 10th edition - WHERE WAS THE EDITOR?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 10, 2020, 08:27:39 AM
Is that what they call a "learning experience?"

(ducks and runs...)



For me? Nah! I will absolutely continue to assign the occasional reading I haven't read and don't plan to read until the night before. For them? Actually, I think so. We had a pretty good discussion about it all.




Ugh.

Reminds me of the semester a few years ago when I had an entire unit in my online course that focused on The Cosby Show. You know how this story ends. Even all the links I had to video clips were suddenly dead.

0_o Wow. Spectacularly bad timing! I can't even imagine.


9th edition - cheese was sliding off the cracker in spots.

I've never heard that expression before, and it just made my day!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ergative on March 12, 2020, 05:04:22 AM
I just had a grant rejected. Normally, this is not cause for comment---I'm used to it---but it had gotten through the outline-proposal stage with flying colors, and it was a good project, appropriate for the funder's values, and I had a really good feeling about it. I can resubmit it somewhere else, sure, but this one hurts.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on March 12, 2020, 06:50:34 AM
Ouch.

Sorry, hopes are precious things, and seeing one being attenuated or miscarried is so hard.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on March 12, 2020, 06:57:30 AM
Sinus infection. (No surprise there.)  But the NP ordered me to stay at home until March 23, which did surprise me--I'm not contagious, but she doesn't want me picking up something like the flu from someone else.

She started to write the note that I'd be released on 3/23, but I stopped her:  next week is spring break, but I'm sure that had I been ordered "off" that week, HR would have charged me sick days for it.  It's just how they are.

So, Introvert Me is fine with the "stay home" order, but childish me is kind of irked at being home sick over break (even though I wasn't planning to go anywhere or do much anyway).  Sigh.

If that's the biggest thing I have to vent about, it's a pretty good day in Lake Woebegone.

I guess I could vent about the stock market, but our pension fund came through the big recession actually making a little money, so let's hope that happens this go-round again.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: sinenomine on March 12, 2020, 09:18:33 AM
I’m a department chair, currently on Spring Break. I’m not privy to the conversations, but it’s clear my campus is preparing to transition courses online. The department admin just reached out to ask me for all faculty phone numbers, which are in her files. The dean also asked her to ask me for a spreadsheet of all courses currently running, which I dug out of an email ... from the dean. I know this is an unprecedented situation, but c’mon, folks — don’t run to me without taking a deep breath and looking for the info you need that’s already at your fingertips!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on March 12, 2020, 09:23:50 AM
Plus, wouldn't you expect to privy to at least some of the conversations around the issues at hand??

And I can echo your vent. The director I currently support is horrible about his emails. I have to re-send stuff multiple times, or, as you describe, send back things he sent out, because he deletes stuff, can't use the search function in gmail correctly, apparently doesn't file or label stuff so he can see the latest version, etc.

Good thing one of us is on top of things...in both cases!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: archaeo42 on March 17, 2020, 09:11:27 AM
More a lament than a vent...

Spouse got into a car accident last week. They're fine. Insurance has deemed the car a total loss though. We've decided to take the buyout. So now we're looking for a new (used) car in all this mess.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: bibliothecula on March 17, 2020, 09:45:11 AM
The senior faculty in my department are selfish jerks.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 23, 2020, 12:16:57 PM
Argh. Just recorded two lectures, only to find out that the cat had turned off my mic. =/
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on March 23, 2020, 12:52:36 PM
They liked hearing the sound of your voice and wanted to be sure to hear it again....

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on March 24, 2020, 07:59:14 PM
Morning email to chairs, deans, directors: In the event that employees can not come to work due to state, county, or university mandates, please send me a list of employees who could/couldn't work from home.

Aargh! Bad enough I spent entire day collecting info about feasibility of employees working from home, dealing with panicky employees assuring me they'll do anything to keep paychecks, dealing with others who refuse to consider changing routine to work from home. You just had to send email blast that stirs them all up again at the end of the work day.

I'm trying to get my AC1 levels down pre-diabetic to normal. You are NOT helping.

Time for a walk before I give in to desire to overload on carbs.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on March 24, 2020, 08:22:17 PM
Awoke to a flat tire.  Flat to the ground flat!  i pumped it up and then took my other vehicle to the local grocery for some supplies (and wait to see if the tire would hold air long enough that I would not have to put on the spare to get the tire fixed).

At the grocery store, the story is mixed.  I wanted some pre-made salads.  Those are gone!  The entire cooler they should be found was closed off!  On the plus side, the store had eggs, and milk.  The cereal had mostly returned.  I didnt do too much exploring.  I did peak at the Ben & Jerry's section.  I wont say it was empty, but there was NO B&J!!  It was filled with Blue Bell ice cream!  Blue Bell is ok, but nothing that Bluebell has compares to New York chocolate (whatever it is called).

I returned home with the loot i was able to wrestle from the grocery store and ate some lunch. The tire held air well enough so I was off to the tire store.  THey are practicing Social Distancing. You have to call the store and tell them what car you are in and they come out when they are ready.  They decided that I needed a new tire!  (run flat damage) and that the other tires were still in the good range but were over six years old.  Worse, the tires I have on the car have been discontinued.  Anyway, i was thinking that I would go ahead and get new tires all around, but i needed to wait in the car for at least an hour until it was my turn. 
I waited with the engine running for the AC as it was already over 80 degrees in this part of the world now.  AFter 40 minutes or so, I turned off the car as I figured that it was cool enough for a while.  Then they came by and said it was MY TURN!!  Hooray!!  Then the car woudl not start!!!   The battery would turn it over, and it would sort of start enough to sputter and sputter, but if I hit the gas, it died right away! I just could not get it to keep running and eventually it stopped even sputtering. 

I had to call my fiance to rescue me as I had left my AAA card in my 'travel'wallet.  After 20 minutes or so she picked me up and took me home. I took my truck to the tire store and called AAA.  They said the wait would be about 2 hours.  So I waited. This time with the windows open, because the AC in the truck seems to have given up the ghost and I have not been able to get it looked at. 

After the 2 hour wait, the tow truck arrived.  I explained the problem.  He said to give it a try so he could hear it.  Sum-bitch started right up!!! 

I drove it the 3 blocks to the closest repair shop (not my favorite place mind you), and the tow truck followed.  Tomorrow I hope that the shop will tell me what they think that they will fix.  (From my experience with them, it may not be what is broken, but it will be what they want to try to fix first!)

AFTER that, I went to Wendy's for lunch/ dinner really as it was now after 4 pm! I ordered single combo NO CHEESE!  I paid, but I needed to move forward while they got my order ready. When the lady brought out my bag, I asked "No Cheese, right?"  and the reply was "No cheese!"   So I didnt check.  Well, Im sure that you know that IF they had the order right, i would not be in the VENTING thread!!!  Bastards! 
The worst part is that this is the SECOND TIME!   We can only visit the drive through these days, and I visited them last Saturday too.  And they screwed it up then too! 

Not to worry!  I wont be visiting them any time soon.  AND IF i can find my reciept I will fill out the Talk to Wendy webpage telling her off! 

OK.  Venting over for now.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on March 27, 2020, 07:26:21 PM
Update...

I got the call Wednesday morning that there was nothing that could be found that was wrong with the car. 

I told them to go ahead and change the oil.

It was ready about1230... right after I had a big salad and a bunch of orange drink.  They are now practicing social distancing, so they would not come and get me. I had to walk to the shop. It is not too far, only about a mile and a half. However, it was bright sun and 89 degrees.  I got about 100 yards from the shop and decided that I had better sit down a spell so that I didnt walk in there all out o f breath and scare them! 

So I spent like $130 for a diagnosis of "no problems" and an oil change. 

I m sure that whatever the problem was/IS will pop up at a more inconvenient time! 

On the positive side, the tire that was flat seems to be holding air.  So while it has 'run flat damage' as long as it is holding air, Im going to delay replacing the tires.  The tread on them is fine, only the age was the real issue, and I figure that until the tires are more worn, or the problem that caused the issue is diagnosed, Im not going to rush to put new tires on my 20 year old car!  (though it only has 64,000 miles)!

Later that evening, I scared my fiance.  I told her I was feel chili and took my temperature (97.9).  But the sight of the thermometer helped her to decide that she had better go home!  I think that it was sitting under the AC vent with a new sunburn from walking earlier in the afternoon.  I felt better yesterday, though I now have a small cough!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on March 28, 2020, 05:15:44 PM
Reaching out to any forumites in the path or environs of the Jonesboro, AR tornado and the other weather issues in the midwest.

Thinking of you and wishing you the best.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on March 28, 2020, 06:11:28 PM
My university is now totally online for instruction.  However, in my classes I have used a combination of both in class and online quizzes.  One of the quizzes is due tomorrow.  It is not a new quiz, it is one I had given online for several semesters.  This quiz has been available for students to take since Monday
ON the link to go to the quiz, there is a note to go to a certain page and use the balance sheet and income statement on that page to calculate the ratios on the quiz.

The first very bitchy email I got this morning was a student irate that the quiz page did not include the information within the quiz.  He was quite insulting and noted that I needed to give him another attempt because he clearly failed the quiz.  His quiz time was still running so I copied the information that was right below the button to start the quiz.  In the followup email he sent in reply to my email showing him the information, he noted that it "did not look important! " 

I did reset his attempt and I then adjusted the instructions by putting the page number in bold!  He followed up with a complaint that I made it easier to see! 

The second email was just a while ago.  He claims that the eText does not use page numbers so he lost a lot of time looking for the information and then had to print it out.  However, when I go to MindTap (the publisher's site) there is a box right at the top of the page and when I put in the page number specified it takes me instantly to the page I specified.  His email includes all sorts of complaints that I did not tell them the format of the quiz.  (As I am not meeting at class time on WebEx and recording the session, I pointed out that it was discussed between the 20 and 22 minute mark). 

He then complained that it was unfair that he had to use the eText and search through the page for the numbers that he wanted.  He complained that the quiz was poorly designed and that "In the Army we have a saying that poor planning gets people killed.  Obviously, we are not in any extreme setting like that but to modify it, "poor design will get students failed." " 

I replied that my design was that students would turn to the printed page so that they would not have to be scrolling up and down looking for numbers on a computer screen.  No one has before complained about using the eText with this quiz in the past.  He now notes that part of his problem was that he went to the wrong page because a classmate told him something different than was in the instructions.

So, Do eTexts NOT have page numbers?  Is there a way to turn them on?  How do people with eTexts find the section of the book without a page number?

FInally.... this is a small rant, both emails were addressed to "Mr. Clean".  I was semi tempted to reply to these bitchy emails with a note that I would be glad to forward their emails to "Mr. Clean" (both my father and my brother as they did not specify which they really wanted the message to go to) and hopefully one of them would reply to their message.  If they wanted a reply from DR. Clean, perhaps they should rephrase their notes to highlight their own errors  and request a solution (Their errors include not reading the 'unimportant' parts of the instructions, and ignoring the instructions and asking a class member instead of DR Clean if there was confusion related to the use of the eText.  Certainly the root cause of BOTH complaints is related to MY failure to ensure that they actually PAID ATTENTION to what was written!) 

Does stupidity and bitchiness increase with social distancing? 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on March 30, 2020, 05:49:08 AM
Sometimes I am able to rise above the annoyance of rude student emails and reach a higher plane, giving a polite reply.
Other times I am not, and I just delete them.

Certainly some etexts have page numbers. Generally Kindle does not. The one I am using from WW Norton does not have page numbers. So it can be more useful to give references to sections of the book.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Thursday's_Child on March 30, 2020, 07:04:43 AM
<snip>

Does stupidity and bitchiness increase with social distancing?

Alternatively, you might have a student who thrives in a military environment:
     (training - do this exactly this way - and re-training until you get it right, all at the third-grade level with no independent thought allowed)
but can't transition to an academic one:
     (here's the basic theoretical & practical information & a source of more useful information, lets work this problem, now you work this other problem).

I've had a very few of these.  They do get frustrated (and sometimes furious) because they expect to be given every necessary detail, to be shown how to work every possible problem, and for the exam to be the same for every class and every semester, and for it to be available for their study!  If those conditions are met they will meet expectations - pound the information into their heads until they have it cold.  But, the minute they run into anything novel or you expect independent problem solving, they are lost!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on March 30, 2020, 07:38:33 AM
I have a faculty member who has always perceived huself as the last bastion of academic rigor.  Now, in the face of a campus-wide P/F policy being implemented, hu has decided that hu will simply raise the Pass threshold because "no one can tell me what a passing grade is in my own class".

Why do some people just insist on being difficult?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on March 30, 2020, 07:50:49 AM
Reaching out to any forumites in the path or environs of the Jonesboro, AR tornado and the other weather issues in the midwest.

Thinking of you and wishing you the best.

M.

Not near Jonesboro myself, but I know people there.  A librarian of my acquaintance rode out the storm with his family in their bathtub.  Their home is now gone.  So far about 200 homes are known to have been damaged, of which 55 are probably totaled.  There were 22 injuries, two hospitalized, with no fatalities or life-threatening injuries.  The biggest single concentration of damage was a wrecked shopping mall--which was pretty much empty because of the quarantines.  The campus of Arkansas State University does not seem to have been damaged.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on March 30, 2020, 08:35:18 AM
Thanks for the update.

All good thoughts to your friend, their family, and their neighbors.

I can't imagine losing ones whole home like that.

Glad they were safe.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ciao_yall on March 30, 2020, 10:40:42 AM
I have a faculty member who has always perceived huself as the last bastion of academic rigor.  Now, in the face of a campus-wide P/F policy being implemented, hu has decided that hu will simply raise the Pass threshold because "no one can tell me what a passing grade is in my own class".

Why do some people just insist on being difficult?

Because they don't trust their students.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 30, 2020, 01:27:52 PM
Very bad allergies today.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on March 30, 2020, 02:03:34 PM
I have a faculty member who has always perceived huself as the last bastion of academic rigor.  Now, in the face of a campus-wide P/F policy being implemented, hu has decided that hu will simply raise the Pass threshold because "no one can tell me what a passing grade is in my own class".

Why do some people just insist on being difficult?

Because they don't trust their students.
Wasn't expecting that response.  Can you clarify what you mean? (No snark)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on March 30, 2020, 03:37:58 PM
Unrelated to the above:

Yep, that's exactly what I was trying to prevent.

I know your other job is more dazzling, but you draw on this one for your pay as well, and now things are a mess--and it affects me.

Answer your emails, do what I request when I ask for it, and stop playing diva with your other job while you use this one as a cash cow.

Really!!!!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on March 31, 2020, 05:59:59 AM
Very bad allergies today.
+1 here, for the past week or so.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on March 31, 2020, 09:10:45 AM
Very bad allergies today.
+1 here, for the past week or so.

Me, too.  And now mulberry's back, which is just a party waiting to happen.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on March 31, 2020, 10:36:09 AM
Sorry to hear that.

You can thank the 18th c. colonial sericulture enthusiasts in the South and along the East coast, who imported the trees...
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on April 08, 2020, 06:50:56 AM
Well, double-ost, but with plenty of time in between!

Actually, this may belong on the whining thread (oh, wait, do we have one?)...

I don't LIKE sea salt stuff, or caramel, or both, with my dark chocolate, Ghirardelli!

What happened to the nice mint and raspberry flavors you used to have in the mixed squares bag?

(now, there's a rock group name: Ghirardelli and the Mixed Squares...)

I'll eat it anyway, because, well....dark chocolate, but...

I try to avoid salt in stuff, and this forces it on me.

Harrumpf.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: paultuttle on April 08, 2020, 08:00:23 AM
Very bad allergies today.
+1 here, for the past week or so.

Me, too.  And now mulberry's back, which is just a party waiting to happen.

Me three.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on April 08, 2020, 10:41:34 AM
Very bad allergies today.
+1 here, for the past week or so.

Me, too.  And now mulberry's back, which is just a party waiting to happen.


Me three.

Like I say, it's all S. Carolina's fault...they started it.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on April 08, 2020, 04:13:18 PM
Venting about how hard it is to vent at present.

My body is malfunctioning in new and disconcerting ways. I don't understand why these things are happening. Doctors I talk to don't know whats happening, don't know what to do about, and therefore don't seem to intend to do anything about it. I'm scared and uncomfortable and in pain and, for reasons I can't articulate, having to keep it to myself makes it all much harder to bear.

A lot of people are venting these days with the disruption related to the pandemic. People I know have had to cancel weddings, have lost jobs or had to make a short-notice transition to working remotely. They are stuck at home and bored or lonely or frustrated over their diminished productivity as their work routines were thrown out of whack. They are dealing with anxiety about the virus and the stress of managing family dynamics in a lock-down situation. All such vents are perfectly understandable.

Some people vent to me personally. Some do it generally over facebook or similar. They get the comfort of sympathy, commiseration, advice, or just a friendly chat to take their mind off their worries for a while. I don't know how to get the same need met.

I know most people don't want to hear in depth talk about anything too heavy. I usually downplay it, but I will sometimes attempt to let someone know that I'm not doing ok lately. If someone asks how I am, I may say something like "Well, I've been rather down lately" or "A bit stressed out this week". The most common response is something like, "Oh, yeah. Everybody is. Just the other day [insert anecdote about a long, frustrating attempt to get supplies at the grocery store; although sometimes it is a more severe problem like a job loss]. But at least I'm getting more time at home with [insert enjoyable things here]. Try to remember [insert generic sentiment regarding forbearance, counting your blessings, or accepting things you can not change to focus on the things you can]. Anyway, I should get going. Bye!"

Even SO has been too preoccupied with his own stress to be much available to me. He is used to going out a few times a week to visit friends, and the lack of face-to-face social time has really been affecting him.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on April 10, 2020, 02:29:25 PM
What do you do when you need to cry but can't? When you want to scream but you know you shouldn't? When you need to connect but there's no one around?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on April 10, 2020, 02:59:03 PM
What do you do when you need to cry but can't? When you want to scream but you know you shouldn't? When you need to connect but there's no one around?

What's on your mind SCR?  Water Cooler thread is always open, even on weekends and holidays.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on April 10, 2020, 03:18:17 PM
What do you do when you need to cry but can't? When you want to scream but you know you shouldn't? When you need to connect but there's no one around?

What's on your mind SCR?  Water Cooler thread is always open, even on weekends and holidays.

Hmm...I thought the water cooler thread was more for casual chat, not angst...?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on April 10, 2020, 03:48:55 PM
What do you do when you need to cry but can't? When you want to scream but you know you shouldn't? When you need to connect but there's no one around?

What's on your mind SCR?  Water Cooler thread is always open, even on weekends and holidays.

Hmm...I thought the water cooler thread was more for casual chat, not angst...?

Sorry you are feeling angst.  I was referring to your "need to connect" comment when I suggested water cooler. 

Many are struggling due to the virus crisis.  It's challenging.  Those who were struggling pre-crisis now bear a heavier burden. 

Can you get some fresh air this weekend?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on April 10, 2020, 05:04:39 PM
What do you do when you need to cry but can't? When you want to scream but you know you shouldn't? When you need to connect but there's no one around?

What's on your mind SCR?  Water Cooler thread is always open, even on weekends and holidays.

Hmm...I thought the water cooler thread was more for casual chat, not angst...?

Sorry you are feeling angst.  I was referring to your "need to connect" comment when I suggested water cooler. 

Many are struggling due to the virus crisis.  It's challenging.  Those who were struggling pre-crisis now bear a heavier burden. 

Can you get some fresh air this weekend?

Getting fresh air every weekday, as I still have to go out to get medical treatment.

I'm upset and scared about the new ways my body is finding to malfunction. Feel like I'm dealing with it all alone because no one knows what to do about it right now (including doctors and SO), so they see no reason to keep thinking about it; there are too many other things to worry about.

Don't know how to get free of these pent up feelings.

And the stay-at-home life has made me realize how little I matter as a human being to people I thought were my friends. My SO says it's because I seem to have trouble distinguishing friends from friendly acquaintances. An acquaintance interacts with you because...well...you're there; you have activities in common. When you aren't there, they don't especially miss you and they feel no need to seek you out. I've failed to connect with them in the ways they've connected to each other. I tried, and I failed.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on April 11, 2020, 12:52:00 PM
Well, being unable to cry is no longer an issue.

Been trying to connect with labmates through casual chat. How’s it going, what are you up to...that sort of thing. So far it hasn’t led to much. Answers are brief, and so far I am always the one who has to initiate. But I know people are unusually preoccupied these days and that forming connections takes time.

Had an extremely painful conversation with a lab mate (the only one I considered myself close enough to to call a friend) on Slack after I broached the possibility of planning some kind of group social meet up over Zoom, because I thought it would be more social than the brief one on one chats. Certainly was able to cry after hearing his response. Crying was the only thing I was able to do last night. He did a very thorough dissection of what he viewed as my social deficiencies to explain why I was still more of an outsider than the others. Said I had not “earned the right” to expect them to talk to me. “If you’re looking for social handouts, you won’t get them.” Handouts...like starting a conversation with me is charity work.

I wasn’t under the illusion I had a close friendship with anyone in the lab. But I thought there was still some kind of connection; a casual friendship such that a little non-work socialization wasn’t out of place. But I don’t think I’ve even got that much.

It’s been hard to meet people outside of work (before the pandemic) because I feel so sick all the time. I don’t have a lot of activities outside of the lab. In lab, I made an effort. I asked people to grab lunch with me, tried to make small talk when I saw them, asked after pets and families and SOs, got a housewarming gift for someone who had just moved, once in a while brought treats in for everybody...I was still left out a lot, but I thought all that counted for...something.

Now I feel even more out of place, two years in, than I did on day 1, when I was a complete stranger to everyone.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Larimar on April 11, 2020, 02:50:38 PM
Jeepers! Your lab mate sounds like a Colossal Jerk!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on April 11, 2020, 08:01:24 PM
Jeepers! Your lab mate sounds like a Colossal Jerk!

He’s been nice to me in other ways. They all have. That’s probably why this hurt so much. He told me the other labmates often ask how I’m doing and what I am up to; they just never ask me. When I asked why, he said I did not take enough responsibility in telling them how to interact with me. If I am experiencing tics or am in pain or fatigued or otherwise showing signs of distress, they prefer to keep their distance rather than “invade” my space. He says I should have been more forthcoming in explaining my medical issues and how they can interact with me. I would have done this if anyone had asked or given me an inkling they wanted to know this. Instead they treated me as if I were invisible.

I had asked my PI at various times whether he thought I should discuss some of the issues with other people in the lab and he seemed reluctant to offer an opinion one way or another.

The last day the lab was open I broke down after all my labmates went to a sort of farewell lunch together, walking right past me to go out the door, but without asking me to join. They have left me out of preplanned social lunches before, but this hit extra hard because I didn’t know when I’d be able to see any of them in person again.

There was a day when I had a sudden onset of stabbing pains in chest and abdomen. My throat and tongue swelled, making it hard to breathe. I ended up curled on the floor of lab gasping and trembling for nearly an hour until the pain and swelling subsided enough I could get up again. People walked past me the entire time I lay there. It was a scary experience and wretchedly lonely. I asked about it afterwards and everyone said they didn’t want to bother me if I wasn’t feeling well. I begged them to please come ask me if I need help if I’m on the ground, because I may not be able to speak or move well enough to flag them down.

About a month later, I had another (fortunately shorter) episode. Again, everybody just walked past me lying on the floor. Again, people said they saw me there but weren’t sure whether or not to intervene. So they went to the default action of ignoring me. They told me I need to explicitly ask for help.

I don’t know how long i would have lay there without help if I had passed out or even dropped dead.

It’s why when people tell me that people would be upset to lose me if I killed myself, it’s often difficult to take them seriously.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Puget on April 12, 2020, 07:50:44 AM
Jeepers! Your lab mate sounds like a Colossal Jerk!

He’s been nice to me in other ways. They all have. That’s probably why this hurt so much. He told me the other labmates often ask how I’m doing and what I am up to; they just never ask me. When I asked why, he said I did not take enough responsibility in telling them how to interact with me. If I am experiencing tics or am in pain or fatigued or otherwise showing signs of distress, they prefer to keep their distance rather than “invade” my space. He says I should have been more forthcoming in explaining my medical issues and how they can interact with me. I would have done this if anyone had asked or given me an inkling they wanted to know this. Instead they treated me as if I were invisible.

I had asked my PI at various times whether he thought I should discuss some of the issues with other people in the lab and he seemed reluctant to offer an opinion one way or another.

The last day the lab was open I broke down after all my labmates went to a sort of farewell lunch together, walking right past me to go out the door, but without asking me to join. They have left me out of preplanned social lunches before, but this hit extra hard because I didn’t know when I’d be able to see any of them in person again.

There was a day when I had a sudden onset of stabbing pains in chest and abdomen. My throat and tongue swelled, making it hard to breathe. I ended up curled on the floor of lab gasping and trembling for nearly an hour until the pain and swelling subsided enough I could get up again. People walked past me the entire time I lay there. It was a scary experience and wretchedly lonely. I asked about it afterwards and everyone said they didn’t want to bother me if I wasn’t feeling well. I begged them to please come ask me if I need help if I’m on the ground, because I may not be able to speak or move well enough to flag them down.

About a month later, I had another (fortunately shorter) episode. Again, everybody just walked past me lying on the floor. Again, people said they saw me there but weren’t sure whether or not to intervene. So they went to the default action of ignoring me. They told me I need to explicitly ask for help.

I don’t know how long i would have lay there without help if I had passed out or even dropped dead.

It’s why when people tell me that people would be upset to lose me if I killed myself, it’s often difficult to take them seriously.

That is very hard, and clearly they didn't act the way one would hope they would. However, I very much doubt this is personal to you-- it sounds more like they just don't know how to act around someone in distress, and unfortunately their response to their own distress and uncertainty in that situation is avoidance and inaction. That is very, very, common, especially when there is diffusion of responsibility (see, bystander effect). They are afraid of doing the wrong thing, so they do nothing, which is the wrong call in this case, but sounds like it comes from a place of lack of knowledge and fear rather than indifference or malice.

As hard as your lab mate's words were to hear, having some more direct information about what they should do in different situations could be a good idea and empower them to act. When you are back in the lab, maybe write it down for them and post it by your desk in the lab so they know what to do in different situations? Maybe you could make some signs to use if they aren't able to talk-- e.g., "I'm in pain/unwell, please ______." (whatever it is you'd need them to do-- contact the health center, call 911, etc.)?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: alto_stratus on April 12, 2020, 09:28:34 AM
I agree that it's helpful to tell people how to interact with you or how to intervene.  A lot of people don't know what to do in new situations - whether it's getting help for themselves or others.  These people in your lab do sound hopelessly clueless on a social level, but if that's what you're working with, you may need to give explicit directions. 

There's some awkwardness about sharing personal details, and bosses will be reluctant to say anything for fear of violating your privacy, but maybe now's a good time to reflect on what people need to know and when they need to know it. If you're not sure what to do, you may be able to talk it through with a therapist, someone in the disability office, a nurse, or an ombudsperson.

I've worked with people with health issues and disabilities, some who have been forthcoming about what to expect, some who I've had to learn about as I worked with them. It has helped me to know things like, "I have a hearing difference - make sure you're speaking clearly and to my face (not my back) when you're talking to me" or "When I get overwhelmed, I do XYZ behavior and I just need some space and will be okay in a few hours." Sometimes I have that info in advance, sometimes they come to me after an episode - either way works, as long as I know what to do. That way, I'm not sitting there thinking, "What's going on?" I know this person is having a bit of a crisis, and I'm either going to let them calm down, or change something in my behavior to help them, or call them an ambulance based on what they've told me.

It takes someone with social skills and risk tolerance to intervene in unexpected situations - to know what to say and what to do. Now that I'm older, I have some experience, from watching others intervene skillfully (usually people with healthcare or social work backgrounds), or bumbling along in situations where I felt someone else might be at risk if I didn't do something, anything, even if it was feeble or stupid. But there are still some situations I'm not prepared for.  Just a year ago, I was walking along the street and witnessed a rollover accident and did not know what to do. Others immediately sprang into action to pull people from the car and call 911. I waited on the sidelines, a little in shock, knowing I had no emergency training (other than that which said don't move people who might have been injured) and I'd need direction to help. I stayed with one of the families who was on the sidewalk until the police came. But I felt kind of useless.

Anyway, hugs to you. You deserved better in these situations. I'm sorry people are kind of idiots sometimes.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on April 12, 2020, 02:14:11 PM
That is very hard, and clearly they didn't act the way one would hope they would. However, I very much doubt this is personal to you-- it sounds more like they just don't know how to act around someone in distress, and unfortunately their response to their own distress and uncertainty in that situation is avoidance and inaction. That is very, very, common, especially when there is diffusion of responsibility (see, bystander effect). They are afraid of doing the wrong thing, so they do nothing, which is the wrong call in this case, but sounds like it comes from a place of lack of knowledge and fear rather than indifference or malice.

I can see the points you and alto_stratus are making, and they do make sense.

Still, having someone tell me I haven't "earned the right" to expect people to say hello to me (or, in his words, grace me with a "social handout") once in a while seems pretty personal. And it's hard to believe in this case that being ignored is not a product of indifference. After the episode passed, and things were relatively normal again, they still weren't really interacting with me. Not to ask how I was doing or even just to say hi. I may as well not exist.

As hard as your lab mate's words were to hear, having some more direct information about what they should do in different situations could be a good idea and empower them to act. When you are back in the lab, maybe write it down for them and post it by your desk in the lab so they know what to do in different situations? Maybe you could make some signs to use if they aren't able to talk-- e.g., "I'm in pain/unwell, please ______." (whatever it is you'd need them to do-- contact the health center, call 911, etc.)?

I've done this.

There was a day when I had a sudden onset of stabbing pains in chest and abdomen. My throat and tongue swelled, making it hard to breathe. I ended up curled on the floor of lab gasping and trembling for nearly an hour until the pain and swelling subsided enough I could get up again. People walked past me the entire time I lay there. It was a scary experience and wretchedly lonely. I asked about it afterwards and everyone said they didn’t want to bother me if I wasn’t feeling well. I begged them to please come ask me if I need help if I’m on the ground, because I may not be able to speak or move well enough to flag them down.

About a month later, I had another (fortunately shorter) episode. Again, everybody just walked past me lying on the floor. Again, people said they saw me there but weren’t sure whether or not to intervene. So they went to the default action of ignoring me. They told me I need to explicitly ask for help.

It didn't make the slightest bit of difference. In my PI's case, I made a chart of possible issues that might arise in lab and actions other people could take that would help (including when it is probably warranted to call for medical assistance or walk me to the student clinic) and emailed him a copy. We also went over it in person. I especially emphasized that if there was any doubt or ambiguity at all to please ask if I need help! I explained that, even if it was hard to speak, I could signal with a hand or a head movement if I'm ok and just need a little time, and then they would know it was not an emergency. But if it were an emergency I might not be able to signal; I might not even be conscious. Please, please don't just walk past; don't just leave me there! Struggling to breathe while being completely ignored was terrifying and made me feel my life was worth nothing. If I had been lying there with a twisted ankle it wouldn't have affected me so strongly, but that's not what happened.

Not every lab member knows about my situation to the same level of detail, but what I have told them doesn't seem to matter much. I've said time and again that what I really need from them is not to be ignored. They don't have to directly help me with my health issues; they don't even have to acknowledge them. But just feeling connected to people through the little interactions (chit chat, the occasional social coffee break, etc.) would help me stay grounded and less overwhelmed. When I bring this up, people act as if it's a reasonable request and shouldn't be a problem. But it still doesn't happen.

I feel like I don't have a place there anymore. Like they are just waiting for me to remove myself so they don't have to go through the awkwardness of actively driving me out. I know that's probably mostly the depression talking, but it still hurts so much to not belong.

Anyway, hugs to you. You deserved better in these situations. I'm sorry people are kind of idiots sometimes.

Thanks, alto. I needed this.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on April 12, 2020, 05:36:50 PM
I agree that it's helpful to tell people how to interact with you or how to intervene.  A lot of people don't know what to do in new situations - whether it's getting help for themselves or others.  These people in your lab do sound hopelessly clueless on a social level, but if that's what you're working with, you may need to give explicit directions
.....
Just a year ago, I was walking along the street and witnessed a rollover accident and did not know what to do. Others immediately sprang into action to pull people from the car and call 911. I waited on the sidelines, a little in shock, knowing I had no emergency training (other than that which said don't move people who might have been injured) and I'd need direction to help. I stayed with one of the families who was on the sidewalk until the police came. But I felt kind of useless.
.....

I'm sorry I keep coming back to this, but it's literally making me crazy. How explicit do directions need to be?

"If you see me in apparent distress, ESPECIALLY if I am on the ground (if I just feel a bit sick and need a rest, I'm going to find a place to sit down; lying on the filthy floor is NOT my way of saying "give me some space"), please take a few seconds to ask me if I need help. Please do not assume I can get up and seek help on my own or that I can pick up my phone and talk to emergency services myself. If it's not an emergency, I will give you some kind of signal to let you know you don't have to intervene. Otherwise, please help me get medical attention. There are situations in which I may be minimally responsive or not responsive at all, in which case, err on the side of caution and assume I need help [they keep expecting me to clearly and unambiguously say, "please help me"; I keep reminding them this is not always possible if a person is having an emergency medical situation]."

I don't know how else to explain this or how many reiterations it takes for the message to sink in. The first time I had breathing issues I was at home. The next time I was in lab I informed my PI what I had experienced and gave him a variation of the above as an emergency plan if something similar happened in lab. He seemed to understand and was on board with it. He still did nothing the first time it happened in lab (and I confirmed he had seen me). I spoke with him about it again, he seemed alarmed when I described the situation to him ("oh, I didn't realize it was something that bad") and said he would certainly check on me if it ever happened again ("definitely if you are on the floor"). And then, when it did happen again, he...did nothing (and again I verified that he had seen me). I don't know if too much time passed in between those two episodes and he just forgot what we had talked about, but it certainly did not make me feel like the valued member of the lab people have been claiming I am. People do more for stray dogs lying in ditches.

alto, in the scenario you described, at least you saw that other people seemed to know what action to take and were in motion to assist. No one in lab could say they saw someone else taking action and therefore decided to hang back because they did not know what to do. And when one person is a PI and another is the lab safety officer (in charge of making sure everybody gets training on how to respond and what numbers to call in an emergency), is it too much to expect that the reaction be more than nothing? Even just saying a few words to me...something that acknowledges my existence would have made the situation less unbearable.

And then for someone I had considered a friend to essentially tell me all of this was my own fault; that I need to be more "accountable" and "independent". I didn't do enough to make everybody feel comfortable taking action or talking to me about my issues, I didn't give people enough information to know what to do, I didn't get up and grab someone when I was having chest pains and trouble breathing (this one strikes me as unfair), I was expecting too much to want to be included in their small talk and workplace socializing... I'm honestly trying my best, but it's obviously nowhere near good enough. I don't know what else to do. I don't know if I should even go back to lab once it reopens. They may simply be too polite to say "we're sick of dealing with you; it would be best for the lab if you just left us alone for good."

All that talk about "don't be afraid to ask for help" "reach out to people when you are in crisis" "you shouldn't have to deal with this alone", it's all just catchphrases.

I believe in accountability and independence too. But I don't have the strength for it, not now. I've never been in such relentless pain before; I don't know how to keep enduring. I just want to feel like a human being who has something to offer, and the longer this goes on, the more remote that goal seems.

I don't know what to do with myself anymore.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Puget on April 12, 2020, 08:15:40 PM
I'm sorry that happened to you smallcleanrat, that all sounds scary and frustrating. I don't have an explanation for their behavior, which is really perplexing to me (especially the PI),  except to say again I doubt it is about you personally in any real way.
It seems like there are really two different issues here that that it might help to separate--

1. Staying physically safe. Your lab mates and PI have unfortunately shown you that you can't count on them for that, and presumably these episodes could happen elsewhere, so when you are back out in the world again, it seems like you need another way to summon help, like a life-alert button service.

2. Your emotional needs for human contact and connection. These are of course completely legitimate and reasonable. However, again your lab has shown that they are unfortunately not the people who are going to provide that for you. Again, I think this says more about them than about you. But I think you trying to accept that they are just not going to provide that could help you feel less pain when they fail to do so, and instead seek that contact elsewhere (not easy, especially right now, I know, but eventually through small steps).
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Larimar on April 13, 2020, 04:17:23 AM
Chime to what Puget has said. Smallcleanrat, you deserve much better than what those jerks in your lab did! You may be feeling stuck, but neither the coronavirus pandemic nor your lab rotation (if I remember correctly, you are a grad student) will last forever! The stay-at-home orders will lift, you will graduate, and you will escape from your current situation. Keep prioritizing your health and staying safe.

Larimar
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: alto_stratus on April 13, 2020, 07:02:10 AM
smallcleanrat, I think I joined the conversation late. It's clear you've done a lot to inform your lab, and their behavior under the circumstances is ridiculous. I agree that it says more about them than you.

I've dealt with depression over the years. Part of my depression was rooted in cognitive distortions. The work I did on that was life-changing for me. But I also realized I was feeling totally depleted and devalued by the relationships I had. I needed to shift the center of my world to something else. I started by taking on some new activities that made me feel better about myself, and reaching out to some new people, and sticking with those who showed understanding and kindness. I found a therapist who could be my linchpin for 6 months to a year, to help me build out new, healthier social connections. I was a real "work in progress" for a while, but I kept taking the awkward baby steps forward, and eventually got myself into a different place. I was surprised and pleased to find there are better people out there. When I started to care less and put less stock into the negative relationships, they didn't bother me as much (I used to get so hooked by negative interactions). I derived value and meaning from a different place now.

I remember some of Jon Kabat-Zinn's mindfulness meditations (Wherever You Go, There You Are) made me feel better - like I could be who I was and take up space - that much was owed to me.

It is shocking when people are careless or jerks - but you can't fix them. You tried to show them how to be more human, and they didn't get it. Now you just have to try to minimize their impact on your life, and build your life out in other ways so you have those sources of support and good energy from other places.

Thinking of you.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: alto_stratus on April 13, 2020, 07:32:24 AM
My vent: what is up with these chain emails? I don't think anyone I know would appreciate receiving those right now.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: EquineUlcers on April 13, 2020, 07:39:02 AM
Totally agree with you. My inbox had 48 new emails, of which 45 were chain emails!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: paultuttle on April 16, 2020, 07:44:02 AM
Between the 5-year-old next door who thinks "singing" means imitating a doorbell chime, and the roofers down the street who are now on their third house (!!!) in my neighborhood during the pandemic, and the city employees running a wood chipper on the other side of the park from our house (to take care of trees downed in the recent storm), I'm feeling rather like I'm in the middle of noise pollution hell.



<that said, I am glad I still have my hearing, endangered though it is at present>
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on April 16, 2020, 09:15:34 AM
Between the 5-year-old next door who thinks "singing" means imitating a doorbell chime, and the roofers down the street who are now on their third house (!!!) in my neighborhood during the pandemic, and the city employees running a wood chipper on the other side of the park from our house (to take care of trees downed in the recent storm), I'm feeling rather like I'm in the middle of noise pollution hell.



<that said, I am glad I still have my hearing, endangered though it is at present>
Our version of this is the young single mom across the street, who gives her 6- or 7-year-old son (who is a total little hellion in every way) the keys to the minivan. She sends him outside alone so he can entertain himself by unlocking it and blasting the stereo at top volume or by hitting the button on the remote to make the horn beep. He also seems to enjoy setting the alarm, then running full-tilt at the van to slam into it and set the alarm off. 

Yesterday, he climbed in and fired up the engine. She came out of the house and caught him right as he started backing down the driveway, headed directly for our yard and my flower bed. I was outside and was not amused. She seemed more pissed at me than at him.  If I see him with the keys again, I'm calling the cops to get DCFS on her.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on April 16, 2020, 09:27:28 AM
My niece is 17.  She graduates next year. She has had a very expensive private school education.  She posted on The FaceTube that she has been painting and put them up on Ebay. She notes that the starting bid for these three paintings are 25$, 50$ and 75$.  I see this error most in non native speakers, but she has been taught English since her birth!!

Maybe it's me, but Im very annoyed when people misuse currency notation.  The only thing that bothers me more is when people try to list things for .99C (cents) .  Somehow THEY are not amused when I try to buy their product for a WHOLE penny!  On the penny it says One Cent.  One Cent is certainly worth more than .99 Cents! 

Isnt money supposed to be taught well before 2nd grade?

Where was the failing in her education?  What grade should she need to repeat before she is allowed to graduate?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on April 16, 2020, 11:15:15 AM
Our version of this is the young single mom across the street, who gives her 6- or 7-year-old son (who is a total little hellion in every way) the keys to the minivan. She sends him outside alone so he can entertain himself by unlocking it and blasting the stereo at top volume or by hitting the button on the remote to make the horn beep. He also seems to enjoy setting the alarm, then running full-tilt at the van to slam into it and set the alarm off. 

Yesterday, he climbed in and fired up the engine. She came out of the house and caught him right as he started backing down the driveway, headed directly for our yard and my flower bed. I was outside and was not amused. She seemed more pissed at me than at him.  If I see him with the keys again, I'm calling the cops to get DCFS on her.

That's terrible, AmLitHist.  Sounds like that mom has some sort of mental deficiency.  Poor child.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on April 23, 2020, 02:18:03 PM
I'm really tired of all the emails asking when I will grade assignment x. The semester is over, and the grading deadline is April 27. You will get the mark by April 27. Leave. Me. Alone.

I don't usually get these, so I'm concluding it's a kind of insecurity or entitlement borne of moving online. But the thing is, moving online gave me a lot more to grade all at once, because stuff we would have done in class had to be redirected to a folder due at the end of the semester. So. PFO.

LATER EDIT: To be clear, it's clear to me I should have said something when I first started getting the emails, although I didn't think I'd have to. It's been a steady stream of 3-4 a day since a day or two after they were due.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on April 24, 2020, 06:14:08 PM
Well, being unable to cry is no longer an issue.

Been trying to connect with labmates through casual chat. How’s it going, what are you up to...that sort of thing. So far it hasn’t led to much. Answers are brief, and so far I am always the one who has to initiate. But I know people are unusually preoccupied these days and that forming connections takes time.

Had an extremely painful conversation with a lab mate (the only one I considered myself close enough to to call a friend) on Slack after I broached the possibility of planning some kind of group social meet up over Zoom, because I thought it would be more social than the brief one on one chats. Certainly was able to cry after hearing his response. Crying was the only thing I was able to do last night. He did a very thorough dissection of what he viewed as my social deficiencies to explain why I was still more of an outsider than the others. Said I had not “earned the right” to expect them to talk to me. “If you’re looking for social handouts, you won’t get them.” Handouts...like starting a conversation with me is charity work.

I wasn’t under the illusion I had a close friendship with anyone in the lab. But I thought there was still some kind of connection; a casual friendship such that a little non-work socialization wasn’t out of place. But I don’t think I’ve even got that much.

It’s been hard to meet people outside of work (before the pandemic) because I feel so sick all the time. I don’t have a lot of activities outside of the lab. In lab, I made an effort. I asked people to grab lunch with me, tried to make small talk when I saw them, asked after pets and families and SOs, got a housewarming gift for someone who had just moved, once in a while brought treats in for everybody...I was still left out a lot, but I thought all that counted for...something.

Now I feel even more out of place, two years in, than I did on day 1, when I was a complete stranger to everyone.

*sigh*

Would anyone else characterize the following as a nonpology? I don't know how far to trust my own judgment these days.

I broke it down into its major components. Paraphrasing.

The Classic
'I'm sorry you felt upset.'

Maybe I said something wrong. But so did you!
'I don't hear you taking any accountability for how that conversation went.You got emotional, defensive, and blew it up all out of proportion. You didn't do anything to de-escalate and make things better.' The actual apology portion of the message was small compared to the portion of the message in which he dissected our conversation pointing out each moment in which he felt I could have handled things better.

Let me explain why what I said wasn't actually offensive. You just took things the wrong way.
'I acknowledge I shouldn't have used words with such negative connotations but you also misinterpreted my meaning which I think is unfair. I only said "IF you are looking for handouts". As long as you weren't expecting people to reach out to you then I agree you weren't doing anything wrong. It's only if you were expecting people to reach out that I would think you were in the wrong. I understand how you could have misunderstood, but I've explained this to you several times and you still act as if I said something bad. That really frustrates me.'

I understood the underlying message just fine. The underlying message itself was hurtful. The wording was just salt in the wound. I also explained myself multiple times on this point. I tapped out of the conversation when it was clear we were just talking past each other and he agreed we would "agree to disagree".

There probably are a number of ways I could have handled the situation better but it's too late to go back now. I don't quite know the words to describe what I'm feeling but...he knew I was vulnerable, depressed, and suicidal. I told him I found something he had said deeply hurtful. Why couldn't he just back off? Why was it so important I acknowledge that what he said "wasn't that bad" and that it was my reaction that was out of line, not his words?

When I had gotten to a point I was crying too hard to continue typing, I walked away from my computer. He was thoughtful enough to call my boyfriend to check whether I was safe. But then followed that by typing me a final message requesting we continue the conversation later.

Venting here in hopes of making it easier to let this incident go, as I know is best.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on April 24, 2020, 07:04:08 PM
SCR, this quote from alto_stratus merits repeating.

It is shocking when people are careless or jerks - but you can't fix them. You tried to show them how to be more human, and they didn't get it. Now you just have to try to minimize their impact on your life, and build your life out in other ways so you have those sources of support and good energy from other places.
Thinking of you.

Venting here in hopes of making it easier to let this incident go, as I know is best.

Some people don't do apologies.  They just will not.  He sounds like such a person.

Yes, best to let this go.  This lab person doesn't sound like a good fit as a pal.  His "earned the right" and "handouts" comments earlier are red flags.  You can't make him be what you'd wish.  Move on.  This lab person is not the last person on Earth with whom to make friends.  Meanwhile, be your own best friend (and, hopefully, your boyfriend is a good friend).

Hope your weekend is nice with some of the serenity and beauty of nature included.


Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on April 25, 2020, 10:53:45 AM
SCR, this quote from alto_stratus merits repeating.

It is shocking when people are careless or jerks - but you can't fix them. You tried to show them how to be more human, and they didn't get it. Now you just have to try to minimize their impact on your life, and build your life out in other ways so you have those sources of support and good energy from other places.
Thinking of you.

Venting here in hopes of making it easier to let this incident go, as I know is best.

Some people don't do apologies.  They just will not.  He sounds like such a person.

Yes, best to let this go.  This lab person doesn't sound like a good fit as a pal.  His "earned the right" and "handouts" comments earlier are red flags.  You can't make him be what you'd wish.  Move on.  This lab person is not the last person on Earth with whom to make friends.  Meanwhile, be your own best friend (and, hopefully, your boyfriend is a good friend).

Hope your weekend is nice with some of the serenity and beauty of nature included.

Venting on this thread did help to dissipate some of the jumble of hurt feelings and confused thoughts. I'm a lot calmer about it now.

I didn't ask him for an apology, but I did ask him how he felt about things. He did offer an apology (in the form of an actual apology, not a non-pology) for his word choice, but seemed far more passionate about getting an apology out of me and an admission that there was nothing wrong or hurtful about the sentiments he expressed (independent of wording). It would have been much easier to let it go if he stopped at "I still don't think I said anything wrong [aside from how I said it], but I am sorry you felt upset." I'm close to a lot of people with whom there is a mutual understanding that on certain topics we will likely never see eye-to-eye. It was his apparent need to get me to agree with him and to confess I had interpreted him "unfairly" that was causing me the most stress.

I did apologize to him for getting emotional in that initial conversation and for trying to argue my case when he would not accept my statement that what he had said was hurtful (since all this did was prolong a stressful conversation). He said he appreciated my apologies. But even now he is still asking me to explain why I found his remarks upsetting.

I don't need to be best buddies with my labmates. It would be nice, but I don't need that to happen. But I still think it's important to avoid tension and conflict whenever possible. And I think it will be highly demoralizing and disadvantageous to my science if I am frozen out of workplace-level socialization. Friendly small-talk tends to mix with science talk; people discuss how projects are going, recommend papers to read, bounce ideas off each other... I think being left out of that could mean diminished opportunities for me to develop as a scientist. Additionally, different lab members have different backgrounds and areas of expertise; it is expected we should be able to ask each other for help or advice if someone else is strong in methods or theory with which we are inexperienced. Lacking a basic level of collegiality would make those types of interactions awkward, at the least.

It would not hurt so much if things had been like this from the time I joined; or if a-sociality was just the culture of this lab. But there is a sense of real loss as the connections I had been forming over the last couple of years melted away when my health started to deteriorate. And it won't be easy going forward to watch the others talking, laughing, and going out as a group while I'm off to the side by myself. I know grad school "isn't forever" but I do have years of lab-time still ahead of me; it's going to be difficult to endure this way. I know I can try to put more effort into finding social connection outside of the lab (and I have been making efforts), but realistically I won't get much time with anyone else. The majority of my waking hours are spent in the lab. I know I should be able to endure a few years of loneliness; at earlier points in my life I know I could have. I don't know if I'm capable of it anymore. I don't know where to find the strength.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: sprout on April 25, 2020, 08:55:58 PM
I know I should be able to endure a few years of loneliness; at earlier points in my life I know I could have. I don't know if I'm capable of it anymore. I don't know where to find the strength.

Bull-pucky (to that first sentence).  Of all the things you have going on, scr, this is categorically NOT something you should feel bad about.  Humans are social creatures - we need social connection.  And grad school is too long a period, and too formative a point in life, to just keep your head down, work, and be miserable.  You deserve to find your happy.  If it's no longer in this lab, maybe you'd be able to finish your work in a collaborator's lab.  Or maybe there's a neighboring lab down the hall with people who'll be more welcoming. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on April 26, 2020, 07:51:30 PM
I know I should be able to endure a few years of loneliness; at earlier points in my life I know I could have. I don't know if I'm capable of it anymore. I don't know where to find the strength.

Bull-pucky (to that first sentence).  Of all the things you have going on, scr, this is categorically NOT something you should feel bad about.  Humans are social creatures - we need social connection.  And grad school is too long a period, and too formative a point in life, to just keep your head down, work, and be miserable.  You deserve to find your happy.  If it's no longer in this lab, maybe you'd be able to finish your work in a collaborator's lab.  Or maybe there's a neighboring lab down the hall with people who'll be more welcoming.

Thank you so much for saying that, sprout.

Advice I was getting from therapists was always along the lines of "keep reminding yourself grad school isn't forever, so you can endure". Intuitively something about it seemed off. No, grad school isn't forever, but it's not an insignificant amount of time either.

I want to continue in this lab because I love the project and my PI has been so supportive and encouraging during all this.

I wonder if this issue will resolve at all if my health starts to improve so there is less for my lab-mates to be uncomfortable about or if things have changed for good. I can survive without being friends with everybody in lab, but I'm not so sure how long I'd last without being at least on friendly co-worker/acquaintance-level terms with them.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on April 27, 2020, 10:15:23 AM
Quote
"keep reminding yourself grad school isn't forever, so you can endure"

Here is something I heard last night. I had said something similar, but this is more eloquent:

"When you are going through hell, dont stop!"

Get through it as fast and as best as you can!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: OneMoreYear on April 27, 2020, 10:45:38 AM
Quote
"keep reminding yourself grad school isn't forever, so you can endure"

Here is something I heard last night. I had said something similar, but this is more eloquent:

"When you are going through hell, dont stop!"

Get through it as fast and as best as you can!

Yes, I think this might be common advice in grad school.  When I was going through a particularly bad time in grad school, a labmate gave me a card with the phrase "If you're going through hell, keep going" on it (sometimes attributed to Churchill).  The card has made multiple moves with me, and sits on my desk in my home office 15 years later as a reminder.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on April 27, 2020, 10:55:25 AM
When I hit my own personal hell in Grad School, what got me through was the realization that I didn't HAVE TO do it.  Grad School wasn't a requirement, or an obligation; it was a choice.

Once I had that clear in my mind, I was able to soldier on and slog through, because I was the one making the decision to do so.

That perspective shift may be of help to others.  Or not.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on April 27, 2020, 01:25:55 PM
I appreciate people describing their own grad school experiences.

Although, I don't know why being out of grad school is supposed to be much better.

Before my health took a steep nosedive, I was enjoying grad school. In fact it was the most content I had been in years upon years. I was learning lots, loved my project, had a great mentor, and got along well with my lab mates. Every time some therapist makes me do a pro/con list contrasting reasons to live with reasons to kill myself, I put science at the top of the "pro" list.

I know grad school for everyone has a lot of stressors and contributes to a lot of mental health issues, but I don't think that's what's happening to me. My program has been at the Goldilocks just-right level of stress. Enough to keep me on my toes, not so much I was in danger of burnout.

I don't think my problem is grad school. I think my problem is being chronically ill in grad school. It's why my productivity has drastically dropped. Why my lab mates were uncomfortable. Why it's hard to look to the future and seeing anything good coming of it. Why I think about suicide daily.

Even if I weren't in grad school, I'd still be sick and struggling to function. I would still make people uncomfortable because of this. I would still be miserable.

I don't know when I'll be better. I don't even know if I ever will. Grad school isn't my hell. My hell is the pain and debility and my malfunctioning brain. Grad school is what keeps me fighting. It gives me goals, something to look forward to, a sense that I have a place in the world and that I am able to be a functioning, contributing member of society.

I made an agreement with my therapist to stay alive for three more months, so I can say I've really given his version of therapy an honest try. "What you do after that is up to you."

So, until then...a day at a time, I guess?

I just wish I didn't have to spend those days feeling like an outcast.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on April 27, 2020, 02:15:58 PM
Lots of us had a miserable period in graduate school, I know I did.  But that doesn't mean that it's a mandatory part.  Especially when you are feeling so lonely and left out by the very folks who SHOULD be your peers.  They sound like cr@ppy people.  Try to find another group to hang out with.  I was "adopted" by students in the Botany program and did lots of events with them even though I was in another program.

What will be different after?  Well, most jobs have ADA guidelines and HR departments to back you up.  Some have unions.  You will be (hopefully) making more money, worker fewer hours, and you'll never have to defend a thesis again.

Please, please continue your therapy.  Suicidal thoughts are not the normal you.  And if what your therapist says that what you do after those 3 months is "up to you" FIND A NEW THERAPIST!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ergative on April 29, 2020, 11:37:48 AM
I am so sick of students asking me to read their notes and tell them where they need to study more.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on April 30, 2020, 10:27:57 AM
IT has added a banner at the top of every email not sent from an account with this university. The banner tells us it's an email from outside the university community, and may be spam or a phishing attempt.

It's distracting and annoying. And some of us get hundreds of emails from outside the university every day. There's no way around it, no 'safe' list I can build. Ugh.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 04, 2020, 12:29:48 PM
Why is it that almost every time I try to sit at my desk and grade, or do 1 of the umpteen million administrative items that I need to do, some animal or person has to howl, yowl, crash into something, vacuum or do something else that throws off my concentration. I know that stress levels have been higher than usual,  but come on...
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on May 04, 2020, 01:28:04 PM
Quote
, some animal or person has to howl, yowl, crash into something, vacuum or do something else that throws off my concentration. I know that stress levels have been higher than usual,  but come on...

Those items all sound like 'work' to some one or some thing!  Why should YOUR 'work' have precedence? 
And for what it is worth, the LAST thing that I would criticize is someone that is Cleaning!!  You can quote me.  Clean
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 04, 2020, 01:35:43 PM
Quote
, some animal or person has to howl, yowl, crash into something, vacuum or do something else that throws off my concentration. I know that stress levels have been higher than usual,  but come on...

Those items all sound like 'work' to some one or some thing!  Why should YOUR 'work' have precedence? 
And for what it is worth, the LAST thing that I would criticize is someone that is Cleaning!!  You can quote me.  Clean

Funny, clean.

Everything is relative, I suppose.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: archaeo42 on May 07, 2020, 09:50:47 AM
This is more of a minor annoyance. Spouse and I both try to anticipate where the other is going in our smallish kitchen. We inevitably end up going where the other person is in an effort to make space for the other one. I'm finding it more irritating lately. We've been home together for over a year so this is not something new.

The weather is also really messing with my allergies and my head. Pressure changes are giving me a headache today.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on May 09, 2020, 07:08:37 AM
SHUT UP! LEAVE ME ALONE!  LET ME GRADE!

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on May 09, 2020, 10:01:57 AM
SHUT UP! LEAVE ME ALONE!  LET ME GRADE!

<small, quiet voice>  Me, too.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 09, 2020, 03:20:52 PM
SHUT UP! LEAVE ME ALONE!  LET ME GRADE!

<small, quiet voice>  Me, too.

I hear you guys. That was me the last week of April. I think I've recovered now, just in time for endless emails about the waitlist for summer courses (which start Monday).
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on May 09, 2020, 07:00:38 PM
Student emails me Friday night at 831 pm asking why there are penalty points on the portion of the final.**   I ignored the email.  The student sent the exact same email at 1030 this morning.  I ignored it.  At 640 the student threatens to send the dean a note that I a ignoring their serious question about the class. 

In the mean time, so far this today, I have replied to 24 emails from students asking for clarification or help on the take home portion of their final. 

I did reply at 713pm tonight. I told him that I was sorry that he was under the misperception that faculty were required to answer emails within 24 hours or even at all on weekends!  Had his question involved something on the test rather than why there were penalty points for failing to submit their work when there were more than 60 hours left before the deadline to submit the work.  They have already had their questions for 10 full days by last night, and still had 2 1/2 more days left to submit.  Why is there any excuse for it to be submitted late?


** Inter thread alert: My exam has been posted on Chegg by 2 students now!  Each exam has unique numbers.  IF we were in class, normally, then this would not be a take home test and they would have been given an abbreviated assignment and I would have graded each problem, line by line.  However, as each is different, and they have 12 total days to do the work,I  have instead asked questions About the problem....'What is the value for the hcange in revenue in Year 1" or What is the Depreciation Expense in Year 2?  What is the Cash Flow for year 3?  So if their answers are correct, and they should be with that much time to work the problems in excel, then they jsut answer them and i grade it faster in Blackboard.  Im hoping that this saves time.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ergative on May 11, 2020, 06:54:39 AM
I also to wait until Monday morning when students send emails that are not time-sensitive. In one case (long weekend) the student wrote to the program coordinator on Sunday after I didn't respond, and she was very stern with him for expecting me to answer emails on weekends. She also CCed me on her response. But here's the thing: it was a long weekend, and if the student hadn't written to the program coordinator I would indeed have completely forgotten about his email by Monday. In the end, I just responded first thing Monday morning with cheerful, helpful advice. But I do feel a bit bad that he got snarled at when if he had done the right thing and waited patiently until Monday he would not have gotten any response from me at all.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: bacardiandlime on May 13, 2020, 08:31:50 AM
Just got my (anticipated) redundancy email. And I now have to attend an excruciating final meeting too. So yay.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on May 13, 2020, 08:43:31 AM
Just got my (anticipated) redundancy email. And I now have to attend an excruciating final meeting too. So yay.

Sorry to hear that. Sending out sympathy vibes.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: fishbrains on May 13, 2020, 08:44:00 AM
Why the f*ck don't people put the day of the week in their questions or announcements for events? ARGGGGHHHH!!!!! How the hell am I supposed to know what July 21 is or what I'm doing that day? Tell me it's a Tuesday, and I can make a pretty good guess and might agree to come. Otherwise, I assume I'm busy and just skip past the email. 

I know this won't cure world hunger or anything, but dang-it-all . . .
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: bacardiandlime on May 13, 2020, 08:55:19 AM
Why the f*ck don't people put the day of the week in their questions or announcements for events? ARGGGGHHHH!!!!! How the hell am I supposed to know what July 21 is or what I'm doing that day? Tell me it's a Tuesday, and I can make a pretty good guess and might agree to come. Otherwise, I assume I'm busy and just skip past the email. 

Yep. And people who don't even specify WHERE their event is. Not such an issue now things are online, but I was constantly getting notices about a talk taking place in "LECTURE THEATRE 3", which didn't specify which university, or even which country, it was in.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: bacardiandlime on May 13, 2020, 08:55:40 AM
Just got my (anticipated) redundancy email. And I now have to attend an excruciating final meeting too. So yay.

Sorry to hear that. Sending out sympathy vibes.

Thank you.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on May 13, 2020, 09:28:33 AM
Why the f*ck don't people put the day of the week in their questions or announcements for events? ARGGGGHHHH!!!!! How the hell am I supposed to know what July 21 is or what I'm doing that day? Tell me it's a Tuesday, and I can make a pretty good guess and might agree to come. Otherwise, I assume I'm busy and just skip past the email. 

Yep. And people who don't even specify WHERE their event is. Not such an issue now things are online, but I was constantly getting notices about a talk taking place in "LECTURE THEATRE 3", which didn't specify which university, or even which country, it was in.

Ooh!  Even better, we have some rooms that have an official number, but everyone calls by some weird nickname.  "Let's meet in the Basketweaving room".  Yeah, no one who works in other buildings on campus knows what you mean.  How about saying the building, floor, and room number?  Jeez. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on May 13, 2020, 12:20:06 PM
We have the Hall of Dead Birds, but everyone seems to know of that place.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on May 13, 2020, 12:49:11 PM
Some campuses (well, I only know of one, but there may be more) only ever use numbers for buildings.

You're just supposed to know.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on May 14, 2020, 10:49:58 AM
When I use Blackboard to calculate student grades, I get partlculary annoyed when they write at the end of the semester saying I made a mistake in the calculation. It would mean that I made a mistake in every student's grade. It's not impossible I suppose. I have in fact made mistakes in the past. So maybe it isn't totally unreasonable for them to ask me to check. But in nearly every case, they are the ones who have made a mistake in their calculation.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 14, 2020, 11:00:08 AM
When I use Blackboard to calculate student grades, I get partlculary annoyed when they write at the end of the semester saying I made a mistake in the calculation. It would mean that I made a mistake in every student's grade. It's not impossible I suppose. I have in fact made mistakes in the past. So maybe it isn't totally unreasonable for them to ask me to check. But in nearly every case, they are the ones who have made a mistake in their calculation.

Yeah, no kidding.  But BB/Moodle does occasionally have weird grade calculation SNAFUs for single grades (although last semester it fucked up an entire course of mine). I don't quite trust it.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: cathwen on May 14, 2020, 11:09:12 AM
I've had Blackboard wrongly calculate an odd grade or two--although that hasn't happened for quite a few years now.  That is why I always enter grades into Excel to double-check.  It's a little more work, but at the end of the semester, I feel confident that the averages are correct.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on May 14, 2020, 02:47:54 PM
Budget freeze, people! Absolutely no spending! Zero, zilch, not one penny! I've said that at least three times a week for the last month. The dean's said it at least once a week. The provost and president have said it, even if they did tack on "except for exceptional circumstances requiring VP level approval." So why do you keep submitting purchase requests?

The latest one was for several hundred dollars of miscellaneous supplies, including paper clips shaped like a treble clef and custom-printed sticky notes.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on May 14, 2020, 05:32:54 PM
Ooohhh...I'll take the paper clips....

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on May 15, 2020, 07:41:58 AM
The latest one was for several hundred dollars of miscellaneous supplies, including paper clips shaped like a treble clef and custom-printed sticky notes.

I have this vision of a music prof ordering frills, all unaware that admin is getting ready to shut down the entire music major.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on May 15, 2020, 03:53:06 PM
The latest one was for several hundred dollars of miscellaneous supplies, including paper clips shaped like a treble clef and custom-printed sticky notes.

I have this vision of a music prof ordering frills, all unaware that admin is getting ready to shut down the entire music major.

Hah! I thought another education faculty putting together teaching kits, but it was actual a public administration faculty request. Must have been seriously obnoxious, since the administrative assistant actually forwarded to me for review. She's generally good at gently suggesting people would really find the basic supply cabinet items sufficient.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 15, 2020, 04:23:52 PM
The latest one was for several hundred dollars of miscellaneous supplies, including paper clips shaped like a treble clef and custom-printed sticky notes.

I have this vision of a music prof ordering frills, all unaware that admin is getting ready to shut down the entire music major.

Hah! I thought another education faculty putting together teaching kits, but it was actual a public administration faculty request. Must have been seriously obnoxious, since the administrative assistant actually forwarded to me for review. She's generally good at gently suggesting people would really find the basic supply cabinet items sufficient.

Wow. I guess some people really need to have those personalized sticky notes.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: RatGuy on May 16, 2020, 03:26:52 PM
Air conditioning crapped out. Again. Always on the weekend, right? At least this time it's only 85 outside, and it's not the brutality of early August.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Larimar on May 16, 2020, 05:13:30 PM
Holy coincidences, Batman! Had to have AC repair people come here today too. They said a broken compressor had caused a power snafu that in turn did bad things to the circuit breakers. The're going to look into getting parts and cost estimates and call on Monday. Yes, thank goodness it's not August or mid-July. I don't deal with heat well.


Larimar
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 16, 2020, 06:21:09 PM
Air conditioning crapped out. Again. Always on the weekend, right? At least this time it's only 85 outside, and it's not the brutality of early August.

Do you know how to check if it's the run start capacitor?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Wahoo Redux on May 16, 2020, 06:36:56 PM
Oh for pete's sake.  You are a middle-aged man.  You are not a 20-something.  Yes, your longtime girlfriend is imperfect.  You are also imperfect----my God, man, you are really imperfect.  She is not your ex-wife, but this is good, damn it, because she is your EX-wife.  And you broke up with your girlfriend, then went all the way to the west coast to win her back, and against her better judgment she moved all the way back.  You mollified her with many promises (I heard them first-hand) and now...

Is that the idea!?!?  That you have a consensual three-way swingers love triangle?!?!?!  No, no, no.  Never gonna work.  And you are not a 20-something!

I mean, geeze.  Fortunately I am not close enough to either of you to be wrecked by any of this, but it sure is disgusting. 

You're a nice guy.  Now grow up.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: RatGuy on May 17, 2020, 02:46:53 PM
Holy coincidences, Batman! Had to have AC repair people come here today too. They said a broken compressor had caused a power snafu that in turn did bad things to the circuit breakers. The're going to look into getting parts and cost estimates and call on Monday. Yes, thank goodness it's not August or mid-July. I don't deal with heat well.


Larimar

Yeah, they said it was our compressor as well. The suggestion was perhaps a lightning strike (we've been having some storms lately) since part of it looked fried. In any case, it's under warranty. It just means it can't be fixed until Tuesday. But this unit is only 2 years old and it seems as if something's always wrong.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 26, 2020, 02:31:31 PM
FFS this is the fifth meeting about the mixed-modality courses at the satellite campus. All five have been devoted to crafting this one-paragraph description of the courses being offered (and it sucks).

There are real issues I'd like cleared up--like how we do the work-integrated learning component period, let alone during COVID. Or whether we're still supposed to teach these as mixed-modality courses. Or whether we're still being paid for a course and a half.

Why why whywhywhywhy? Move. The. Fuck. On.


EDIT: Just to add, the meeting was called to address issues pertaining to teaching at the satellite campus during the pandemic. There was zero indication that we'd still (and only) be talking about this POS document that the coordinator can't be bothered to work on outside these meetings.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: theblackbox on May 26, 2020, 03:31:02 PM
FFS this is the fifth meeting about the mixed-modality courses at the satellite campus. All five have been devoted to crafting this one-paragraph description of the courses being offered (and it sucks).

There are real issues I'd like cleared up--like how we do the work-integrated learning component period, let alone during COVID. Or whether we're still supposed to teach these as mixed-modality courses. Or whether we're still being paid for a course and a half.

Why why whywhywhywhy? Move. The. Fuck. On.


EDIT: Just to add, the meeting was called to address issues pertaining to teaching at the satellite campus during the pandemic. There was zero indication that we'd still (and only) be talking about this POS document that the coordinator can't be bothered to work on outside these meetings.
Let me join you in solidarity against the meetings that go nowhere when there are so many things that we need to actually accomplish right now! So much redundant chatter with so little progress forward, no matter how many times I provide the out-of-meeting work or structure suggestions. I'm not in *charge* of the meeting, so there are limits on how much I can force the meaningful issues (and I test those limits every time).
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on May 27, 2020, 06:09:30 PM
New category of nonfunctional behaviors: learned haplessness.

Everytime someone tries to do something nice for this person it turns into a big deal, takes longer, costs more, and/or never achieves the desired result.

They are still a valuable person and a much-loved friend.

But every effort to help or make things nicer backfires....!

M.

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: RatGuy on May 28, 2020, 04:51:26 PM
I've been informed that I should no longer wear Hawaiian shirts as "they are the unofficial uniform of the alt-right." Can I at least still wear my jean shorts?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on May 28, 2020, 06:45:41 PM
Budget freeze, people! Absolutely no spending! Zero, zilch, not one penny!

The budget freeze is still on. The hiring freeze is still on. The travel ban is still on. All three are likely to continue for many months. Want to help me figure out who gets laid off first?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: science.expat on May 28, 2020, 10:08:20 PM
Budget freeze, people! Absolutely no spending! Zero, zilch, not one penny!

The budget freeze is still on. The hiring freeze is still on. The travel ban is still on. All three are likely to continue for many months. Want to help me figure out who gets laid off first?

Can you spill and fill and get rid of the deadwood?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on May 29, 2020, 07:59:44 AM
Budget freeze, people! Absolutely no spending! Zero, zilch, not one penny!

The budget freeze is still on. The hiring freeze is still on. The travel ban is still on. All three are likely to continue for many months. Want to help me figure out who gets laid off first?

None of the deans/deanlets/high admin will be cut.  But they will lay off the cleaning crews, office staff, and lab prep folks.  I bet they will even hire more administrators to "help" with the crisis.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on May 29, 2020, 08:07:03 AM
Laying off cleaning crews sounds like a bad idea if there are plans to reopen the physical campus this fall.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: permanent imposter on May 29, 2020, 06:51:37 PM
I've been informed that I should no longer wear Hawaiian shirts as "they are the unofficial uniform of the alt-right."

Wait what?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 29, 2020, 06:53:37 PM
I've been informed that I should no longer wear Hawaiian shirts as "they are the unofficial uniform of the alt-right."


...but in Hawai'i, Aloha shirts are part of actual uniforms! Like at KTA and stuff. Plus, they're dress shirts there.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: RatGuy on May 30, 2020, 07:19:27 AM
I've been informed that I should no longer wear Hawaiian shirts as "they are the unofficial uniform of the alt-right."

Wait what?

Yeah, I dunno. A colleague told me that, and that its part and parcel of the whole "tiki torch" phenomenon in recent white supremacist protests. This was part of the overall discussion of the Minneapolis riots, and claims that white dudes in floral shirts are acting as provocateurs in the situation. Then it became a pointed "You should stop wearing those shirts, Ratty. Unless you want people to think you're a white supremacist."
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: marshwiggle on May 30, 2020, 07:37:05 AM
I've been informed that I should no longer wear Hawaiian shirts as "they are the unofficial uniform of the alt-right."

Wait what?

Yeah, I dunno. A colleague told me that, and that its part and parcel of the whole "tiki torch" phenomenon in recent white supremacist protests. This was part of the overall discussion of the Minneapolis riots, and claims that white dudes in floral shirts are acting as provocateurs in the situation. Then it became a pointed "You should stop wearing those shirts, Ratty. Unless you want people to think you're a white supremacist."

And let's face it; white supremacists breathe; we should all stop doing that so people don't think we're white supremacists.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: permanent imposter on June 05, 2020, 04:46:32 PM
I've been informed that I should no longer wear Hawaiian shirts as "they are the unofficial uniform of the alt-right."

Wait what?

Yeah, I dunno. A colleague told me that, and that its part and parcel of the whole "tiki torch" phenomenon in recent white supremacist protests. This was part of the overall discussion of the Minneapolis riots, and claims that white dudes in floral shirts are acting as provocateurs in the situation. Then it became a pointed "You should stop wearing those shirts, Ratty. Unless you want people to think you're a white supremacist."

You should point out that Hawaiian shirts mean that you are a great person and an excellent baker (https://www.standard.co.uk/stayingin/tvfilm/great-british-bake-off-fans-in-tears-at-touching-tribute-to-eliminated-jon-jenkins-as-bakers-wear-a3963631.html). (Any other GBBO fans here?)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: archaeo42 on June 08, 2020, 06:17:13 AM
I've been informed that I should no longer wear Hawaiian shirts as "they are the unofficial uniform of the alt-right."

Wait what?

Yeah, I dunno. A colleague told me that, and that its part and parcel of the whole "tiki torch" phenomenon in recent white supremacist protests. This was part of the overall discussion of the Minneapolis riots, and claims that white dudes in floral shirts are acting as provocateurs in the situation. Then it became a pointed "You should stop wearing those shirts, Ratty. Unless you want people to think you're a white supremacist."

You should point out that Hawaiian shirts mean that you are a great person and an excellent baker (https://www.standard.co.uk/stayingin/tvfilm/great-british-bake-off-fans-in-tears-at-touching-tribute-to-eliminated-jon-jenkins-as-bakers-wear-a3963631.html). (Any other GBBO fans here?)

It's on heavy rotation here in Archaeohouse. I like that his daughters picked out which ones he wears each day.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on June 15, 2020, 11:16:15 AM
Daughter has not been home with us for several months.  Husband has been keeping a noisy server he brought home for remote work in her room with the door shut.  I went in to look for a movie I thought she had and realized that... oops... we all forgot about her fish tank.  Now, all the fish had been gone for a while, so it was just the (fake) plants and etc.  But I can't even describe the scene.  She had left her blinds partially open, which seemed to help the algae and who knows what to flourish and flourish.  So, we spent some of the weekend trying to take care of that horror.  Ugh.  I could really kick myself for that oversight, but things have been so busy, distracting, and stressful, and I guess we all just forgot about it.  Out of sight, out of mind.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on June 15, 2020, 11:21:46 AM
I used to keep an aquarium as a kid; came home from campus one time after I'd moved out to find that my brothers had re-appropriated it for keeping crayfish in for fishing bait.

However, this was in December, and they'd stopped going fishing once the quarry pond froze over.

Much smelly cleaning occurred.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Puget on June 15, 2020, 01:23:26 PM
Had the first session of a training on online teaching today and it was a total sh*t show— perfect example of how NOT to teach online. No one knows what the hell is going on, links don’t work, info is not gathered in one place, instructor couldn’t get break out rooms to work,  etc. etc. Oy. Hopefully the next sessions will be better. But seriously folks, you are supposed to be the experts, and you've in theory been preparing for this for a month. If I taught a class like this there would be a student riot.

And please, do not do a training for a bunch of folks in the psychology department and start by talking about the effects of stress as if we are unfamiliar with the topic-- Several of us in attendance are experts on this, all of us are familiar with the research.  Especially don't do this if you are an English professor.

I emailed to ask as tactfully as I could if they could practice what they are asking us to do by putting everything in an organized way in the LMS instead of sending random google docs links that don’t work. No response so far.

At least we are getting a small stipend for participating. Otherwise I'd probably bail now.

We all shared some version of this rant among us by email afterward, started by senior colleague, who's subject line was "Yikes!".
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on June 15, 2020, 08:11:19 PM
Did some weird sitting and hurt my coccyx. Sigh.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on June 15, 2020, 08:25:54 PM
Head over to the hypochondriac thread.

You probably broke it.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on June 15, 2020, 08:49:19 PM
Today marks that 10% mark in my summer class. They had their first exam late last week. Today I get an email from a student apologizing for missing the exam, but that as the exam was not in the calendar, he missed it.  He does say that he should have paid more attention to the syllabus, but asks if I can let him take a make up. 
I would have a lot more sympathy for his predicament if I had not sent at least FIVE emails to the class reminding them to schedule a time to take the exam through Examity.  Not seeing the exam in the calendar is one thing, ignoring a plethora of emails alerting him to take the register for the upcoming exam is quite another. 
I also pointed out that he has also missed 2 other assignments, and that I had already emailed him about those assignments as well! 

Of course, today is the first time he has emailed me!  Their next assignments are due in about 90 minutes and I have no indication that he has even started them yet either! 


Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on June 15, 2020, 10:16:42 PM
Head over to the hypochondriac thread.

You probably broke it.

M.

=p
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on June 16, 2020, 01:33:28 PM
Argh!!  I have had it with the "the virus could be seasonal and will go away when the weather gets warm" stories in the news. 
There is ZERO DATA to support that wishful idea.
Yes, higher temperatures do inactivate viruses on surfaces.  But the main mode of transmission is by droplets.  Someone sneezes or coughs, you inhale the droplets.  Show me the data and I'll be happy to spread the word that hot weather decreases transmission.  But wishful thinking is not helping and can be downright dangerous (e.g. folks dying from taking "preventative" hydroxychloroquine).

I get it, people are bored and tired of being scared.  They want things to be "back to normal".  It's going to be a long process.  We are not done.

Viruses. Don't. Get. Bored.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on June 16, 2020, 02:39:49 PM
Quote
Viruses. Don't. Get. Bored.

This would make a great bumper sticker.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on June 17, 2020, 11:29:56 AM
Quote
Viruses. Don't. Get. Bored.

This would make a great bumper sticker.

M.

Or printed on a face mask!  I am very tempted.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 17, 2020, 01:58:01 PM
Oh my God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why do you need to send me over 20 emails in a WEEK about your labs???!!!! Does anyone know how to think anymore?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: nescafe on June 17, 2020, 03:10:12 PM
Getting Zoom-ghosted by the final office hours appointment I have scheduled this academic year. Seems about right.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on June 17, 2020, 07:51:23 PM
Had the last TA meeting of the term with the professor. This shouldn't hurt so much; think I need the vent.

The course has been a major source of positive social interaction for me and the one aspect of my life I felt I was doing any good.

Other TA and prof knew each other previously; sounds like other TA had taken multiple courses with him and may have TA'ed for him before. He seems to have a lot of respect for her, she calls him by his first name, and they often have friendly chit-chat during meetings. I had never met him before this term.

Throughout the quarter, there was a series of events that I tried to brush off as no big deal individually. But collectively...it's like paper-cut upon paper-cut gradually cutting you deeper and deeper. Under normal circumstances my skin is not this thin, but these are not normal circumstances and my defenses have dwindled.

1) First lecture of term. Prof introduces us to the students. Other TA gets an introduction of the length you might hear when someone introduces a guest lecturer at a seminar; her background, her research interests, her accomplishments, etc... My intro: "and your other TA is smallcleanrat." Felt a tad awkward, but of course he knows her and I'm virtually a stranger. He also got my credentials wrong on the syllabus, but I figured it wasn't worth correcting. Do freshman really care what degree their TA has?

2) Throughout term, prof. invites occasional guest lecturers and makes sure to introduce other TA to them (with abridged version of her CV-style intro). I still get "oh, and this is smallcleanrat"; if I get mentioned at all. I figure, ok if he knows she has background/research interests that are relevant to the guest's talk it makes sense for him to make the introduction. But it's still hard not to think, "I'm here too..."

3) Prof. often asks other TA for her opinion on various points in the lecture. Never asks me. Times when I try to contribute a comment or question, other TA often speaks over me. Not in a particularly mean or anti-social way; just in the way a talkative or very enthusiastic person can't wait to speak their mind and may be oblivious to the fact that she is cutting off someone else.

4) Other TA drops out of contact for weeks at a time, preoccupied with grant-writing, lab stuff, quals, etc... Prof. emails both of us asking for various things: attendance info, a draft of the requirements and scaffolding schedule for the term paper, etc... It's always, "why don't the both of you talk it out and send me what you come up with." Other TA is incommunicado when I ask for her input. I end up doing many of these things by myself. When other TA eventually reemerges, Prof. tells her of course it was ok for her to take time away from the course to focus on her other work. She's dealing with so much.

5) As TAs, we are tasked with being on hand at the beginning of lectures to let people in from the Zoom waiting room. I notice other TA often has camera off and does not seem to be active; I often seem to be the only one actually taking care of this task.

6) At the end of the final class session of the term, Prof. makes some concluding remarks/parting advice/etc...and then asks "if the TAs have anything they would like to say to the students." I unmute myself, but other TA is already saying her bit of farewell to the students. When she is finished, I take a breath to say my piece, but prof. breaks in with "Ok, I guess that's a wrap. Goodbye everyone. Have a nice summer." Then he ends the meeting.

This one really hurt. The students were really a pleasure to interact with; enthusiastic, hardworking, and just generally a nice bunch of people. I did want to say my bit of farewell to them. I ended up sending an email to my students, expressing my appreciation for their work ethic, insights, and positive attitudes, and wishing them well in their futures.

6) All of our TA meetings are structured as short bursts of course-related logistics talk interspersed with longer stretches of friendly chitchat between other TA and Prof. I am not included in these chitchats, there never seems to be a polite place to interject, so I just bide my time waiting for the meeting to come back around to talking about the course. Occasionally, I will get a few chitchat questions, but most of the time I may as well not exist.

This last meeting...I suppose because it *was* the last meeting...I guess I was hoping for slightly more consideration. Especially since, by this point, I was completely up to date communicating with Prof. and students about points earned up to that point. Other TA had students saying they are still waiting for feedback on the midterm.

Prof. congratulates other TA on all she accomplished outside of class that term (getting grant submitted, etc...). Asks about her committee, her summer plans, etc... I don't even get a "how are you?" or "what did you get up to this week?" Sometimes I at least get questions like that.

Prof. wraps up meeting saying "well, I guess we covered everything; goodbye" right after I've just asked him a question. He then closes the meeting and I'm left staring at my desktop screen with my insides feeling raw.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: nescafe on June 17, 2020, 10:14:14 PM
Wow, I'm sorry smallcleanrat. That sounds like a terrible semester to go through. I don't know what to say except: I see you, and I hope the next appointment will be a better one. It is really tough to be on the business end of this kind of crass favoritism.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on June 18, 2020, 09:45:45 AM
Wow, I'm sorry smallcleanrat. That sounds like a terrible semester to go through. I don't know what to say except: I see you, and I hope the next appointment will be a better one. It is really tough to be on the business end of this kind of crass favoritism.

Thanks, nescafe. I know my emotional reaction to this is far more intense than the situation warrants, but the situation still seemed to lack certain elements of common courtesy.

When you're already isolated, being ignored by the few people you are still interacting with is just salt in the wound.

Odd thing is both prof. (who is also an MD) and other TA expressed concern about my well-being and offered to help in any way they could when they learned, late in the term, that I had been and still was struggling with multiple physical and mental health challenges throughout the term. They sounded sincere; I was touched. And then they went back to barely acknowledging my existence. And being ignored by people who know you are struggling hurts worse than being ignored by people who think you are doing fine.

Other TA strongly and repeatedly implored me to keep in touch with her because she went through similar issues earlier in grad school. Then she ghosted me.

I know the general advice in these situations is to not take it personally. To give people the benefit of the doubt, because you never know if they may be dealing with serious issues themselves. This is my usual way of thinking; but it's happening so often lately I'm getting burnt out on thinking up excuses for people. I know it's probably not malicious and it may not be intentional, but I don't always know what people mean when they say "don't take it personally," especially when the other person made it personal by offering to help or at least check in once in a while and then never following through. Especially when they use such strong language as "I really care about you. If something happened to you it would be terrible. Call me anytime."

"Ah, well they probably just forgot or got wrapped up in other things; don't take it personally." It isn't personal to be forgotten or ignored by someone? Even if it's by someone close to you like a partner or a friend or even a therapist (who is actually paid to have an interest in your well-being)?

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on June 18, 2020, 11:17:42 AM
I know the general advice in these situations is to not take it personally. To give people the benefit of the doubt, because you never know if they may be dealing with serious issues themselves. This is my usual way of thinking; but it's happening so often lately I'm getting burnt out on thinking up excuses for people. I know it's probably not malicious and it may not be intentional, but I don't always know what people mean when they say "don't take it personally," especially when the other person made it personal by offering to help or at least check in once in a while and then never following through. Especially when they use such strong language as "I really care about you. If something happened to you it would be terrible. Call me anytime."

"Ah, well they probably just forgot or got wrapped up in other things; don't take it personally." It isn't personal to be forgotten or ignored by someone? Even if it's by someone close to you like a partner or a friend or even a therapist (who is actually paid to have an interest in your well-being)?

The more people you meet over the years, smallcleanrat, the more you will understand what people are like.

I frequently sit in long faculty meetings in which I am not acknowledged or asked my opinion, same for most others in my dept.  It's not personal at all and I don't take offense.  The usual talkers talk, the rest of us listen (or not).

Isn't there survey data on how many people respondents report are truly best friends that they can trust and count on?  The average number is usually small. 

When people show you who they are, keep that data in mind and structure your future thoughts and interactions accordingly.

So, maybe lower your expectations of people and then you won't be so disappointed.  At times, you will be pleasantly surprised.  There are many good people in this complex world.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: sprout on June 18, 2020, 12:06:47 PM
I frequently sit in long faculty meetings in which I am not acknowledged or asked my opinion, same for most others in my dept.  It's not personal at all and I don't take offense.  The usual talkers talk, the rest of us listen (or not).

I'd also add that it's common for people to assume that if someone has something to say, they will speak up.  If people think you have a pattern of not saying anything during meetings, they might not be looking for you to comment. It's weird and strange on Zoom because there aren't as many nonverbal cues that someone would like to get a word in, but you may need to inject yourself into the conversation even it it's a little interruptive.  If you wait to be asked or even for a perfect pause, you may end up not having a chance to speak. The next time you're in a situation where you feel like you're not getting an opportunity to be heard, try challenging yourself to take that opportunity, even if it feels awkward.



Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on June 18, 2020, 12:20:38 PM
So, maybe lower your expectations of people and then you won't be so disappointed. At times, you will be pleasantly surprised.  There are many good people in this complex world.

I thought they were already pretty low. It's why I rarely get angry and rarely argue, to the point friends and family have called me pathetic/wimpy/cowardly for letting people walk all over me.

Under ordinary circumstances, I can shrug a lot of things off. But I'm at the end of my rope here, I'm at the lowest point I've ever been in my life; these aren't day-to-day annoyances, these are people offering a hand when I'm reaching out for help and then yanking it back at the last second. I thought I was keeping expectations low for most people in my life. A "hi, how are you?" message once in a while, 15 minutes of friendly chitchat a couple of times a month maybe.

As for meetings, I'm generally not offended by not being acknowledged, but in most meetings I've been in there are more than three people. When there are only three, it's harder to ignore being left out so completely by the other two. There's also something very final about the Zoom host just closing the meeting, cutting you off. In person, I might have been able to say "Oh, wait please. I had one quick question/comment." The last lecture especially when he asked if the TAs (plural) wanted to say anything; he knows there are only two of us. It doesn't seem the same as not being asked my opinion in a meeting.

There was a time when I was getting ready to move across country after a fairly hellish year. I didn't have close friends at the time, but I did know a few people in my peer group I saw often, socialized with, and was on friendly terms with. I invited them to dinner, telling them I would cook. I just wanted to have one last meal and a night to hang out before I moved away. They all agreed and said it sounded fun. Two of three people canceled within an hour of our meet time when I had already bought groceries and started prepping. Well, ok. Things come up. And one person is still coming, so I'll just finish cooking and she and I can have dinner. I waited about 3 hours (after sending her texts and a phone message attempting to check in) with dinner for four getting cold on the table before concluding no one was coming. I was scared she'd been in a car accident. Turns out she had to work later than expected and then was too tired to want to come over (which she finally told me two days later). A cancellation text or phone call would have taken less than 30 seconds of her time.

Is it too much to expect the courtesy of a cancellation? People also told me I shouldn't take this personally. Maybe sometimes that's the point. Some things are not personal, but they should be.

If it's not personal, I think people generally mean you were not at all in the other person's thoughts. So, that person who ignored you in a meeting wasn't trying to spite you, it just didn't occur to them to ask you. Not such a big deal most of the time. But a friend or a partner or a health care provider acting indifferent to your well-being? To understand it's not personal (they were busy/preoccupied/didn't know what to do/etc...; they were not consciously trying to hurt or neglect me) doesn't make it any better. How much lower do my expectations need to go, even with the people closest to me?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on June 18, 2020, 12:23:24 PM
Car broke down yesterday. Had to have it towed to repair center (for second time).

The diagnosis (as there are no codes showing on the computer) is that I need a new fuel pump and filter. 
However, they then 'recommend another shitload of repairs. 
I asked if they had looked up the history of the work that I had done there.  I had ALREADY done every damn item on the list! !!

I have completely lost all faith in them.  How do I know that I actually NEED anything that they want to do?  Are they just seeing what they can put on a list because that is what the "Diagnosis Wheel of Fortune" spit out!

I would not have gone there again after the last fiasco, but for the fact that I had to get towed!  (and they are walking distance from my house!)

I have been able to negotiate down their original$1600 estimate for the work down to $1200.  I found another place that could do the job for less, but I would still ahve to pay this place something for the work so far as well as $85 for a tow to the new shop (AAA wont pay for a transfer From a repair center (especially a 'AAA authorized facility'). 

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on June 18, 2020, 12:32:29 PM
I frequently sit in long faculty meetings in which I am not acknowledged or asked my opinion, same for most others in my dept.  It's not personal at all and I don't take offense.  The usual talkers talk, the rest of us listen (or not).

I'd also add that it's common for people to assume that if someone has something to say, they will speak up.  If people think you have a pattern of not saying anything during meetings, they might not be looking for you to comment. It's weird and strange on Zoom because there aren't as many nonverbal cues that someone would like to get a word in, but you may need to inject yourself into the conversation even it it's a little interruptive.  If you wait to be asked or even for a perfect pause, you may end up not having a chance to speak. The next time you're in a situation where you feel like you're not getting an opportunity to be heard, try challenging yourself to take that opportunity, even if it feels awkward.

I tried this two ways in lectures: unmuting myself anyway and saying something like, "Excuse me, Professor...may I make a comment?" or sending him a text and/or a message in the Zoom chat function; no response, he keeps talking as if nothing happened; I wasn't especially offended by this, since the students try the same methods in order to ask questions, and he often doesn't notice them either (even when a student is frantically waving in their little box trying to get his attention)

In meetings, I tried using the chat function to interject. Sometimes it was noticed sometimes not, but I was able to get more of my comments recognized this way. Trying to vocalize to signal I wanted to say something didn't work particularly well with these two: "er..."; "ok, about what you just said..."; "wait a minute, I'm confused about something"... That yellow box indicating I'm talking shows up around my window; I assume that means the sound is getting through. They are both rather talkative people; sometimes talkative people don't really respond when someone tries to interject.

As for waiting to be asked...I don't do this for the essential stuff (TA-related topics), because that is my job; I need to understand what is expected of me and I need to communicate how certain aspects of the course are going. It's the long social chats I don't feel right interrupting without being directly addressed. If he asks her how her research is going, it seems presumptuous somehow to prevent the conversation coming back to course-related topics by saying something like "oh, wait; let me tell you how *my* research is going..." Not sure what the purpose of that would be.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on June 19, 2020, 08:28:26 AM
Does anybody else ever get sick of yourself?  I feel like lately all I do is complain, bitch, and moan.  I try to keep my mouth shut at home and with Kid #1 (who is bipolar and doesn't need me adding to their anxiety, though I sometimes even get fed up with their high-maintenance stuff and do slip and say something that I have to apologize for). 

Overall, things are OK, or about as OK as they get.  ALHS has some health concerns popping up (though none seem to be major), and I've got my own ongoing things (though I've gotten back on WW and am starting to get some weight off slowly, and my blood sugars are starting to come back down). And the uncertainty about work and life in general isn't anything especially distressing after all this time, though I'll be glad when things settle down on that front. Still, the routine things, including chronic pain, seem to be getting to me worse than usual lately.

Maybe this is just the point when being isolated is finally getting to introverted me, and I should be glad it's taken this long?  Ah, well, this too shall pass. But I do apologize to y'all here, if I've been snippy or rude.

Your grumpy friend,
ALH
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on June 19, 2020, 10:55:56 AM
Toi, grumpy?

Non....

Not as far as I've noticed.

But it's kind of you to consider the possiblity and apologize "in case."

There are many folks in the world who never consider the possiblity, let alone apologize....

I hope the health, stress, and school issues simmer down soon.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 19, 2020, 12:32:30 PM
I just can't with today. It's too much.  I'm out of spoons and am tired of being shamed for not having more of them.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on June 19, 2020, 02:01:56 PM
Here.

Have a rainbow's worth of spoons...

   https://www.walmart.com/ip/The-First-Years-Take-Toss-Dishwasher-Safe-Infant-Feeding-Spoons-Rainbow-Colors-16-Pk/19757735

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 23, 2020, 05:50:22 AM
This is a minor vent compared to what others are dealing with on this thread.
Our air-conditioner is broken. It is already 80 degrees in here at 8am with all off the lights off. We called a local repair place yesterday. They offered their first available appointment . . . in September.  Another place could not even give us a future appointment as they were scheduled out so far.   This does not bode well.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on June 23, 2020, 07:43:43 AM
This is a minor vent compared to what others are dealing with on this thread.
Our air-conditioner is broken. It is already 80 degrees in here at 8am with all off the lights off. We called a local repair place yesterday. They offered their first available appointment . . . in September.  Another place could not even give us a future appointment as they were scheduled out so far.   This does not bode well.

A problem like that does not sound minor!  If your central air is potentially going to be out through the hottest part of the summer, you might need to get an inexpensive window unit or two so that you can keep part of the house cool.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 23, 2020, 08:34:39 AM
This is a minor vent compared to what others are dealing with on this thread.
Our air-conditioner is broken. It is already 80 degrees in here at 8am with all off the lights off. We called a local repair place yesterday. They offered their first available appointment . . . in September.  Another place could not even give us a future appointment as they were scheduled out so far.   This does not bode well.

A problem like that does not sound minor!  If your central air is potentially going to be out through the hottest part of the summer, you might need to get an inexpensive window unit or two so that you can keep part of the house cool.

This may be a little pricey, but sounds like a good idea. Those units can really cool a room down.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on June 23, 2020, 10:10:04 AM
Wow!  I am surprised that it is more than six weeks to get an AC appointment!  Hell, for six weeks, Id be tempted to see if there is a crash course at a local community college!  Id hate to think that the problem would be as simple as my last problem (a blown capacitor) and that I had to wait 6 weeks in summer heat to fix a $20 part! 

Of course, I am in the South, so AC companies are not rare. They are not fast, but they will come out 'after hours' for an extra fee. 

I second the suggestion to get a small room sized AC.  I have one from Walmart that was about $80 that will absolutely cool a bedroom!  I dont know that it would be able to do the main living area, but I can hole up in the bedroom if necessary. 

In graduate school, used ACs were readily available at the local used shops as some of the old dorms were not air conditioned and as students graduated, they recycled them through the used stores (as were dorm sized friges and such).  (In fact, some of the student entrepreneurs would buy them up and store them for the summer to bring them out for new students at a heavy profit!)

Good luck!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 23, 2020, 10:31:33 AM
Thanks all. I had expected a little more of a "suck it up, buttercup" response to my vent.  I'm from the south, and I can handle some heat; I just did not expect a six week wait for HVAC. We do have one window unit in the upstairs (as it is a converted attic with no airflow), so in a pinch, we can hunker in there.  I've definitely lived without central air before.
My main problem is that window AC units tend to be loud (or at least ours is), and I'm hard of hearing, which means I can't teach or attend virtual meetings with the window unit blowing (can't hear anyone's comments).  So, it's either fix the central air or teach while sweltering or locate an much quieter window unit (I'll take suggestions if anyone has one). We did find someone to come by sooner than 6 weeks, so hopefully this will be a short lived vent.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on June 23, 2020, 10:47:28 AM
Yes, those window units do tend to be noisy.  But then, so do some centralized systems.  The one at my house makes a distinctive howling noise that a movie special sound effects technician might be interested in recording sometime.

It makes sense that a venting thread would have somebody venting about their ventilation.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on June 23, 2020, 11:07:15 AM
Thanks all. I had expected a little more of a "suck it up, buttercup" response to my vent.  I'm from the south, and I can handle some heat; I just did not expect a six week wait for HVAC. We do have one window unit in the upstairs (as it is a converted attic with no airflow), so in a pinch, we can hunker in there.  I've definitely lived without central air before.
My main problem is that window AC units tend to be loud (or at least ours is), and I'm hard of hearing, which means I can't teach or attend virtual meetings with the window unit blowing (can't hear anyone's comments).  So, it's either fix the central air or teach while sweltering or locate an much quieter window unit (I'll take suggestions if anyone has one). We did find someone to come by sooner than 6 weeks, so hopefully this will be a short lived vent.

Hooray for shortening the wait time. Do you have to deal with high humidity in summer on top of high temps? I'm more experienced with dry, desert heat; spent a summer in a more humid area for an internship thinking that, after surviving 100+ temps at home, the average temps of 80-90F would be tolerable. I was so wrong; I thought I was going to drown on land, every breath felt so heavy. I never did figure out how to deal with humidity.

If it's more of a dry heat, have you ever tried some of those wearables that go in the freezer? There are different configurations, but the idea is you wrap it around your shoulders or have it on your lap or something and it helps cool you down. Cheaper version is a makeshift vest with ice packs or frozen bottles of water stuffed in it. I've also seen cooling towels/blankets (add a little water, stretch out the material to initiate whatever chemistry is at play, and you have something cool to go against your skin). Haven't tried those so I'm not sure how well they work.

Hope you find a solution soon.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on June 23, 2020, 11:20:05 AM
Quote
and I'm hard of hearing, which means I can't teach or attend virtual meetings with the window unit blowing (can't hear anyone's comments).

Get headphones. 
You will have the best of both worlds.  You will hear what is said with the speaker being right at your ears and be able to sit in the room!

Newer models are likely quieter than older, larger units. 
Window units do come in different sizes. Some are very small and are just for one small room.  Others are designed to cool a whole house!  The larger will be more expensive and heavy and not what you really need to address a short term problem.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 23, 2020, 11:36:32 AM
Quote
and I'm hard of hearing, which means I can't teach or attend virtual meetings with the window unit blowing (can't hear anyone's comments).

Get headphones. 
You will have the best of both worlds.  You will hear what is said with the speaker being right at your ears and be able to sit in the room!


This is definitely a good suggestion for most folks. It's not workable for me due to my particular loss and hearing technology. But I'm working on upgrading some of my hearing tech, so that I can have a more workable solution.  But I do appreciate the response.


Hooray for shortening the wait time. Do you have to deal with high humidity in summer on top of high temps? I'm more experienced with dry, desert heat; spent a summer in a more humid area for an internship thinking that, after surviving 100+ temps at home, the average temps of 80-90F would be tolerable. I was so wrong; I thought I was going to drown on land, every breath felt so heavy. I never did figure out how to deal with humidity.

If it's more of a dry heat, have you ever tried some of those wearables that go in the freezer? There are different configurations, but the idea is you wrap it around your shoulders or have it on your lap or something and it helps cool you down. Cheaper version is a makeshift vest with ice packs or frozen bottles of water stuffed in it. I've also seen cooling towels/blankets (add a little water, stretch out the material to initiate whatever chemistry is at play, and you have something cool to go against your skin). Haven't tried those so I'm not sure how well they work.

Hope you find a solution soon.

Thanks, smallcleanrat. I grew up in a place of high humidity, so it's less humid here than what I grew up with, but it's not a dry heat.  I agree on coldpacks. I'm totally versed in the cheap versions of frozen water bottles and ice in bandannas around the neck.

How are you doing, smallcleanrat. Are you feeling any better?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 23, 2020, 12:38:48 PM
Unrelated to anything here.

About to lose my !@#$%^&^%$#@ mind. That is all.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on June 23, 2020, 01:47:49 PM
Do you remember where you had it last?

  (sorry...)

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on June 23, 2020, 03:54:14 PM
Do you remember where you had it last?

  (sorry...)

M.

Couldn't resist, eh? It's ok. I think I found part of it under the sofa. A certain cat was chewing on it...
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on June 23, 2020, 04:42:10 PM
Oh, good.

Kitties help restore mindfulness....when they're not helping you lose it.

Glad it turned up, if only in part.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on June 25, 2020, 04:54:34 AM
The bookstore sends a reminder to order fall books but the instructions about how to order them are patently false. The message does not include a URL to get to the necessary page to order them.

I'm guessing they are just recycling an old message that now does not fit the university website. The faculty page itself hasn't been updated since the Spring semester and is still full of info about transitioning to online courses.

I think I'm just grumpy.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on June 25, 2020, 05:13:37 AM
The email software that I've been grousing about turns out to have an incorrect file type that makes quite a difference and explains why I was having so much trouble.

The file extension ".png" is NOT the same as a ".pdf", just FYI...!!

Grrrr......hours lost trying to make it work....

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on June 25, 2020, 07:53:00 AM
Now in the midst of what promises to be a prolonged game of phone tag.  I called a couple of days ago.  Yesterday afternoon, when I was out of the office, I missed a reply.  This morning I called back, only to hear a message saying that my quarry will be out of his office until Wednesday. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on June 25, 2020, 07:58:37 AM
The knight chasing the snail....

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: OneMoreYear on June 25, 2020, 12:16:07 PM
Thank you all for commiserating me about my A/C problem.    As a follow-up, we might now have sort-of functional A/C.  We scored a referral for much quicker service from Awesome Neighborguy who has resources for everything, and we crunched the numbers on how bad the financial hit it will be (really bad).  The evaluation indicated many many problems in this old house. But, we had a work crew here and there is mildly cool air now blowing, so maybe it will be below 80 by tonight. So, kind-of a vinhale.
Hope everyone else is staying cool (if it's summer in your neck of the woods) or warm (if you are wintering) or whatever temperature you prefer.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on June 25, 2020, 01:16:51 PM
Glad it's better, at any rate...

Make sure you cancel the other guys so you don't get charged a default no-show charge!!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Economizer on June 27, 2020, 09:00:19 PM
Called USAA [ins.& banking] yesterday to get account standings. I entered the usual information to access their automated system but my entries were not getting picked to the system. Without my attempting,, a weak voiced customer rep. came on the line and wanted to quiz me with security questions. I answered one and then the fellow wanted to ask me personal information about my children, At that point I told him that I would speak with him no more..A few minutes later I called them and the call was processed as usual.

 During the troubling call, I heard uniformly spaced beeps. I woried that I was on an overseas link as well or that I was being recorded by someone other than USAA.. Many veterans and active duty personnel rely on that firm so the incident piqued my concern. So by posting this I hope to raise the awareness should others find themselves  with similar curious experiences.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on July 03, 2020, 10:16:49 AM
Damn you to all the companies that offered free trials during Spring "due to the pandemic" who are now cutting off support.  The pandemic isn't over.  I knew it was just a marketing ploy, but you could have at least let us know the expiration date for the free trial.
Grumble.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: science.expat on July 04, 2020, 10:10:39 PM
My house was broken into the other day. Thanks to an alert neighbour the guy was caught and I didn’t lose much. It could have been much much worse!

It’s still a shock and I’ve spent the weekend improving security. The last part is building new gates which will take a bit longer.

So all ok, but today I went back twice to make sure that doors were locked. I think it will take a while to get past this even though he broke in by lifting a sliding glass door out of its frame.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on July 04, 2020, 10:45:46 PM
It's hard to feel safe again after something like that.

I'm sorry.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on July 05, 2020, 10:05:31 AM
It's hard to feel safe again after something like that.

I'm sorry.

M.

+1.  It's such a feeling of violation, I imagine.  I'm glad the guy was caught, at least, and that no one was harmed.  Take care, science.expat.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on July 05, 2020, 12:34:47 PM
So all ok, but today I went back twice to make sure that doors were locked. I think it will take a while to get past this even though he broke in by lifting a sliding glass door out of its frame.

Sorry you’re dealing with break in. You might look at motion-sensitive lighting as a deterrent, too.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: science.expat on July 05, 2020, 10:47:21 PM
Thanks, all.

This happened in broad daylight - the guy went into my backyard and lifted a sliding glass door out of its frame. That’s now secured so it can’t happen again but need to make access to the back more difficult. As the cops said: ‘if they want to get in they will; you need to make it difficult enough that they go somewhere else’.

A bit Machiavellian but accurate...
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on July 06, 2020, 11:23:58 AM
Wow, that's pretty gutsy of the burglar, science.expat.  Unfortunately, I guess if there are areas of the house that are not readily seen by neighbors or from the street those might be tempting.  I'm not sure if it would help avert the lifting of the door from its frame, but when I had a sliding door we bought a piece of wood that we laid in the track to prevent the door from being opened if the lock were jimmied.  Of course, a burglar could always just try to break the glass, but I do agree that if you can make it less easy, maybe the burglar will go try somewhere else.  And if all the neighbors take such steps, maybe burglars avoid your neighborhood [I deleted a rant about this very much not happening in my mom's neighborhood].  Maybe another thing along the lines of what Vkw10 suggested would be to put in either a real camera system or something that looks very obviously like one?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ciao_yall on July 06, 2020, 04:57:55 PM
Prepping a class, decided to just use the same book the previous prof used.

18 week semester.

10 chapters in the book.

WHO DOES THAT?????
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on July 06, 2020, 05:33:13 PM
Prepping a class, decided to just use the same book the previous prof used.

18 week semester.

10 chapters in the book.

WHO DOES THAT?????

Umm....

Wk 1: Intro first week w/ quiz on syllabus
Weeks 2-4, chpts 1-3
Wk 5: Quiz #1 w/prep, revw, and grade in-class
Weeks 6-8, chpts 4-6
Wk 9: Midterm #1 w/prep, revw, and exam in-class
Weeks 10-12, chpts 7-9
Wk 13: Quiz #2 w/prep, revw, and grade in-class
Weeks 14-16, chpts 10-12
Wk 17: Review for comprehensive final w/one in-class pop quiz to keep 'em on their toes
Wk 18: Final w/prep, revw, (and exam in-class if allowed, or extra group review time if not)

Or, fewer quizzes, more scaffolded assignments over the term that take up those weeks if it's more writing-intensive

I've had 8-chapter books that couldn't be covered in a 13-week semester because the material was very dense. i could have glossed it, but it was foundational so I didn't feel right about that. Turned out I broke where everyone else did; the assumption was that it was to cover two semesters after all.

So--chapters don't equal weeks all the time....do they?

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 06, 2020, 07:45:51 PM
Prepping a class, decided to just use the same book the previous prof used.

18 week semester.

10 chapters in the book.

WHO DOES THAT?????

Depends on the subject matter and how meaty the chapters are.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on July 07, 2020, 04:06:03 AM
18 week semester? I have never heard of that. What fresh hell?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on July 07, 2020, 06:16:10 AM
18 week semester? I have never heard of that. What fresh hell?

+1  Thanks for much-needed morning laughter, downer!

So--chapters don't equal weeks all the time....do they?

+1
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: sprout on July 07, 2020, 10:07:45 AM
Quarter system here.  It's got to be better than trying to cover 18 chapters in 10 weeks!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: OneMoreYear on July 08, 2020, 03:05:58 PM
I had to go into the office today to deal with some data.  When I got home the front door was unlocked. I am positive that I locked the door and deadbolt.  Nothing appears to be missing, although I haven't checked every drawer/cabinet, but I am a little freaked out.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 08, 2020, 06:02:29 PM
I had to go into the office today to deal with some data.  When I got home the front door was unlocked. I am positive that I locked the door and deadbolt.  Nothing appears to be missing, although I haven't checked every drawer/cabinet, but I am a little freaked out.

:( Understandable. I'd be freaked out too. Hope you're feeling better.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: fishbrains on July 10, 2020, 11:11:27 AM
Working with student essays that employ APA format is a living hell right now. Our Library's databases are still in the 6th edition with its citation generator, online citation generators have always produced random Ref. page entries, the Purdue OWL is now in the 7th edition, and students are using textbooks with either one depending on when they bought the book. I mean, f*ckity f*ckity $hit $hit!!!!!!!! There has to be a better way to roll out a new edition!!!!!!! [insert frowny-faced poop emoji here]

Okay, I feel better now.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on July 10, 2020, 11:15:21 AM
Working with student essays that employ APA format is a living hell right now. Our Library's databases are still in the 6th edition with its citation generator, online citation generators have always produced random Ref. page entries, the Purdue OWL is now in the 7th edition, and students are using textbooks with either one depending on when they bought the book. I mean, f*ckity f*ckity $hit $hit!!!!!!!! There has to be a better way to roll out a new edition!!!!!!! [insert frowny-faced poop emoji here]

Okay, I feel better now.

Yeah, it's kind of a pain in the neck.  I think last time I looked OWL still had a link to 6th ed. pages, but if the edition is not specified, I guess students will look where they look.  I submitted to a journal using 6th ed. only to find that they had changed to 7th but had not changed the website to say so.  And also they said no page limits, but a word limit was specified on like page 5 of the submission system.  That kind of sucked.  Some of the changes for the 7th ed. make sense while in too many cases it seems like they just go back and forth or come up with weird new rules that are nonintuitive.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: fishbrains on July 10, 2020, 11:46:54 AM
Working with student essays that employ APA format is a living hell right now. Our Library's databases are still in the 6th edition with its citation generator, online citation generators have always produced random Ref. page entries, the Purdue OWL is now in the 7th edition, and students are using textbooks with either one depending on when they bought the book. I mean, f*ckity f*ckity $hit $hit!!!!!!!! There has to be a better way to roll out a new edition!!!!!!! [insert frowny-faced poop emoji here]

Okay, I feel better now.

Yeah, it's kind of a pain in the neck.  I think last time I looked OWL still had a link to 6th ed. pages, but if the edition is not specified, I guess students will look where they look.  I submitted to a journal using 6th ed. only to find that they had changed to 7th but had not changed the website to say so.  And also they said no page limits, but a word limit was specified on like page 5 of the submission system.  That kind of sucked.  Some of the changes for the 7th ed. make sense while in too many cases it seems like they just go back and forth or come up with weird new rules that are nonintuitive.

I'm just trying to introduce Comp. I students to the thrills and wonders of APA formatting, so things get a little hairy when they see different versions on what should be authoritative sites.
 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on July 10, 2020, 11:52:02 AM
Working with student essays that employ APA format is a living hell right now. Our Library's databases are still in the 6th edition with its citation generator, online citation generators have always produced random Ref. page entries, the Purdue OWL is now in the 7th edition, and students are using textbooks with either one depending on when they bought the book. I mean, f*ckity f*ckity $hit $hit!!!!!!!! There has to be a better way to roll out a new edition!!!!!!! [insert frowny-faced poop emoji here]

Okay, I feel better now.

Yeah, it's kind of a pain in the neck.  I think last time I looked OWL still had a link to 6th ed. pages, but if the edition is not specified, I guess students will look where they look.  I submitted to a journal using 6th ed. only to find that they had changed to 7th but had not changed the website to say so.  And also they said no page limits, but a word limit was specified on like page 5 of the submission system.  That kind of sucked.  Some of the changes for the 7th ed. make sense while in too many cases it seems like they just go back and forth or come up with weird new rules that are nonintuitive.

I'm just trying to introduce Comp. I students to the thrills and wonders of APA formatting, so things get a little hairy when they see different versions on what should be authoritative sites.

Well, I have enough trouble navigating it myself, so good luck!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on July 10, 2020, 12:03:09 PM
I have a hard enough time getting students to give me page numbers for their citations. Actually insisting on a properly formatted list of works cited is far, far beyond the limits of my patience.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on July 10, 2020, 01:04:21 PM
Some of the changes for the 7th ed. make sense while in too many cases it seems like they just go back and forth or come up with weird new rules that are nonintuitive.

It's called "adding value" for the new edition.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: sonoamused on July 10, 2020, 01:37:11 PM
Working with student essays that employ APA format is a living hell right now. Our Library's databases are still in the 6th edition with its citation generator, online citation generators have always produced random Ref. page entries, the Purdue OWL is now in the 7th edition, and students are using textbooks with either one depending on when they bought the book. I mean, f*ckity f*ckity $hit $hit!!!!!!!! There has to be a better way to roll out a new edition!!!!!!! [insert frowny-faced poop emoji here]

Okay, I feel better now.

An October rollout is a nightmare for stuff like this - as soon as I saw it was going to happen (the summer of the rollout) I notified all the faculty I work with to update their assignments so students knew what Edition to use.

(not a WSU member by the way)  but students who use 6th edition I point them to this: https://libguides.libraries.wsu.edu/QuickCiteAPA  its less overwhelming then the OWL site, especially for undergrads. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on July 14, 2020, 11:52:36 AM
I've been trying to take care of some paperwork odds and ends that have been on the to do list for too long.  One item required calling a bank to confirm how to handle transferring money from a particular type of restricted account.  I called the number listed for inquiries about that type of account and waited in the queue for 45 minutes only to find that it was actually a different department I needed to speak with, but they would put me right through.  About 30 minutes later, I finally got someone on the line.  I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't actually work there.  He had to be the most unhelpful customer service person I've ever talked to.  I asked about transferring the money, and he said sure, why not? I asked about the restrictions on the account type, and he said he did not understand my request.  I explained about the account type again, and he did not seem to understand at all.  It is a common account type, just has some tax implications and restrictions! Geez.  I asked if I should close the account once the money has been transferred.  Sure, he said. Why not? You can close the account if you want! Finally I just said thanks for all your help.  He said sure.  I said good bye, he said uh and then just sat on the line.  I think he might have been high.  I could use some of what he's using at this point.  Why oh why couldn't it be the specific type of that account that the first department handled? That guy was nice, helpful... argh.   I'm glad they record the calls, just in case.  I know the transfer stuff is probably fine and simple from what I've read online, but I just wanted some confirmation.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 14, 2020, 12:56:54 PM
I've been feeling ill. Headache (probably stress) and major abdominal issues. I'm gonna be pissed if it's the produce I've been having delivered here. Starting to feel better. I think I need one of those frowny-faced poop emojis. :(

Edit: I will add that something looked suspect, but I ate it anyway. Mea culpa.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: RatGuy on July 14, 2020, 05:49:25 PM
I had to go into the office today to deal with some data.  When I got home the front door was unlocked. I am positive that I locked the door and deadbolt.  Nothing appears to be missing, although I haven't checked every drawer/cabinet, but I am a little freaked out.

When I first came to this town, I rented a townhouse that was ostensibly for rich students. As the complex wasn't quite finished (and no students had decided to rent there), I got a good deal. The downside is that there was still occasional construction weirdness. Once I came home from a day of classes, took a nap in the  upstairs bedroom, and came downstairs to find the front door open. While that's the door that opens to the street, everyone used the parking-lot-adjacent back doors. So I imagine some workman entering the place to do whatever, found me sleeping, and decided to flee rather than wake me with a kiss.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Economizer on July 14, 2020, 07:11:05 PM
We've probably got 50,000 k-PHD science teachers in this country (or maybe world) that are comfortable working in science lab settings. Very many of them are on salary this summer. These personnel are already in manageable employment hierarchies. Is there some hurdle to breaking down research tasks in such a way that puts "more feet on the ground" by using them on Coronavirus 19 lab work, data analysis, and info sorting? GET YOUR ASSES TO WORK PEOPLE, WE'VE FOLKS DIEING AND BEING WAYLAYED THAT SHOULD NOT BE!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on July 15, 2020, 10:14:32 AM
Discovered some mould on the underside of the mattress this morning, which was just what I needed. Sigh.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ergative on July 15, 2020, 12:58:48 PM
Discovered some mould on the underside of the mattress this morning, which was just what I needed. Sigh.

Oh no! I've been carefully ignoring some mold on the curtains in my bedroom, because it's a rental and they're huge and thick and came with the property, and negotiating with the company is just too much to deal with. But I have to scrub it off the walls under the window every so often, and I'm pretty certain it's in the carpet in that side of the room too. But on the mattress does seem to demand attention. I'm so sorry you have to deal with that right now.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on July 15, 2020, 02:01:21 PM
Discovered some mould on the underside of the mattress this morning, which was just what I needed. Sigh.

Oh no! I've been carefully ignoring some mold on the curtains in my bedroom, because it's a rental and they're huge and thick and came with the property, and negotiating with the company is just too much to deal with. But I have to scrub it off the walls under the window every so often, and I'm pretty certain it's in the carpet in that side of the room too. But on the mattress does seem to demand attention. I'm so sorry you have to deal with that right now.

In fairness, it's not actually a big deal. It's relatively easy to deal with, especially when it's in the early stages. It's just that it makes for a bad start to the day.

The carpet sounds kind of serious. I don't envy you that! Any chance you can actually launder the curtains one by one?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 15, 2020, 03:44:06 PM
I'm trying to be good and limit my time dealing with crazy demented people, but @#$%^&Y^%$#, I can't deal with this shit anymore.

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Economizer on July 15, 2020, 06:44:19 PM
I'm trying to be good and limit my time dealing with crazy demented people, but @#$%^&Y^%$#, I can't deal with this shit anymore.

C'mon Sarge, iighten up! It's not good for you to stay like that.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 15, 2020, 08:31:33 PM
I'm trying to be good and limit my time dealing with crazy demented people, but @#$%^&Y^%$#, I can't deal with this shit anymore.

C'mon Sarge, iighten up! It's not good for you to stay like that.

True. It's not good for my mental health. But, we're talking about dealing with someone who is really 'Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs' here. Subscribes to every conspiracy theory in the book and regurgitates them at me at will. I'm trying to stay away at this point.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Economizer on July 15, 2020, 09:00:21 PM
Some folks are prone to do that. This particular time begs for it. There are probably buildings full of experts doing it.

My worrying time is in the middle of the night and often causes sleeplessness. An older former homicide detective gave me advice as to calming and going back to sleep. Warm milk!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on July 20, 2020, 07:52:18 AM
MrsFishProf seems to have Covid.  She is getting tested today (it only took 5 days to schedule).  Smolt and I aalso need to get tested.  I was able to get scheduled for today.  Smolt not until tomorrow.

Same place for us?  Nope.  3 different locations b/c of our health care providers affiliations.   

Same insurance, different groups.  So 3 different test centers in 3 different town.

Lovely.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on July 20, 2020, 08:35:07 AM
MrsFishProf seems to have Covid.  She is getting tested today (it only took 5 days to schedule).  Smolt and I aalso need to get tested.  I was able to get scheduled for today.  Smolt not until tomorrow.

Same place for us?  Nope.  3 different locations b/c of our health care providers affiliations.   

Same insurance, different groups.  So 3 different test centers in 3 different town.

Lovely.

I hope your tests all come back negative but am sorry you have to deal with so much red tape and inconvenience to get tested in the first place. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: marshwiggle on July 20, 2020, 08:39:53 AM
MrsFishProf seems to have Covid.  She is getting tested today (it only took 5 days to schedule).  Smolt and I aalso need to get tested.  I was able to get scheduled for today.  Smolt not until tomorrow.

Same place for us?  Nope.  3 different locations b/c of our health care providers affiliations.   

Same insurance, different groups.  So 3 different test centers in 3 different town.

Lovely.

I hope your tests all come back negative but am sorry you have to deal with so much red tape and inconvenience to get tested in the first place.

As a Canadian, the more I learn of the American healthcare system the more I'm amazed by how bizarre it is. I thought having things handled by the private sector instead of the public sector was supposed to reduce red tape and bureaucracy.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on July 20, 2020, 09:33:59 AM
MrsFishProf seems to have Covid.  She is getting tested today (it only took 5 days to schedule).  Smolt and I aalso need to get tested.  I was able to get scheduled for today.  Smolt not until tomorrow.

Same place for us?  Nope.  3 different locations b/c of our health care providers affiliations.   

Same insurance, different groups.  So 3 different test centers in 3 different town.

Lovely.

You have every justification to vent away, FishProf.  Terrible bureaucracy.  Wishing your family good health and brighter days.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ciao_yall on July 20, 2020, 09:39:48 AM
MrsFishProf seems to have Covid.  She is getting tested today (it only took 5 days to schedule).  Smolt and I aalso need to get tested.  I was able to get scheduled for today.  Smolt not until tomorrow.

Same place for us?  Nope.  3 different locations b/c of our health care providers affiliations.   

Same insurance, different groups.  So 3 different test centers in 3 different town.

Lovely.

I hope your tests all come back negative but am sorry you have to deal with so much red tape and inconvenience to get tested in the first place.

As a Canadian, the more I learn of the American healthcare system the more I'm amazed by how bizarre it is. I thought having things handled by the private sector instead of the public sector was supposed to reduce red tape and bureaucracy.

Kind of the opposite. If someone can figure out a way to jump into a process and make some money, then people figure out a way to do it.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on July 20, 2020, 10:32:24 AM
Sending good thoughts and best wishes to you all, FishProf.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 20, 2020, 10:51:40 AM
MrsFishProf seems to have Covid.  She is getting tested today (it only took 5 days to schedule).  Smolt and I aalso need to get tested.  I was able to get scheduled for today.  Smolt not until tomorrow.

Same place for us?  Nope.  3 different locations b/c of our health care providers affiliations.   

Same insurance, different groups.  So 3 different test centers in 3 different town.

Lovely.

I'm sorry to hear this FishProf. I hope all goes well.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on July 20, 2020, 02:46:09 PM
More lament than vent, but I washed my mp3 player today. I checked all my pockets, except for the pair of pyjama pants I decided to throw in at the last minute. I've had the thing since 2008. For a couple years I used a newer one, but it crapped out and the old one kept going.

It's made worse by the fact that just yesterday, I thought about getting a new one then decided against it because this one was still in such great shape. Alas!

(It might survive once it's dried out. We'll see.)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on July 20, 2020, 03:02:37 PM
More lament than vent, but I washed my mp3 player today. I checked all my pockets, except for the pair of pyjama pants I decided to throw in at the last minute. I've had the thing since 2008. For a couple years I used a newer one, but it crapped out and the old one kept going.

It's made worse by the fact that just yesterday, I thought about getting a new one then decided against it because this one was still in such great shape. Alas!

(It might survive once it's dried out. We'll see.)

Oh no! I will cross my fingers that it has survived. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on July 20, 2020, 05:26:52 PM
MrsFishProf seems to have Covid.  She is getting tested today (it only took 5 days to schedule).  Smolt and I aalso need to get tested.  I was able to get scheduled for today.  Smolt not until tomorrow.

Same place for us?  Nope.  3 different locations b/c of our health care providers affiliations.   

Same insurance, different groups.  So 3 different test centers in 3 different town.

Lovely.

I'm sorry to hear this FishProf. I hope all goes well.

Thanks.  I have to concur with Polly - worst 5 seconds of my day.

An the plus side (?), MrsFishProf may in fact have a post surgical abscess that is causing the symptoms, rather than Covid.  What a strange thing to hope for...
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 20, 2020, 05:56:27 PM
MrsFishProf seems to have Covid.  She is getting tested today (it only took 5 days to schedule).  Smolt and I aalso need to get tested.  I was able to get scheduled for today.  Smolt not until tomorrow.

Same place for us?  Nope.  3 different locations b/c of our health care providers affiliations.   

Same insurance, different groups.  So 3 different test centers in 3 different town.

Lovely.

I'm sorry to hear this FishProf. I hope all goes well.

Thanks.  I have to concur with Polly - worst 5 seconds of my day.

An the plus side (?), MrsFishProf may in fact have a post surgical abscess that is causing the symptoms, rather than Covid.  What a strange thing to hope for...

Yikes. Sending good vibes.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: kaysixteen on July 20, 2020, 06:54:49 PM
Indeed, one wonders how most Canadians, and for that matter most Europeans, can right about now be doing much of anything other than cringe in a pathetic mixture of horror and sympathy, at the terrifyingly incompetent and inadequate, and vastly overpriced, nature of the American 'health care' system.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on July 21, 2020, 09:11:48 AM
Indeed, one wonders how most Canadians, and for that matter most Europeans, can right about now be doing much of anything other than cringe in a pathetic mixture of horror and sympathy, at the terrifyingly incompetent and inadequate, and vastly overpriced, nature of the American 'health care' system.

What amazes me is that Americans put up with what they have. I guess some believe it is a good system because they don't know any better and they have heard some politician tell them it is the best in the world because it is American, or some similiar nonsense. But most people who have had to deal with insurance company nonsense know what a pile of BS it all is. In terms of what impacts people's lives, it must major. Why aren't people storming their capitols about it? Regarding the number of lives lost, the impact on quality of life, and racial disparities, it's a bigger issue than most that got a lot more recent publicity.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 21, 2020, 09:35:02 AM
Indeed, one wonders how most Canadians, and for that matter most Europeans, can right about now be doing much of anything other than cringe in a pathetic mixture of horror and sympathy, at the terrifyingly incompetent and inadequate, and vastly overpriced, nature of the American 'health care' system.

What amazes me is that Americans put up with what they have. I guess some believe it is a good system because they don't know any better and they have heard some politician tell them it is the best in the world because it is American, or some similiar nonsense. But most people who have had to deal with insurance company nonsense know what a pile of BS it all is. In terms of what impacts people's lives, it must major. Why aren't people storming their capitols about it? Regarding the number of lives lost, the impact on quality of life, and racial disparities, it's a bigger issue than most that got a lot more recent publicity.

There is a major political party that is preventing health care reform in this country and it has convinced their followers that health care is not a human right.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on July 21, 2020, 09:47:17 AM
Indeed, one wonders how most Canadians, and for that matter most Europeans, can right about now be doing much of anything other than cringe in a pathetic mixture of horror and sympathy, at the terrifyingly incompetent and inadequate, and vastly overpriced, nature of the American 'health care' system.

What amazes me is that Americans put up with what they have. I guess some believe it is a good system because they don't know any better and they have heard some politician tell them it is the best in the world because it is American, or some similiar nonsense. But most people who have had to deal with insurance company nonsense know what a pile of BS it all is. In terms of what impacts people's lives, it must major. Why aren't people storming their capitols about it? Regarding the number of lives lost, the impact on quality of life, and racial disparities, it's a bigger issue than most that got a lot more recent publicity.

There is a major political party that is preventing health care reform in this country and it has convinced their followers that health care is not a human right.

And then there's the Republican death cult...
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 21, 2020, 09:53:50 AM
Indeed, one wonders how most Canadians, and for that matter most Europeans, can right about now be doing much of anything other than cringe in a pathetic mixture of horror and sympathy, at the terrifyingly incompetent and inadequate, and vastly overpriced, nature of the American 'health care' system.

What amazes me is that Americans put up with what they have. I guess some believe it is a good system because they don't know any better and they have heard some politician tell them it is the best in the world because it is American, or some similiar nonsense. But most people who have had to deal with insurance company nonsense know what a pile of BS it all is. In terms of what impacts people's lives, it must major. Why aren't people storming their capitols about it? Regarding the number of lives lost, the impact on quality of life, and racial disparities, it's a bigger issue than most that got a lot more recent publicity.

There is a major political party that is preventing health care reform in this country and it has convinced their followers that health care is not a human right.

And then there's the Republican death cult...

I thought that's what we were talking about.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on July 21, 2020, 10:03:06 AM
Yes. I just couldn't resist the jab at the significant chunk of the Democratic party that voices support for health care as a human right and then does everything it can to undermine its provision as a human right.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 21, 2020, 10:12:38 AM
Yes. I just couldn't resist the jab at the significant chunk of the Democratic party that voices support for health care as a human right and then does everything it can to undermine its provision as a human right.

Point. It's sad that there are so few politicians (if any?) who really care about representing their districts. Too much fighting, money, corruption. Yuck.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on July 21, 2020, 10:50:17 AM
Yes. I just couldn't resist the jab at the significant chunk of the Democratic party that voices support for health care as a human right and then does everything it can to undermine its provision as a human right.

Point. It's sad that there are so few politicians (if any?) who really care about representing their districts. Too much fighting, money, corruption. Yuck.

That widespread distrust of government is the main reason why so many Americans are so fiercely resistant to the idea of greater government intervention in health care.  They're afraid of making a bad situation even worse.  Especially senior citizens who are frightened that better government medical care for other sectors of society will come at the expense of the heavy government subsidies that they already have.  A lot of zero-sum thinking there.

I (and I suspect a lot of others) have just reached a point at which it's hard to see how further government intervention could be worse than what we already have.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on July 21, 2020, 12:26:44 PM
So many places this could go, and I am more defeatedly reporting than venting, but here is the Saga.

1) MrsFishProf (who has has a 2020 from hell in non-CV19 ways) starts (Wednesday) to exhibit some Covish symptoms (fever, chills, aches, headache) but nothing definitive as either flu or CV19.  However, when you hear hooves outside your office, assume horses, not Zebras.  CV19 is most likley.

2) But, says I, maybe your surgical site is infected?  That would also cause many/most of your symptoms.   Check wound.  Not obviously infected.  CV19 still leads the pack.

3) Teledoc visit Thursday am.  Yup.  Need to get tested.  Doc will request.  Testing center (Site 1) will schedule w/in 48 hours.  In meantime, MFP isolates.

4) Friday, nothing.

5) Saturday, nothing.

6) Sunday pm, appt scheduled for Monday.   Hmmm, Maybe Fishprof and Smolt should get tested too?

7) Monday am, Fishprofs Doc says yes get tested.  Go to Site 2, today (much faster than MFP).

8) Smolt also to get tested says pediadoc.  Go to Site 3 tomorrow between 8 and 12.

9) Take MFP to testing center.  Sit outside and watch nurses, sans masks, walk in carrying take-out lunch for (presumably) rest of staff.   Both nurses exhibit comorbidity.  SRSL? WTF?  My state requires masks when out in public.  MFP gets brain swabbed for 10 seconds.  Total time at testing center: 35min.  Results: 3-5d.

10) Fishprof to Test Center 2.  Drive up tent.  Full masks, face shields, super professional and organized.  Brain swabbed for 5 seconds. Total time at testing center: 5 min.  Results: 5-7d.

11) Monday evening.  MFP needs help changing wound packing.  Probing wound discovers and opens additional abscess cavity.  This is definitely infected.  Take photo and send to MFP's surgeon.

12a) This morning, arrive at Site 3 for Smolt test.  Huge lines.  Smolt gets spit test.  Total time at Testing center, 4 HOURS 45min.  Results: 24-48h.

12b) Meanwhile, MFP hears from Surgeon.  Yes, please come in.  Wait, suspected CV19?!  Picture reviewed.
 That is definitely infected.  Don't come in.  Will prescribe super antibiotic dose.   Begin 4 hours of back and forth b/w Surgeon who wrote scrip w/ mismatched days/doses/pill counts, and pharmacy which is undergoing audit at the moment.

13) Fishprof and Smolt finally procure meds (and ice cream) and return home.

Conclusion, ONE insurance company, 3 doctors in 3 networks, 3 tests in two modalities, and no consistency in procedure, wait time or results expected time.

Oh yeah, and it looks like CV19 has faded in the back stretch and is no longer the most likely candidate. 

Sheesh.

tl;dr = Getting the family covid-tested is a huge hassle, and probably not necessary anyway.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on July 21, 2020, 01:04:11 PM
On the plus side, it looks like somebody got ice cream.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 21, 2020, 02:16:11 PM
I'm so sorry to hear all of this Fishprof.... but, yes, ice cream can definitely help. Wishing MFP a speedy recovery.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on July 21, 2020, 05:24:54 PM
I love Ice Cream.  Not enough to do that AGAIN.

Thanks for all positive wishes.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on July 23, 2020, 06:00:58 PM
Quiz

Adminstrator X sends an email to everyone saying "A/C is not working in building Z" with all recipients listed in the email. Of course, no one has any intention of leaving their home, so no one cares.

Someone Y "replies-all" saying "Thanks for the info!".

Who is the biggest loser? X or Y?

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 24, 2020, 09:44:41 AM
Why are you wasting my time? Do you not understand the purpose of turnitin.com? Did you think that I wouldn't notice that you have a 65% match with another student on your lab reports?

Waste. of. time.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: bio-nonymous on July 24, 2020, 11:29:45 AM
Could your College's administration please stop making far more stringent and arbitrary covid19 rules than the rest of the university? It is driving me crazy trying to navigate your inane rules when everyone else says to do something else.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on July 24, 2020, 01:03:40 PM
Quiz

Adminstrator X sends an email to everyone saying "A/C is not working in building Z" with all recipients listed in the email. Of course, no one has any intention of leaving their home, so no one cares.

Someone Y "replies-all" saying "Thanks for the info!".

Who is the biggest loser? X or Y?

The biggest loser is all the people on the reply-all list who had to open, read, and then delete the exchange.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on July 25, 2020, 07:08:36 AM
Follow up.  Smolt negative.  MFP negative.  I'm still waiting for official news but how can I not be negative too?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on July 25, 2020, 11:01:29 AM
Follow up.  Smolt negative.  MFP negative.  I'm still waiting for official news but how can I not be negative too?

That's great news so far and very promising! My fingers and etc. will remain crossed until you find out for sure.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Larimar on July 25, 2020, 03:06:58 PM
Glad to hear it, FishProf.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on July 25, 2020, 03:29:41 PM
Follow up.  Smolt negative.  MFP negative.  I'm still waiting for official news but how can I not be negative too?

Great news!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on July 27, 2020, 09:48:30 AM
Follow up.  Smolt negative.  MFP negative.  I'm still waiting for official news but how can I not be negative too?

Sounds like this calls for more ice cream!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: OneMoreYear on July 28, 2020, 07:15:18 PM
TIIC at my Uni are closing our building, theoretically to save costs. We are being relocated to temporary diggs for an indeterminate amount of time. The initial plan was a staggered move with a deadline to be out of the building by the end of the calendar year.  Now, in their infinite wisdom, they have decided that the best time for faculty and staff to completely relocate is . . .  at the beginning of fall semester! New tentative deadline----September 1st.  Frack.   I need ice-cream.  And wine.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: histchick on July 30, 2020, 08:38:30 AM
I am angry and scared.  I am in a "red zone" state, and the numbers are climbing.  Yet, my system is bound and determined that we're having in-person classes.  I really thought they would have gone virtual for fall semester.  This is insanity, and my colleagues are frightened.  When the science instructors are saying that this isn't a great idea, one tends to believe them. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mythbuster on August 03, 2020, 12:03:35 PM
Do other folks have totally incompetent people running their campus bookstore, or is it just us? I just found out today- from a student, that the bookstore lists NO books for one of my Fall courses. For one of the books, we are using (first time) one of these inclusive access deals, so I thought that might be why. But they should still have the listing for print custom lab manual that can ONLY be bought at the bookstore.
   But no! A later student email reveals that the inclusive access site says that my students are not enrolled in an eligible course. This after multiple emails from the bookstore about how it was all set up and what instructions to give the students.
    Now I would be more forgiving, if I don't have some sort of issue of this type with he bookstore EVERY semester. They seem incapable of ordering the correct books, or enough of them, and then seem shocked when there are issues.  And these same people have worked at the bookstore for several years now, so it's not due to turnover.

I really wish we could dump them as a whole. I just don't see what benefit the Uni gets from having them. An amazon outlet would have lower markup and better customer service.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on August 03, 2020, 12:09:05 PM
Do other folks have totally incompetent people running their campus bookstore, or is it just us? I just found out today- from a student, that the bookstore lists NO books for one of my Fall courses. For one of the books, we are using (first time) one of these inclusive access deals, so I thought that might be why. But they should still have the listing for print custom lab manual that can ONLY be bought at the bookstore.
   But no! A later student email reveals that the inclusive access site says that my students are not enrolled in an eligible course. This after multiple emails from the bookstore about how it was all set up and what instructions to give the students.
    Now I would be more forgiving, if I don't have some sort of issue of this type with he bookstore EVERY semester. They seem incapable of ordering the correct books, or enough of them, and then seem shocked when there are issues.  And these same people have worked at the bookstore for several years now, so it's not due to turnover.

I really wish we could dump them as a whole. I just don't see what benefit the Uni gets from having them. An amazon outlet would have lower markup and better customer service.

This has been my experience at a lot of places. These days I email the students info about the book I'm using, with an ISBN and info about whether they need to get an access code with it from the publisher.

Some students apparently have special arrangements and have to get their books through the bookstore.  I also try to make the book unnecessary in the first 3 weeks, but that is not always possible.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on August 03, 2020, 01:10:31 PM
Do other folks have totally incompetent people running their campus bookstore, or is it just us? I just found out today- from a student, that the bookstore lists NO books for one of my Fall courses. For one of the books, we are using (first time) one of these inclusive access deals, so I thought that might be why. But they should still have the listing for print custom lab manual that can ONLY be bought at the bookstore.
   But no! A later student email reveals that the inclusive access site says that my students are not enrolled in an eligible course. This after multiple emails from the bookstore about how it was all set up and what instructions to give the students.
    Now I would be more forgiving, if I don't have some sort of issue of this type with he bookstore EVERY semester. They seem incapable of ordering the correct books, or enough of them, and then seem shocked when there are issues.  And these same people have worked at the bookstore for several years now, so it's not due to turnover.

I really wish we could dump them as a whole. I just don't see what benefit the Uni gets from having them. An amazon outlet would have lower markup and better customer service.

Around the turn of the century, professors at the university where I used to work compared notes and found out that they weren't all just unlucky.  Ordering glitches for textbooks at the campus bookstore had become the norm, not the exception.  I forget the percentage reported in the news.  It was definitely over half of all courses that semester.  The university responded by taking textbook ordering out of the hands of the bookstore's staff and outsourcing it to some specialty outfit.  The bookstore staff had done themselves right out of a job!

I don't recall any follow-up regarding how well the outsourcers handled book orders after that.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on August 03, 2020, 01:29:55 PM
I've had interactions with three college bookstores.

1. I worked at one for six years in various departments, starting out with student books (after a year there, I took positions in other parts of the store, which was really like a small department store, but we all, always, were aware of book sale season). I was very impressed with the thoroughness of the buyers, who (despite pressures to keep costs down and last-minute submissions by very entitled professors) managed to have books on the shelves for nearly all classes by a week before the opening of the school.

Because the instructors ordered all the cool new books to teach from, researchers in the area would come and buy student books there, too....so we always had to get as much as 30% overage to be sure there were enough books for the students....

2. At another school where I taught, a seminary, the state Bible Society ran the bookstore. It was tiny, and it was fine.

3. At another, I was hired to adjunct a week before classes started one year, and the day before they started, the next. (In both cases, someone apparently resigned at the last moment...)

In the first instance, I was told the books had already been ordered--turned out they had not. I put the order in the second day I was hired, and they took two weeks to arrive. I didn't even have a book myself; fortunately the publishing company put the first chapter online as a "show-and-tell" for professors and I got to use that.

I was also observed that first week, and was dinged for not making assignments from the book for the week's classes. I refused to sign the assessment, instead adding my rebuttal, that no-one, including me, had any books, and signed that. I heard nothing more about it.

In the second instance, the next year (they hired me back, so it must have been OK), the books were indeed on order--but they'd changed which book was to be used and hadn't told me, so I had to re-do my whole syllabus. But again, that wasn't the bookstore's fault--it was the department office's misstep.

(At two other schools, they appeared to have phased out the bookstores and students apparently ordered all their books online. I had no interactions with them at all; I don't recall any major student )

I don't know what the exact solution would be, but the current tendency to hire new kids as buyers (and pay them very little) would be the first problem I would look at. The highly functional buyers I knew at the first store were year-round workers who'd been there a long time, valued their jobs, and were good at them. The third school actually had a pretty good buying team, too, and I believe they were full/time as well.

The reps I met were uniformly new to the work, young, and changing year-to-year as if there were a revolving door on their offices. They often seemed overwhelmed, more in need of chasing orders (and, really, commissions) than filling them, and clueless as to how to make it all work. They might also be repping for more than one company, unethical as that sounds, and just couldn't do the juggling required to keep it all ticking over.

Those are the weak links I'd look at. Good, longstanding book buyers can read the professor's minds from Capri to California and have their orders in by Christmas for next June (and usually did). Part-time kids not so much. And musical-chairs reps are a serious problem everywhere.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mythbuster on August 03, 2020, 03:44:53 PM
Well, we half fixed the problem. The bookstore website now at least lists the appropriate books. One of them is out of stock, but this is because of the e-book inclusive access deal they supposedly set up. The manager is now looking into why none of my students are able to access the "inclusive access" site to purchase that. Right now the inclusive part just makes me laugh.
   I think it really helped that I sicced the Pearson rep on the bookstore the moment we had an issue. The last Pearson rep got fired for interfering with bookstore orders out of my department. I actually has the head poo-bah for the entire Eastern seaboard Pearson sales team in my office last Fall, to make sure we were happy and they picked a new rep who would work well with our department. I actually enjoyed making them sweat a bit. So our new rep is VERY hop-to to fix these type of issues, at least for the moment.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on August 03, 2020, 09:18:53 PM
Oh. Pearson.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on August 04, 2020, 09:10:40 AM
IMHE, the only one worse than Pearson is Cengage.  I refuse to deal with either of them.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on August 04, 2020, 09:23:02 AM
Yep.

My gripe for the day:

I woke up to see a bright, shiny screen on my laptop, proudly proclaiming that it was all ready to download the "new" EDGE and wasn't I just ready and waiting for that to make my day??

Nope.

In fact, I realized it feels like an extension of rape culture, to be told you "should" want something you don't want, just because someone else wants you to have it and has projected their desire on you.

AND it is consistent with the followthrough required that I must now take MY time to figure out how to get this unwanted file OUT OF MY COMPUTER'S HARD DRIVE and OUT OF MY LIFE.

And they will make it harder to do than to just go along with what they want (at least in the short term) while I know what kinds of grief (overuse of memory, heating up computer, etc.) will result if I just go along, "lay back and take it," etc. (I did go through to remove it the first time, but it's more complicated now....they're more desperate to be wanted, loved, and paid...yuk.)

So...Very, very displeased.

And disgusted.

And underneath it all, feeling violated.

Whatever 'they' may think, I didn't "ask for" this.

No means no.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: histchick on August 14, 2020, 06:21:42 AM
Classes.  On campus.  Ugh. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on August 14, 2020, 11:52:37 AM
Oh, no!

Sorry....very sorry.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: histchick on August 15, 2020, 08:15:57 AM
Oh, no!

Sorry....very sorry.

M.
Thanks, mamselle.  I have health accommodations, as does my spouse, but it still requires an on-campus component.  We're in a serious hot spot right now, and faculty and staff morale is lower than I've seen it in some time.  Our system runs things in such a way that individual institutions can't go virtual even if they wanted to, and the governor seems bound and determined to ride this wave. 

First day was bad.  Not so much the masks, even though that was weird.  It was the having to remind students that they needed to stay more than six feet away from me, and knowing that the virus can go farther than that. 

But "we're open!" And we're constantly reminded that layoffs might have been on the table if we were virtual this semester.  You know what?  I would rather be laid off and keep my family from paying health care bills out the wazoo and dealing with the physical long-term ramifications of this thing if either or both of us get it. 

Further, I am tired of the administrators who keep telling us that they care about us and our students. I don't doubt that they do, but if they can't do anything to help, then just shut up and leave me alone. 

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on August 17, 2020, 11:00:16 AM
Dear parental units,
I do not have "summers off".  I do not have a "summer break".  I have a full-time, 12-month, yes-that-means-summers-too JOB.
No, I do not have plans to travel/vacation/camp/road-trip. 
Why?
1) JOB 2) Pandemic 3) my state is on fire 4) I have to get ready for Fall classes
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on August 17, 2020, 01:10:07 PM
The glacial test of getting back test results has been hitting home locally.  They're taking at least a week around here.  We have a staff member who seems to have recovered from COVID-19 whose return to work is being held up by the delay in getting a (we anticipate) negative test result.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on August 17, 2020, 05:07:37 PM
Hello.  It's a small vent in comparison, but I think I just discovered that I may have neglected to copy some files to take with me when I left my previous position.  Files that I need to complete the revisions on my journal article.  Totally forgot those would go away when I left, so the co-authors I shared the folder with won't have access.  I am still hoping I have at least some of them somewhere.  F^%&^%*^ OneDrive.  My fault.  I can probably recreate, but good grief.   At least they are not data, but I also don't have journal database access anymore, and I don't have some summary files we put together a long time back.  I am going to go have some wine now.   Watch out for shared folders owned by others (or just don't be as dumb as me when you are the other).
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on August 17, 2020, 05:35:36 PM
Did you ever email the files to anyone (or yourself, to print, or something?)

That's saved me a few times when my XHDD has gone mysteriously kaput (so, same sort of result).

Time travel is always so tempting then, too....

Hope you find a work-around.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on August 18, 2020, 06:07:11 AM
Yesterday was the first day of mandatory Service Week online meetings.  Clearly a faculty group of MA, MS, and PhD holders are incapable of understanding that everyone should wear a mask and wash their hands--that's why every meeting involved repeated exhortations about it.  (Seriously:  in the chancellor's opening, which lasted an hour, I counted and stopped after I reached 45 mentions in the first 40 minutes.)

Other assorted lunacies:  our union has filed two "class action" grievances, one against the requirement for all faculty to use Courses of Record in all online classes.  (One such COR I'm supposed to use makes zero pedagogical sense:  students can fail every essay and still pass the class on the basis of BS busywork assignments.)  I'm seriously thinking of going rogue and changing the class; the union will back me on academic freedom and "best interests of the students" grounds.  Also, a panel of those who taught "live virtual lecture" classes in spring confirmed my worst fears about the stupidity of being required to do so in all non-F2F sections this fall. Dandy.

One day down, four more to go.  Sigh.   (The bright spot:  I didn't have to use a week of sick time to avoid the meetings as I usually do; I just turn on Collaborate and crochet, surf the web, or do whatever else I want.)  And yes, I know:  at least I still have a job.  SIGH.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mythbuster on August 18, 2020, 08:35:28 AM
Well now even our Pearson rep is fed up with the incompetence of our bookstore. Apparently our bookstore is actively sending students emails about how to register for e-books etc that contain the wrong information.
   I just sent my class an announcement abut this. The gist was 1) stay calm 2) yes I'm frustrated too, 3) here are the correct instructions, 4) don't blame me, blame the bookstore.

Of course, many of the students who are having issues are also the type who don't read announcements. I know from experience that this too will pass, but I really just want to kick the bookstore to the curb.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on August 18, 2020, 09:07:14 AM
My school just declined to buy N95 masks for lab instructors, claiming the CDC doesn't recommend them.   Does anybody know of a source I can share with them to change their minds?

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Caracal on August 18, 2020, 10:06:19 AM
My school just declined to buy N95 masks for lab instructors, claiming the CDC doesn't recommend them.   Does anybody know of a source I can share with them to change their minds?

It is true that they don't. To my knowledge, they aren't recommended for anyone but healthcare workers. Maybe some people disagree, but to me the reasons seem sound. There still aren't enough of them for healthcare workers. I think we could probably agree that whatever the risks in labs, they are almost certainly lower than the risks to health care workers treating people with Covid.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mythbuster on August 18, 2020, 01:26:29 PM
More in the continuing bookstore idiocy saga. Many students claimed they were never getting the emails from the book store. It turns out that IT has updated the student dashboard for all our functions. They now have a big email button (for university email) AND and inbox button (for the Canvas email system). Guess what- bookstore emails don't go to the Canvas system, so all our students with no emails are likely just checking in the wrong place! Personally, I wish I could turn off the student's Canvas email functionality. It causes to many problems for me.

I bet no one in IT thought there would a problem with having 2 email buttons side by side since they knew what the difference was.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on August 18, 2020, 01:55:51 PM
My fall Blackboard shells have disappeared for one school. The IT dept tells me they should be there. Yet they are not.

Maybe this is part of their clever scheme to encourage people to switch to Canvas.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: onehappyunicorn on August 20, 2020, 11:25:07 AM
My fall Blackboard shells have disappeared for one school. The IT dept tells me they should be there. Yet they are not.

Maybe this is part of their clever scheme to encourage people to switch to Canvas.
I hate blackboard, man do I hate blackboard. As an organization we've sunk so much money and training into it that we'll never switch though.

Also can you just read what I sent you instead of telling me what you thought I said? It's awfully awkward when I have to get my supervisor involved to tell you the exact same thing I just sent, especially since your response was snippy and condescending.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on August 25, 2020, 07:28:16 AM
Checking your school email IS part of your job.   Choosing to not do so is choosing to not do your job.   I will NOT Back you in this.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on August 25, 2020, 09:27:07 PM
A few weeks ago, I got a message from DirectTV that my devices were no longer supported and I would lose my local channels.  I called them. I waited and waded through phone hell.  Finally got a person that told me that she could see no reason that I was getting the message and to ignore it. 

Well, it seems that the notice was not an error. So I lost all of my local chanels (which means all of network TV).  Oh, and while I am not in the 'Cone of Death' for hurricane laura, some of the spaghetti models do go directly through my town!

Today I called and again waded through Phone hell.  I was hung up on the first time as the employee wasnt able to hear me!  I called back and after 40 minutes I was in the same situation I was when I called. 

Why was my equipment able to provide my local channels 12 hours earlier but not now?  Why can they not flip the switch that they flipped to turn them off?

When I was on the phone with them 2 weeks ago, we discussed that one box was 17 years old and worked fine.  The other was 10 years old.  I have been a customer of theirs for 22 years!  BUT when I talked to them 2 weeks ago, I was told I would need a 2 year contract and be charged added fees for the additional services  (HD instead of regular TV). 

My bill has been creeping up for years. Ive been too lazy to find a new provider.  It looks like it is time NOW to find one.  IF they can not provide the services that they have provided for years (nay, decades), then it is time for us to part ways.  Im sure that cable TV is widely available!!  (AND I can probably bundle internet services, that I currently have to pay an additional fee for from another provider!!


Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: wareagle on August 26, 2020, 06:48:38 AM
I don't have DirecTV myself, but from what I've heard, ever since AT&T took over they've steadily increased prices, and not by small amounts.  My sister pays double what she did just three years ago for the exact same package.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: onehappyunicorn on August 26, 2020, 07:19:22 AM
Checking your school email IS part of your job.   Choosing to not do so is choosing to not do your job.   I will NOT Back you in this.
AMEN
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Harlow2 on August 26, 2020, 12:38:55 PM
Quote
Im sure that cable TV is widely available!!  (AND I can probably bundle internet services, that I currently have to pay an additional fee for from another provider!! [end quote]

Another tack is an antenna, since I don't have a landline and didn't want the only bundle that saved any money.  I have been fairly pleased with mine. Limited stations, but not THAT limited compared to my basic cable, which had doubled in price over the last 10 years. You might try looking at Antennaweb.org to see what you could get temporarily while you figure out a more permanent solution. The antenna and Prime (including Britbox) have quite a lot to offer.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on August 26, 2020, 01:50:44 PM
I am getting absurd numbers of emails with attachments all containing supposedly important information. The main message says "See below."

Generally, when I look, it turns out the info is not important to me.

My interest in opening these attachments is rapidly diminishing.

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Puget on August 26, 2020, 02:47:08 PM
Students, I know you are anxious and everything is different this semester, but I provided all that information in (a) course announcements, (b) the syllabus, and (c) the welcome video. You should have seen it at least 3 times, so why are you emailing me "just to clarify". It is clear. You do not need me to personally tell you the same information yet again.  (I did not say any of this to them. Well, I did point them to those sources of information, but much more kindly.).
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on August 26, 2020, 02:47:43 PM
Look here cousin-who-thankfully-lives-far-away, it is NOT responsible to have an in-person wedding!  Yes, I know you had to reschedule due to the pandemic & had to find a new church that is willing/foolish enough to allow a gathering & find an outdoor venue for your "you don't have to have a mask on the entire time" reception and your fiancee is insisting that you have to get married now because she wants a baby.  But you are going to kill people.  I don't care how much money you your parents lost on deposits.  How many funerals do you want to attend?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on August 26, 2020, 04:05:31 PM
Look here cousin-who-thankfully-lives-far-away, it is NOT responsible to have an in-person wedding!  Yes, I know you had to reschedule due to the pandemic & had to find a new church that is willing/foolish enough to allow a gathering & find an outdoor venue for your "you don't have to have a mask on the entire time" reception and your fiancee is insisting that you have to get married now because she wants a baby.  But you are going to kill people.  I don't care how much money you your parents lost on deposits.  How many funerals do you want to attend?

I was actually impressed by a family member's kids, whom i expected to want something like what you're describing: they actually did a 5-person service (officiant, the two kids, and one parent each). They livecast it (for those who wanted to attend in real time) and put the video up as well, for those of us who, like me, were otherwise occupied at the time.

I specifically wrote and told them how considerate they were, and how thankful I was for their thoughtfulness.

So, it can be done.  I'm sorry you're having to deal with all the difficulties.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on August 26, 2020, 05:53:29 PM
Look here cousin-who-thankfully-lives-far-away, it is NOT responsible to have an in-person wedding!  Yes, I know you had to reschedule due to the pandemic & had to find a new church that is willing/foolish enough to allow a gathering & find an outdoor venue for your "you don't have to have a mask on the entire time" reception and your fiancee is insisting that you have to get married now because she wants a baby.  But you are going to kill people.  I don't care how much money you your parents lost on deposits.  How many funerals do you want to attend?

I was actually impressed by a family member's kids, whom i expected to want something like what you're describing: they actually did a 5-person service (officiant, the two kids, and one parent each). They livecast it (for those who wanted to attend in real time) and put the video up as well, for those of us who, like me, were otherwise occupied at the time.

I specifically wrote and told them how considerate they were, and how thankful I was for their thoughtfulness.

So, it can be done.  I'm sorry you're having to deal with all the difficulties.

M.
I like the plan of the "micro-wedding" and live-stream!  That's what I hope they end up with.  At any rate, I will not be going and I'm going to do my best to convince my 85 year old grandfather that it's not worth the risk to attend.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on August 26, 2020, 05:55:50 PM
Unrelated.

Minor vent.

My package from Fedex is over 1 week late. Apparently there is an issue with a warehouse nearby. Really frustrating considering what I've been hearing.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on September 04, 2020, 03:42:45 PM
Today, in an official document for my probationary period of employment here, I am 'Garasaurolophus'. (It was the family name this time, and clearly not just a typo.)

I just. Ugh. It's not that hard when my name is printed right there in front of you. I quite like the person who made the mistake this time, and of course I forgive them because it's a small thing, but this is really starting to wear me down. I kid you not, there's an incident, like, every day or two. I've lived in four other provinces, and I've never encountered anything like it.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on September 04, 2020, 05:56:35 PM
IT Security has blocked Dropbox, apparently to force everyone to use Office365. Who cares that some of us do research with people at other universities? And why bother to give anyone any notice, just in case they have materials needed today stored in DropBox?

IT Security has also set email encryption at such a high level that it’s almost impossible to send a message with more than a six-digit number off campus without it being automatically encrypted. Product numbers, membership numbers, andpricing for big ticket items are all getting garbled by the encryption.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on September 04, 2020, 08:18:23 PM
IT Security has blocked Dropbox, apparently to force everyone to use Office365. Who cares that some of us do research with people at other universities? And why bother to give anyone any notice, just in case they have materials needed today stored in DropBox?

IT Security has also set email encryption at such a high level that it’s almost impossible to send a message with more than a six-digit number off campus without it being automatically encrypted. Product numbers, membership numbers, andpricing for big ticket items are all getting garbled by the encryption.

omg. That's unbelievable, especially blocking DropBox. Come on! O365 sucks.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on September 05, 2020, 10:09:47 AM
IT Security has blocked Dropbox, apparently to force everyone to use Office365. Who cares that some of us do research with people at other universities? And why bother to give anyone any notice, just in case they have materials needed today stored in DropBox?

IT Security has also set email encryption at such a high level that it’s almost impossible to send a message with more than a six-digit number off campus without it being automatically encrypted. Product numbers, membership numbers, andpricing for big ticket items are all getting garbled by the encryption.

omg. That's unbelievable, especially blocking DropBox. Come on! O365 sucks.

+1.  Especially if they didn't give you any heads up! We had DropBox and similar blocked and were forced to use OneDrive.  Besides collaboration issues, if the person whose account houses the files leaves and the account goes away (as in my case), things can go further awry.  What's up with encrypting numbers? I had not heard of that.  Do they think they're secret codes of some sort?  We also got a lovely new email feature that scanned every document sent through email (even within the institution).  So, of course, people would be on conference calls and send over a document for folks to look at, and it would take way too long to scan and open.  Fun stuff.  Anyway, sorry you have to deal with these shenanigans!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on September 06, 2020, 11:12:54 AM
What's up with encrypting numbers? I had not heard of that.  Do they think they're secret codes of some sort?

The encryption supposedly is to prevent violations of privacy and confidentiality rules. I suspect IT Security intended to block social security numbers and/or student phone numbers. But, as usual, they imposed an over broad rule. If they get enough of the right people complaining because they can’t get their work done, maybe they’ll loosen up.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 06, 2020, 11:31:02 AM
^Unrelated.

Grumble.

Someone else did some of what I've been working on. I don't agree with all of it, and it's nice to know I'm on the right track, but it's frustrating to find.

However, I'm taking a page from someone on the NSF thread, who more maturely noted that keeping busy precludes having time to sulk.

So, I'll keep busy (more than enough to do, in fact...) and try not to sulk.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on September 12, 2020, 04:58:41 AM
I do think we could have a whole separate thread about why everything in Office 365 is terrible.

But here is one: why is it that in the mornings when I click to log in to my school email, the screen I get is "We are logging you out of email"? Is that good design? I don't think so.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on September 15, 2020, 11:59:16 AM
Several VENTS COULD be submitted.
The recent one... I bought groceries on Saturday afternoon. I purchased 2 steaks that I was going to grill.  I looked for them in the fridge and could not find them.  THEN I found that I had not put the away and that they sat on the counter for a day and a half!  NO steak for dinner yesterday (or for lunch today either!!) 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on September 15, 2020, 12:04:14 PM
Kid #1 FINALLY has internet at her house.  I placed the order on August 4 and have spent 10+ hours on the phone/chat with the company in the interim.  I finally told them I'd be going to the state's Atty. General and the nearest t.v. stations if all wasn't completed by the end of today.

(That's what happens when you play H.D. Thoreau and rent a farmhouse in the middle of BFE, right past Resume Speed.)

Actually, I guess this should be on the inhaling thread.  The venting was in full swing last week.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 15, 2020, 12:39:59 PM
Several VENTS COULD be submitted.
The recent one... I bought groceries on Saturday afternoon. I purchased 2 steaks that I was going to grill.  I looked for them in the fridge and could not find them.  THEN I found that I had not put the away and that they sat on the counter for a day and a half!  NO steak for dinner yesterday (or for lunch today either!!)

I do hear your pain. I had some London broil beef I neglected to put away a couple weeks ago, with a similar, wrenching feeling of loss when I realized I'd just wasted a perfectly lovely dinner menu by negligence.

Howl.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: hmaria1609 on September 15, 2020, 06:25:08 PM
I hate Zoom!  Had an online training on Zoom earlier today--kept getting the runaround for logging in. Google Meet, Jitsi, and Microsoft Team give me less hassle.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on September 16, 2020, 07:23:07 AM
Several VENTS COULD be submitted.
The recent one... I bought groceries on Saturday afternoon. I purchased 2 steaks that I was going to grill.  I looked for them in the fridge and could not find them.  THEN I found that I had not put the away and that they sat on the counter for a day and a half!  NO steak for dinner yesterday (or for lunch today either!!)

An acquaintance once did that with about 12 pounds of ground turkey.  Didn't discover his mistake until a couple of days later, when he noticed several bulging plastic packets in the kitchen and then remembered what they were. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on September 21, 2020, 11:09:26 AM
The smoke's gone but I'm having bad allergies of some kind. Been sneezing violently all day, and the nose refuses to stop dripping. Should make for a fun synchronous help session in a few minutes.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on September 21, 2020, 12:21:35 PM
It's Monday.

Elder evil cat did not want to be out of the office while I was doing a Webex. He howled, banged on the door and started to open it. I had to jump out of my chair and secure the door before he came into the office.

Email is screwed up again. Students aren't talking on Webex. I'm frustrated, so I'm going outside to pull weeds.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on September 24, 2020, 08:06:56 AM
I have now discovered that the university, although it's purchased Zoom and WebEx licenses and all that jazz, does not have the facility to provide closed captioning for hearing-impaired students.

WTF?


I was ready to pay out-of-pocket for third-party software, but it turns out that I can't even set it up because it's got to go through whichever IT person is designated as the 'administrator'. So I have to type my own captions, or find a student who'll do it for a piddly honorarium from the accessibility office (in which case, I sort of doubt that they'll be of adequate quality). Grr.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ciao_yall on September 24, 2020, 08:22:48 AM
I have now discovered that the university, although it's purchased Zoom and WebEx licenses and all that jazz, does not have the facility to provide closed captioning for hearing-impaired students.

WTF?


I was ready to pay out-of-pocket for third-party software, but it turns out that I can't even set it up because it's got to go through whichever IT person is designated as the 'administrator'. So I have to type my own captions, or find a student who'll do it for a piddly honorarium from the accessibility office (in which case, I sort of doubt that they'll be of adequate quality). Grr.

DSPS services are federally mandated. And funded. Your institution will take care of this.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on September 24, 2020, 09:44:16 AM
I have now discovered that the university, although it's purchased Zoom and WebEx licenses and all that jazz, does not have the facility to provide closed captioning for hearing-impaired students.

WTF?


I was ready to pay out-of-pocket for third-party software, but it turns out that I can't even set it up because it's got to go through whichever IT person is designated as the 'administrator'. So I have to type my own captions, or find a student who'll do it for a piddly honorarium from the accessibility office (in which case, I sort of doubt that they'll be of adequate quality). Grr.

DSPS services are federally mandated. And funded. Your institution will take care of this.

I dunno whether they're federally mandated in Canada. What I do know is that the institutional response has been: the best we can do is have a student transcribe the captions for you.

I did find a volunteer this morning, except that Zoom wouldn't let me pass the captioning job onto them. Maybe they'd accessed from a phone or something. Sigh.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on September 24, 2020, 10:16:09 AM
We just have a regular basic Zoom professional account, and I've seen a tab at the bottom left of the main margin for "Closed Captioning" when I'm using it.

I'm trying to remember now if that's when the folk dance group is running its program, so maybe they have a different level of service, but they're a student run organization, so I doubt if they have a very high-falutin' version, either.

Are you sure it's not something you already have, but just have to find and turn on?

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on September 24, 2020, 10:46:59 AM
We just have a regular basic Zoom professional account, and I've seen a tab at the bottom left of the main margin for "Closed Captioning" when I'm using it.

I'm trying to remember now if that's when the folk dance group is running its program, so maybe they have a different level of service, but they're a student run organization, so I doubt if they have a very high-falutin' version, either.

Are you sure it's not something you already have, but just have to find and turn on?

M.

When you click the tab, you have the option of typing the captions yourself, designating a participant to type them, or using third-party software to caption it. Zoom doesn't actually offer captions itself.

That's what I've learned, at least. The same appears true for WebEx. You can kludge a workaround with Google LiveTranscribe, but it's inelegant and requires some juggling.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on September 30, 2020, 02:44:39 PM
JFC! Why do you reply-all to an invitation to a Zoom, saying you can't do it, when the invitation itself had an RSVP button in it? I guess it does reassure me that no matter how little effort I put in to teaching, my classes will be more organized than yours.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ergative on October 04, 2020, 05:19:48 AM
We just have a regular basic Zoom professional account, and I've seen a tab at the bottom left of the main margin for "Closed Captioning" when I'm using it.

I'm trying to remember now if that's when the folk dance group is running its program, so maybe they have a different level of service, but they're a student run organization, so I doubt if they have a very high-falutin' version, either.

Are you sure it's not something you already have, but just have to find and turn on?

M.

When you click the tab, you have the option of typing the captions yourself, designating a participant to type them, or using third-party software to caption it. Zoom doesn't actually offer captions itself.

That's what I've learned, at least. The same appears true for WebEx. You can kludge a workaround with Google LiveTranscribe, but it's inelegant and requires some juggling.

If you record the event to the cloud on Zoom, doesn't it automatically provide captioning? Or is that license-dependent? My university's license gives straightforward captioning once a recording has finished processing.

Uploading to Microsoft stream also provides captioning. My colleagues say that the Stream captioning tends to be more accurate, although I haven't noticed the difference much myself.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: OneMoreYear on October 04, 2020, 06:02:55 AM
We just have a regular basic Zoom professional account, and I've seen a tab at the bottom left of the main margin for "Closed Captioning" when I'm using it.

I'm trying to remember now if that's when the folk dance group is running its program, so maybe they have a different level of service, but they're a student run organization, so I doubt if they have a very high-falutin' version, either.

Are you sure it's not something you already have, but just have to find and turn on?

M.

When you click the tab, you have the option of typing the captions yourself, designating a participant to type them, or using third-party software to caption it. Zoom doesn't actually offer captions itself.

That's what I've learned, at least. The same appears true for WebEx. You can kludge a workaround with Google LiveTranscribe, but it's inelegant and requires some juggling.

If you record the event to the cloud on Zoom, doesn't it automatically provide captioning? Or is that license-dependent? My university's license gives straightforward captioning once a recording has finished processing.

Uploading to Microsoft stream also provides captioning. My colleagues say that the Stream captioning tends to be more accurate, although I haven't noticed the difference much myself.

On our University WebEx account, if you save to the cloud, you can choose to have the automatic transcripts included (It's in the recording preferences).   If you save the recording to your computer rather than the cloud, the transcripts do not appear (at least as far as I can figure it out so far).

Real-time captioning requires someone in the meeting to type them. The problem in WebEx is that the person typing the captions is sharing a document with the captions which covers other documents you might be sharing on the screen. We've not figured out a workaround to this so far. Anyone know how best to handle this?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Caracal on October 04, 2020, 06:54:09 AM
The University I teach at started their COVID screening tool ahead of a planned class return in August. We are required to fill it out every day. It's fairly ridiculous like most of these things. My favorite part is that the last question is "are you planning to come to campus today?" and after that you are told "you're cleared to come to campus!" Great, but I just told you...

Anyway, since then the planned return to campus was postponed and then watered down to the point where in practice a pretty small number of classes are actually meeting in person. Students could move in, but it is already about half commuter students and I think dorms are far from full.

So, we get a notice that there is now an exception form you can fill out so you don't have to do the form if you aren't going to be on campus this semester. Great, the form only takes 20 seconds to fill out, but I'm imaging some scenario where for some reason I don't look at my email for two days and come back to increasingly dire threats of what will happen to me if I don't fill out the form.

Except the exception only applies if you aren't coming to campus this semester and you live more than 30 miles away. I live 22 miles away. The justification for this is that the school has a "responsibility" to anyone close enough to campus to make sure they are connected with resources and testing, should they become ill. Obviously, this is just a made up reason. I don't really think there's anything nefarious behind this, its just a classic case of the way bureaucracies operate. I suspect they are mostly concerned about clusters among students who live together near the university off campus. Ok fine, but then why not just let people opt out if they can attest, that they won't be on campus and don't live with anyone who will be on campus.

I thought for a second about just saying I lived 30 miles away, but I do have to click some things saying I attest to all of this being true, and while it seems extremely unlikely anybody would ever check, it seems like good general policy to not lie on record to your employer. Anyway, sorry for this boring story, hopefully posting it here will relieve me of the need to bore my friends and family by ranting to them about it.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on October 05, 2020, 10:07:11 AM
We are now required to get a flu shot to be on campus.  That means that EVERYONE (even folks who haven't set foot on campus in months/are living abroad/etc.) has been sent a survey to verify our compliance.  It has 2 questions: Did you get a flu shot?  What date did you get your flu shot?
No asking for medical verification.  No asking if you're even in the same damn county as campus.
I think it's a test run for when/if there is a widely available COVID vaccine.  I'm certain it will be required.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: fishbrains on October 05, 2020, 02:58:30 PM
Today, I had to do the following:


It was awful.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Caracal on October 06, 2020, 06:15:41 AM
We are now required to get a flu shot to be on campus.  That means that EVERYONE (even folks who haven't set foot on campus in months/are living abroad/etc.) has been sent a survey to verify our compliance.  It has 2 questions: Did you get a flu shot?  What date did you get your flu shot?
No asking for medical verification.  No asking if you're even in the same damn county as campus.
I think it's a test run for when/if there is a widely available COVID vaccine.  I'm certain it will be required.

There's also an option for medical exemption for the small number of people who actually have conditions that don't allow them to get vaccines.  I don't have any problem with schools requiring flu vaccines and I won't have a problem with them requiring a Covid vaccine. (assuming it goes through the proper channels) I share your annoyance about it not mattering if you are going to be on campus. If I'm going to be on campus, my employer has a legitimate interest in my health and vaccinations. If I'm 20 miles away, I don't really want to tell them whether I have a runny nose or not.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on October 06, 2020, 10:13:35 AM
Today, I had to do the following:

  • Shower
  • Shave
  • Apply deoderant
  • Comb what's left of my hair
  • Wear long pants
  • Present myself as a functional adult through meaningful conversation

It was awful.

I am so, so sorry for you, fishbrains.  I hope you've recovered.  <<shudder>>

I have a Zoom meeting this afternoon with a summer PitA student and need to change into a less-ratty sweater.  I've been putting it off all morning.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on October 06, 2020, 10:18:04 AM
Could you maybe knit something up quickly? (Interthreaduality...oh, sorry, bad...)

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on October 06, 2020, 12:24:58 PM
We are now required to get a flu shot to be on campus.  That means that EVERYONE (even folks who haven't set foot on campus in months/are living abroad/etc.) has been sent a survey to verify our compliance.  It has 2 questions: Did you get a flu shot?  What date did you get your flu shot?
No asking for medical verification.  No asking if you're even in the same damn county as campus.
I think it's a test run for when/if there is a widely available COVID vaccine.  I'm certain it will be required.

There's also an option for medical exemption for the small number of people who actually have conditions that don't allow them to get vaccines.  I don't have any problem with schools requiring flu vaccines and I won't have a problem with them requiring a Covid vaccine. (assuming it goes through the proper channels) I share your annoyance about it not mattering if you are going to be on campus. If I'm going to be on campus, my employer has a legitimate interest in my health and vaccinations. If I'm 20 miles away, I don't really want to tell them whether I have a runny nose or not.

The medical exemption is helpful for the handful of folks who can't get vaccinated at the moment. 
I also noticed that there is no deadline for the compliance.  I get it, the flu vaccine just came out, folks are busy, etc.  I'll have to ask my students if they are getting the same emails even though all of their classes are remote and very few are living on campus.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on October 06, 2020, 03:23:58 PM
Early voting will happen on my campus soon.  That is ok.  BUT the NMBY is kicking in for me because it is scheduled for the building I WORK IN!! 
The room that they are going to use is not all that big, which means that the lines will be into the main entrance and probably down the hall. 
My fear is that there will be too many people breathing my air and sending contamination into the air circulation system! 

(Maybe I should be on the Hypochondriacs thread). 

Im going to try to limit my time on campus until after Early Voting. 

I dont know why they would not use the Ball Rooms in the University Center!  They can make those rooms  (by opening the dividers) bigger than my house!!  Plenty of room to keep distant, and best of all NOT IN MY BACK YARD/Building!!  Better, there is closer parking right outside of that building! 

Who is in charge of this??
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on October 06, 2020, 05:16:56 PM
Unrelated.

Why, dear students (2 so far), did you decide to not use the provided file for the lab report? Instead you wrote it up on a piece of notebook paper, out of order, I might add. So, while I grade my 60 lab reports a week, I have to take extra time grading yours. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on October 06, 2020, 06:14:51 PM
Quote
Unrelated.

Why, dear students (2 so far), did you decide to not use the provided file for the lab report? Instead you wrote it up on a piece of notebook paper, out of order, I might add. So, while I grade my 60 lab reports a week, I have to take extra time grading yours.

I grade on a 'meter'. The more time it takes me to find the answer, the more points come off the grade.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on October 07, 2020, 07:49:41 AM
I gave in to a bullying student yesterday.  He earned the D for his summer class, but he wore me down with BS nitpicking in the opening stage of the appeal process. The clincher was his excuse that he spent much of the time when he didn't turn in work because he was getting COVID tested. First I've heard of it. (And it takes 2 weeks to go in to have your nosed swabbed?  Who knew?)  He also helpfully added that he lost his paperwork from the testing (of course he did), but his aunt and uncle are standing ready to file suit on the grounds of his COVID experience if I don't accept his BS excuses.  Student's last name is the same as one of the biggest shyster, "please, I don't want any publicity" while looking at the t.v. camera, lawyers in town.

Old Me would have said, "Bring it on, asshole."  2020 Me said to myself, "Screw it.  We've wasted enough time and energy on this without having to deal with a lawsuit on top of it."  Old Me is angry with 2020 Me, but we'll all get over it.  I'm already exhausted from the year in general.  So I'll do the grade change to a C and hope he chokes on it and move on.

(2020 Me is also far less charitable in my thoughts toward PitA's than Old Me was. )
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ergative on October 08, 2020, 04:02:09 AM
I gave in to a bullying student yesterday.  He earned the D for his summer class, but he wore me down with BS nitpicking in the opening stage of the appeal process. The clincher was his excuse that he spent much of the time when he didn't turn in work because he was getting COVID tested. First I've heard of it. (And it takes 2 weeks to go in to have your nosed swabbed?  Who knew?)  He also helpfully added that he lost his paperwork from the testing (of course he did), but his aunt and uncle are standing ready to file suit on the grounds of his COVID experience if I don't accept his BS excuses.  Student's last name is the same as one of the biggest shyster, "please, I don't want any publicity" while looking at the t.v. camera, lawyers in town.

Old Me would have said, "Bring it on, asshole."  2020 Me said to myself, "Screw it.  We've wasted enough time and energy on this without having to deal with a lawsuit on top of it."  Old Me is angry with 2020 Me, but we'll all get over it.  I'm already exhausted from the year in general.  So I'll do the grade change to a C and hope he chokes on it and move on.

(2020 Me is also far less charitable in my thoughts toward PitA's than Old Me was. )

I don't love the word 'shyster', but I've very sympathetic to everything else you describe. I salute the determination of Old You, and I support New You's limited concession towards the current exigencies of the world.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on October 09, 2020, 01:55:12 PM
Hey IT!  Knock it off with the nagware!

You assigned us training.  It is Due NOVEMBER 1st.  I don't expect to be nagged about not doing it until November 2nd.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on October 09, 2020, 06:25:05 PM
Stop nagging me to open shared files, Office 365! I got the email that X shared a file with me. I filed the email. If I’d wanted a reminder, I’d have set one myself.

The new automatic productivity reminder emails are creepy. Makes me feel like someone’s spying on me to be sure I’m not wasting 10 seconds.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on October 14, 2020, 06:47:45 AM
If Safe Assign is taking more than 12 hours to process student work, then it is basically non-functional.

Do I want to contact the Help Desk to get help? No I don't. I will just give the students the benefit of the doubt.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on October 14, 2020, 08:55:31 AM
I hate using Blackboard as much as the rest of folks, but I'm making it work.

Why are you telling us NOW that you've bought Canvas and that everyone has to "transition" their courses over for next year?!

And why are there no answers to easy questions like, "Can material be automatically transferred from Blackboard to Canvas?" or "When will I be able to access my Canvas sites for next year?" or "Who do I contact for help?"
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on October 14, 2020, 09:20:43 AM
Next Year?!  As in, the Spring Semester 2021?

Madness.  Madness I tell you.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on October 14, 2020, 11:16:12 AM
Quote
Next Year?!  As in, the Spring Semester 2021?

Madness.  Madness I tell you.

I agree!  It's like religion. You dont convert over night!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: San Joaquin on October 14, 2020, 12:08:03 PM
Humans.  I sent you THREE invitations with a live link into this event.  I have copies.  I cannot read your email for you.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on October 14, 2020, 02:10:37 PM
Quote
Next Year?!  As in, the Spring Semester 2021?

Madness.  Madness I tell you.

I agree!  It's like religion. You dont convert over night!

There has been a LOT of pushback.  I'm guessing the University will "extend the deadline".
I think they just don't want to pay for both Blackboard and Canvas at the same time.  And they are paying for a really old version of Blackboard.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on October 14, 2020, 03:31:54 PM
Quote
Next Year?!  As in, the Spring Semester 2021?

Madness.  Madness I tell you.

I agree!  It's like religion. You dont convert over night!

There has been a LOT of pushback.  I'm guessing the University will "extend the deadline".
I think they just don't want to pay for both Blackboard and Canvas at the same time.  And they are paying for a really old version of Blackboard.

So at a time when the online component of courses is the main part of the course, they are planning to change from Blackboard to Canvas with an overlap between the two of about a month? With unclear IT support?

Do they have a deathwish?

One of my places is doing this with an overlap of a year, and it still isn't going particularly smoothly.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: science.expat on October 14, 2020, 11:34:37 PM
Quote
Next Year?!  As in, the Spring Semester 2021?

Madness.  Madness I tell you.

I agree!  It's like religion. You dont convert over night!

There has been a LOT of pushback.  I'm guessing the University will "extend the deadline".
I think they just don't want to pay for both Blackboard and Canvas at the same time.  And they are paying for a really old version of Blackboard.

So at a time when the online component of courses is the main part of the course, they are planning to change from Blackboard to Canvas with an overlap between the two of about a month? With unclear IT support?

Do they have a deathwish?

One of my places is doing this with an overlap of a year, and it still isn't going particularly smoothly.

We did it over a year but with a LOT of support from T&L and IT and it worked fairly well.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on October 17, 2020, 08:13:16 AM
We have now had our annual statewide professional association conference.  A VIRTUAL conference, which means two days of sitting in the office at work attending Zoom sessions and such.  It was awful.  Interaction with the speakers at Q&A time was very awkward, there were the technical glitches, no opportunity to talk shop and network in between sessions, etc.  Instead of a welcome break in the routine, the "conference" was more of an annoying distraction from it.  I feel so sorry for teachers and students alike who have been reduced to doing this sort of thing all the time.

The prize winner of all the sessions was the big business meeting.  One officer was Zooming from a guest room with a stuffed deer head looming over her shoulder the whole time, and a toddler niece out in the hall screeching now and then.  Another was in her car driving down the road (So THAT'S why they call it a "Zoom" session!).  We heard a third's dog barking while she was giving a report, and a fourth had a cat walk directly between her and her camera at one point.  It was rather entertaining as business meetings go.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: arcturus on October 18, 2020, 06:28:23 PM
<unrelated>

I am grading a scaffolding assignment for the final class project in a large enrollment general education science course.  It is very clear that most students have done nothing so far on the project and their entries range from vague to down-right incomprehensible.

What I'd like to do: require the following verbal statement before students can access the course shell. Repeat after me: "The professor cannot care more about my education than I do. From now on, I will do the (very simple) work associated with this class. I understand that my education is my responsibility, and that the professor cannot care more about my education than I do."

What I am actually doing: writing comments to each student repeating the parameters of the final project and suggesting that they submit (via email) revised project descriptions to verify that their project will meet the minimum expectations for this major component of their course grade. Sadly, this will require even more time on my part, since I will have to read these revised descriptions and reply. If only they had done the work when it was required.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: paultuttle on October 19, 2020, 05:59:39 AM
I am tired of my seasonal allergies. I am ready for them to stop.

That is all.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on October 19, 2020, 04:11:01 PM
Sure, you can telecommute. After all, just 90% of your job is supply and equipment receipt, inventory, and distribution. You can telecommute as soon as you find a new job working for someone else doing something else. I’d rather have a vacant frozen position than have to deal with you whining about being expected to do your job.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ergative on October 20, 2020, 08:01:51 AM
I convene a large, team-taught undergraduate intro class. One of the lecturers, in particular, has been ignoring the documents and guidance I send out, and it came back to cause problems with a review activity. Students got confused, she apologized for the confusion to them, with lots of 'I don't know how this happened', and I had to do a lot of smoothing and 'oh, so sorry for the miscommunication'ing. Except there wasn't a miscommunication. I was crystal-clear about what I needed her to do for that review activity back in August. But for the sake of smoothness I pretended it was my fault and sent out a clarification to everyone.

Now I've goofed on something relatively minor, and she's acting as if it's evidence of more ineptitude on my part. It's really not. It's evidence of some ineptitude on my part, but the earlier evidence was me covering for her own ineptitude.

I'm so desperately frustrated by this whole task. It's a massive class, it has to be taught online for the first time, the students are all brand new to university, and I have to make all the moving parts work smoothly. There's friction. I knew there would be friction. I'm working so, so hard to minimize it, and I could really, really do with someone who works with me, rather than responding with unhelpful answers full of 'Oh, how I wish you'd told me this sooner'.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on October 20, 2020, 08:09:56 AM
Maybe book an appointment with her now, to go over the ways *she* fell down at the posts, not you--for meeting later, after it's all over, so it's more in the guise of a standard evaluation session?

Then plan every single sentence you want to say before then, thus focusing your sense of frustration on something--clear, uncompromising communication--about the issues and what you expect to be done about them in future. Keep a file and visit as needed.

Even if you don't do online teaching and learning to the same degree in future, she doesn't get a pass from ignoring instructions and then blaming her errors on the convener.

That's grade-13 behavior, you know?

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on October 20, 2020, 04:40:16 PM
I convene a large, team-taught undergraduate intro class. One of the lecturers, in particular, has been ignoring the documents and guidance I send out, and it came back to cause problems with a review activity.

I'm working so, so hard to minimize it, and I could really, really do with someone who works with me, rather than responding with unhelpful answers full of 'Oh, how I wish you'd told me this sooner'.

I’m sorry you’re dealing with unprofessional behavior.

Have you considered emailing information with a delivery receipt and read receipt required? Some people pay more attention if they see that sender has requested receipt. If you don’t get receipts, you send ONE polite reminder that you need everyone to read class emails to ensure students get information needed to be successful. If that doesn’t help, you now have documentation that you’re being ignored so when lecturer tries to say it’s all your fault, you have backup either that person received email but didn’t follow instructions or that person isn’t reading work email.

If you meet with person as mamselle suggests, I suggest having a follow up email drafted before you meet. Write out what you plan to say. After you meet, edit as needed before sending. My template is, “Thank you for meeting with me to discuss ISSUE. As we discussed, I expect you to DO WHAT by WHEN. Please let me know immediately if you need further explanation. Thank you for your cooperation in [helping our students succeed, complete this project, whatever].” Drafting the email in advance helps you plan conversation and makes documenting your conversation simple.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on October 20, 2020, 06:49:57 PM
^Ooh, good idea.

Like.

I'm thinking of a couple situations in which I'd find that useful elsewhere.

Thanks.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on October 21, 2020, 03:40:15 AM
Unrelated double post.

I need my head examined.

I've just agreed to a Zoom dinner meet-up with my Michigan-based siblings on the night before the elections.

We don't see eye-to-eye on certain political issues and personalities, and they're not reticent about their views.

I can usually avoid bloodshed by biting my tongue, but it's hard to chew ones food that way.

Pondering a re-book, but they're saying they will be having blizzards soon and one has to drive to the other's home to use the wifi to be online.

I'm a dummy.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on October 21, 2020, 07:12:41 AM
Mamselle, darn the luck--isn't it just too bad that [your internet went down, Zoom crashed, your electricity got knocked out when someone hit a power pole] just at that exact time?  And it didn't get restored until the next morning!  Ah, well, stufff happens......

(NOT that I might ever have used such an excuse myself, you understand.  Well, not more than once or twice so far this year.)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on October 21, 2020, 07:13:34 AM
Don't tempt me.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on October 21, 2020, 08:17:21 AM
Unrelated double post.

I need my head examined.

I've just agreed to a Zoom dinner meet-up with my Michigan-based siblings on the night before the elections.

We don't see eye-to-eye on certain political issues and personalities, and they're not reticent about their views.

I can usually avoid bloodshed by biting my tongue, but it's hard to chew ones food that way.

Pondering a re-book, but they're saying they will be having blizzards soon and one has to drive to the other's home to use the wifi to be online.

I'm a dummy.

M.

Could you all agree to have a politics-free discussion?  Seems reasonable.  You could say there's been politics overload and it would be refreshing and nice to catch up on other things -- books read, tv shows enjoyed, neighbor updates,  new recipes and foods enjoyed, and so on.
So sad when politics damage family interactions.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on October 21, 2020, 10:28:09 AM
I have family members that are so certain that "herd immunity" will mean the pandemic will end very soon.  Like by January soon.  Because "lots of folks" have already had it.
Current cases: 8.2 million
Current deaths: 221,000

If you think that's bad, let's look at what it would take to get herd immunity without a vaccine:

The best-estimate threshold for herd immunity is 70% Immune.  That means that 70% of folks have been sick.  With a current mortality rate of 1% and the US population at about 315 million people, so-called natural "herd immunity" from infections will mean:

222 million MORE cases of COVID-19
1.75 million MORE deaths

And it doesn't include the # of hospitalizations, the number of folks who have long-term damage from the disease, etc.
And that's just in the US.  This is a global disease.  It's only the beginning.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on October 21, 2020, 11:12:01 AM
Unrelated double post.

I need my head examined.

I've just agreed to a Zoom dinner meet-up with my Michigan-based siblings on the night before the elections.

We don't see eye-to-eye on certain political issues and personalities, and they're not reticent about their views.

I can usually avoid bloodshed by biting my tongue, but it's hard to chew ones food that way.

Pondering a re-book, but they're saying they will be having blizzards soon and one has to drive to the other's home to use the wifi to be online.

I'm a dummy.

M.

Could you all agree to have a politics-free discussion?  Seems reasonable.  You could say there's been politics overload and it would be refreshing and nice to catch up on other things -- books read, tv shows enjoyed, neighbor updates,  new recipes and foods enjoyed, and so on.
So sad when politics damage family interactions.

Even broaching the question of a politics-free discussion could open the outer can of worms in which the inner can of worms is hiding....and creamed angleworms on toast was not what I had in mind for my dinner menu that night....

I may be able to ask my brother separately--he's a bit less rabid about things--but my sister would have probably put their governor on the raft and rowed her out to the middle of the lake herself.....so, I dunno.

But thanks for the vote of confidence in quiet, non-political conversations.

'Tis devoutly to be wished.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on October 21, 2020, 05:35:09 PM
Unrelated double post.

I need my head examined.

I've just agreed to a Zoom dinner meet-up with my Michigan-based siblings on the night before the elections.

We don't see eye-to-eye on certain political issues and personalities, and they're not reticent about their views.

I can usually avoid bloodshed by biting my tongue, but it's hard to chew ones food that way.

Pondering a re-book, but they're saying they will be having blizzards soon and one has to drive to the other's home to use the wifi to be online.

I'm a dummy.

M.

Could you all agree to have a politics-free discussion?  Seems reasonable.  You could say there's been politics overload and it would be refreshing and nice to catch up on other things -- books read, tv shows enjoyed, neighbor updates,  new recipes and foods enjoyed, and so on.
So sad when politics damage family interactions.

Even broaching the question of a politics-free discussion could open the outer can of worms in which the inner can of worms is hiding....and creamed angleworms on toast was not what I had in mind for my dinner menu that night....

I may be able to ask my brother separately--he's a bit less rabid about things--but my sister would have probably put their governor on the raft and rowed her out to the middle of the lake herself.....so, I dunno.

But thanks for the vote of confidence in quiet, non-political conversations.

'Tis devoutly to be wished.

M.

I have a list of questions to ask at events involving certain family members. I’d much rather get a ten minute update on Aunt Zoni’s pet chickens, Uncle Bob’s bursitis, and cousin Joan’s quilting club than hear political rants. Questions about deceased relatives work well, too, especially when they died before I was born.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ergative on October 27, 2020, 01:30:37 AM
We have a new laundry detergent (for Reasons which are boring), and the new bar of soap in the bathroom has a scent I don't care for, and now it smells like I'm living in someone else's house and wearing someone else's clothes.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on October 27, 2020, 03:00:56 AM
... now it smells like I'm living in someone else's house and wearing someone else's clothes.

So, a welcome change from Covid doldrums?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: San Joaquin on October 27, 2020, 12:16:24 PM
somewhere, a sociologist pricks up their ears...
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on October 27, 2020, 12:37:14 PM
Unrelated to the above (however fascinating.....let us know when the book comes out...)...

I can't wait to be done with this bunch of sweet, overripe, pungent bananas.

Soon it truly will be "not my circus, not my monkeys..."

Replacing it as a job will be a different issue, but all the same stuff is starting up all over again, and 5 years is enough.

Had to say that to someone...!!!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on October 27, 2020, 03:06:38 PM
Dammit.

Last Tuesday, I was stopped on the (major) road in front of my house, waiting to turn left into my driveway.  One, two, three, Four, Five cars pass on my right.  Then BAM, we get rear ended.

Smolt and I were uninjured.

Today, I learned that my car was totaled (I had it for just over a year).

Now I have to go through the car search process, again.  Grrr.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on October 27, 2020, 03:57:52 PM
Very sorry about your car and the pain of looking for another one so soon.

Very, very glad you and Smolt were uninjured.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on October 27, 2020, 05:51:47 PM
Dammit.

Last Tuesday, I was stopped on the (major) road in front of my house, waiting to turn left into my driveway.  One, two, three, Four, Five cars pass on my right.  Then BAM, we get rear ended.

Smolt and I were uninjured.

Today, I learned that my car was totaled (I had it for just over a year).

Now I have to go through the car search process, again.  Grrr.

Sorry to hear about the rear ending. Glad to hear that there were no injuries. Must be a hassle to look for a new car, especially during the pandemic, because of safe-distancing protocols.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Economizer on October 28, 2020, 01:40:54 PM
Couple of political things:

1. TV political ad explicitly stating that if DT is re elected our  social security program will be broke by 2022 or 2023.

2. Required pre vote questionaire which inquired as to what party one is aligned with or whether one is independent. I never want to reveal that much, as it would, figuritively, tie  me to beingas a specific party supporter.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Economizer on October 28, 2020, 01:43:55 PM
Couple of political things:

1. TV political ad explicitly stating that if DT is re elected our  social security program will be broke by 2022 or 2023.

2. Required pre vote questionaire which inquired as to what party one is aligned with or whether one is independent. I never want to reveal that much, as it would, figuritively, tie  me to being a specific party supporter.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: OneMoreYear on October 31, 2020, 12:18:27 PM
Very minor vent compared to what is going on around us. I screwed up parts of an assignment and the rubric. Thus, what should have been a 90 minute grading process will now take at least 4 hours. Just crap.  I'm behind on grading as it is, and this will not help. I am correcting the problem by making certain parts of the assignment as bonus credit. At least the students will be happy.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: San Joaquin on October 31, 2020, 07:42:00 PM
A vent at myself:  what on earth made you think that you could squeeze three days of virtual conference in between two major accreditation reviews without also scheduling some down time?  Balance....
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on November 01, 2020, 05:07:19 AM
I drove 2 hours through a GPS mapped hell-route to check out a replacement car.  That was already sold.  FOR DAYS before the salesman contacted me.

I am so angry I am calm.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on November 01, 2020, 08:13:30 AM
I drove 2 hours through a GPS mapped hell-route to check out a replacement car.  That was already sold.  FOR DAYS before the salesman contacted me.

I am so angry I am calm.

Argh I can only imagine.  So sorry to hear about the accident (though glad you and Smolt are okay), and then to have to deal with this BS?! No, sir. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on November 01, 2020, 08:35:45 AM
To add insult to injury, a suitable car was posted last night about a mile form the failed search location.  But I am not driving back down there again.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on November 01, 2020, 01:31:57 PM
To add insult to injury, a suitable car was posted last night about a mile form the failed search location.  But I am not driving back down there again.

I'm sorry you're having a hell of a time getting a car, FP.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on November 01, 2020, 01:33:19 PM
I pulled something in my back, or pinched a nerve, or have a cyst, but whatever the hell it is- it !@#$%$$%#$@ing hurts like a @#$@#$.

I thought this weekend would be productive, but it seems like I'm slogging through mud in a hurricane-force gale.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on November 01, 2020, 03:57:10 PM
OOOouuuuccchhhh!!!!!

Sorry to hear that. No fun at all.

I've only had it happen twice, but it's indeed debilitating and memorable.

I hope you find the best solution for yourself soon....there can be so many different causes and resolutions.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on November 01, 2020, 08:15:21 PM
OOOouuuuccchhhh!!!!!

Sorry to hear that. No fun at all.

I've only had it happen twice, but it's indeed debilitating and memorable.

I hope you find the best solution for yourself soon....there can be so many different causes and resolutions.

M.
Thanks Mamselle. It's slowly getting better. <3.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ergative on November 02, 2020, 01:43:22 AM
Zoom family 'baby sprinkle', to celebrate birth of new cousin. There were multiple small children and all anyone wanted to do was try to try to talk to them. The kids were 2-3, barely verbal, and there were connection problems, and so I got to spend 30 minutes listening to my parents and aunts and uncles begging the children to comment on whether the new baby sibling pooped a lot, and similar scintillating topics of conversation. It was especially excruciating because of the zoom format, where only one person can talk at one. In a proper family gathering I can step back and start chatting with someone else about something more interesting, like Star Trek. (I fully recognize that many people would prefer to hear toddlers lisping about poop than me talking about Star Trek.)

About thirty minutes in when even the proud grandparents started flagging in their efforts to elicit responses from the grandkids, I asked what people had been reading recently. Then just as that was taking off we hit the 40 minute limit.

The host sent around by email a new link to continue the conversation. I did not click it.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on November 02, 2020, 03:57:56 AM
I fully recognize that many people would prefer to hear toddlers lisping about poop than me talking about Star Trek.

Distinction without a difference.

(Ducks.  Runs.)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on November 02, 2020, 07:27:42 AM
Zoom family 'baby sprinkle', to celebrate birth of new cousin. There were multiple small children and all anyone wanted to do was try to try to talk to them. The kids were 2-3, barely verbal, and there were connection problems, and so I got to spend 30 minutes listening to my parents and aunts and uncles begging the children to comment on whether the new baby sibling pooped a lot, and similar scintillating topics of conversation. It was especially excruciating because of the zoom format, where only one person can talk at one. In a proper family gathering I can step back and start chatting with someone else about something more interesting, like Star Trek. (I fully recognize that many people would prefer to hear toddlers lisping about poop than me talking about Star Trek.)

About thirty minutes in when even the proud grandparents started flagging in their efforts to elicit responses from the grandkids, I asked what people had been reading recently. Then just as that was taking off we hit the 40 minute limit.

The host sent around by email a new link to continue the conversation. I did not click it.

Too bad no-one thought to set up Breakout rooms.

You could have gone there for your Star Trek chat and given the lisping kids a miss all the way around.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: RatGuy on November 02, 2020, 08:37:12 AM
I can't find my leather bomber jacket. You know, the one that my wife bought me for our anniversary a few years ago. The one that I haven't worn since before the quarantine started. If I can't find it soon then I might simply throw up from sadness and guilt over losing it.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on November 02, 2020, 08:42:53 AM
I can't find my leather bomber jacket. You know, the one that my wife bought me for our anniversary a few years ago. The one that I haven't worn since before the quarantine started. If I can't find it soon then I might simply throw up from sadness and guilt over losing it.

My mom realized the other day that she hadn't seen her watch since early in the spring (she has had that watch for, I think, as long as I've been alive) since she doesn't really go out anymore.  But sure enough, she moved something while taking care of other tasks, and there it was.  I wish the same for you, thought it might be a little harder for the jacket to be hiding under something.  Sending jacket-finding vibes!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on November 02, 2020, 11:06:34 AM
My car has been in the shop for over a week now. The rental didn't work out because the company no longer picks up or drops off their customers. According to the shop and the insurance website, the car should be ready tomorrow. I'm now waiting for the shop to let me know what time I can pick up the car.  Then I'll have to find a kind neighbor to drive me to the shop late afternoon on Election day. I am not getting into an Uber or a cab, not in my neck of the woods. I'm not sure if the neighbors would want to drive late afternoon tomorrow. On the bright side, the polling place is walking distance, unlike the location for early voting.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: science.expat on November 02, 2020, 09:41:13 PM
I can't find my leather bomber jacket. You know, the one that my wife bought me for our anniversary a few years ago. The one that I haven't worn since before the quarantine started. If I can't find it soon then I might simply throw up from sadness and guilt over losing it.

My mom realized the other day that she hadn't seen her watch since early in the spring (she has had that watch for, I think, as long as I've been alive) since she doesn't really go out anymore.  But sure enough, she moved something while taking care of other tasks, and there it was.  I wish the same for you, thought it might be a little harder for the jacket to be hiding under something.  Sending jacket-finding vibes!

I’ve had a pair of shorts and good t’shirt go similarly missing. I hope I find them soon...
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on November 02, 2020, 11:02:35 PM

Quote
I can't find my leather bomber jacket.

Quote
I’ve had a pair of shorts and good t’shirt go similarly missing. I hope I find them soon...

We must be nearing The End of Days... The Vortex is widening!  It used to just suck up socks, but now shorts, shirts, and a bomber jacket!!

The Horsemen of the Apocalypse Will look cool in bomber jackets!!   
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on November 03, 2020, 06:30:46 AM
I'm missing a favorite sweater. Rather uncool for the horsemen of the apocalypse.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on November 03, 2020, 06:45:26 AM
Why do some people INSIST on being hostile and aggressive?  From the get-go in any conversation.  NOBODY likes YOU!  Not because you are right, or harder working, or smarter - or any other BS you tell yourself.  Because you are MEAN.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on November 03, 2020, 06:54:20 AM
Why do some people INSIST on being hostile and aggressive?  From the get-go in any conversation.  NOBODY likes YOU!  Not because you are right, or harder working, or smarter - or any other BS you tell yourself.  Because you are MEAN.

Sad to say, I know of folks to whom that applies as well.

Entering into that dynamic with any correctives is so hard because the outer shell of denial prevents healing from happening.

The choice to be mean can be unlearned, but there is a substructure beneath it that must be ventilated and softened.

And the individuals themselves are usually unhappy and may not ever understand that it's the result of their own choices.

I'm sorry you're having to deal with that kind of a situation.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: joeroberts on November 03, 2020, 07:38:18 AM
Is here a good place to just dump that I'm in a funk? Or should I do that elsewhere? Just looking for some friends, I think. And some chit-chat.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on November 03, 2020, 08:07:32 AM
You are welcome to vent here!

There is also a quiet room for peaceful rest:

      https://thefora.org/index.php?topic=1878.0

And there are some ranting threads, some topic-specific threads, and some veering-off-the-topic-at-every-turn threads.

We have a very textured, thread-rich environment here...

Glad you can be a part of it.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Puget on November 03, 2020, 09:46:21 AM

Quote
I can't find my leather bomber jacket.

Quote
I’ve had a pair of shorts and good t’shirt go similarly missing. I hope I find them soon...

We must be nearing The End of Days... The Vortex is widening!  It used to just suck up socks, but now shorts, shirts, and a bomber jacket!!

The Horsemen of the Apocalypse Will look cool in bomber jackets!!

Today might be a good day for binge watching the excellent adaptation of Good Omens (on Prime video).
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on November 03, 2020, 09:48:55 AM

Quote
I can't find my leather bomber jacket.

Quote
I’ve had a pair of shorts and good t’shirt go similarly missing. I hope I find them soon...

We must be nearing The End of Days... The Vortex is widening!  It used to just suck up socks, but now shorts, shirts, and a bomber jacket!!

The Horsemen of the Apocalypse Will look cool in bomber jackets!!

Today might be a good day for binge watching the excellent adaptation of Good Omens (on Prime video).

That was a great show! Loved it.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AvidReader on November 12, 2020, 03:12:48 PM
To add to my other numerous life frustrations (interthreaduality: the wall), tomorrow is my school's deadline for choosing 2021 health care. Given my "renewable" but one-year contract, spouse and I have been weighing the merits of various plans since open enrollment opened, and are planning to make a decision after spouse arrives home tonight (the last chance).

Benefits emailed to let me know the deadline when the open enrollment opened, then emailed me twice a week to remind me of this week's deadline for the entire month of October.

In November, the emails picked up pace, and yesterday they even phoned our mobile telephone to make sure I was aware of the deadline. They did not, ironically, call my office telephone.

The deadline has not passed. I have not missed the deadline. Yet, every workday in November, I have received a reminder email about a deadline OF WHICH I AM ALREADY AWARE. To reiterate: the deadline has not passed, and I have not missed the deadline. It has not changed, despite the numerous updates. The deadline is clear.

This morning, or last night, after posting on the "wall" thread, I finally emailed the Benefits office to acknowledge that I knew the deadline and was planning to meet it.

They finally emailed back:

"Dear M[x  Reader]*
I am sorry for the inconvenience . . ." [and then the rest is visibly--i.e. with a faint grey background--copied and pasted from a template explaining that the email is sent daily to anyone who has not yet submitted the required paperwork]."

*I am not Mr. or Mrs., but Dr.

Why is it necessary to send me DAILY reminders about a deadline that has not yet passed? Anyone who is ignoring these obsessive emails is going to ignore them after the deadline passes also.

AR
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: arcturus on November 12, 2020, 03:30:52 PM
Dear Professor Dr. AR - While I understand the annoyance of multiple emails, I was one who almost missed the deadline for re-enrollment at my institution. I knew it was usually due around mid-November. I saw the various emails as they came through, but I did not actually look at the exact date (in part because I was assuming they would send the normal printed book that highlighted the various plans). It was not until the email header said "open enrollment ends tomorrow" that I realized that "mid-November" was "early-November" this year, and that I would not be getting the printed document I was waiting for. So, while it sounds like your HR department has gone overboard, it may actually be required for some of your colleagues. Please be patient with us.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on November 12, 2020, 05:25:05 PM
Asked a doc at the student health center about, swollen and painful lumps on parts of my tongue.

Doctor: “Lumps on your tongue? *guffaws* You mean tastebuds?!? Tastebuds are perfectly normal; everybody has them!”

*sigh*

First of all, did he not just hear me say the lumps were painful? Is that really normal for tastebuds? Have I just been enormously lucky until recently to have escaped this ever-present bane of the human condition?

Second, does he honestly think I went my entire life unaware of the existence of tastebuds?

Third, this has been an off-and-on problem so I had the opportunity to take pics of my tongue in its normal state to compare with its swollen-lump state. Those tastebuds are clearly larger than normal.

Dismissive doctors can be frustrating. Condescending doctors who literally laugh in your face can be outright infuriating.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on November 12, 2020, 05:40:42 PM
I get those very occasionally, usually just one or at most two at a time; it's like a whitehead that really does hurt. I also agree about dismissive doctors, especially those in school-related healthcare centers.

I explained to one that when I used to get bronchitis (because I had an unidentified latent tooth abcess that didn't hurt but was a regular little storehouse of germs), I needed, not amoxycilin, which never did a thing for me, but eurythromycin, which usually worked in 2 days.

Smile, laugh, nod, and--a script for amoxy. "We know better now, you don't need eurythro, this will do just fine." (turns out amoxy is less expensive...ahem).

A week later, after a couple of nights when I literally thought I might die, I was coughing so hard and couldn't get my breath (because it had by then started approaching pneumonia, I'm pretty sure)....I went back, saw a different MD, and got the script I needed.

"Oh, yeah, he's new, thinks he knows it all; I remember, you need eurythro, here's a script, sorry you had that problem."

The MDs in the uni health services and the docs-in-a-box can often be good but there should be a lemon law about the ones who are really not.

I found that a bit of baking soda toothpaste helped with the swollen taste bud-like thingys. It seemed like vinegar or some sour food might have caused it, so I reasoned that a basic like baking soda might oppose the acid, and it seemed to work.

I'd put a little bit on the sore spot, rinse, put some more on, etc.

I don't get them anymore, but that might be because I can't eat many acidic foods anymore, either. (Anchovies....sigh...)

Hope you find a workable solution. (Oh, sorry, no pun intended!!)

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AvidReader on November 12, 2020, 06:06:04 PM
So, while it sounds like your HR department has gone overboard, it may actually be required for some of your colleagues. Please be patient with us.

Arcturus, I am glad you made the deadline. I feel hugely better having vented, and this would not normally annoy me. In my defense, though, our email headers have all, including today (last day to the deadline), said things like "Reminder: Choose Health Insurance." A countdown, or "Ends tomorrow," would make much better sense.

On a related note, where has November gone? Oof.

AR.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on November 15, 2020, 06:13:56 PM
Feeling close to physical collapse; not getting the meds I need makes problem-solving the dilemma of not getting the meds I need ridiculously difficult.

Pharmacist shrugs his shoulders saying doctor never sent in the prescription. Doctor shrugs his shoulders saying he did submit it (and can verify through the online system that he did). I have been ping-ponging back and forth verifying addresses and phone numbers on file are correct; extracting promises from each side to contact the other.

Pharmacist said he could not give me emergency doses to carry me through until the communications issue is resolved. Also could not give me any advice on what I might expect from suddenly not having a medication I've been taking daily for quite a while now. (Me: "There's really no info available on potential effects of sudden withdrawal?" Pharmacist: "I don't know. Tell your doctor to get the prescription order in.")

I may have to be physically in front of pharmacist next time I zoom with the doctor so they can communicate with each other in real time.

I understand healthcare professionals are often overburdened at the best of times, so running into snags is especially to be expected during a pandemic. But it's so demoralizing to be met with the "This isn't my problem" attitude at every turn when I'm feeling so sick and exhausted.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on November 15, 2020, 06:44:56 PM
I hear you.

I think I've already posted somewhere about the human shuttlecock I became when (yet another) Student Health doc wrote the wrong order for a chest x-ray (I'd broken a rib sneezing while bending down...don't ask...).

 I had to go six blocks back and forth three times in the snow and ice one January day because the rad tech refused to center the cone over the place I was pointing to ---i.e., the place that hurt!--because in radiology lingo "chest x-ray" means "rule out a pneumothoracic problem" (usually lower down in the lobes) and "UPPER chest x-ray was the only order that would let them point the cone where I said it hurt.

Worst was, I knew this radiology group: I'd worked as a floor clerk at a local hospital before doing my grad work, and they were our service provider there, too--and were just as difficult.

I knew they'd probably say,, "no," but I asked anyway for a verbal (over-the-phone) order to save myself the painful legwork...of course they refused (and I knew from my hospital work that they could have taken one, but were just being cantankerous).

There are kind, excellent caregivers, and I've worked with some; there are also schmucks, and these guys, like the ones it sounds like you're dealing with, can only be placed in that category.

Keep at it, they owe you what they owe you, both in terms of patient care AND the proper mess.

M.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on November 15, 2020, 07:32:03 PM
I think I've already posted somewhere about the human shuttlecock I became when (yet another) Student Health doc wrote the wrong order for a chest x-ray (I'd broken a rib sneezing while bending down...don't ask...).

I had to go six blocks back and forth three times in the snow and ice one January day...

With a broken rib?!? Ugh...I'm sorry; that sounds awful.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on November 15, 2020, 09:14:23 PM
I think I've already posted somewhere about the human shuttlecock I became when (yet another) Student Health doc wrote the wrong order for a chest x-ray (I'd broken a rib sneezing while bending down...don't ask...).

I had to go six blocks back and forth three times in the snow and ice one January day...

With a broken rib?!? Ugh...I'm sorry; that sounds awful.

Yeah, thank you, it was. And they wouldn't let me leave my book bags at either place--didn't want to be responsible for them--so I had to schlep those, too.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Unseen Academical on November 15, 2020, 10:20:28 PM
Feeling close to physical collapse; not getting the meds I need makes problem-solving the dilemma of not getting the meds I need ridiculously difficult.

Pharmacist said he could not give me emergency doses to carry me through until the communications issue is resolved. Also could not give me any advice on what I might expect from suddenly not having a medication I've been taking daily for quite a while now. (Me: "There's really no info available on potential effects of sudden withdrawal?" Pharmacist: "I don't know. Tell your doctor to get the prescription order in.")


 The doc's office may have some samples available to tide you over until you sort this out with the pharmacy. Worth a call. Last time I had to deal with this for meds that could not be stopped the doc's office was able to provide a week's worth and that was enough time to get the prescription conundrum resolved.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on November 16, 2020, 08:34:46 AM
I think I've already posted somewhere about the human shuttlecock I became when (yet another) Student Health doc wrote the wrong order for a chest x-ray (I'd broken a rib sneezing while bending down...don't ask...).

I had to go six blocks back and forth three times in the snow and ice one January day...

With a broken rib?!? Ugh...I'm sorry; that sounds awful.

When I had my accident last year the emergency room caught the broken shoulder, but missed TWO broken ribs, and a broken lung.  I spent the next couple of weeks wondering why the worst pain always seemed to be lower down, and waking up every half an hour at night gasping for breath.  They only found the missing internal injuries when I got pre-op X-rays for surgery to fix the shoulder.  I was in the hospital with an IV in my arm about to go into surgery when the radiologist called and said that they might shouldn't put this patient with a collapsed lung under anesthesia. 

Doctors and other medical staff are only human.  They make mistakes.  Potentially very dangerous mistakes, but human nonetheless.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Harlow2 on November 16, 2020, 09:49:32 AM
Walking companions: Why, when we are walking and talking in places with plenty of room, why when we are discussing the need for social distancing do you move within 18 inches of me? 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: RatGuy on November 16, 2020, 10:10:47 AM
Dismissive doctors can be frustrating. Condescending doctors who literally laugh in your face can be outright infuriating.

I sympathize, SCR. My wife's epilepsy counts as an autoimmune issue, and she's quite sensitive to such changes and pains in her body. Once a clinic doctor told her that her conjunctivitis was "those fake eyelashes you women wear. I see it all the time." She went to that clinic another time because she was worried she had a kidney infection. "A kidney infection?" that different doc chortled. "If it were a kidney infection then it'd hurt right here" and he did a mild karate chop to the area that hurt her the most.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on November 16, 2020, 10:24:24 AM
Re: the talk about doctors makes me feel very, very fortunate to have my internist/GP.  I saw him this morning and spent a good deal of time talking with him about various things without feeling rushed (despite his practice being down many nurses/techs, as mine told me--between a couple of maternity leaves, one out for surgery, various ones in isolation/quarantine, and a couple with sick kids, they're scrambling to keep up tech/nurse coverage in the office). 

The vent of all this is that, as suspected, I do have a sinus infection (third one this year), plus he had to add a diabetes med and up my insulin.  Pfft. He agreed with my self-diagnosis that if COVID and other stressors would go away, I'd likely feel better and see my BG numbers come down.  I guess there's a little comfort knowing that most of his diabetic patients are also struggling, in a misery-loves-company kind of way.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on November 16, 2020, 07:27:12 PM
Doctors and other medical staff are only human.

I'm pretty sure I acknowledged this in my earlier post. I'm aware that medical providers are human. The whole reason I feel I'm reaching the end of my rope is that I'M HUMAN TOO, and I want to be acknowledged for it like anybody else!

My usual mode of operation is to give people the benefit of the doubt, but right now I just don't have it in me to keep coming up with excuses for everyone else. I haven't slept more than 2 hours a night for over a week; I'm rundown from lack of food, but too nauseated to eat enough to refuel; my voice is hoarse from crying through intense joint pains and muscle spasms. I'm too tapped out to try to be understanding at moment; all I can do right now is be selfish.

I'm sick of being met with indifference or outright contempt when I try to get help for myself. Mistakes in medicine (or any other human endeavor are inevitable); eye rolls, exasperated sighs, mocking laughter, and condescending remarks are not.

Sometimes I want to scream when people lecture me against looking to family or friends for support through my health issues because "that's what professionals are for..." Not because the principle is wrong in theory, but because too many of those professionals just don't seem to have gotten the message. What other recourse do I have except to be a pest?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on November 16, 2020, 07:37:14 PM
I didn't realize joint pains and muscle spasms were a part of your situation.

Do you have problems with subluxation?

There are some differential diagnoses for which that is an indicator.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on November 17, 2020, 12:50:42 PM
Student took a class in the 7 week online session that ended in early october.  Student was caught by online proctor using multiple sheets of notes, when only one was permitted.  When I got the notice from the proctoring service, I emailed the student for her description of the event.  Krickets.
Being out of time, and hearing nothing, I completed the academic misconduct forms. 
2 weeks later I get an email from the student's advisor asking about the I grade (we must give an incomplete until the resolution of the issue).  I emailed that student should check emails for full description of issue.  8 days later student emails me.  Today (now over 5 full weeks after initial emails) student is claiming that s/he never got the emails or knew of deadlines.

SO, Im now copying all of the emails in an effort not to have to go to Cheater Court, especially after the deadlines for filing an appeal have lapsed.  EVEN IF the student didnt get the initial emails, it has been nearly a month since student visited advisor and was told to "check your emails"!  2 weeks is the max time limit to deal with these forms! so EVEN IF we go by the LATEST date that the student emailed ME, it is more than 2 weeks. 

Case closed (I HOPE!!)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on November 17, 2020, 01:31:00 PM
As Pry used to say, sounds like the student is going to flunk cheating as well as the course.

My vent:

Oh, come on, now. After all the work I've done on this booklet, your machine has GOT to print back-to-back!

It's got enough other bells and whistles (I've used it in the pre-covid past) that a simple thing like a back-to-back/short-side flip booklet shouldn't be an issue.

And I'm NOT going across town to help figure it out: the office staff there has got to know how to do this.

Good grief. 

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on November 17, 2020, 02:53:02 PM
I think my damn sciatica is back. :(
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on November 17, 2020, 02:56:33 PM
I think my damn sciatica is back. :(

Ouch!

Sleeping surfaces? Chairs or car seats too soft? Belt or other constraining clothing doing a number on the muscles near the back?

Or just a couple of vertebrae having a tug of war?

No fun when it happens. I can usually exercise mine away, but it's indeed worrisome.

I hope it resolves quickly

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on November 17, 2020, 03:04:15 PM
I think my damn sciatica is back. :(

NO!! Sorry to hear that! I hope it's not back or that whatever is back or is new is very, very temporary.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on November 17, 2020, 03:17:18 PM
I think my damn sciatica is back. :(

NO!! Sorry to hear that! I hope it's not back or that whatever is back or is new is very, very temporary.


Ouch!

Sleeping surfaces? Chairs or car seats too soft? Belt or other constraining clothing doing a number on the muscles near the back?

Or just a couple of vertebrae having a tug of war?

No fun when it happens. I can usually exercise mine away, but it's indeed worrisome.

I hope it resolves quickly

M.

Thanks all. I think it has something to do with me thinking I'm all better and stubbornly doing a Webex marathon at my desk- in the hard chair. :(
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on November 18, 2020, 10:29:00 AM
Didn’t occur to me until now my post might have come across as directed at apl68 specifically when I didn’t mean for it to be.

I didn't realize joint pains and muscle spasms were a part of your situation.

Do you have problems with subluxation?

There are some differential diagnoses for which that is an indicator.

M.

Spasms aren’t that new for me, but this level of joint pain is. I’m not really clear on the meaning of subluxation.

Right now it’s the nausea that’s hurting me most; have lost over ten pounds in about a week; argued with SO last night about going to the ER when a really bad bout had me struggling to catch my breath and crying from the pain; was struggling to hold down even a few sips of water. SO wanted to take me to hospital so I could at least get hydrated and enough nutrition to prevent crashing any harder. I begged him not to because I couldn’t handle the contemptuous attitude I might get if the medical personnel decided I was wasting their time with insignificant problems. Too many experiences of being dismissed without getting help, with a heap of humiliation to top off the pain of whatever motivated me to ask for help in the first place.

Probably being short-sighted and irrational about this; not feeling much better today so may end up having to go in for medical help anyway
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Puget on November 18, 2020, 10:42:19 AM
Spasms aren’t that new for me, but this level of joint pain is. I’m not really clear on the meaning of subluxation.

Right now it’s the nausea that’s hurting me most; have lost over ten pounds in about a week; argued with SO last night about going to the ER when a really bad bout had me struggling to catch my breath and crying from the pain; was struggling to hold down even a few sips of water. SO wanted to take me to hospital so I could at least get hydrated and enough nutrition to prevent crashing any harder. I begged him not to because I couldn’t handle the contemptuous attitude I might get if the medical personnel decided I was wasting their time with insignificant problems. Too many experiences of being dismissed without getting help, with a heap of humiliation to top off the pain of whatever motivated me to ask for help in the first place.

Probably being short-sighted and irrational about this; not feeling much better today so may end up having to go in for medical help anyway

I'm no MD, but have you had your sodium levels checked? Symptoms of low blood sodium include:
Nausea and vomiting.
Headache.
Confusion.
Loss of energy, drowsiness and fatigue.
Restlessness and irritability.
Muscle weakness, spasms or cramps.
Seizures.

AND, SSRIs and some other medications can cause low sodium.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on November 18, 2020, 10:55:08 AM
Didn’t occur to me until now my post might have come across as directed at apl68 specifically when I didn’t mean for it to be.

I didn't realize joint pains and muscle spasms were a part of your situation.

Do you have problems with subluxation?

There are some differential diagnoses for which that is an indicator.

M.

Spasms aren’t that new for me, but this level of joint pain is. I’m not really clear on the meaning of subluxation.

Right now it’s the nausea that’s hurting me most; have lost over ten pounds in about a week; argued with SO last night about going to the ER when a really bad bout had me struggling to catch my breath and crying from the pain; was struggling to hold down even a few sips of water. SO wanted to take me to hospital so I could at least get hydrated and enough nutrition to prevent crashing any harder. I begged him not to because I couldn’t handle the contemptuous attitude I might get if the medical personnel decided I was wasting their time with insignificant problems. Too many experiences of being dismissed without getting help, with a heap of humiliation to top off the pain of whatever motivated me to ask for help in the first place.

Probably being short-sighted and irrational about this; not feeling much better today so may end up having to go in for medical help anyway

Smallcleanrat, you need to seek medical care.  That much weight loss in a week is alarming, so is the dehydration.  If you can, see if there is a walk-in clinic open rather than and ER.  Otherwise you might spend hours waiting to be seen.  Or go to the ER during the middle of the day - do not wait until the evening or you'll again have a really long wait.
You'll have to answer a bunch of repetitive questions (medications? symptoms? etc), but that's mostly so they can rule a bunch of stuff out (pregnancy, food poisoning, the flu, norovirus, COVID, appendicitis) .  Tell them upfront about your medications and your severe anxiety.  Tell them you are worried and you were feeling so severely terrible that you had to come in.  Don't try to hide or dismiss how serious this is.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on November 18, 2020, 12:47:38 PM
Didn’t occur to me until now my post might have come across as directed at apl68 specifically when I didn’t mean for it to be.

I didn't realize joint pains and muscle spasms were a part of your situation.

Do you have problems with subluxation?

There are some differential diagnoses for which that is an indicator.

M.

Spasms aren’t that new for me, but this level of joint pain is. I’m not really clear on the meaning of subluxation.

Right now it’s the nausea that’s hurting me most; have lost over ten pounds in about a week; argued with SO last night about going to the ER when a really bad bout had me struggling to catch my breath and crying from the pain; was struggling to hold down even a few sips of water. SO wanted to take me to hospital so I could at least get hydrated and enough nutrition to prevent crashing any harder. I begged him not to because I couldn’t handle the contemptuous attitude I might get if the medical personnel decided I was wasting their time with insignificant problems. Too many experiences of being dismissed without getting help, with a heap of humiliation to top off the pain of whatever motivated me to ask for help in the first place.

Probably being short-sighted and irrational about this; not feeling much better today so may end up having to go in for medical help anyway

Smallcleanrat, you need to seek medical care.  That much weight loss in a week is alarming, so is the dehydration.  If you can, see if there is a walk-in clinic open rather than and ER.  Otherwise you might spend hours waiting to be seen.  Or go to the ER during the middle of the day - do not wait until the evening or you'll again have a really long wait.
You'll have to answer a bunch of repetitive questions (medications? symptoms? etc), but that's mostly so they can rule a bunch of stuff out (pregnancy, food poisoning, the flu, norovirus, COVID, appendicitis) .  Tell them upfront about your medications and your severe anxiety.  Tell them you are worried and you were feeling so severely terrible that you had to come in.  Don't try to hide or dismiss how serious this is.

Yes!  Nausea that severe needs to be checked out.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on November 18, 2020, 01:35:29 PM
If you think I'm going to download the PDF, print it out, sign it, scan it, and email to the registrar for every student who wants to withdraw, you have another think coming.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on November 18, 2020, 05:02:43 PM
Time for a double shot.

When a Dean sends an email saying, regarding the next couple of weeks:

Apparently there are different versions of the academic calendar.

the question becomes: will the wheels fall off before then end of the semester.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on November 19, 2020, 07:45:29 AM
This morning I had to let a service technician into a utility room with a door lock that sometimes gives trouble.  It was especially bad today.  As part of my effort to get it open, I tried lubricating the lock.  Now my hands smell like WD-40.  Not an unpleasant smell, but not exactly what a library director is supposed to smell like.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on November 19, 2020, 11:05:37 AM
Re:  sciatica and joint pain:

I went in Monday for a meds follow-up/checkup with my internist (and a sinus infection, which I've had for awhile but put off since I knew I'd be going in soon anyway).  We were talking as I was on the exam table and he was listening to my lungs and heart. Just as he was saying, "So how are the SI joints doing?"--but before he actually got it out--he touched those areas on each side in my lower back, and I nearly flew off the table.  It hurt SO bad, and he felt so bad about it.  I actually felt sorry for the guy.  But damn, that hurt!  They've been giving me fits for a month now, even worse than usual (likely because of the wild swings in the weather).

Evil_Physics_Witchcraft, I feel for you.  The only thing I found that even remotely helped with my bouts of sciatica was sleeping stretched out in a recliner, rather than trying to lie in bed.  (And I spent several months doing that.)  It didn't take it away, but it was the only way I could get a few hours of sleep here and there.  I also had Vicodin, but it just too some of the edge off or made me sleep; it didn't really stop the pain.  Sending good thoughts your way.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on November 19, 2020, 11:15:17 AM
Re:  sciatica and joint pain:

I went in Monday for a meds follow-up/checkup with my internist (and a sinus infection, which I've had for awhile but put off since I knew I'd be going in soon anyway).  We were talking as I was on the exam table and he was listening to my lungs and heart. Just as he was saying, "So how are the SI joints doing?"--but before he actually got it out--he touched those areas on each side in my lower back, and I nearly flew off the table.  It hurt SO bad, and he felt so bad about it.  I actually felt sorry for the guy.  But damn, that hurt!  They've been giving me fits for a month now, even worse than usual (likely because of the wild swings in the weather).

Evil_Physics_Witchcraft, I feel for you.  The only thing I found that even remotely helped with my bouts of sciatica was sleeping stretched out in a recliner, rather than trying to lie in bed.  (And I spent several months doing that.)  It didn't take it away, but it was the only way I could get a few hours of sleep here and there.  I also had Vicodin, but it just too some of the edge off or made me sleep; it didn't really stop the pain.  Sending good thoughts your way.

Thanks AmLitHist. I hope you get some relief as well. My pain has been intermittent lately. I think I tore my piriformis muscle last month and it just aggravated everything.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on November 19, 2020, 12:29:26 PM
I have had my own bouts of back issues, including heavy doses of narcotics (the kind no one prescribes anymore).  Ive done physical therapy as well.  I found that the PT in the pool helped a lot.

for drugs, frankly 2 neproxin (allieve) worked almost (not quite but almost) as well as the smaller doses of hydrocodone.  The plus side is that you dont end up stupid with the allieve. 

Just my experience, if it is helpful.


Follow up on my last vent:
The admin in charge of appeals denied the appeal.  However, the student replied that she was shocked, but most disgusted by my reply (which outlined all of the dates that she had been sent the emails, and noted that some of those emails were initiated by her and that even from those dates, she had not initiated a reply in time to appeal. 

"Disgusted" she was. 

She violated the test policies (because she didnt understand them).  She ignored the emails (because she doesnt look at her university email)  which violates the syllabus for the course and the policy for the university.  She ignored the deadlines,  But she is Disgusted by my reply pointing out that she had to know about the situation from her own replies. and that as she had missed the many deadlines, that I objected to her appeal. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on November 19, 2020, 12:42:19 PM
Re:  sciatica and joint pain:

I went in Monday for a meds follow-up/checkup with my internist (and a sinus infection, which I've had for awhile but put off since I knew I'd be going in soon anyway).  We were talking as I was on the exam table and he was listening to my lungs and heart. Just as he was saying, "So how are the SI joints doing?"--but before he actually got it out--he touched those areas on each side in my lower back, and I nearly flew off the table.  It hurt SO bad, and he felt so bad about it.  I actually felt sorry for the guy.  But damn, that hurt!  They've been giving me fits for a month now, even worse than usual (likely because of the wild swings in the weather).

Evil_Physics_Witchcraft, I feel for you.  The only thing I found that even remotely helped with my bouts of sciatica was sleeping stretched out in a recliner, rather than trying to lie in bed.  (And I spent several months doing that.)  It didn't take it away, but it was the only way I could get a few hours of sleep here and there.  I also had Vicodin, but it just too some of the edge off or made me sleep; it didn't really stop the pain.  Sending good thoughts your way.

Thanks AmLitHist. I hope you get some relief as well. My pain has been intermittent lately. I think I tore my piriformis muscle last month and it just aggravated everything.

Wish you both well in getting past this.  And apologizing for the rather trivial "vent" above.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on November 19, 2020, 02:18:36 PM
I'm thinking someone--might have been Octo--had a face-down massage table to sleep in for back pain.

Might or might not work or be possible, but it's another option to consider.

I sort of remember it worked so well at home that she considered getting one for the office as well, somehow.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on November 19, 2020, 02:44:24 PM
Re:  sciatica and joint pain:

I went in Monday for a meds follow-up/checkup with my internist (and a sinus infection, which I've had for awhile but put off since I knew I'd be going in soon anyway).  We were talking as I was on the exam table and he was listening to my lungs and heart. Just as he was saying, "So how are the SI joints doing?"--but before he actually got it out--he touched those areas on each side in my lower back, and I nearly flew off the table.  It hurt SO bad, and he felt so bad about it.  I actually felt sorry for the guy.  But damn, that hurt!  They've been giving me fits for a month now, even worse than usual (likely because of the wild swings in the weather).

Evil_Physics_Witchcraft, I feel for you.  The only thing I found that even remotely helped with my bouts of sciatica was sleeping stretched out in a recliner, rather than trying to lie in bed.  (And I spent several months doing that.)  It didn't take it away, but it was the only way I could get a few hours of sleep here and there.  I also had Vicodin, but it just too some of the edge off or made me sleep; it didn't really stop the pain.  Sending good thoughts your way.

Thanks AmLitHist. I hope you get some relief as well. My pain has been intermittent lately. I think I tore my piriformis muscle last month and it just aggravated everything.

Wish you both well in getting past this.  And apologizing for the rather trivial "vent" above.

"Trivial" vents can accumulate and feed into non-trivial stress, so sometimes there's value in venting them anyway.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on November 19, 2020, 04:28:46 PM
FFS, deer have antlers, not horns. That velvet's full of blood vessels. How many times do we have to go over this?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on November 19, 2020, 05:33:06 PM
Re:  sciatica and joint pain:

I went in Monday for a meds follow-up/checkup with my internist (and a sinus infection, which I've had for awhile but put off since I knew I'd be going in soon anyway).  We were talking as I was on the exam table and he was listening to my lungs and heart. Just as he was saying, "So how are the SI joints doing?"--but before he actually got it out--he touched those areas on each side in my lower back, and I nearly flew off the table.  It hurt SO bad, and he felt so bad about it.  I actually felt sorry for the guy.  But damn, that hurt!  They've been giving me fits for a month now, even worse than usual (likely because of the wild swings in the weather).

Evil_Physics_Witchcraft, I feel for you.  The only thing I found that even remotely helped with my bouts of sciatica was sleeping stretched out in a recliner, rather than trying to lie in bed.  (And I spent several months doing that.)  It didn't take it away, but it was the only way I could get a few hours of sleep here and there.  I also had Vicodin, but it just too some of the edge off or made me sleep; it didn't really stop the pain.  Sending good thoughts your way.

Thanks AmLitHist. I hope you get some relief as well. My pain has been intermittent lately. I think I tore my piriformis muscle last month and it just aggravated everything.

Wish you both well in getting past this.  And apologizing for the rather trivial "vent" above.

"Trivial" vents can accumulate and feed into non-trivial stress, so sometimes there's value in venting them anyway.

Good point. Don't bottle it up! This is the Venting Thread! :)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: smallcleanrat on November 19, 2020, 07:51:04 PM
Lab tests from urgent care visit listed a few abnormalities, but results didn’t include doctor’s interpretation. I guess this means contacting my PCP to see if I need to follow up on this. I know abnormal results don’t always indicate a problem, but if the PCP uses this reason not to investigate further it will be pretty frustrating. I’ve never had this particular pattern of results before, so I would really like an explanation.

I feel exhausted in advance, anticipating the talk with the PCP; I’ll need to stay focused to prevent him from just brushing me off.

At least they ruled out COVID.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on November 20, 2020, 08:09:17 PM
Unrelated.

Why the hell is it that when one body part starts to feel better, another one starts to hurt? This is getting old. Put some bionics in my body and be done with it!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on November 21, 2020, 08:30:15 AM
Thanks for the good wishes, all, but really, I'm fine--well, as fine as it's going to get.  I've been told the SI joints are a lost cause:  PT just makes things (WAY) worse, even after working through the initial pain that's common in PT; surgery isn't an option, as typically the relief lasts maybe a year at most, then the problem (arthritis) comes back even worse later; and pain meds don't do much, so I only use them in a real pinch, and that at bedtime.

Clean, I agree about Aleve:  it's as good as/better than hydrocodone, especially for inflammatory problems (e.g. arthritis). I'm on it as a maintenance med (2 in the morning, 2 at night) with the ability to layer in Tylenol as needed.  ALHS was on Aleve (naproxen) way back in the 80s/90s, when it was still prescription only.  I worry about what it's doing to my kidneys, along with my diabetes; he ended up in Stage 4 renal failure a few years ago from all the NSAIDS over the years, though he came back after getting off most of them.

My internist and orthopedist have told me that pain management is going to be in my future, but at 59, and having seen my elderly mom go through that for her final 10 years, I'm fighting it as long as I can.  I'm in the "mind over matter" mode now:  I have significant pain every day, all day, but I'm learning to treat it as a baseline and just live with it. 

I read a really good GQ article (https://www.gq.com/story/george-clooney-icon-of-the-year-2020) this week:  it interviewed George Clooney, and he talked about his various serious injuries and about how he's learned to do something similar about the pain.  It really encouraged me, and some of the rest here might find it interesting as well.

As for venting:  again, vent away, y'all!  And don't worry about me--I'm fine (except when stupid admins, etc. get in my way)! 

And Clean:  if you've capital-D Disgusted a student, I think you've done your job. Good for you!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: wareagle on November 23, 2020, 01:21:54 PM
Unrelated.

Did no one ever tell you that statistics is NOT an appropriate pre-requisite for calculus?

Who the hell taught you how to advise?  FFS!!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: San Joaquin on November 23, 2020, 01:24:19 PM
Quite the other way around, I should think.  Stand fast!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on November 28, 2020, 05:29:28 PM
Nothing big, but still:

IT broke all the links on the faculty page yesterday, and they haven't been fixed yet. Those are the links for Moodle, email, waitlist management, grade reporting, Zoom, etc. I have a workaround for some of those, but seriously.

In other IT news: I have a colleague (in her late seventies) who's contemplating retirement (she's already teaching a quarter-load), but who's been told by IT that when she retires she will lose her university email address. She would rather not retire (and move up to a half-load) than lose the email address. She's contacted the Dean, HR, the faculty senate... everyone else seems to think that she should be able to keep the email (obvs.). But IT insists it's impossible, and refuses to explain why.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on November 28, 2020, 07:52:55 PM
She's contacted the Dean, HR, the faculty senate... everyone else seems to think that she should be able to keep the email (obvs.). But IT insists it's impossible, and refuses to explain why.

Wow, IT runs the place, hey?  More power than even the university president?  Why?  Situation sounds ridiculous.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on November 28, 2020, 08:03:33 PM
She's contacted the Dean, HR, the faculty senate... everyone else seems to think that she should be able to keep the email (obvs.). But IT insists it's impossible, and refuses to explain why.

Wow, IT runs the place, hey?  More power than even the university president?  Why?  Situation sounds ridiculous.

That particular situation seems really weird and rinkydink to me. Sure, faculty who leave should surrender their email. But when they retire? It can hardly use up much server space, and the institution still benefits from their maintaining their contacts and stuff. And from having an easy way to reach out to them.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on December 02, 2020, 03:04:52 PM
Went to the grocery store today for 35 minutes (from roughly 3 to 335).  In that short time I saw NINE people without masks! 

The store HAS a mask policy! 

I emailed the corporate office, but got a 'non reply' that essentially said that 'we have a policy but dont enforce it'. 


I was so tempted to just dump my cart in the aisle and walk out, but by the time the count got up there, I was heading out the door already. 

I hate that the store is profiting from this!  HOW?  Well, they do offer home delivery and curb service, but in addition to charging a minimum $5 fee, they charge higher prices for things bought... up to 10% higher! 
They limit your choices too.  Half of the vegetable offerings are organic, whether you want organic or not!!  (You dont get the choice of organic, it is all that is on the site for about 1/2 of the produce). 

Then the final blow is that the shoppers are overloaded with a ton of orders to get fast, so they dont 'shop' they just grab and go.  Bananas bruised?  Someone has to get them!!  'beacon' just fat? Hell, they didnt even look to see, just that the box had the correct UPC !

bastards!!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on December 02, 2020, 03:32:13 PM
Went to the grocery store today for 35 minutes (from roughly 3 to 335).  In that short time I saw NINE people without masks! 

The store HAS a mask policy! 

I emailed the corporate office, but got a 'non reply' that essentially said that 'we have a policy but dont enforce it'. 


I was so tempted to just dump my cart in the aisle and walk out, but by the time the count got up there, I was heading out the door already. 

I hate that the store is profiting from this!  HOW?  Well, they do offer home delivery and curb service, but in addition to charging a minimum $5 fee, they charge higher prices for things bought... up to 10% higher! 
They limit your choices too.  Half of the vegetable offerings are organic, whether you want organic or not!!  (You dont get the choice of organic, it is all that is on the site for about 1/2 of the produce). 

Then the final blow is that the shoppers are overloaded with a ton of orders to get fast, so they dont 'shop' they just grab and go.  Bananas bruised?  Someone has to get them!!  'beacon' just fat? Hell, they didnt even look to see, just that the box had the correct UPC !

bastards!! Yesss!!!

The woman behind me, standing very close, kept complaining that there was only one line (the store is practicing safe distancing). When I asked her to step back, she launched into a tirade of how the virus didn't bother her, whereupon the person behind her told her in no uncertain terms that she needed to keep her distance so that she wouldn't be infecting others. Complainer moved, but still kept complaining about how she wasn't standing close to me. Other lady in line reminded her that she was indeed standing too close hence the request that she step back.

The store is in a bright orange zone, with the infection rates around 5% and steadily rising.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on December 02, 2020, 07:43:58 PM
Went to the grocery store today for 35 minutes (from roughly 3 to 335).  In that short time I saw NINE people without masks! 

The store HAS a mask policy! 

I emailed the corporate office, but got a 'non reply' that essentially said that 'we have a policy but dont enforce it'. 


I was so tempted to just dump my cart in the aisle and walk out, but by the time the count got up there, I was heading out the door already. 

I hate that the store is profiting from this!  HOW?  Well, they do offer home delivery and curb service, but in addition to charging a minimum $5 fee, they charge higher prices for things bought... up to 10% higher! 
They limit your choices too.  Half of the vegetable offerings are organic, whether you want organic or not!!  (You dont get the choice of organic, it is all that is on the site for about 1/2 of the produce). 

Then the final blow is that the shoppers are overloaded with a ton of orders to get fast, so they dont 'shop' they just grab and go.  Bananas bruised?  Someone has to get them!!  'beacon' just fat? Hell, they didnt even look to see, just that the box had the correct UPC !

bastards!! Yesss!!!

The woman behind me, standing very close, kept complaining that there was only one line (the store is practicing safe distancing). When I asked her to step back, she launched into a tirade of how the virus didn't bother her, whereupon the person behind her told her in no uncertain terms that she needed to keep her distance so that she wouldn't be infecting others. Complainer moved, but still kept complaining about how she wasn't standing close to me. Other lady in line reminded her that she was indeed standing too close hence the request that she step back.

The store is in a bright orange zone, with the infection rates around 5% and steadily rising.

Our state had over 4,000 new documented cases today. People are deluding themselves when they say this virus is 'nothing.' Hospitals are overflowing, health workers are burnt out...

My own mother doesn't think it affects anyone unless they have underlying health issues. One of their friends almost died from it (he's younger than I am). He went into a coma and then came out of it.

No words.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: nonsensical on December 03, 2020, 04:31:18 AM
They limit your choices too.  Half of the vegetable offerings are organic, whether you want organic or not!!  (You dont get the choice of organic, it is all that is on the site for about 1/2 of the produce).

Do you have a way to communicate with the shopper outside of putting things in your cart on the app? For instance, Instacart lets you leave notes about possible replacements, and I've sometimes put the organic version in my cart and then typed them a note asking for the non-organic version if one is available. Or if you have a way to text the shopper when they're out, perhaps that might work?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on December 03, 2020, 09:45:07 AM
Quote
Do you have a way to communicate with the shopper outside of putting things in your cart on the app?

Im not aware of such options.  Also, it is not an ap per se. It is the stores website. You log in online and go from there. 

the more time i have had to think about it, the less likely that I am going to visit them either online or in person. 

Yesterday I got word that a family member's husband died of Covid.  (It was my uncle's widow's second husband.  He was 67.  He was hospitalized with Covid and while in the hospital had 2 strokes.  He was taken off life support on Monday).  The funeral is on hold as my aunt has Covid as well. 

So I am especially galled that the reply claims that they are trying to protect their partners and customers with a mask policy but do not enforce it (do protect their partners from the assholes.... especially when they are paying a private security company to park their car at the front door.  Why arent THEY doing the mask enforcement?

Anyway, Im sure that they wont miss my business. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on December 04, 2020, 07:15:21 AM
Good News 1 - We are taking a survey of students to determine their preferences for Spring Classes.

Bad News - The Results came out today.  THREE FULL WEEKS after registration for the spring.  SIX FULL WEEKS after the Spring schedule was DUE.

Real helpful.  Thanks.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on December 04, 2020, 02:36:07 PM
Good News 1 - We are taking a survey of students to determine their preferences for Spring Classes.

Bad News - The Results came out today.  THREE FULL WEEKS after registration for the spring.  SIX FULL WEEKS after the Spring schedule was DUE.

Real helpful.  Thanks.

What did they choose?

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on December 05, 2020, 05:45:18 AM
Oh, a mix.

1/4 wanted remote only. 
1/4 wanted a mix. 
About a 1/3 wanted blended with a late start.
1/8 (ish) wanted f2f labs
1/2 would support hiflex.
Essentially no one wanted to cancel spring break (which we are 90% certain to do)

Of course, the questions were so poorly worded that no real meaning jumps out.  Enough fodder for all POVs to argue student support.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on December 05, 2020, 07:23:57 AM
Of course, the questions were so poorly worded that no real meaning jumps out.  Enough fodder for all POVs to argue student support.

More importantly,  like Admin here, they now have something shiny to wave around and say, "But, LOOK, we ASKED for faculty input! And see, they couldn't come to a consensus, so we're left to do what we wanted to do to begin with."

Right there with you, FishProf.  It gets old, fast.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: nonsensical on December 07, 2020, 07:26:03 AM
Dear previously convenient retailer: If you make me jump through hoops to use your website, I will happily buy from elsewhere. That is in fact what I just did for my Christmas shopping.

Now that I've typed this out, it looks like something that could go on the "things I wish I could say" thread. But I did in fact say some version of this when calling said retailer to figure out their website, and I'm not sure if things that have actually been said qualify for that thread.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: EdnaMode on December 07, 2020, 03:16:28 PM
I know the Postal Service has a bigger job this time of year than normal, but this started a while ago with our local delivery... mail that is several days to a week later than what is posted in the daily digest from Informed Delivery, when the mail is delivered, it can arrive anywhere from before 10 AM until after 8 PM, and leaving packages that don't fit in the mailbox in the recipient's driveway - not in any way, shape, or form acceptable. I've talked to my neighbors about it and we've all filled out the online forms, but have not received any response except the generic "thank you for your feedback" emails.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: kaysixteen on December 08, 2020, 05:40:16 PM
I just got a birthday card today.   My birthday was last Monday.   The postmark, from Mississippi, was 24 Nov.   I do not think this would be a result whereof Ben Franklin would have approved.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on December 08, 2020, 06:42:16 PM
I just got a birthday card today.   My birthday was last Monday.   The postmark, from Mississippi, was 24 Nov.   I do not think this would be a result whereof Ben Franklin would have approved.

My mother used to say late postal deliveries were a hint to call the sender.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on December 08, 2020, 06:59:48 PM
I just got a birthday card today.   My birthday was last Monday.   The postmark, from Mississippi, was 24 Nov.   I do not think this would be a result whereof Ben Franklin would have approved.

Sorry the card took so long to reach you, but a belated happy birthday to you, K16!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on December 08, 2020, 07:07:25 PM
I know the Postal Service has a bigger job this time of year than normal, but this started a while ago with our local delivery... mail that is several days to a week later than what is posted in the daily digest from Informed Delivery, when the mail is delivered, it can arrive anywhere from before 10 AM until after 8 PM, and leaving packages that don't fit in the mailbox in the recipient's driveway - not in any way, shape, or form acceptable. I've talked to my neighbors about it and we've all filled out the online forms, but have not received any response except the generic "thank you for your feedback" emails.

Between all the nonsense generated by the woodpecker-in-chief in fomenting USPS delivery sabotage, I figure we're lucky to be getting things within the usual week to ten days it takes for mail from one part of the town to reach the other part.

I think I've probably mentioned before that it's sent by train to a sorting facility in the middle of the state, then returned, sorted, to the town it was originally sent from. (Our delivery person told me this so I trust it's true.) We're now seeing things sent from several states away taking three weeks; I log in donations for the non-profit whose director I assist, and we've had one held up since late October that's still not here.

One came in yesterday that was sent on the 22nd of November...so, let's see, hmmm....16 days, with the holiday, that's not too bad.

M.   
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on December 08, 2020, 07:24:11 PM
We're now seeing things sent from several states away taking three weeks; I log in donations for the non-profit whose director I assist, and we've had one held up since late October that's still not here.

One came in yesterday that was sent on the 22nd of November...so, let's see, hmmm....16 days, with the holiday, that's not too bad.

M.

This makes me feel a little better because I have a special package pending, sent from someone a few states away.  Tracking appears stuck:  it's been listed as "in transit to a sorting facility" for almost a week now.  I'm feeling sad for the sender and for me.  Your post gives me hope that the package may arrive one day this year.  Thanks, mamselle.

Since I was very young, I've loved the USPS.  In recent years, it's been breaking my heart.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: EdnaMode on December 09, 2020, 05:53:04 AM
I think I've probably mentioned before that it's sent by train to a sorting facility in the middle of the state, then returned, sorted, to the town it was originally sent from. (Our delivery person told me this so I trust it's true.) We're now seeing things sent from several states away taking three weeks; I log in donations for the non-profit whose director I assist, and we've had one held up since late October that's still not here.

Ours used to be sorted locally, but now it's sent to a larger city 100 or so miles away. I've watched stuff, via tracking, just sit in that other city for several days before either coming here or going on its merry way. That, all things considered, I can sort of understand, and maybe even the variation in pickup and delivery times on any given day, but leaving packages in driveways? Nope. Completely not acceptable, not only could they be stolen, the could be run over (I personally ran over one of my packages - thankfully it was squishy clothing and well packaged so no damage occurred) but now that it's snowy, to not have packages under cover could ruin them, but that's more a specific employee problem, than a systemic problem. Whoops, I'm getting annoyed again ;)

I've had family who worked for the Postal Service and was always a fan, would choose them over other methods of sending things, so I do hope they get this fixed soon and get back to better service for their customers.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on December 09, 2020, 06:20:23 AM
Maybe after Jan.20th.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AvidReader on December 09, 2020, 08:12:05 AM
I ordered something online from Target early last week. It was $2 less than the amount needed for free shipping, so I added a small bag of cashews to save the $9 shipping charge. Target sent the two items separately (so I doubt the extra purchase really benefited them). The first, larger item, came by one of the big carriers (UPS?) and arrived Monday. The cashews are coming by USPS, who says they were delivered Monday (they were not). I don't think it is worth the hassle of calling, since I still paid less than shipping, but I was looking forward to my better-than-free snack. Sigh.

AR.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on December 09, 2020, 04:37:18 PM
I.  "My friend got an A, but I only got a B.  But I did all of these (non graded) things and she didnt! And I studied so much harder.  It is not fair that I only got a B".

Reply, "AS you have no grades that were As, what grade did you expect to earn?  I agree that it is unfair that some have better genes/gifts from nature/God that allow them to get better grades than those that must work harder"

II.  "I scored better on the tests than my friend, but I got an F and he got a D.  What did you do for him that you wont do for me?"

Reply, I can not discuss the grades of others, but you did not do ANY of the homework (worth 10% of your grade) and you did not do any of the work that would have earned bonus points. Perhaps your friend took advantage of the items you did not"


I. was resolved with a WebEx meeting going over every problem on the final.
II. might be resolved after no fewer than 6 emails reiterating that " I will not discuss your friend's grade with you. Ask your friend. I have done everything that I can do for you to help you overcome your poor choice NOT to do an entire semesters' assignment, but in the end, as your own calculations concur, your grade is still an F."

For II I even alerted the chair of the brewing storm. 

What do you want from me?  (A passing Grade). 
You missed 4 of 6 in person class meetings (and quizzes).  You missed 90% of the homework grade because you decided it was a poor use of your time.  You didnt take advantage of the bonus points.  You allowed your text subscription to end 2 weeks into the class. You didnt alert me of an issue, but NOW because your Friend did the work and earned the bonus points by doing more work, YOU 'deserve' a passing grade to because your exam grade was higher?  Pu-Leeze!!


But Merry Christmas to All! 

Im sure that others are also dealing with the last minute pleas.  Why, oh why do I hear more from lost students AFTER the grades are posted than in the total 15 weeks before? 


FINAL vent of the day:

Day 1:  "Examity reports a violation of the test protocols. Please explain the situation."..... crickets
Day 3:  (emails to university email and all gmail accounts listed by student).  "Please check your university email and reply to my inquiry".... Crickets
Day 6:  File Academic Misconduct report.  No reply
Day 8:  After email follow-up from Academic Misconduct folks, a reply! 

HAD the student just replied, no report would have been filed.  By ignoring the situation, the student now has a written reprimand recorded.  Should anyone else complete a report before student graduates, there is a much better likelihood that the student will take a semester hiatus
Why do students think that  ignoring the situation improve things? 

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on December 09, 2020, 05:03:23 PM
^

Wish I could tell you. If anyone figures it out, let us all know, please.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: RatGuy on December 11, 2020, 09:19:20 AM
I came here to vent about mail deliveries as well. Mail was pretty consistent throughout 2020, but the last two weeks have been weird. I get that it's the holidays. And I know that I'm one of the very few people who get Netflix discs instead of stream. But what used to take two days now takes 10? And the Netflix distribution center is quite close! I've had a disc in the mailbox since tuesday -- little red flag is up and everything -- and no mail was picked up or delivered on Wed or Thurs.

Fedex and UPS have been mostly reliable. I kickstart a lot of board games, and the parcels are tracked accurately. But when those logistic services use USPS for final delivery, I really have to wait. At least one item was "transferred to the Post Office" on 12/1, and it's yet to be delivered.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on December 11, 2020, 10:42:28 AM
ALHS is waiting for eyeglasses from Zenni ordered on Black Friday. USPS Daily Digest has shown "Delivering Today" since Wednesday, and the mail just went--still no glasses.

I seem to be what the Old Folks in the family used to call "down in the back":  nonspecific general aches and discomfort, with the occasional twinge when I move wrong (and the "move wrong" seems to move from one position to another so it's always a surprise).  It's nothing major and not really worth a vent.  That would take too much energy, and I'm already exhausted, with many a paper to grade before I'm finally done next week.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on December 11, 2020, 10:43:59 AM
Quote
At least one item was "transferred to the Post Office" on 12/1, and it's yet to be delivered.

Yes, that sucks!! What is the point of paying for delivery To The Post Office!!!  Add 3 days minimum to the travel time!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on December 11, 2020, 06:20:03 PM
They're probably still re-assembling all the sorter machines that were removed and/or sabotaged over the summer to slow down delivery so the mail-in votes would skew in a certain direction...

(Truth.)

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on December 11, 2020, 07:32:26 PM
This is posted in red on the USPS tracking page.

"ALERT: USPS IS EXPERIENCING UNPRECEDENTED PACKAGE INCREASES AND LIMITED EMPLOYEE AVAILABILITY DUE TO THE IMPACTS OF COVID-19. WE APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE AND REMAIN COMMITTED TO DELIVERING THE HOLIDAYS TO YOU."

I am sure things are tough.  Wishing USPS employees good health.

The "Priority Mail" package I'm awaiting is on Day 9 of its journey.  It made it out of the sorting facility and has now departed the distribution center.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Puget on December 14, 2020, 02:43:57 PM
OMG, that was just the most stressful online exam experience--- in the middle of our exam today, all the students' exams suddenly timed out, with the LMS showing that they had been going for an hour when they had only been going for half an hour, and showing an end time half an hour in the future! I was supervising the team of TAs proctoring each section so was fielding a gazzilian frantic messages from them all at once. I scrambled to allow a second attempt building on the first -- same thing happened, requiring allowing a third attempt. Eventually we got through it but it was not a fun process.

I was simultaneously emailing with the tech team and they did find and fix the problem just at the end ("a system-wide time stamp error" was all they told me-- I'd really like to know more.) The TAs are great troopers though and we had lots of jokes about temporal anomaly fields and time travel going back and forth. I just sent a course announcement thanking them for their patience and letting them know the problem was system wide and not something we could anticipate or prevent ourselves, but I still expect some complaints, even though we made sure they ultimately got all the time that was due them.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on December 14, 2020, 04:10:13 PM
There was a note in my AM newsreel (EST) that Google and other systems were suddenly hit with a system failure earlier in the AM.

I wonder if that could have made some calendar somewhere re-set itself, confusing your time-stamp setup?

Just a thought...

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Puget on December 14, 2020, 04:22:13 PM
There was a note in my AM newsreel (EST) that Google and other systems were suddenly hit with a system failure earlier in the AM.

I wonder if that could have made some calendar somewhere re-set itself, confusing your time-stamp setup?

Just a thought...

M.

Good thought but nope, problems turned out to be a server failure that was just so unlucky as to have happened in the middle of our exam, causing the LMS to lose time synching.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on December 15, 2020, 09:59:04 AM
The "Priority Mail" package I'm awaiting is on Day 9 of its journey.  It made it out of the sorting facility and has now departed the distribution center.

Package update, Day 13:  "Label Created, not yet in system."  : - |

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: dinomom on December 15, 2020, 06:48:35 PM
Just found this thread, wish I had seen it before!

I need to vent because:
(a) my department chair schedules meetings without consulting anyone about the time and then when you ask for clarification they just change the time the night before the meeting
(b) my department chair violated policies for reappointments currently in process in my department
(c) the provost is unlikely to do anything because said department chair threatens to sue the institution when things don't go their way

I'm working on getting (b) resolved but don't have high hopes
there are just no rules at my institution.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on December 15, 2020, 07:13:18 PM
The "Priority Mail" package I'm awaiting is on Day 9 of its journey.  It made it out of the sorting facility and has now departed the distribution center.

Package update, Day 13:  "Label Created, not yet in system."  : - |

My latest package vent: shipment from Amazon seems to be traipsing between Dallas and Arlington, and then back to Dallas in a never-ending loop. I hope the package has left Dallas for good and is on its way to me. I couldn't make this up, however hard I tried.

Day 1, Saturday, December 12
Package has shipped
11:22 AM arrived at a carrier facility Dallas, TX US

Day 2, Sunday, December 13
12:22 PM Package arrived at a carrier facility Arlington, TX US

Day 3, Monday, December 14
1:29 PM Package has left the carrier facility Arlington, TX US
2:08 PM Package arrived at a carrier facility Dallas, TX US
5:14 Package has left the carrier facility Dallas, TX US

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: science.expat on December 15, 2020, 11:59:03 PM
Wow!

Unrelated and from an Aussie perspective, admittedly very different from the US:

3 Covid cases in Sydney today! After weeks of no community transmission in Australia.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on December 16, 2020, 06:20:35 AM
Wow!

Unrelated and from an Aussie perspective, admittedly very different from the US:

3 Covid cases in Sydney today! After weeks of no community transmission in Australia.

I guess an island is a good place to be in a pandemic.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: waterboy on December 16, 2020, 06:25:06 AM
Listening to a regional advisory group with lots of academics. Does no one have the ability to be succinct? Gah!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on December 16, 2020, 06:27:16 AM
Wow!

Unrelated and from an Aussie perspective, admittedly very different from the US:

3 Covid cases in Sydney today! After weeks of no community transmission in Australia.

I guess an island is a good place to be in a pandemic.

Except for the thoroughly incompetent, who crash, uninvited, and then think they gamed the system.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/15/world/europe/jet-ski-isle-of-man-dale-mclaughlan.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on December 17, 2020, 10:35:10 AM
The "Priority Mail" package I'm awaiting is on Day 9 of its journey.  It made it out of the sorting facility and has now departed the distribution center.

Package update, Day 13:  "Label Created, not yet in system."  : - |

My latest package vent: shipment from Amazon seems to be traipsing between Dallas and Arlington, and then back to Dallas in a never-ending loop. I hope the package has left Dallas for good and is on its way to me. I couldn't make this up, however hard I tried.

Day 1, Saturday, December 12
Package has shipped
11:22 AM arrived at a carrier facility Dallas, TX US

Day 2, Sunday, December 13
12:22 PM Package arrived at a carrier facility Arlington, TX US

Day 3, Monday, December 14
1:29 PM Package has left the carrier facility Arlington, TX US
2:08 PM Package arrived at a carrier facility Dallas, TX US
5:14 Package has left the carrier facility Dallas, TX US

Package received in good shape.  Part of the bar code had a black mark on it, probably why final tracking didn't work.  I still love USPS.  I know they're working extremely hard under impossible conditions.

Hope your package made it out if its Arlington-Dallas loop, Langue_ doc.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on December 17, 2020, 10:56:27 AM
Cheerful, glad to hear that your package made it in good shape. Mine seems to have traveled across several states, most likely by air. It's scheduled to get here by tomorrow, so I'm not too worried about it.

I do agree that the post office workers have to put up with impossible conditions and little or no support from the administration.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on December 17, 2020, 07:04:33 PM
Unrelated.

I'm so frustrated that I started crying, just to let off steam. My doctors aren't getting back to me and I've been in mild, but disconcerting pain for the past three weeks. What the hell?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on December 17, 2020, 07:09:28 PM
Unrelated.

I'm so frustrated that I started crying, just to let off steam. My doctors aren't getting back to me and I've been in mild, but disconcerting pain for the past three weeks. What the hell?

Sorry e_p_w, hope you can de-stress.  Try to get distracted.  Things will work out.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on December 17, 2020, 08:16:11 PM
Unrelated.

I'm so frustrated that I started crying, just to let off steam. My doctors aren't getting back to me and I've been in mild, but disconcerting pain for the past three weeks. What the hell?

Sorry e_p_w, hope you can de-stress.  Try to get distracted.  Things will work out.

Thanks Cheerful. That's my current plan. I'm already working on my classes for next semester.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on December 18, 2020, 08:06:19 AM
Unrelated.

I'm so frustrated that I started crying, just to let off steam. My doctors aren't getting back to me and I've been in mild, but disconcerting pain for the past three weeks. What the hell?

Sorry e_p_w, hope you can de-stress.  Try to get distracted.  Things will work out.

Thanks Cheerful. That's my current plan. I'm already working on my classes for next semester.

I hope your doctors get back to you and the pain goes away! That sounds awful and frustrating.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on December 18, 2020, 10:56:20 AM
Our fantastically expensive and energy-intensive automatic HVAC control system is supposed to fine-tune each area of the building to stay within tolerances.  It has never in the 16 years I've been here worked very well.  We're cold in the winter, and cold (due to excessive cooling) in the summer.  This winter it has been worse than ever.  I've been trying to tweak the settings to improve things, and have found that the system won't let me do anything.  What's the point of having an expensive control system if you can't control anything?  We've got a technician looking into it now to try to figure out what's going on.

I could just about shoot the architect who sold the library this system, were he not already dead.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on December 18, 2020, 11:25:15 AM
In Florida this week.  I yelled at a 'tween' today.  I am visiting my parents this week and went to Walmart for some food. I was glad to see people wearing masks in the parking lot, and I was glad to see the sign saying that masks were required.  HOwever, they are NOT required!  I saw at least a dozen without masks.  As i was checking out, a  maskless family came behind me.  The 10/12 year old could not wait to see what was on the shelf beside me in the check out line and tried to squeeze by my basket to look.  I said,"Back up!  You dont have to wear a mask, but you dont get to stand by me!"  Then his mamma spoke up with "We are behind you"  and added "PEOPLE".  I replied "Yea, PEOPLE!" 

Then I went to a Publix, thinking that the situation would be better.  It Wasnt!  Even at Publix!!  Their lunch counter section had no less than 6 maskless folks waiting to order sandwiches. 

I left thinking a few things:
1.  I wont leave the house for the rest of my visit.
2.  Sometimes you just want to Root for the Covid Virus!!  (and to quote Ebenezer-which I saw last night-) "and decrease the surplus population"

Idiots.  And if it ends up that I am part of the surplus population, then so be it!  At least I will 'be in a better place'! 


While Fauci is cancelling his Christmas with his family, We have scaled back markedly.  My new bride and I are here in Florida with my parents now.  My brother and his wife and daughter will be here Sunday through Wednesday morning.  The other usual visitors are staying away this year. 

Frankly, as my bride's family seem to go out more often than My parents, I thought that it would be safer here in Florida, and as we are probably all staying home until we plan to leave in 10 days.  Perhaps I am wrong as I thought that Publix and Walmart were holding firm on the mask restrictions, but clearly they are not!   

"PEOPLE!!"
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on December 19, 2020, 06:12:42 AM
Unlike others on this thread, I haven't been having a problem with packages getting lost or badly delayed.  However, when I left for work this morning I found an inconspicuous little package tucked under a corner of my garage.  It was for the neighbors across the street.  How long has it been there?  I don't think it was there yesterday morning.  But it is possible that it has been sitting there overlooked for a couple of days.  Anyway, I'm getting it to the proper address now.  At least it's still in time for Christmas, if that's what it was about.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on December 19, 2020, 08:37:03 AM
Unlike others on this thread, I haven't been having a problem with packages getting lost or badly delayed.  However, when I left for work this morning I found an inconspicuous little package tucked under a corner of my garage.  It was for the neighbors across the street.  How long has it been there?  I don't think it was there yesterday morning.  But it is possible that it has been sitting there overlooked for a couple of days.  Anyway, I'm getting it to the proper address now.  At least it's still in time for Christmas, if that's what it was about.

We had something like that happen last week! It was so strange.  Husband went down to the local mart briefly on Saturday morning to pick some stuff up that we had ordered.  When he was driving back up the drive, he saw two packages way down at the end of our driveway, tucked away in some rocks (to keep them from blowing away, I guess, because they were the padded envelope type of packages).  He went back down to take a look at them, and they were for someone we didn't know in our neighborhood.  He contacted them through our neighborhood watch email list and took care of it, but we don't know when the packages  arrived or why they were left down there.  I guess neighbor had been going nuts trying to figure out what had happened to them.  We always get deliveries right to our door, which is good, because we can't see down to the end of our driveway without intentionally going down there.  Plus, the packages were right by where our house number is, so they were clearly not for us.  I guess that delivery person was lazy.  Or, maybe they got delivered to another neighbor, and that neighbor did not take too much time to figure out where they should go.  Our trash gets picked up on Thursday, and they weren't there then, but it was pretty rainy and windy in between then and Saturday, so I'm glad they eventually got where they needed to go.  If he hadn't done the rare store trip, I guess they might have been there for almost another week or made their way elsewhere.  But, at least I guess we got to meet (somewhat) a neighbor and exchange contact info.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on December 23, 2020, 09:14:55 AM
Local post office, I know that it's not your fault, but today is the 23rd, two days before Christmas, and the only stamps you have are ones that say "Drug Free USA" in giant letters. Nothing like this slogan to convey Christmas cheer and New Year's wishes, especially this year. http://www.stampnewsnow.com/images/USPS-Stamps/US-Stamps-2020/20-Drug-Free-Stamp-B.jpg

WTF, post office??!! I had to affix these monstrosities on my Christmas cards. I have much nicer ones at home but didn't have a choice as the cards were already late. At the very least, I thought you'd have some decent, neutral ones, in case you had run out of the holiday-themed ones.

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on December 27, 2020, 02:04:46 PM
The damn kitchen faucet decided to 'break' today. It could be as simple as a bad washer/O-ring, but we're not sure yet. Just a giant pain in the ass along with everything else.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on December 27, 2020, 02:53:14 PM
drove to florida for Christmas with my parents.  I think that it was safer here than at home.  My bride visits her parents most days and her parents wont stay home.  My parents Do stay home, so we havent left the house much.

Getting ready to head back home.  my electric seats move, but not far, so it is not something easy like a fuse.  (Probably some paper got stuck in the motor or runner or something).  But the seat wont move up enough for her to drive.  Not that I particularly want her to drive, but now that option seems to be off the table. 

I suppose that I will be spending a chunk of money at the start of the year to get this adjusted if she is going to be able to use the car. 

I am considering paying the electronic subscription fee for a chiltons manual to see if it is something that I can attempt myself. IF it is trash messing up the gears/runners/drive bolt, It may be worth a shot. HOwever, I already know that you need to be able to get the seat to a certain postion to even access the bolts holding it down!  Im not hopeful that I will be fortunate enough to be able to do that!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: fishbrains on December 27, 2020, 03:02:45 PM
Talking about driving: When did all the a$$hole drivers trade in their BMW's for ginormous pick-up trucks?

Did I miss a memo?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on December 28, 2020, 07:44:18 AM
The damn kitchen faucet decided to 'break' today. It could be as simple as a bad washer/O-ring, but we're not sure yet. Just a giant pain in the ass along with everything else.

I just had to replace the bathtub faucet.  There was no access panel in back of the fixture, so they had to cut a hole in the tile wall from in front.  Currently I have a gaping hole in the wall at the front of the bathtub.  I've had to hang a towel over it to keep out the drafts.  I need to have a slab of something appropriate cut to fill in the hole, but with the holidays I haven't had a chance to have that done yet.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on December 28, 2020, 08:47:23 AM
The damn kitchen faucet decided to 'break' today. It could be as simple as a bad washer/O-ring, but we're not sure yet. Just a giant pain in the ass along with everything else.

I just had to replace the bathtub faucet.  There was no access panel in back of the fixture, so they had to cut a hole in the tile wall from in front.  Currently I have a gaping hole in the wall at the front of the bathtub.  I've had to hang a towel over it to keep out the drafts.  I need to have a slab of something appropriate cut to fill in the hole, but with the holidays I haven't had a chance to have that done yet.

Stack of books...

   ;--}

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ciao_yall on December 28, 2020, 12:37:40 PM
Received an Amazon gift card through my work email account, which was then automatically applied to my work Amazon account! They won't shift it to my personal account which is going to mean some strange conversations with our purchasing people. Or I could just choose to buy boring things that are sort of work-related to not raise too many eyebrows.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on December 28, 2020, 02:56:15 PM
That was mean!!

Find some reaalllyy good stuff that looks work-related and use it for that!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on December 28, 2020, 03:48:35 PM
Received an Amazon gift card through my work email account, which was then automatically applied to my work Amazon account! They won't shift it to my personal account which is going to mean some strange conversations with our purchasing people. Or I could just choose to buy boring things that are sort of work-related to not raise too many eyebrows.

If you have a university-sponsored Amazon account, you need to contact your purchasing office about how to handle the gift card. University sponsored accounts may be subject to internal audits, balance tracking, statement checking, etc. Any time there’s something odd with a university account, it’s wise to email and ask about how to handle the oddity so you have documentation that you sought advice.

It’s possible that Amazon wouldn’t transfer because you were asking for transfer from a business to personal account. The business account manager in purchasing may be able to help.

Some time ago, Internal Audit at my university selected EmployeeA’s Amazon account for review, reviewed one month of transactions, spotted a gift card purchase, and expanded their review. A single gift card transaction probably would have rated a simple corrective action memo, but EmployeeA had done several thousand dollars of gift card transactions on university account. The university fired EmployeeA for misusing account and reported the transactions to state revenue office as required under the regulations governing tax exempt state agencies. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on December 28, 2020, 04:13:27 PM
I retract my suggestion. Apologies.

I didn't realize the tax status might be an issue.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on December 29, 2020, 07:43:55 AM
No, MrsFishProf I am not "On Vacation".  Yes, I am not teaching classes at the moment, but I am still prepping classes, finishing grades, running a department, managing budgets, arranging internships, doing my own research etc. etc.

YOU (MFP) are on vacation b/c the nature of, and you approach to, your job is such that teaching = work and not teaching = vacation.  After 12 years together, I would expect you to get this....

And colleagues, you are not on vacation either, nor is the university closed until Feb 1.  Take that autoreply down or face the wrath of the Dean.  You have been warned.

On the other hand, Students - it is the week between Xmas and NewYearDay. NO, I won't zoom with you to discuss your grade.  If you cannot figure out why you didn't pass the class when you DID.NOT.TAKE.THE.FINAL. then no amount of zooming will help you.  Try back next week.

And KNEES!  I can't seriously entertain renewing my workouts or running when sitting makes you so stiff I can't straighten you or walk for 10 minutes.  Knock it off!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on December 29, 2020, 08:14:15 AM
No, MrsFishProf I am not "On Vacation". 
[...]
And colleagues, you are not on vacation either....You have been warned.

All work and no relaxation with some full days completely away from all work isn't good.  Work will always be there.  The best days of your life and family will not.  Just sayin'.  All the best to you.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: vanty4366 on December 30, 2020, 10:07:46 AM
Something similar happened to me recently. Department chair doesn't know what 12/23 and 12/30 mean and still sends you work to do. Btw, I'm a student assistant. It's like she's afraid I might get bored on vacation and right before my break she assigns tasks. Who would do that??

No, MrsFishProf I am not "On Vacation".  Yes, I am not teaching classes at the moment, but I am still prepping classes, finishing grades, running a department, managing budgets, arranging internships, doing my own research etc. etc.

YOU (MFP) are on vacation b/c the nature of, and you approach to, your job is such that teaching = work and not teaching = vacation.  After 12 years together, I would expect you to get this....

And colleagues, you are not on vacation either, nor is the university closed until Feb 1.  Take that autoreply down or face the wrath of the Dean.  You have been warned.

On the other hand, Students - it is the week between Xmas and NewYearDay. NO, I won't zoom with you to discuss your grade.  If you cannot figure out why you didn't pass the class when you DID.NOT.TAKE.THE.FINAL. then no amount of zooming will help you.  Try back next week.

And KNEES!  I can't seriously entertain renewing my workouts or running when sitting makes you so stiff I can't straighten you or walk for 10 minutes.  Knock it off!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on December 30, 2020, 11:09:50 AM
No, MrsFishProf I am not "On Vacation". 
[...]
And colleagues, you are not on vacation either....You have been warned.

All work and no relaxation with some full days completely away from all work isn't good.  Work will always be there.  The best days of your life and family will not.  Just sayin'.  All the best to you.

Fine.  Of course.  Don't put it in your autoreply.

Also, taking the week from Xmas-NYD =/= taking until Feb 1st.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on December 30, 2020, 11:13:24 AM
Could it be a type for Jan 1st?

(Or is this someone who actually believes what they wrote to begin with...?)

Still, commiserations.

As I've noted elsewhere, I'm typing a transcription of the most awful meeting ever, complete with calm, weird meltdowns, completely contradictory claims in successive sentences, etc.

My eyes want to cross behind my head.

M.

 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on December 30, 2020, 11:17:36 AM
Could it be a type for Jan 1st?

(Or is this someone who actually believes what they wrote to begin with...?)

Not a Typo - that is the delayed start date for the Spring.  And yes, I'm sure many of my colleagues really truly believe it.  They are wrong. 

These same folks don't have a final exam in the Spring so "summer vacation" starts on May 1 and they don't do a thing until Sept1.  They are on contract 1Sept-31May.

There was quite the hue and cry when some of them came back to discover that several MAJOR policies were passed (by quite narrow margins) at the meetings in May they didn't bother to attend.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on December 30, 2020, 04:00:30 PM
Quote
There was quite the hue and cry when some of them came back to discover that several MAJOR policies were passed (by quite narrow margins) at the meetings in May they didn't bother to attend.

Oooppssss...!

In more cheerful venting, I fear I may have unleashed a small demon on the world.

Who know my six-year-old piano student would get so excited about diminutions, improvisation, AND using the (free, downloadable music app) MuseScore to notate them all?

It's getting truly scary.

He doesn't quite have perfect pitch, but pretty good relative pitch, his rhythm is very decent, and his two older siblings actually set pretty good examples (and are proving infinitely patient in answering all his questions about the software, thank goodness).

Balancing between the up-ramping game to keep him alert and growing and the need to keep it playful and appropriate for a six-year-old is a great problem to have, but I'm really going to have to think about this more specifically than I've ever had to before.

The sibs are teaching Python and Advanced Python to their peers (for pay....at that age, I was babysitting) and taking advanced trig and calculus privately, so it's a family thing, and they're all very cheerful and light-hearted about it all, so I think they'll be able to take it in stride, but, still...

I was talking to his mom about something after their lessons and he burst into the room with the software already downloaded, one new piece in progress, and wanting to know how to start another new file because he had a different composition in mind.

I feel like I'm holding onto the string of a very strong kite: I don't want to let go, but I need to give it as much freedom as possible so it can enjoy the wind.

Speaking of venting...(sorry).

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on January 01, 2021, 01:50:42 PM
Looks like I'll be spending the first money of 2021 today. What we thought was just a hose replacement under the sink appears to be a broken shut off valve. Yay. So, we're now waiting for someone to stop by and hopefully fix it.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 01, 2021, 03:09:29 PM
Oh, no.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on January 01, 2021, 04:35:28 PM
Oh, no.

M.

Actually, we got somewhat of a deal. We were pretty sure the faucet was broken and the plumber confirmed it. He said he'd fix the valve for free and install a new faucet for a couple hundred bucks. Not too bad.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: sinenomine on January 02, 2021, 12:47:17 PM
My niece, who has used her wedding invitation as a vehicle to crowdsource her honeymoon (which they skipped, banking the money) and who has not been in contact with me for years, just sent me an invitation to her baby shower, many states away — an overt request for a gift. So I sent a onesie from a local museum, which at least means a book will be donated to a community in need.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on January 04, 2021, 07:58:04 AM
I'm being distracted at work today by a terrible ear ache.  My ears are very sensitive to changes in the weather.  Wild temperature swings of the sort that have come to be the norm here all winter long really do a number on them.  Now my head is hurting, and that is making me grit my teeth and pop my jaw.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 04, 2021, 08:22:38 AM
Ear wax can prevent tiny bits of water from draining and cause pressure buildups (I get this sometimes).

First aid: A bit of rubbing alcohol on a tissue, rubbed on the surface not far at all into the ear (to prevent injury to the tiny bones inside) may help evaporate any water that's gotten in from showering, swimming, etc. There are also "swimmer's ear" drops, that are also basically rubbing alcohol, in most drugstores.

Beyond First Aid: If the pain is serious, sharp or persistent there could be an infection behind the wax, which requires medical intervention for removal and an antibiotic to resolve the infection itself.

Of course, if you get this a lot, you probably know all this...

Hope it feels better soon!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on January 04, 2021, 08:39:17 AM
Ear wax can prevent tiny bits of water from draining and cause pressure buildups (I get this sometimes).

First aid: A bit of rubbing alcohol on a tissue, rubbed on the surface not far at all into the ear (to prevent injury to the tiny bones inside) may help evaporate any water that's gotten in from showering, swimming, etc. There are also "swimmer's ear" drops, that are also basically rubbing alcohol, in most drugstores.

Beyond First Aid: If the pain is serious, sharp or persistent there could be an infection behind the wax, which requires medical intervention for removal and an antibiotic to resolve the infection itself.

Of course, if you get this a lot, you probably know all this...

Hope it feels better soon!

M.

Thank you.

Yes, I do know this.  I had my ears cleaned by the doctor some months ago.  What I have at the moment is showing the hallmarks of a seasonal problem I've had for years.  It normally goes away in a day or two.  If it doesn't, then I go to the doctor.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on January 06, 2021, 11:31:40 AM
Our financial and accounting software at work has failed to open.  That's a serious problem, because today is the day each week that I do payroll and bill paying. 

I've been online with the company's representatives trying to get the situation resolved.  Still no fix.  I'm currently waiting for a third rep, who is supposed to be a "Second Tier" support expert, to call.

In 16 years I've never failed to get the payroll out on time.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on January 06, 2021, 11:38:16 AM
Dear co-worker,
I need your signature on [a thing].  You are not answering your emails.  You apparently don't check your campus phone messages or your on campus mail box.  I wish we were on campus so I could find you in your office and get you to sign the damn piece of paper.  Yes, I know you're busy.  I'm busy.  We are all busy.  Don't make me look up your address and start sending you snail mail at home.
Grumble.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 06, 2021, 12:55:12 PM
Our financial and accounting software at work has failed to open.  That's a serious problem, because today is the day each week that I do payroll and bill paying. 

I've been online with the company's representatives trying to get the situation resolved.  Still no fix.  I'm currently waiting for a third rep, who is supposed to be a "Second Tier" support expert, to call.

In 16 years I've never failed to get the payroll out on time.

I dealt with this once by doing all the computations in Excel and getting the treasurer to hand-write the checks, then back-filing all the debits once the system was back up (with approval, of course--but the overriding issue was that people needed to be paid, so the oversight person was OK with it).

That may not be possible in your situation, of course, but it, or something like it, might be an option if there aren't more than, say, twenty checks and the tax withholding stuff isn't too complex (I estimated based on the previous week and adjusted a couple by a few pennies the next week, again with permission).

Your bank officer might be able to suggest a work-around as well.

But it's no fun, I agree....!!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on January 06, 2021, 01:21:23 PM
The promised third rep--the "Second Tier" help--has yet to get back to us.  I don't know what else to do except to contact the help center again and start all over again.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on January 06, 2021, 01:24:19 PM
The promised third rep--the "Second Tier" help--has yet to get back to us.  I don't know what else to do except to contact the help center again and start all over again.

Oh dear! My sympathies. I hope things get resolved and people get paid on time.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on January 06, 2021, 02:28:55 PM
The promised third rep--the "Second Tier" help--has yet to get back to us.  I don't know what else to do except to contact the help center again and start all over again.

Oh dear! My sympathies. I hope things get resolved and people get paid on time.

It's already too late for that.  Looks like I'll have to find an alternate way of cutting checks tomorrow, in between efforts to get hold of somebody who's actually in charge at the service vendor.

I've shown a great deal of patience during all this, but it looks like I'm going to have to to into squeaky wheel complaint mode to get anything done. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on January 06, 2021, 05:02:54 PM
A year ago, I ordered some books from Palgrave-MacMillan because they were having a big sale. I entered my credit card number, etc., and a few weeks later got the books in the mail.

Today I got a letter from what looks like a collection agency telling me I owe Springer $144.  I thought at first it was fraudulent, but now I'm wondering...


I went back to my credit card statements for the time, and all I can find from Springer is a charge for $28, which makes it all weirder. I do have a copy of the original invoice which, upon closer inspection, seems to indicate that $0.00 was prepaid and I owe them $115. That's weird, because the whole point of providing them with a credit card number is that they then charge it, rather than not.

But it's especially weird because they charged me $28. And I've subsequently ordered other books from Palgrave, and as far as I can tell they charged me then and there, and not through Springer (although I can find no trace of charges on my credit card either, so...). So I'm just really, really confused about what happened here.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on January 07, 2021, 09:54:41 AM
Still no service on our software.  After about another hour of piddling around with a third representative in chat this morning, I received a promise that a Tier 2 service rep will call "within the day."  Since I have no idea when that will be, I can't leave to go to lunch or take care of business.  I could well be here until closing time, waiting for a call that may--as happened yesterday--not even come.  On what was supposed to be my short day.  I need these short days, given that I come in six days a week.

I can't even really accomplish much at work, since I'm afraid to get into doing anything that I might have trouble dropping at a moment's notice.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 07, 2021, 11:25:00 AM
Still no service on our software.  After about another hour of piddling around with a third representative in chat this morning, I received a promise that a Tier 2 service rep will call "within the day."  Since I have no idea when that will be, I can't leave to go to lunch or take care of business.  I could well be here until closing time, waiting for a call that may--as happened yesterday--not even come.  On what was supposed to be my short day.  I need these short days, given that I come in six days a week.

I can't even really accomplish much at work, since I'm afraid to get into doing anything that I might have trouble dropping at a moment's notice.

Strong sympathy and high respect for your conscientious attitude towards your co-workers.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on January 07, 2021, 11:48:14 AM
Our VP of the Board of Trustees, a retired accountant who is our go-to person for financial matters, came in and got the copy of the software that he uses on his machine when developing the budget.  He was able to get into it.  We used my latest data backup, and I was able to cut the payroll and the most urgent other checks.  He also brought me a package of peanut butter and crackers, which I'm now having for lunch.

Won't be a long-term solution, but at least now I can send a staff member to the Mayor's office to get the checks signed so that I can distribute.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 07, 2021, 02:48:53 PM
Love the PB and crackers!

Glad it's resolved! Yea!!

I think I told this on on the Old Forum:

I worked AP at a nearby hospital, once, and we used to pay all the ER docs by voucher because their hours were so irregular. That raft of PVs went to my desk, often handed in at odd times--under my door at 2 AM when they rotated off, for example, etc.

Many of them were newly qualified MDs with huge bills to pay. Someone would come by the next day to pick them up as soon as they were run to distribute to their colleagues rather than wait for the interoffice mail we sent other such checks, like reimbursements, in. They needed those checks ASAP.

I woke once at 3 AM out of a dead sleep, sat up in bed, and said clearly and loudly, "I forgot to pay Dr. So-and-so!"

Went in early to the office at 7 AM and made it just in time to get the check into the next run.

Good times.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on January 07, 2021, 03:52:06 PM
Unfortunately it's NOT resolved (Although everybody's very glad to have their checks.  Mine isn't doing me any good so far, since I've been unable to deposit it.  One of several things I'd intended to do this afternoon, on what was supposed to be my short day).  We don't know how long the backup software I'm using will remain viable, and it's very awkward to use that workstation.

I've now been in building for almost nine hours straight.  Haven't set foot outside once.  The promised support center call hasn't taken place, and I doubt it'll come through in the next half hour until closing. 

Not sure what I'm going to do tomorrow. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 07, 2021, 05:21:54 PM
Is it something like PeachTree or QuickBooks?

They can be a bear.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on January 08, 2021, 06:13:50 AM
Unfortunately it's NOT resolved (Although everybody's very glad to have their checks.  Mine isn't doing me any good so far, since I've been unable to deposit it.  One of several things I'd intended to do this afternoon, on what was supposed to be my short day).  We don't know how long the backup software I'm using will remain viable, and it's very awkward to use that workstation.

I've now been in building for almost nine hours straight.  Haven't set foot outside once.  The promised support center call hasn't taken place, and I doubt it'll come through in the next half hour until closing. 

Not sure what I'm going to do tomorrow.

Time to throw a hissy fit. Higher-ups do sit up and take notice especially if you've shown that you've done everything you can to fix the problem.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on January 09, 2021, 07:22:51 AM
Yesterday I got our IT contractor working on the problem to see if it was something we could handle from our end.  Which I had already come to suspect, but would like to have had some insight from the software vendor's support people to give the IT man to go on.  IT says he can fix it.  I'll check back with him on Monday.

Meanwhile, I've gotten an e-mail from the vendor saying that we should have our own IT handle the problem.  The e-mail said that they tried to contact us three times on Thursday, but it kept going to voice mail.

We do not have voice mail.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on January 09, 2021, 07:54:15 AM
The vendor either didn't call or called the wrong number. You could report the vendor to a state agency such as the AG's office.

I was reminded of a towing company claiming that they couldn't reach me and therefore had to cancel the appointment scheduled by my insurance company. It turned out that they had written down the wrong phone number. The insurance company rescheduled the tow, only for a second no-show. This time some (expletive) lady from the insurance company told me to leave the key in the car so that it could be towed and kept overnight in the towing company's possession as it was too late in the day for the car to be towed to the shop. I told the rep that there was no way in hεll that I would leave the car unlocked and that there was no guarantee that there wouldn't be additional damage or loss as a result of such a/an (expletive) idea. Finally, after the third no-show, I had to arrange for the car to be towed. This company had such bad reviews that the insurance company shouldn't have used them in the first place. Fortunately they are not being used anymore as I had a very professional tow truck driver tow my car a few months ago for bodywork (fender bender).
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: RatGuy on January 09, 2021, 11:56:22 AM
My class schedule has changed three times in the last three weeks. Factors include classes being cancelled for low enrollment, grad students pulling out of their assigned classes, instructors who desire to change their delivery method (online to hybrid or vice versa), and administrators who change delivery methods of particular classes. This has been a poopstorm for our department scheduler, and I don't fault her. But I've gone from "you're teaching this new class three times a week" to "you're teaching that class once a week" to "I know you just finished setting up your class, but now you're teaching something else. It's a twice-a-week class, but you'll be teaching half the class a time -- make sure to double up your assignments."

And just now I've received an automated message from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness saying that I haven't uploaded my syllabus for a class. Well, I'm not officially the instructor of record for that class yet, so I don't have access to the online syllabus system yet.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ergative on January 10, 2021, 04:18:51 AM
I really dislike purveyors of audio fiction who don't provide an easy way to download .mp3s of whatever you've bought. Case in point: Serial Box. I love their serials, and buy them with real money, but in order to download them onto my .mp3 player, I must either use their app---difficult, since I don't have a smartphone---or else go to the page source of each episode, search for '.mp3' in the source code, extract the url of the audio file from the page source code, and then download it that way. I mean, I do it, but since I've already bought and paid for the audio files, why can't I just have them?

On the other hand, when I borrow audio books from the library through Overdrive, I get the raw .mp3s with no difficulty, and can save them and transfer them with no problems, and keep them well after the loan period expires. That also seems wrong.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on January 10, 2021, 11:35:54 AM
My class schedule has changed three times in the last three weeks. Factors include classes being cancelled for low enrollment, grad students pulling out of their assigned classes, instructors who desire to change their delivery method (online to hybrid or vice versa), and administrators who change delivery methods of particular classes. This has been a poopstorm for our department scheduler, and I don't fault her. But I've gone from "you're teaching this new class three times a week" to "you're teaching that class once a week" to "I know you just finished setting up your class, but now you're teaching something else. It's a twice-a-week class, but you'll be teaching half the class a time -- make sure to double up your assignments."

And just now I've received an automated message from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness saying that I haven't uploaded my syllabus for a class. Well, I'm not officially the instructor of record for that class yet, so I don't have access to the online syllabus system yet.
I'm waiting for the same kind of BS to be pulled on me this week (classes start a week from Tuesday).  If/when it does, I'm going to my union to throw a conniption fit on my behalf. 

Admin generally pulls this crap here on people who've taught all the classes in the department and in both online and F2F--"we know we can stick you anywhere."  Since there are fewer and fewer of us left, after the huge RIF of 4 years ago plus all the retirements/resignations, the chance of this happening to me is increasing.  But I'll be damned if I get rewarded for seniority and service with a bunch of last-minute changes.  Hire some damned faculty and leave me alone.  (I used to be a team player.  Not much at all, anymore. I look out for me, since nobody else will--"I stick my neck out for nobody," to quote Rick in Casablanca.)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on January 10, 2021, 07:47:50 PM
I really dislike purveyors of audio fiction who don't provide an easy way to download .mp3s of whatever you've bought.


Oh yeah, this drives me nuts! (But with podcasts.)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on January 11, 2021, 04:59:44 AM
I'm sorry you are sick.  But we have a morning routine around here and you are disrupting it.  I can handle it; I do ever day of the week.  Stop "helping".  You are not.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on January 11, 2021, 09:53:50 AM
Our IT contractor has successfully fixed our accounting software update problem.  When our accountant comes in tomorrow to start on our W-2s, I'll see if she can fix the glitches on last week's payroll.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: sinenomine on January 12, 2021, 07:39:01 AM
My condo complex has a shared laundry room. Today was the third time in a row that a dryer failed to heat up/run long enough to dry my clothes. Adding insult to injury, the price for running a dryer doubled last month. I’ve called the maintenance team — again — and now have damp clothes spread all over my bedroom to dry. Grrrr!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on January 12, 2021, 08:57:03 AM
My condo complex has a shared laundry room. Today was the third time in a row that a dryer failed to heat up/run long enough to dry my clothes. Adding insult to injury, the price for running a dryer doubled last month. I’ve called the maintenance team — again — and now have damp clothes spread all over my bedroom to dry. Grrrr!

That's awful.  If you're renting, you should get a reduction in rent for not having access to a working dryer for so long.  Doubling the price on a broken dryer is mean and wrong.  You and neighbors need to act collectively to demand working dryers.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on January 12, 2021, 09:03:44 AM
Minor vent.

Why on Earth do people feel the need to reply all to an email with over 300 recipients? I've been getting these all day.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on January 12, 2021, 10:14:21 AM
Minor vent.

Why on Earth do people feel the need to reply all to an email with over 300 recipients? I've been getting these all day.

Same here.  Between that, and a zillion emails from Teams telling me about meetings that I have NO attachment to/reason to attend. 

I really dislike Teams.  So of course we're being forced to move to it.......I'm sticking with Collaborate for spring, even though it's not being supported.  (I don't love Collaborate, but better the devil I know at this late date.)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: EdnaMode on January 13, 2021, 01:09:19 PM
Not even really a rant... more like general whinging. Canvas decided it was going to have a technical error for a couple of hours today so nothing could be edited; received an email from a student who wants in a closed section of my in-person course and thinks he should be the exemption to the Covid class size limits; made the mistake of looking at last semester's evals and they were not very good in a class that is usually pretty well received, and most of the complaints were about things I couldn't control like limited in-person lab time (again, Covid); my dean sent out an email with new stuff that's required on our syllabi, so I had to redo those (classes haven't started yet, thankfully) and it took forever to reupload them because of the aforementioned Canvas error. Ugh. That's all. Back to your regularly scheduled venting.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on January 14, 2021, 12:14:51 PM
Dear Dean
I am curious whether you really think it is useful to send out an email with 17 attachments for adjunct faculty to use and review. I can say that I won't be opening any of them. Maybe I will just email you if I have any questions.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mythbuster on January 14, 2021, 01:22:08 PM
Dear Bookstore,
   Does ordering an extra 100 copies of our lab manual one week into the semester with rush overnight shipping mean that I was right all along about you not having enough for course enrollment?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: marshwiggle on January 14, 2021, 01:32:26 PM
Dear Bookstore,
   Does ordering an extra 100 copies of our lab manual one week into the semester with rush overnight shipping mean that I was right all along about you not having enough for course enrollment?

That's why I stopped using the bookstore years back, before I went to totally online lab manuals. By their policy for textbooks, they would only oder 85% of course enrollment due to the number of people who wouldn't buy the text normally. So the first labs were chaos with lots of students not having a manual.......
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Larimar on January 14, 2021, 01:44:28 PM

Well, it looks like I have just finally truly lost the game of Roulette that is adjuncting. All my classes have been cut for low enrollment or reassigned to a full-timer. I know how the game is played; this is far from the first time I've seen this. What's changed is that always before I've been offered replacement sections. Not this time. OnlyGameInTown CC is going through major retrenchments, and there were no more sections. My supervisor wants to rehire me, but cannot. Weeks of unpaid prep work down the drain. In fact, sixteen years of experience down the drain, because the institution really is the only game in town and I am geographically immobile. Not that adjunct work pays enough to be worth moving for anyway.

I am going to have to start a new career. My field is creative writing. Companies aren't exactly hiring poets, novelists, or other writers in droves. I don't even know what else I'm good for, if anything. I haven't done a real job search in sixteen years, either, much less during a pandemic and economic near-collapse. I hate job hunting and haven't needed to do it, until now. Career counseling is expensive. Does anyone have any knowledge or experience or ideas regarding whether it is worth it?


Larimar



Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on January 14, 2021, 01:55:11 PM
Sorry to hear about your classes being canceled at the last minute.

I have no insights on job searches or how one would go about finding writing jobs, but you could look into temp agencies that specialize in writing/editing.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on January 14, 2021, 01:57:41 PM

Well, it looks like I have just finally truly lost the game of Roulette that is adjuncting. All my classes have been cut for low enrollment or reassigned to a full-timer. I know how the game is played; this is far from the first time I've seen this. What's changed is that always before I've been offered replacement sections. Not this time. OnlyGameInTown CC is going through major retrenchments, and there were no more sections. My supervisor wants to rehire me, but cannot. Weeks of unpaid prep work down the drain. In fact, sixteen years of experience down the drain, because the institution really is the only game in town and I am geographically immobile. Not that adjunct work pays enough to be worth moving for anyway.

I am going to have to start a new career. My field is creative writing. Companies aren't exactly hiring poets, novelists, or other writers in droves. I don't even know what else I'm good for, if anything. I haven't done a real job search in sixteen years, either, much less during a pandemic and economic near-collapse. I hate job hunting and haven't needed to do it, until now. Career counseling is expensive. Does anyone have any knowledge or experience or ideas regarding whether it is worth it?


Larimar

You could certainly find work right now as a private tutor.  Lots of students really need extra support, not just help writing, but also methods for staying organized.  With most folks entirely online, you don't even have to be in the same geographic area as potential students.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: namazu on January 14, 2021, 03:13:33 PM
Microwave-cum-vent-hood died in the middle of thawing frozen meat with which I had planned to cook chili. Looks like it shorted out internally -- the outlet still works and hasn't blown a fuse.

Not sure when/if we'll be able to find another model that fits and get it installed in a way that doesn't expose us to people outside our quarantine bubble, which consists solely of our household, and when they can go 2 weeks without sharing air-space with other people, my parents and my MIL.  Will have to figure out when we can avoid the kitchen for a while, which is not easy when we are cooking all meals at home and have a baby.  (Yes, we are more risk-averse than most.)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 14, 2021, 03:28:00 PM
Microwave-cum-vent-hood died in the middle of thawing frozen meat with which I had planned to cook chili. Looks like it shorted out internally -- the outlet still works and hasn't blown a fuse.

Not sure when/if we'll be able to find another model that fits and get it installed in a way that doesn't expose us to people outside our quarantine bubble, which consists solely of our household, and when they can go 2 weeks without sharing air-space with other people, my parents and my MIL.  Will have to figure out when we can avoid the kitchen for a while, which is not easy when we are cooking all meals at home and have a baby.  (Yes, we are more risk-averse than most.)tion,

Can you get an inexpensive counter-top model for the duration? Target, etc. probably have them and could deliver.

Or perhaps you're already doing that.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 14, 2021, 03:30:33 PM

Well, it looks like I have just finally truly lost the game of Roulette that is adjuncting. All my classes have been cut for low enrollment or reassigned to a full-timer. I know how the game is played; this is far from the first time I've seen this. What's changed is that always before I've been offered replacement sections. Not this time. OnlyGameInTown CC is going through major retrenchments, and there were no more sections. My supervisor wants to rehire me, but cannot. Weeks of unpaid prep work down the drain. In fact, sixteen years of experience down the drain, because the institution really is the only game in town and I am geographically immobile. Not that adjunct work pays enough to be worth moving for anyway.

I am going to have to start a new career. My field is creative writing. Companies aren't exactly hiring poets, novelists, or other writers in droves. I don't even know what else I'm good for, if anything. I haven't done a real job search in sixteen years, either, much less during a pandemic and economic near-collapse. I hate job hunting and haven't needed to do it, until now. Career counseling is expensive. Does anyone have any knowledge or experience or ideas regarding whether it is worth it?


Larimar

You could certainly find work right now as a private tutor.  Lots of students really need extra support, not just help writing, but also methods for staying organized.  With most folks entirely online, you don't even have to be in the same geographic area as potential students.

With editing in my resume, I get a lot of listings via Monster, Indeed, and LinkedIn.

I'll PM you with a few shortly...teaching in just a moment.

And yes, online homework help is big right now.

More later.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: namazu on January 14, 2021, 04:58:04 PM
Microwave-cum-vent-hood died in the middle of thawing frozen meat with which I had planned to cook chili. Looks like it shorted out internally -- the outlet still works and hasn't blown a fuse.

Not sure when/if we'll be able to find another model that fits and get it installed in a way that doesn't expose us to people outside our quarantine bubble, which consists solely of our household, and when they can go 2 weeks without sharing air-space with other people, my parents and my MIL.  Will have to figure out when we can avoid the kitchen for a while, which is not easy when we are cooking all meals at home and have a baby.  (Yes, we are more risk-averse than most.)
Can you get an inexpensive counter-top model for the duration? Target, etc. probably have them and could deliver.
Or perhaps you're already doing that.
Yes, that's the plan for the immediate term. 

The vent hood over the stove will be a little trickier to replace.  It's not great barbecue weather here, either, but we'll certainly manage.  Having spent a good deal of time in S. Asia where many people have terribly-polluting indoor cookstoves (and also with colleagues who studied that very thing), I know that this is orders of magnitude less bad (but also that you don't want to breathe in byproducts of combustion when you can help it).
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Larimar on January 15, 2021, 05:40:07 AM
Thank you for the replies and PM's. I appreciate it. You've given me some good ideas.


Namazu, I hope you are able to get your vent hood replaced quickly and safely.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on January 15, 2021, 08:05:43 AM

Namazu, I hope you are able to get your vent hood replaced quickly and safely.

Yes.

Incidentally, venting about a vent seems a doubly appropriate use of this thread.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 15, 2021, 08:50:04 AM

Namazu, I hope you are able to get your vent hood replaced quickly and safely.

Yes.

Incidentally, venting about a vent seems a doubly appropriate use of this thread.


Ha!

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: sprout on January 15, 2021, 11:06:01 AM
Being location-bound doesn't necessarily prevent you from adjuncting, particularly right now.  If you've been teaching online for covid, you could put feelers out nationwide for teaching online classes.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Larimar on January 15, 2021, 06:24:19 PM
You have a good point, and yes, I had been teaching online. Thank you.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on January 19, 2021, 04:21:03 PM
IT IS DEAD.

My hard drive has a short.  The Geeks were unable to salvage my files.  All may be lost.

SO BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER!!!


The kicker (in the ass) is that I DID buy a new external hard drive in November!  I have not even taken it out of the box!!

I am now living what I tell my students, "BUYING the study guide has never helped anyone.  USING the study guide might help!"   (It seems that my computer was not impressed by my PURCHASE of a back up drive!!)


I am exploring the options of buying the same model hard drive and swapping out the physical disk part of it... but I dont know if anyone is able to do surgery on a hard drive. (The geeks suggested that they COULD TRY to send it somewhere else for 'level 3' work that starts at $1000).

I dont think so!  But thanks for the offer!


SO BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER TODAY (or risk my fate!!) 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 19, 2021, 04:29:59 PM
The Geek Squad is not necessarily the best resource, if that's who you're referring to.

There are several online sites (I had one die for which it took 2 days to download everything, but it only cost 70.00).

And I also find it maddening that they can't seem to make them better. I'm suspecting intentionally planned obsolescence, really.

Mine is also making things difficult, and I was just this AM thinking I'd better order a new one and start downloading.

But I also have a large XHDD to save to, so I'll be backing up to that first.

Thanks for the reality check, though, really.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Harlow2 on January 20, 2021, 11:22:04 AM
Clean, before abandoning hope check with your university IT support and see if they can help.   My hard drive is next to the computer.  Ahem.  I will use it today. thanks for the nudge.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on January 20, 2021, 11:24:16 AM
A dean emailed a document with 7 pages of boilerplate to be included in the syllabus. This was cumulative from years of boilerplate, and I only had to add half a page to the syllabus. Sad for the students, sad for me, sad for the dean, for all of us to be so thoroughly enmeshed in a waste of time.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: EdnaMode on January 20, 2021, 11:34:43 AM
A dean emailed a document with 7 pages of boilerplate to be included in the syllabus. This was cumulative from years of boilerplate, and I only had to add half a page to the syllabus. Sad for the students, sad for me, sad for the dean, for all of us to be so thoroughly enmeshed in a waste of time.

Wow! That's a lot of info. Could you possibly talk your dean into putting the boilerplate online? I know some schools do that and all the instructors have to do is put a link in the syllabus. If I had seven pages of additional stuff to add to my syllabus I'd definitely be asking people up the food chain if we could put it somewhere online like the school website or an intranet.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Harlow2 on January 20, 2021, 11:48:49 AM
Another vent vent of a different kind:  In an effort to avoid going to the store for more potting soil, I was sterilizing potting soil in my microwave.  I have done this successfully before, and added (I thought) plenty of water to the mix.  15 minutes later smelled something burning, and sure enough, 3 teeny twigs in the mix were smoldering.  A lot. Filled the downstairs with smoke.  Did not set off the smoke alarms, oddly—they are usually sensitive to even a hot oven.  Soaked the smoldering potting soil, scrubbed the microwave. Aired out the house for an hour.

Question:  when the furnace (forced air)  comes on the house smells like smoke all over again.  Assume the vents are a bit smoky.  Aside from replacing the furnace filter, which of course means a trip to store I was avoiding in the first place, what can I do?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on January 20, 2021, 12:09:53 PM
A dean emailed a document with 7 pages of boilerplate to be included in the syllabus. This was cumulative from years of boilerplate, and I only had to add half a page to the syllabus. Sad for the students, sad for me, sad for the dean, for all of us to be so thoroughly enmeshed in a waste of time.

Wow! That's a lot of info. Could you possibly talk your dean into putting the boilerplate online? I know some schools do that and all the instructors have to do is put a link in the syllabus. If I had seven pages of additional stuff to add to my syllabus I'd definitely be asking people up the food chain if we could put it somewhere online like the school website or an intranet.

I don't really want to engage with the dean, based on past experience. This is a requirement made of all faculty, and probably comes from higher up than the dean. There is all sorts of info up online, though the website for the school isn't easy to navigate. Then there's the school intranet which is also confusing. I doubt that students are going to read the info wherever it appears.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on January 20, 2021, 12:12:36 PM
A dean emailed a document with 7 pages of boilerplate to be included in the syllabus. This was cumulative from years of boilerplate, and I only had to add half a page to the syllabus. Sad for the students, sad for me, sad for the dean, for all of us to be so thoroughly enmeshed in a waste of time.

We occasionally get the same kind of crap. I don't put it in my main syllabus, but I post it with the Syllabus under Class and University Policies in our CMS.  I also break out Schedule of Topics as a separate PDF in that list.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: EdnaMode on January 20, 2021, 12:38:18 PM
A dean emailed a document with 7 pages of boilerplate to be included in the syllabus. This was cumulative from years of boilerplate, and I only had to add half a page to the syllabus. Sad for the students, sad for me, sad for the dean, for all of us to be so thoroughly enmeshed in a waste of time.

Wow! That's a lot of info. Could you possibly talk your dean into putting the boilerplate online? I know some schools do that and all the instructors have to do is put a link in the syllabus. If I had seven pages of additional stuff to add to my syllabus I'd definitely be asking people up the food chain if we could put it somewhere online like the school website or an intranet.

I don't really want to engage with the dean, based on past experience. This is a requirement made of all faculty, and probably comes from higher up than the dean. There is all sorts of info up online, though the website for the school isn't easy to navigate. Then there's the school intranet which is also confusing. I doubt that students are going to read the info wherever it appears.

That's too bad. I guess sometimes it's just easier to copy and paste and get on with it.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on January 20, 2021, 12:50:59 PM
A dean emailed a document with 7 pages of boilerplate to be included in the syllabus. This was cumulative from years of boilerplate, and I only had to add half a page to the syllabus. Sad for the students, sad for me, sad for the dean, for all of us to be so thoroughly enmeshed in a waste of time.

Wow! That's a lot of info. Could you possibly talk your dean into putting the boilerplate online? I know some schools do that and all the instructors have to do is put a link in the syllabus. If I had seven pages of additional stuff to add to my syllabus I'd definitely be asking people up the food chain if we could put it somewhere online like the school website or an intranet.

I don't really want to engage with the dean, based on past experience. This is a requirement made of all faculty, and probably comes from higher up than the dean. There is all sorts of info up online, though the website for the school isn't easy to navigate. Then there's the school intranet which is also confusing. I doubt that students are going to read the info wherever it appears.

What in the world is all that boilerplate about, anyway?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on January 20, 2021, 12:57:04 PM

What in the world is all that boilerplate about, anyway?

I don't know -- I didn't look at it!

Well, I did a bit. Policies and information. Rubrics, of course.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 20, 2021, 01:01:19 PM
Another vent vent of a different kind:  In an effort to avoid going to the store for more potting soil, I was sterilizing potting soil in my microwave.  I have done this successfully before, and added (I thought) plenty of water to the mix.  15 minutes later smelled something burning, and sure enough, 3 teeny twigs in the mix were smoldering.  A lot. Filled the downstairs with smoke.  Did not set off the smoke alarms, oddly—they are usually sensitive to even a hot oven.  Soaked the smoldering potting soil, scrubbed the microwave. Aired out the house for an hour.

Question:  when the furnace (forced air)  comes on the house smells like smoke all over again.  Assume the vents are a bit smoky.  Aside from replacing the furnace filter, which of course means a trip to store I was avoiding in the first place, what can I do?

Make Moroccan Orange Chicken to get rid of the smoky smell....seriously.

A small trashcan fire in a new apartment was quickly dispelled, but the stinging smell lingered all day--until a friend came over and cooked a birthday dinner for me that night, several years ago.

Smell gone, absorbed, taken up, gloriously replaced by the smell of the dinner cooking.  (I'm glad to PM you with the recipe if you like, too...!)

;--}

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: namazu on January 20, 2021, 01:08:04 PM
Question:  when the furnace (forced air)  comes on the house smells like smoke all over again.  Assume the vents are a bit smoky.  Aside from replacing the furnace filter, which of course means a trip to store I was avoiding in the first place, what can I do?
I've been ordering furnace filters online.  If you're in an area with reliable delivery, that might be an option.  Whether replacing the filter will be sufficient, I'm not sure; if there's accumulated dust/etc. in the ductwork, that could have absorbed some of the smoke and I'm not sure how much you can do about that, short of having the ducts cleaned (which would mean someone in your home, and also duct cleaning may actually mobilize more dust in your home than it removes).  If you have smoke-inhabited textiles (e.g. curtains) near any of your vents/registers, cleaning them (launder, if possible, else sprinkle with baking soda, let sit, and vacuum up later) might also help reduce the smell.  Good luck!

On review: Mamselle, I'd love that recipe!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 20, 2021, 01:15:54 PM
OK, to keep thread topics clear, I'll go post it over on the dinner thread in just a moment!

;--}

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AvidReader on January 20, 2021, 01:38:15 PM
Arrived on campus today for the first day of spring classes. Our building has electronic locks on all classroom doors. Apparently all the lock codes in the building were changed last week, except that the dept. secretary (also in charge of changing the locks) only sent the new codes to some people (not me, and not most of the other people with 8:00 a.m. classes). Fortunately, one colleague was able to get the code for my 8:00 class via text message from another colleague who actually had been sent (some of) the codes (which are different for every room).

AR.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 20, 2021, 04:14:53 PM
Ick! That happened to me once when I was teaching 8 AM French I.

I took them around the campus and did a vocabulary lesson a la Robin Williams in "Dead Poets Society" since we couldn't find anyone else to let us in (not even the Security Office across the walkway was staffed until 9 AM...!)

Since the weather was nice, no-one complained.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Harlow2 on January 20, 2021, 06:10:16 PM
OK, to keep thread topics clear, I'll go post it over on the dinner thread in just a moment!

;--}

M.

Thank you! It sounds wonderful.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Harlow2 on January 20, 2021, 06:13:30 PM
Question:  when the furnace (forced air)  comes on the house smells like smoke all over again.  Assume the vents are a bit smoky.  Aside from replacing the furnace filter, which of course means a trip to store I was avoiding in the first place, what can I do?
I've been ordering furnace filters online.  If you're in an area with reliable delivery, that might be an option.  Whether replacing the filter will be sufficient, I'm not sure; if there's accumulated dust/etc. in the ductwork, that could have absorbed some of the smoke and I'm not sure how much you can do about that, short of having the ducts cleaned (which would mean someone in your home, and also duct cleaning may actually mobilize more dust in your home than it removes).  If you have smoke-inhabited textiles (e.g. curtains) near any of your vents/registers, cleaning them (launder, if possible, else sprinkle with baking soda, let sit, and vacuum up later) might also help reduce the smell.  Good luck!


Thanks.  Curtains right under the vent really did absorb the smell, and they are where I sit in the living room, so off to the washer they go. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on January 20, 2021, 06:22:14 PM
Sorry, wrong thread.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 21, 2021, 04:53:17 AM
OK, to keep thread topics clear, I'll go post it over on the dinner thread in just a moment!

;--}

M.

Ok, done.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on January 21, 2021, 07:22:59 AM
Ick! That happened to me once when I was teaching 8 AM French I.

I took them around the campus and did a vocabulary lesson a la Robin Williams in "Dead Poets Society" since we couldn't find anyone else to let us in (not even the Security Office across the walkway was staffed until 9 AM...!)

Since the weather was nice, no-one complained.

M.

At least you weren't in the same situation as the medical staff at a Texas hospital.  They were locked out only this week:


https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-heights-hospital-houston-doctors-parking-lot-unpaid-rent/

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 21, 2021, 07:33:41 AM
Eek!

And you don't want to tangle with an unhappy MD in their natural habitat (or worse, locked out of it).

They're worse than grizzlies when angered ...

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on January 21, 2021, 05:37:24 PM
Dammit! I just recorded a Kaltura video, my computer burped and now it's gone. :(
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on January 21, 2021, 07:49:08 PM
Update! I found the video!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on January 21, 2021, 08:35:04 PM
My desktop kept blacking out with every click of the mouse. Aaarrrgh!!! The directions on how to fix black screens were rather cumbersome. Fortunately though, after restarting the computer three times, it seems to not black out --I can only hope that I didn't jinx myself.

Now I'm too scared to open Word because that's how the problem started--at least, that's how I think the problem started. Langue_doc, back up those documents in Dropbox and also on the laptop. And on the external hard drive. How difficult is that?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on January 22, 2021, 03:38:21 AM
Gaaah! I have to have a meeting with HR this morning because one of my supervisees (SV1) is unhappy with his office.  How did we get here?

1) Covid
2) My SVs sit in cubicles in an open air space frequented by students and Faculty.  This is troubling.
3) SV2 is moved (by her choice) to a more remote, but still open air space.
4) SV1 is offered a desk in a storage area with a closable door and essentially zero traffic and gladly accepts.
5) SV 3 and SV 4 stay where they are b/c there are now 1/2 as many people to contend with in their space.
6) Nothing
7) We go remote from TGiving to Feb 1
8) I get summoned to HR b/c SV1 is unhappy with the space he chose, and now I am called on the carpet for not treating him well.

I will point you to the numbered list above where he said anything to me or his direct supervisor about being unhappy with the space.  But don't waste your time looking, it isn't there.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on January 22, 2021, 06:11:55 AM
Dear Provost

Thanks for the message saying that all employees are required to complete a COVID screening every day, even for those who never come to campus.

I will also be glad to text you a selfie every time I do this. Please send me your personal cell #.

So excited to be working with you on this.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on January 22, 2021, 08:24:57 AM
Dear Provost

Thanks for the message saying that all employees are required to complete a COVID screening every day, even for those who never come to campus.

I will also be glad to text you a selfie every time I do this. Please send me your personal cell #.

So excited to be working with you on this.

Hilarious. Off-campus employees should just not do it.  Or have the dictators threatened withholding paycheck or firing for noncompliance?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Parasaurolophus on January 22, 2021, 08:54:16 AM
Pfft, two months and a rejection without comments. If it isn't a desk rejection, it should come with something.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on January 22, 2021, 09:18:19 AM
Pfft, two months and a rejection without comments. If it isn't a desk rejection, it should come with something.

Sorry.  Says a lot about the Editor to behave like that.  If it's that same journal you've struggled with before and yet still complete reviews for, you might re-consider helping them out in the future.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on January 22, 2021, 11:16:45 AM
Dear Provost

Thanks for the message saying that all employees are required to complete a COVID screening every day, even for those who never come to campus.

I will also be glad to text you a selfie every time I do this. Please send me your personal cell #.

So excited to be working with you on this.

We have to fill out an online "approval to come to campus" AND we're supposed to report if we think we were exposed to COVID or being tested for COVID or actually diagnosed with COVID. 
However, we have the ability to type in the name of our immediate supervisor.  Don't tempt me to put in our Provost for every entry!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on January 24, 2021, 04:29:43 PM
My apartment complex was sold in October. New company is increasing rent $50 - $75 a month. Also requiring leases. They’ve also eliminated several small amenities, including twice-weekly trash pickup at door and disinfectant wipes in weight room. Tiny things, but annoying.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on January 24, 2021, 04:52:46 PM
No time like the present to search for a new place!!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AvidReader on January 25, 2021, 09:31:57 AM
Apparently all the lock codes in the building were changed last week . . .

The lock codes were all changed AGAIN on Friday afternoon and the two (new) codes I got from a colleague last Wednesday for my two MW classrooms did not work at 8:00 this morning. Again. As before, no email with codes was sent out.

((Why change them twice in a week???))

At least the dept. secretary was in the office on time today and let me in to my classrooms.

AR.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on January 25, 2021, 05:46:44 PM
Someone I have never heard of, from an office dealing with international students somewhere across campus CCd me on a message to IT initiating IT to make changes to my Blackboard shell (merging my existing class with a class that is not listed as being assigned to me). 

I treated it essentially as a spam attack and alerted the IT people, my chair, my associate dean, the MBA director (as it was an MBA class that was being 'attacked'). I have also now alerted the Speaker of the Faculty Senate.

The Distance Learning liaison (also alerted) sent the instructions showing that only the department chair or instructor of record are allowed to make such requests.

So NOW that I know that the person is not a scammer Im still pissed!  Hopefully one of my administrators will stand up to such crap and spank the officials that tried such misdeeds! Perhaps a policy will be created, (or hopefully, the existing one will be brushed off and followed!)

No one has yet apologized either, so I sort of feel like I am the only one that thinks this is a problem!  I know that classes are starting today and that there are a lot of fires to deal with and this may be small embers to some, but Im sort of annoyed that no one else seems to think that having someone from the International Student's office unilaterally request changes to a faculty member's Blackboard shells is a problem.... ??? WTF???
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on January 26, 2021, 06:37:34 AM
Tutoring Center has a flyer they want all students to see. So they send it to the deans, who send it to all faculty, asking them to distribute it to the students.

Why doesn't the Tutoring Center just send an email to all students?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on January 26, 2021, 09:42:27 AM
Someone I have never heard of, from an office dealing with international students somewhere across campus CCd me on a message to IT initiating IT to make changes to my Blackboard shell (merging my existing class with a class that is not listed as being assigned to me). 

I treated it essentially as a spam attack and alerted the IT people, my chair, my associate dean, the MBA director (as it was an MBA class that was being 'attacked'). I have also now alerted the Speaker of the Faculty Senate.

The Distance Learning liaison (also alerted) sent the instructions showing that only the department chair or instructor of record are allowed to make such requests.

So NOW that I know that the person is not a scammer Im still pissed!  Hopefully one of my administrators will stand up to such crap and spank the officials that tried such misdeeds! Perhaps a policy will be created, (or hopefully, the existing one will be brushed off and followed!)

No one has yet apologized either, so I sort of feel like I am the only one that thinks this is a problem!  I know that classes are starting today and that there are a lot of fires to deal with and this may be small embers to some, but Im sort of annoyed that no one else seems to think that having someone from the International Student's office unilaterally request changes to a faculty member's Blackboard shells is a problem.... ??? WTF???

WOW.  Just wow.  Like they thought you wouldn't notice/be totally fine with a sudden increase in your class size?

Our International Studies program tried to pull that sort of nonsense on me for an in person lab class.  The class is for non-majors and has 0 prerequisites so anyone can take it.  The class always fills with seniors who need the class to graduate, there are never any seats left when the international studies students get to register.  They wanted me to increase the lab sizes.  Nope.  Not possible due to fire code.  Then they asked if we could "just add some more sections".  Nope.  Not unless you pay for the TAs.  Or offer a "discussion section" version.  Nope.  It's a lab.

I'm waiting for them to ask again this Spring. 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on January 26, 2021, 10:23:29 AM
Tutoring Center has a flyer they want all students to see. So they send it to the deans, who send it to all faculty, asking them to distribute it to the students.

Why doesn't the Tutoring Center just send an email to all students?

Maybe that's their way of making sure that faculty are aware of what the Tutoring Center is telling the students.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on January 26, 2021, 11:14:16 AM
Someone in the College has unpaid invoices in a certain corporate account. Because of this, I cannot get the things that I need for my projects. Grrrrrrrr.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 26, 2021, 11:15:27 AM
Time to do a tap dance on some accountant's desk.

No fun.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on January 26, 2021, 11:48:44 AM
Dean
Why are you sending out registration info for the Online Teaching Summit after it occurred?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: wareagle on January 26, 2021, 11:51:33 AM
Tutoring Center has a flyer they want all students to see. So they send it to the deans, who send it to all faculty, asking them to distribute it to the students.

Why doesn't the Tutoring Center just send an email to all students?

They may not have access to the student listserv.  On my campus, you have to pledge your first-born as collateral, attend mysterious midnight rites, obtain a secret password, and wait for the moon to be in the Seventh House before you may have this privilege.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on January 26, 2021, 12:18:04 PM
Tutoring Center has a flyer they want all students to see. So they send it to the deans, who send it to all faculty, asking them to distribute it to the students.

Why doesn't the Tutoring Center just send an email to all students?

They may not have access to the student listserv.  On my campus, you have to pledge your first-born as collateral, attend mysterious midnight rites, obtain a secret password, and wait for the moon to be in the Seventh House before you may have this privilege.

Maybe so. I'd be surprised though since the whole college is run on a shoestring and there seem to be maybe 2 or 3 people in the IT dept. I don't even know if they are all full time.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on January 26, 2021, 02:52:32 PM
Tutoring Center has a flyer they want all students to see. So they send it to the deans, who send it to all faculty, asking them to distribute it to the students.

Why doesn't the Tutoring Center just send an email to all students?

They may not have access to the student listserv.  On my campus, you have to pledge your first-born as collateral, attend mysterious midnight rites, obtain a secret password, and wait for the moon to be in the Seventh House before you may have this privilege.

Sounds about right.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on January 27, 2021, 11:29:43 AM
I am sick.  I have been sick for almost two weeks now.  I am very sick of being sick.
And I need a nap.
That is all.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on January 27, 2021, 04:17:38 PM
Can't help with the sick part, except to say I hope you'll be on the mend very soon.

There's a quiet room thread for napping in, though....if you like.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on January 28, 2021, 11:18:07 AM
Feel better soon, geneticist!

It's definitely full moon here.  My evidence since yesterday:

Kid #1 put her car in a ditch on the country road by her house. (It could have been worse:  she did a couple of 360s across both lanes, skidded sideways, and buried the back end in a road ditch--but she didn't hit anything, or damage the car, or end up in the creek that was just a few feet to her right after she'd stopped.) She's a good driver on snow and was taking the pup to the vet, with only an inch of snow forecast.  She said the pup's eyes got big and he braced himself and hung on, then seemed to want to do it all again after everything stopped moving.  He enjoyed it when the tow truck pulled them out, too.  Neither of them was hurt.

I logged on around 8:15 for my 9:30 live class, only to have no internet.  The router, right beside me, was fine, and everybody else in the house had a good signal.  Apparently my wifi in the laptop has shot craps; it's fine with wired ethernet, so I'll go with that rather than buy a new laptop. 

Before I figured all that out, I dug out my work laptop and used it--and of course, had to wait for all the updates, and then had to download the MS Teams app so I could share screens, etc.  I eventually started the class, just a few minutes late, and my students all waited for me.

During class, others were having tech problems, too--dropped connections, mics that dropped out, etc.  One guy's mic came back on in the midst of a stream of blue language directed at his computer, which we all got a good laugh out of.

As I told them once class was done, I'd consider giving up for the day and going back to bed, but I'd likely fall out and brain myself.

At least it was a really good class, and I can laugh about it all. If these are the worst things I have to vent about, I'm OK with that.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on January 28, 2021, 03:08:19 PM
Time to do a tap dance on some accountant's desk.

No fun.

M.

I wish I could. Last time this happened, it took two weeks to resolve...
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on February 03, 2021, 08:40:26 PM
I snapped at my bride today and she remains mad at me.

My area is doing a drive in shot thing whenever they get the  vaccine.  This has only been going on for a few weeks, maybe 3 weeks now.  They have not yet done the second round of vaccines for those that got the first shot as part of these big events. 

I am eager to get my shot as i have preexisting issues (bilateral pulmonary embolisms among other things).  HOwever, I want to be sure that I get the vaccine AS Designed! (meaning 3 or 4 weeks apart depending on brand).  I do not yet have confidence that the county/state will be able to deliver the second dose on time.  AS the time has not yet arrived for the first batches of folks that were given the shots, there is no way to know yet if they will deliver on their promises.

So this morning, While I was TRYING to grade papers before my afternoon classes (via Webex), she starts nagging me (I told her she was nagging me and now she is mad).  1st.... Father RJ is now out of the hospital and back to work.  He recovered quickly because he got the first shot before he got sick...... 2nd.
 The J&J dose wont be out for some time, I dont think that you should wait.   .... 3rd.  The effeciency of the J&J vaccine is lower, you should get the current shot rather than wait.....  All of this in 30 minutes. 

We have discussed WHY I am waiting.  Im not waiting too long. I told her last week (for the 3rd time) that I will be glad to discuss the shot issue after the first week of March, once we have a few weeks' evidence of whether and HOW the county is going to make good on shot 2. 

So after the 3rd 'hint' that I should get the shot in 30 minutes today, while trying to grade,  I reminded her that I wont talk about it until March and for her to stop nagging me about it and  she got her feelings hurt.  It is not like I could even get in line for a shot as there isnt even a drive in clinic scheduled at least before Friday, so What did she want me to do about it TODAY? 

I suppose that the "good news" is that tonight as we were fixing dinner, she said she 'wont be mad for much longer'..... Good!  It had only been about 10 hours by then, so Im glad to hear that she wont be mad much longer because I told her she was nagging me!!

Vent over (in a few more hours!!)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on February 04, 2021, 06:18:46 AM
Is your partner also in Academia?

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on February 04, 2021, 09:06:12 AM
No, she is currently doing homemaking sort of duties.  She worked in the office of a medical practice, but the physician was diagnosed with cancer and with COVID he is in the process of closing the practice so she is home a lot, or spending time with her parents, especially when her sister's baby visits!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: sprout on February 04, 2021, 09:42:18 AM
Is your partner also in Academia?

M.
My partner is not, but with both of us working from home, he has learned to give me wide berth on my big grading days.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: marshwiggle on February 04, 2021, 09:56:59 AM
AS the time has not yet arrived for the first batches of folks that were given the shots, there is no way to know yet if they will deliver on their promises.

So this morning, While I was TRYING to grade papers before my afternoon classes (via Webex), she starts nagging me (I told her she was nagging me and now she is mad).  1st.... Father RJ is now out of the hospital and back to work.  He recovered quickly because he got the first shot before he got sick...... 2nd.
 The J&J dose wont be out for some time, I dont think that you should wait.   .... 3rd.  The effeciency of the J&J vaccine is lower, you should get the current shot rather than wait.....  All of this in 30 minutes. 

We have discussed WHY I am waiting.  Im not waiting too long. I told her last week (for the 3rd time) that I will be glad to discuss the shot issue after the first week of March, once we have a few weeks' evidence of whether and HOW the county is going to make good on shot 2. 

So after the 3rd 'hint' that I should get the shot in 30 minutes today, while trying to grade,  I reminded her that I wont talk about it until March and for her to stop nagging me about it and  she got her feelings hurt.  It is not like I could even get in line for a shot as there isnt even a drive in clinic scheduled at least before Friday, so What did she want me to do about it TODAY? 


I don't have a solution, but have a significant other who sounds similar. For her, issues are either off the radar completely, or have to be dealt with RIGHT NOW. So the problem comes up in cases as you describe, where right now there isn't enough information available to make a definitive decision. Waiting for when that information becomes available, especially when it can't be guaranteed by any specific date seems excruciating for her, since it isn't even possible to put a specific date on the calendar when it will be "done".

Maybe someone on here is like that and can describe what would work for them.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: EdnaMode on February 04, 2021, 11:06:49 AM
How hard is it to put things in order? We all learned our alphabet and how to count when we were wee kiddies. And the instructions said, submit the documents in the following order. The document templates even had numbers on them for *&^% sake! 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: wareagle on February 04, 2021, 11:18:25 AM
How hard is it to put things in order? We all learned our alphabet and how to count when we were wee kiddies. And the instructions said, submit the documents in the following order. The document templates even had numbers on them for *&^% sake!

I have to wonder about learning the alphabet.  When I've helped line up the grads at commencement, I've never ceased to be amazed at how many of them could not get themselves in alphabetical order.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on February 04, 2021, 09:58:51 PM
How hard is it to put things in order? We all learned our alphabet and how to count when we were wee kiddies. And the instructions said, submit the documents in the following order. The document templates even had numbers on them for *&^% sake!

I have to wonder about learning the alphabet.  When I've helped line up the grads at commencement, I've never ceased to be amazed at how many of them could not get themselves in alphabetical order.

I haven’t expected anyone much younger than me to know the alphabet from A to Z since teaching sixth grade thirty years ago. Of the 120 students I taught during those two years, there may have been five who could recite the alphabet in order when they began my class. Elementary schools had dropped ABC from the curriculum, just as they’d dropped Roman numerals and have since dropped cursive. I taught the ABCs in sixth grade, because I couldn’t bear seeing children flip through a dictionary hoping they’d magically arrive at the page with the word they needed.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Charlotte on February 05, 2021, 05:56:21 AM
How hard is it to put things in order? We all learned our alphabet and how to count when we were wee kiddies. And the instructions said, submit the documents in the following order. The document templates even had numbers on them for *&^% sake!

I have to wonder about learning the alphabet.  When I've helped line up the grads at commencement, I've never ceased to be amazed at how many of them could not get themselves in alphabetical order.

I remember at my first graduation ceremony, I was so nervous I barely knew my name much less where it fell alphabetically in relation to other names!

So that may be more nerves interfering than actual not knowing the alphabet. Also, I remember them giving us instructions but I couldn’t hear them so I wasn’t sure what they wanted which only made me more nervous. I’m sure they thought I was an idiot but really I was just confused and unable to hear.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: EdnaMode on February 05, 2021, 06:27:47 AM
How hard is it to put things in order? We all learned our alphabet and how to count when we were wee kiddies. And the instructions said, submit the documents in the following order. The document templates even had numbers on them for *&^% sake!

I have to wonder about learning the alphabet.  When I've helped line up the grads at commencement, I've never ceased to be amazed at how many of them could not get themselves in alphabetical order.

I haven’t expected anyone much younger than me to know the alphabet from A to Z since teaching sixth grade thirty years ago. Of the 120 students I taught during those two years, there may have been five who could recite the alphabet in order when they began my class. Elementary schools had dropped ABC from the curriculum, just as they’d dropped Roman numerals and have since dropped cursive. I taught the ABCs in sixth grade, because I couldn’t bear seeing children flip through a dictionary hoping they’d magically arrive at the page with the word they needed.

That's odd. I remember my niece learning the alphabet in kindergarten, she's 13 now. They had worksheets and sang the alphabet song, but she was proud that she already knew it because she'd learned it at home.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: marshwiggle on February 05, 2021, 06:56:34 AM
I haven’t expected anyone much younger than me to know the alphabet from A to Z since teaching sixth grade thirty years ago. Of the 120 students I taught during those two years, there may have been five who could recite the alphabet in order when they began my class. Elementary schools had dropped ABC from the curriculum, just as they’d dropped Roman numerals and have since dropped cursive. I taught the ABCs in sixth grade, because I couldn’t bear seeing children flip through a dictionary hoping they’d magically arrive at the page with the word they needed.

Don't teach children any objectively-measurable skills! It's important the the teacher's subjective evaluation, (especially of things like "potential"), are all that really count so parents can be told whatever they want to hear, and school boards can have all the success all the time!
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on February 05, 2021, 07:59:59 AM
How hard is it to put things in order? We all learned our alphabet and how to count when we were wee kiddies. And the instructions said, submit the documents in the following order. The document templates even had numbers on them for *&^% sake!

I have to wonder about learning the alphabet.  When I've helped line up the grads at commencement, I've never ceased to be amazed at how many of them could not get themselves in alphabetical order.

I haven’t expected anyone much younger than me to know the alphabet from A to Z since teaching sixth grade thirty years ago. Of the 120 students I taught during those two years, there may have been five who could recite the alphabet in order when they began my class. Elementary schools had dropped ABC from the curriculum, just as they’d dropped Roman numerals and have since dropped cursive. I taught the ABCs in sixth grade, because I couldn’t bear seeing children flip through a dictionary hoping they’d magically arrive at the page with the word they needed.

Not teaching the alphabetical order seems like terribly penny-wise, pound-foolish use of class time.  Is it really that hard to teach small children the ABC song?  That'll fix the alphabet in their heads but good!

Has "Sesame Street" stopped teaching the ABC song?  That's where I recall seeing the most memorable version of it.  How can you forget a guy whose lunch box contains a tiny piano player who plays the ABC song?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on February 05, 2021, 06:53:36 PM
I was in my 20s before I realized that 'the alphabet song' was 'Twinkle Twinkle little star'. 

But yes, preschool and maybe even kindergarten kids should learn all sorts of skills... like counting, the alphabet and even 'cypherin'  (2*2 is 4; 2*3 is 6)... and even 'goesintos'  (2 goesitno 10 5 times, 2 goesinto 12 six times...)

It is unimportent that the child knows what any of this means, only that they know the songs or chants.  The application will come later!

but Im not in charge! 
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ciao_yall on February 05, 2021, 09:14:21 PM
I have a vague memory of being maybe 3 or 4 years old singing the alphabet song but with random letters because I didn't quite know the order. "C-B-R-S-K-R-U-..." And my dad laughing.

And thinking there was a letter called "meno" and asking my mom which letter it was. My sister thought there was a letter called "ellemmenno" and tried to use it to show off that she knew how to spell something.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on February 06, 2021, 03:34:03 AM
The old Forum had a poster whose moniker was "Ellameno" or a spelling something like that.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on February 06, 2021, 07:15:33 AM
I thought that everyone over 5 knew the alphabet. How do you read if you don't know the letters? Now I know why I see glazed eyes when I talk about alphabetizing the list of references.

Numbers too seem to be a problem with most cashiers who should at the very least know how to add and subtract. I often get blank looks when I give the cashier additional pennies, nickels, or dimes so that I get quarters back (to feed the meters). Then it's the aha moment when the register spits out quarters.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: marshwiggle on February 06, 2021, 07:46:37 AM
I thought that everyone over 5 knew the alphabet. How do you read if you don't know the letters? Now I know why I see glazed eyes when I talk about alphabetizing the list of references.

Numbers too seem to be a problem with most cashiers who should at the very least know how to add and subtract. I often get blank looks when I give the cashier additional pennies, nickels, or dimes so that I get quarters back (to feed the meters). Then it's the aha moment when the register spits out quarters.

In the days before bank machines, when I used to get cash from the bank, I would make the withdrawal an amount that made my balance come out to an even dollar. (It was an easy way to see that cheques had come off, etc..) Anyway the bank tellers would often marvel at this feat. I would have thought, of all people, even if they didn't do that themselves they would automatically see the utility in it. And that it just requires elementary school arithmetic.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ciao_yall on February 06, 2021, 08:44:02 AM
Back to singing, when we had to memorize the Preamble to the Constitution, my 7th grade teacher allowed us to sing it. Because... Schoolhouse Rock.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Larimar on February 06, 2021, 09:09:40 AM
My elementary school music teacher taught my class a song that consists of the names of all the states in alphabetical order. I still remember it and have occasionally found it useful over the years.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on February 06, 2021, 09:14:23 AM
My elementary school music teacher taught my class a song that consists of the names of all the states in alphabetical order. I still remember it and have occasionally found it useful over the years.

We learned one of those (same song, maybe?) for chorus in elementary school, and I still sing it! I play a bunch of different trivia, and that song has helped me more than a few times.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on February 06, 2021, 05:05:57 PM
"Fifty, nifty U-ni-ted States from thir-teen o-ri-gin-al col-o-nies"...

That one?

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Larimar on February 06, 2021, 05:35:46 PM
Yup, that's the one.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on February 06, 2021, 09:22:50 PM
I thought that everyone over 5 knew the alphabet. How do you read if you don't know the letters? Now I know why I see glazed eyes when I talk about alphabetizing the list of references.


My sixth graders knew the letters and the associated sounds. They knew “c” could sound similar to k or to s. What they didn’t know was the standard arrangement from A to Z. Some of them knew chunks in order, but very few could recite all 26 letters from A to Z. Even those who knew the alphabet from A to Z hadn’t practiced alphabetizing and knowledge doesn’t automatically translate to application.


That's odd. I remember my niece learning the alphabet in kindergarten, she's 13 now. They had worksheets and sang the alphabet song, but she was proud that she already knew it because she'd learned it at home.

I’m glad to hear that some children are still learning alphabetical order. It’s like addition and multiplication facts, something that seems minor but makes learning other skills easier.  There was a period in the early 1970s when rote memorization of multiplication facts wasn’t considered important, so my mother drilled me in them at home. Although I disliked drilling them after school in 3rd grade, by middle school it was obvious that not knowing them was handicapping some of my classmates. Estimating and figuring percentages is hard when you don’t have some grasp of multiplication facts.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on February 07, 2021, 12:34:33 AM
When I was a library assistant in 1st grade we were taught the A-B-C, B-C-D, C-D-E mnemonic to help file borrower cards quickly.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on February 07, 2021, 07:44:09 AM
Long, but this might ring bells with some forumites:  Back in my country school, in the Stone Age (late 1960s), I had one of my mom's teachers and one of my dad's. We spent large chunks of time on the alphabet, the dictionary, and penmanship. 

We had lots of work in alphabetizing in second and third grades, and by third we also had to memorize the basic "hundreds" categories of the Dewey decimal system. 

We also did a lot of dictionary drills in third grade:  each student had a hardback Webster's, and the teacher would call out an unfamiliar word.  The first to find it would stand up and read the definition.  (We used to have to stand to recite in our third and fourth grade classes.)  I used to love those--first, I was always the nerdy girl with glasses and my nose in a book, and also, it was the only time (that, and spelling contests) where the captain of a team actually wanted me and I'd get picked first!

By fourth grade, when we were still doing penmanship lessons to refine our basic handwriting, Dad's former teacher incorporated timed writings to get us used to writing clearly with speed (rather than laboring to make every letter legible and pretty).  One of those exercises was a timed writing of the lowercase letters strung together, a-z. Once most of the class could meet her strict standards on that, the next exercise was a timed writing of the same thing--backwards. (Yes, I can still do it.)

All of these might sound petty, but all of us could write clearly--and spell, because we were drilled in root words and spelling rules from second grade on--and we were ready to learn note-taking by the middle of fourth grade and really kicked that into high gear in fifth. 

That same fourth-grade teacher was a stickler on arithmetic, too, and every single kid in her class knew our multiplication tables through the 12s.  She also taught us what I remember as "the formulas":  circumference, volume, area, etc.  And the Pythagorean Theorem--OMG, I thought that was witchcraft!  Not surprisingly, when my dad was still a kid on the farm (and for years afterward), neighbors from all around would come to him to tell them how much corn or beans or wheat a silo or grain bin or corn crib would hold; he'd eyeball it, estimate the dimensions, and figure it on the back of an envelope.  Mrs. Nehrkorn had taught it to him all those years before I came along. 

Of course, "the New Math" was in its stride when I got to first grade in 1966, so you can imagine the fights that caused:  Dad taught me the "regular" way, and all sorts of tips about estimating, etc., which was much faster, but it didn't meet the rule for showing my steps and such that the teachers wanted.  My parents rarely went to the school, but when there were meetings about New Math, Dad was there, front and center.  The teachers finally gave up and let me get by with doing it the old-fashioned way, and I never did learn the new-and-improved things they were teaching in class; I just did the problems in my head.   :-)

By the time we went to high school with the town kids, the teachers could always tell without looking up who the students from my grade school were.  That school operated on a shoestring, and the parents were 99% uneducated farm and factory workers themselves--what would be considered a "disadvantaged" district today.  But we learned.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ab_grp on February 07, 2021, 08:39:23 AM
Yup, that's the one.

Same here.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on February 08, 2021, 07:20:49 AM
Okay, back to venting!

Our extended forecast calls for a chance of snow a week from now.  Really?  We went without snow for four straight winters, and now it looks like we may get it twice in one season?

I actually like to see snow.  The vent comes because now I may have to put out the caution tape around the library's property again in an effort to keep the four-wheel ATVs from destroying our yard.  Having foiled them once, I was really hoping we were done for this season. 

Maybe in the next week the chance of snow will dissipate.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: fishbrains on February 08, 2021, 09:16:40 AM
Long, but this might ring bells with some forumites:  Back in my country school, in the Stone Age (late 1960s), I had one of my mom's teachers and one of my dad's. We spent large chunks of time on the alphabet, the dictionary, and penmanship. 

We had lots of work in alphabetizing in second and third grades, and by third we also had to memorize the basic "hundreds" categories of the Dewey decimal system. 

We also did a lot of dictionary drills in third grade:  each student had a hardback Webster's, and the teacher would call out an unfamiliar word.  The first to find it would stand up and read the definition.  (We used to have to stand to recite in our third and fourth grade classes.)  I used to love those--first, I was always the nerdy girl with glasses and my nose in a book, and also, it was the only time (that, and spelling contests) where the captain of a team actually wanted me and I'd get picked first!

By fourth grade, when we were still doing penmanship lessons to refine our basic handwriting, Dad's former teacher incorporated timed writings to get us used to writing clearly with speed (rather than laboring to make every letter legible and pretty).  One of those exercises was a timed writing of the lowercase letters strung together, a-z. Once most of the class could meet her strict standards on that, the next exercise was a timed writing of the same thing--backwards. (Yes, I can still do it.)

All of these might sound petty, but all of us could write clearly--and spell, because we were drilled in root words and spelling rules from second grade on--and we were ready to learn note-taking by the middle of fourth grade and really kicked that into high gear in fifth. 

That same fourth-grade teacher was a stickler on arithmetic, too, and every single kid in her class knew our multiplication tables through the 12s.  She also taught us what I remember as "the formulas":  circumference, volume, area, etc.  And the Pythagorean Theorem--OMG, I thought that was witchcraft!  Not surprisingly, when my dad was still a kid on the farm (and for years afterward), neighbors from all around would come to him to tell them how much corn or beans or wheat a silo or grain bin or corn crib would hold; he'd eyeball it, estimate the dimensions, and figure it on the back of an envelope.  Mrs. Nehrkorn had taught it to him all those years before I came along. 

Of course, "the New Math" was in its stride when I got to first grade in 1966, so you can imagine the fights that caused:  Dad taught me the "regular" way, and all sorts of tips about estimating, etc., which was much faster, but it didn't meet the rule for showing my steps and such that the teachers wanted.  My parents rarely went to the school, but when there were meetings about New Math, Dad was there, front and center.  The teachers finally gave up and let me get by with doing it the old-fashioned way, and I never did learn the new-and-improved things they were teaching in class; I just did the problems in my head.   :-)

By the time we went to high school with the town kids, the teachers could always tell without looking up who the students from my grade school were.  That school operated on a shoestring, and the parents were 99% uneducated farm and factory workers themselves--what would be considered a "disadvantaged" district today.  But we learned.

We had a required class our senior year of high school called "Grammar and Research." All seniors had to take the class. We did pretty much every exercise in the Harbrace and had to write a 10-page research paper. And when I say we had to type the essay, I mean we had to use an actual typewriter (no real computers back then) that many of us had to rent. If we didn't pass the class by the end of the year (the school was on something of a quarter system, so you theoretically had a couple of attempts), we didn't graduate, and we had to take the course again in summer school (and pass) to receive our high school diploma. This class was taught by one teacher who all students referred to as "The B*tch"--a nickname she pretty much owned (although not publicly), and not a term as common as it is now. You can figure out who taught the class in summer school.

My guess is that when she died, a lot of students went to the funeral just to make sure.

But we learned!

Maybe we need to start a "But We Learned!" thread. :)
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: fishbrains on February 08, 2021, 09:23:54 AM
Anyway, I had a vent:

The primary purpose of my course syllabus is not to welcome students to the course. The main purposes of my syllabi are to 1) Articulate policies as clearly as possible so we are all on the same page in order to 2) Protect myself from the small percentage of students who are sociopaths so that 3) Administrators can't throw me under the bus when these students complain.

This entire training on a "friendly syllabus" was just silly.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AvidReader on February 08, 2021, 09:35:57 AM
I also recently had training about my syllabus, but mine was training for making it accessible. I am all for accessibility. A lot of the training was very useful. I know, for instance, not to use multiple tabs to align information and to be careful with tables because it is hard for students to find information in a table if the students use screen readers. Fine.

Accessibility instructor: Screen readers don't indicate colors, highlighting, bold type, or underlining. They only recognize italics. You may only use italics in your syllabus.

Now, I'm happy to use italics for emphasis, but the departmental syllabus font barely distinguishes between italic and upright text (the slant is maybe 3%), so I initially put the important facts in bold and italic. But this is apparently forbidden and inappropriate because screen readers can't see bold, and even using bold--you know, for me and the sighted students who struggle to distinguish between upright and italic in the set font, especially at size 10--would be "noninclusive." Why is both not okay???

AR.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: lilyb on February 08, 2021, 09:41:09 AM
Quote
This entire training on a "friendly syllabus" was just silly.

Our training was on the "hospitable" syllabus. Extended use of this metaphor made me think that someone's confused teaching college students with managing a Westin.

Accessibility or clarity, or fairness, though--that's all good.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: marshwiggle on February 08, 2021, 09:50:57 AM
Quote
This entire training on a "friendly syllabus" was just silly.

Our training was on the "hospitable" syllabus. Extended use of this metaphor made me think that someone's confused teaching college students with managing a Westin.

Accessibility or clarity, or fairness, though--that's all good.

Seriously, was there ever a student who actually carefully read through a syllabus, and referred to it regularly during a course?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: EdnaMode on February 08, 2021, 09:54:33 AM
Quote
This entire training on a "friendly syllabus" was just silly.

Our training was on the "hospitable" syllabus. Extended use of this metaphor made me think that someone's confused teaching college students with managing a Westin.

Accessibility or clarity, or fairness, though--that's all good.

Seriously, was there ever a student who actually carefully read through a syllabus, and referred to it regularly during a course?

The only ones who do read it through carefully, are those who are looking for a loophole to exploit.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on February 08, 2021, 10:27:49 AM
Everything I'm trying to do today--make comments in papers, upload graded work in Blackboard--is going bass-ackwards.  None of it's serious, but I'm ready to pull my hair out.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on February 08, 2021, 10:37:55 AM
Quote
This entire training on a "friendly syllabus" was just silly.

Our training was on the "hospitable" syllabus. Extended use of this metaphor made me think that someone's confused teaching college students with managing a Westin.

Accessibility or clarity, or fairness, though--that's all good.

Seriously, was there ever a student who actually carefully read through a syllabus, and referred to it regularly during a course?

This is a rhetorical question, right?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on February 08, 2021, 10:41:58 AM
Unrelated.

Why do we have to do Early Alerts? If a student is failing everything in the course, does he/she really need to be told- 'Hey bud, you're not doing well in the course.'
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on February 08, 2021, 11:10:43 AM
Unrelated.

Why do we have to do Early Alerts? If a student is failing everything in the course, does he/she really need to be told- 'Hey bud, you're not doing well in the course.'

Well, there is the "magical thinking" that if the student asks really hard for some extra credit that they will be given a good grade.

I send emails to students who are struggling, even though it's not asked.  Why?  It can save students from utter and complete disaster when their life is in chaos (easier to drop one class than to beg for a retroactive withdrawal).  And I am a big softie at heart who came from a tiny liberal arts school.  It makes me sad that students can so easily get lost or be overlooked in their huge classes.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: marshwiggle on February 08, 2021, 11:11:35 AM
Unrelated.

Why do we have to do Early Alerts? If a student is failing everything in the course, does he/she really need to be told- 'Hey bud, you're not doing well in the course.'

Just last semsester I had a student who, at about halfway through the course was sitting at 17%. I emailed to say "You can't pass, so you should drop and take it again later if you want." Guess who didn't drop? Guess who I got contacted about a few weeks ago by the petitions committe, presumably asking for permission to retroactively drop the course?

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 08, 2021, 12:09:14 PM
The old Forum had a poster whose moniker was "Ellameno" or a spelling something like that.

M.

The ABC song made an appearance on SNL Weekend Update (also a segment on a couple who cancel children on Twitter):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf-sMJ2PwyY
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on February 08, 2021, 02:09:52 PM
Back to the thread--

Unrelated.

Why do we have to do Early Alerts? If a student is failing everything in the course, does he/she really need to be told- 'Hey bud, you're not doing well in the course.'

Well, there is the "magical thinking" that if the student asks really hard for some extra credit that they will be given a good grade.

I send emails to students who are struggling, even though it's not asked.  Why?  It can save students from utter and complete disaster when their life is in chaos (easier to drop one class than to beg for a retroactive withdrawal).  And I am a big softie at heart who came from a tiny liberal arts school.  It makes me sad that students can so easily get lost or be overlooked in their huge classes.

I also send emails to the struggling students along with a copy of their grades (thanks to Canvas). This helps them decide whether to withdraw or change their study habits.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on February 08, 2021, 03:40:38 PM
Back to the thread--

Unrelated.

Why do we have to do Early Alerts? If a student is failing everything in the course, does he/she really need to be told- 'Hey bud, you're not doing well in the course.'

Well, there is the "magical thinking" that if the student asks really hard for some extra credit that they will be given a good grade.

I send emails to students who are struggling, even though it's not asked.  Why?  It can save students from utter and complete disaster when their life is in chaos (easier to drop one class than to beg for a retroactive withdrawal).  And I am a big softie at heart who came from a tiny liberal arts school.  It makes me sad that students can so easily get lost or be overlooked in their huge classes.

I also send emails to the struggling students along with a copy of their grades (thanks to Canvas). This helps them decide whether to withdraw or change their study habits.

I know. I'm not heartless, I guess I'm just amazed by the magical thinking that some students have. I can't help students who don't check their emails or read the announcements though...
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on February 08, 2021, 03:49:29 PM
Back to the thread--

Unrelated.

Why do we have to do Early Alerts? If a student is failing everything in the course, does he/she really need to be told- 'Hey bud, you're not doing well in the course.'

Well, there is the "magical thinking" that if the student asks really hard for some extra credit that they will be given a good grade.

I send emails to students who are struggling, even though it's not asked.  Why?  It can save students from utter and complete disaster when their life is in chaos (easier to drop one class than to beg for a retroactive withdrawal).  And I am a big softie at heart who came from a tiny liberal arts school.  It makes me sad that students can so easily get lost or be overlooked in their huge classes.

I also send emails to the struggling students along with a copy of their grades (thanks to Canvas). This helps them decide whether to withdraw or change their study habits.

I know. I'm not heartless, I guess I'm just amazed by the magical thinking that some students have. I can't help students who don't check their emails or read the announcements though...

It's always a good idea to CYA.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AvidReader on February 08, 2021, 04:30:08 PM
I teach several dual enrollment courses run through high schools that have local high school teachers assigned (and paid) to "facilitate" my courses. Students at one of my schools are doing poorly, and the facilitator and I do not always communicate well. Last week, the facilitator emailed with a query about how to make one of their college essays for me work with a high school essay (for the facilitator's class).

I responded with some suggestions, and added a note with some concerns I had about their most recent essay, which had numerous and serious citation errors that were consistent across the whole class. I was trying to find out, tactfully, if these were erroneous techniques that the facilitator had suggested/condoned, since they didn't match the guidelines in my handouts, the textbook, or my videos.

The facilitator never replied to me, but this morning one of our mutual students sent me an email and explained that the facilitator had forwarded my email to the entire class. Thus all the motivated students are emailing in a panic to find out if their essays contained the concerning citation errors, and I still can't find out where these bizarre approaches originated.

I don't want to throw the teacher under the bus. Instructor has a MA, probably from my university, and a giant chip on the shoulder. And it is important to teach students to respect instructors. On the other hand, these students are contravening guidance given in the textbook, my handouts, and my videos.

Can the instructor just respond to my email like an adult before forwarding it to students that I am trying to protect from what are probably the instructor's own errors?

UGH!

AR.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on February 08, 2021, 04:46:56 PM
Never, ever agree to “do more with less”. When your budget, faculty, and staff get cut, you should invest time looking for activities that you can stop doing. Do less with less!

I’ve heard that “We”ll all have to figure out how to Do More With Less speech before. It ends with lots of unhappy, burnt out people who do shoddy work from sheer exhaustion. My department is actively looking for activities to stop doing. We have fewer resources, so we will Do Less With Less.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on February 08, 2021, 10:39:12 PM
Quote
The facilitator never replied to me, but this morning one of our mutual students sent me an email and explained that the facilitator had forwarded my email to the entire class. Thus all the motivated students are emailing in a panic to find out if their essays contained the concerning citation errors, and I still can't find out where these bizarre approaches originated.

Since it could be construed as a simple reply to the one student who originally emailed you, perhaps you could just ask them, peaceably and low-energy-like, in a direct email reply to just that student, how they happened to use that reference style? Like you were just curious, and you wondered...

Might be the simplest, and it wouldn't throw the instructor under the bus because you'd just be asking as if you planned to leave them at the bus stop.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on February 09, 2021, 07:25:18 AM
Never, ever agree to “do more with less”. When your budget, faculty, and staff get cut, you should invest time looking for activities that you can stop doing. Do less with less!

I’ve heard that “We”ll all have to figure out how to Do More With Less speech before. It ends with lots of unhappy, burnt out people who do shoddy work from sheer exhaustion. My department is actively looking for activities to stop doing. We have fewer resources, so we will Do Less With Less.

Agree.  Attempts to do More With Less rarely end well.  Unhappy, exhausted people (throw in no raises in recent memory) may implement coping strategies that don't serve the organization well.  A challenge in gaining buy-in for Do Less With Less is when dept. chair/dean are not on board.  Their failure to acknowledge reality inevitably backfires on them, sooner or later.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on February 09, 2021, 07:30:17 AM
Never, ever agree to “do more with less”. When your budget, faculty, and staff get cut, you should invest time looking for activities that you can stop doing. Do less with less!

I’ve heard that “We”ll all have to figure out how to Do More With Less speech before. It ends with lots of unhappy, burnt out people who do shoddy work from sheer exhaustion. My department is actively looking for activities to stop doing. We have fewer resources, so we will Do Less With Less.

I've seen that advice given to librarians who face budget cuts.  If you are told that your periodical budget has been cut, then let it be known that titles will be cut, and make sure patrons know why some of their accustomed periodicals are no longer there.  Make sure that patrons feel the loss of service, and that they know who to thank for the cuts. 

So far I've never been placed in that position.  Nearly all of our budget comes from a dedicated property rate--we can't have it cut by anything short of a deliberate voter campaign.  What we're looking at is the probability of gradual long-term erosion of revenues as the community shrinks.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on February 09, 2021, 07:56:13 AM
Yes, and always spend down budgeted line items to the last dime if you want them to be re-funded at par or above.

Otherwise it looks like you don't need the money and someone on the recipients' list will start lusting after it for their pet line items....and lobbying for it.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Cheerful on February 09, 2021, 08:43:32 AM
Yes, and always spend down budgeted line items to the last dime if you want them to be re-funded at par or above.

Otherwise it looks like you don't need the money and someone on the recipients' list will start lusting after it for their pet line items....and lobbying for it.

M.

Yes.  Once you establish the precedent of getting by with less, the situation often becomes permanent.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on February 09, 2021, 08:53:39 AM
Yes, and always spend down budgeted line items to the last dime if you want them to be re-funded at par or above.

Otherwise it looks like you don't need the money and someone on the recipients' list will start lusting after it for their pet line items....and lobbying for it.

M.

Yes.  Once you establish the precedent of getting by with less, the situation often becomes permanent.

Ugh, it's the miserable cousin to the "if someone gives you a budget, you spend it!"
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: marshwiggle on February 09, 2021, 08:56:03 AM
Never, ever agree to “do more with less”. When your budget, faculty, and staff get cut, you should invest time looking for activities that you can stop doing. Do less with less!

I’ve heard that “We”ll all have to figure out how to Do More With Less speech before. It ends with lots of unhappy, burnt out people who do shoddy work from sheer exhaustion. My department is actively looking for activities to stop doing. We have fewer resources, so we will Do Less With Less.

I've seen that advice given to librarians who face budget cuts.  If you are told that your periodical budget has been cut, then let it be known that titles will be cut, and make sure patrons know why some of their accustomed periodicals are no longer there.  Make sure that patrons feel the loss of service, and that they know who to thank for the cuts. 


This can be done in one of two ways; in good faith or grandstanding.
If it's done in good faith, it means cutting the things that are expensive and used by the fewest people, so it will affect very few people. If it's grandstanding, then it means cutting things that are used by a lot of people so it makes a lot of anger to put pressure on the Powers-That-Be to reverse the cuts.

I can't in good conscience do the grandstanding, even with having had many budget cuts to deal with in my career.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: FishProf on February 09, 2021, 09:17:40 AM
 I heard a story when I was in Grad School from an Air Force Colonel.  He was asked by an Army General why the Air Force had so much nicer bases than the Army.  The Colonel asked how they built their bases,

The General said, "we build the mission critical structures, and work our way down, and we never get enough money for decent barracks or rec facilities.  What do you do?

The Colonel said: We build all the facilities and amenities first.  The LAST thing we build is the runway."

The General replies "What if you run out of money before then?"

"What Congressman is going to be the one who denies the Air Force the funding for a Runway on a new base?  We always get the additional funds"
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on February 09, 2021, 09:21:37 AM
I managed to grade 20 lab reports in an hour and was ready to start my second set.... and then everyone woke up and came downstairs...

Cue cats howling as well.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on February 09, 2021, 09:56:32 AM
Never, ever agree to “do more with less”. When your budget, faculty, and staff get cut, you should invest time looking for activities that you can stop doing. Do less with less!

I’ve heard that “We”ll all have to figure out how to Do More With Less speech before. It ends with lots of unhappy, burnt out people who do shoddy work from sheer exhaustion. My department is actively looking for activities to stop doing. We have fewer resources, so we will Do Less With Less.

I've seen that advice given to librarians who face budget cuts.  If you are told that your periodical budget has been cut, then let it be known that titles will be cut, and make sure patrons know why some of their accustomed periodicals are no longer there.  Make sure that patrons feel the loss of service, and that they know who to thank for the cuts. 


This can be done in one of two ways; in good faith or grandstanding.
If it's done in good faith, it means cutting the things that are expensive and used by the fewest people, so it will affect very few people.

Which is exactly how libraries making cuts normally do it.  The point of the advice was to make sure that everybody still knows about the cuts, and why they happened, instead of making them as inconspicuous as possible.  The thinking is that if people aren't stirred up about less damaging cuts, that will only invite more damaging ones in the future.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: AmLitHist on February 09, 2021, 10:05:17 AM
All employees received an email a couple of weeks ago, urgently insisting that everyone must come to a campus/main admin no later than 2/12 to replace a crucial Federal document in our personnel files.  (None of us could have been hired/paid without providing this documentation at the time of hire--for me, 16+ years ago.). 

Um, NO?  I'm not dragging my non-vaccinated diabetic self on a 100-mile round trip to replace something I gave you in 2004.  Not happening (and I notified my union as much).

Later, a faculty friend contacted Legal to see what the deal is, and was told that  this document from EVERY person's file was shredded last year, by mistake. 

Oh, HELL, no.

That same friend, also unvaccinated and with health issues, argued that she's not entering any buildings to do this paperwork, so they offered to have her meet her dean and do the transaction in a parking lot, '"like buying weed," as she put it.

F-ing morons.  (But let me not have the Banner printout of final grades I entered for a class from 12 years ago, and all hell will rain down--as actually happened to a number of faculty a few years back.)  Nope. They can come after me if they want, or they can wait til things get back to normal.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on February 09, 2021, 10:15:50 AM
All employees received an email a couple of weeks ago, urgently insisting that everyone must come to a campus/main admin no later than 2/12 to replace a crucial Federal document in our personnel files.  (None of us could have been hired/paid without providing this documentation at the time of hire--for me, 16+ years ago.). 

Um, NO?  I'm not dragging my non-vaccinated diabetic self on a 100-mile round trip to replace something I gave you in 2004.  Not happening (and I notified my union as much).

Later, a faculty friend contacted Legal to see what the deal is, and was told that  this document from EVERY person's file was shredded last year, by mistake. 

Oh, HELL, no.

That same friend, also unvaccinated and with health issues, argued that she's not entering any buildings to do this paperwork, so they offered to have her meet her dean and do the transaction in a parking lot, '"like buying weed," as she put it.

F-ing morons.  (But let me not have the Banner printout of final grades I entered for a class from 12 years ago, and all hell will rain down--as actually happened to a number of faculty a few years back.)  Nope. They can come after me if they want, or they can wait til things get back to normal.

I'd be pissed too. Why should you pay for their screw ups?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on February 09, 2021, 03:32:39 PM
Yes, and always spend down budgeted line items to the last dime if you want them to be re-funded at par or above.

Otherwise it looks like you don't need the money and someone on the recipients' list will start lusting after it for their pet line items....and lobbying for it.

M.

Yes.  Once you establish the precedent of getting by with less, the situation often becomes permanent.

Ugh, it's the miserable cousin to the "if someone gives you a budget, you spend it!"

Ironically, I learned that we have somehow acquired a small pot of money to use towards teaching lab equipment.  We have to submit a proposal to the higher up folks by next month. 
I emailed a coworker to say "Hey, we have potential funds!  What do we need/want?"
They said, "I think we're set".
Wrong. Answer.
When someone offers you money, you TAKE IT.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on February 09, 2021, 03:43:39 PM
Yes, and always spend down budgeted line items to the last dime if you want them to be re-funded at par or above.

Otherwise it looks like you don't need the money and someone on the recipients' list will start lusting after it for their pet line items....and lobbying for it.

M.

Yes.  Once you establish the precedent of getting by with less, the situation often becomes permanent.

Ugh, it's the miserable cousin to the "if someone gives you a budget, you spend it!"

Ironically, I learned that we have somehow acquired a small pot of money to use towards teaching lab equipment.  We have to submit a proposal to the higher up folks by next month. 
I emailed a coworker to say "Hey, we have potential funds!  What do we need/want?"
They said, "I think we're set".
Wrong. Answer.
When someone offers you money, you TAKE IT.

All these goody two shoes, shooting themselves in the foot and also depriving others of opportunities and funds they're entitled to.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Vkw10 on February 09, 2021, 08:53:57 PM

Ironically, I learned that we have somehow acquired a small pot of money to use towards teaching lab equipment.  We have to submit a proposal to the higher up folks by next month. 
I emailed a coworker to say "Hey, we have potential funds!  What do we need/want?"
They said, "I think we're set".
Wrong. Answer.
When someone offers you money, you TAKE IT.

I’ve learned to say, “Hi, EsteemedColleague. A miracle has occurred and UpperAdmin has some money for teaching lab equipment. May not happen again for years. So, what do we need, either now or to have on hand for things that are likely to wear out in a few years?” If the fund rules allow spending on relatively inexpensive items, I’ll add, “Think about breakables, too. We can find storage space if there’s stuff that gets broken.” I do have to watch for things like printer cartridges and rubber bands that become obsolete or deteriorate, but that usually gets me a decent list.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on February 09, 2021, 09:12:02 PM
I can't even grade in peace. The minute I write comments on assignments, I immediately get emails from students about unrelated topics. The emails aren't the problem, but the expectations that since I'm grading, I should be responding to the emails immediately. I just got two emails, both from students whose assignments I graded about 15 minutes ago. Note to self: remember to use the "hide grades" function when grading assignments, even the low-stakes ones.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on February 10, 2021, 09:35:01 AM

Ironically, I learned that we have somehow acquired a small pot of money to use towards teaching lab equipment.  We have to submit a proposal to the higher up folks by next month. 
I emailed a coworker to say "Hey, we have potential funds!  What do we need/want?"
They said, "I think we're set".
Wrong. Answer.
When someone offers you money, you TAKE IT.

I’ve learned to say, “Hi, EsteemedColleague. A miracle has occurred and UpperAdmin has some money for teaching lab equipment. May not happen again for years. So, what do we need, either now or to have on hand for things that are likely to wear out in a few years?” If the fund rules allow spending on relatively inexpensive items, I’ll add, “Think about breakables, too. We can find storage space if there’s stuff that gets broken.” I do have to watch for things like printer cartridges and rubber bands that become obsolete or deteriorate, but that usually gets me a decent list.

You are correct that it will not happen again for years (if ever). 
I've looked at the equipment we have and we do have some needs.  My Esteemed Colleague is rarely in a classroom and doesn't think about logistics like "If we need 3 lab rooms set up with [item], then we need three [items]."  Having one isn't enough.
And we have lots of old, likely to break soon/again equipment that should be replaced.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on February 10, 2021, 09:47:58 AM
If your system has changed people's email addresses, would it not be a good idea to forward the emails to the old address to the new one?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: ciao_yall on February 10, 2021, 10:03:52 AM
Because $40K a month wasn't enough?

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/02/10/after-allegations-secret-gifts-chancellor-emeritus-fired

This, folks, is why we can't have nice things.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on February 10, 2021, 10:13:59 AM
Because $40K a month wasn't enough?

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/02/10/after-allegations-secret-gifts-chancellor-emeritus-fired

This, folks, is why we can't have nice things.

That golden handshake deal where he got paid hundreds of thousands a year for what appears to have been essentially a sinecure sounds thoroughly crooked to start with.  It sounds like the Board of Trustees has only recently had a belated awakening.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on February 11, 2021, 08:08:51 AM
Why is it that every time lightning strikes we lose internet access and have our computer network knocked for a loop?  We had a thunderstorm last night.  It didn't do any serious damage locally.  I don't even think we lost power at work.  Definitely not at my house, only a few blocks away.  And yet first thing this morning absolutely nothing was working on the network.  We're still working with IT to try to fix everything.  At least we've got internet back.  It feels sometimes like we can't have lightning strike within forty miles of our building without discombobulating something.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on February 11, 2021, 08:25:09 AM
I have just put in three hours of my time (which will be paid for, but still....) on fixing stuff I warned people about a month ago.

And now, seeing the new timesheets, it appears the incoming clowns' pay rates are more than double mine, which will chew through the endowment in a year if they keep up the level of mismatched work they've started with and don't bring any new funds in.

Not my circus, not my monkeys, very soon...thank goodness.

But, boy.

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: wareagle on February 11, 2021, 08:55:48 AM
I understand that it is cold outside.

I understand that this building is older than God, with an HVAC system to match.

I understand that we are not allowed space heaters because, you know, fire.

IT IS FIFTY-NINE DEGREES IN MY OFFICE.  I can't type with mittens on.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on February 11, 2021, 08:57:05 AM
IT IS FIFTY-NINE DEGREES IN MY OFFICE.  I can't type with mittens on.

What gets me is when this happens in the summertime....
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: OneMoreYear on February 11, 2021, 09:05:58 AM
IT IS FIFTY-NINE DEGREES IN MY OFFICE.  I can't type with mittens on.

What gets me is when this happens in the summertime....

In my previous office, I measured the temp as 85 degrees in the summer--we theoretically had air conditioning.

In my current office, the thermostat is broken. It is theoretically set at 72, but I'm sure it cannot be actually above 60.  When I have to be campus, I wear multiple layers including my coat and have purchased finger-less gloves due to the problem wareagle is describing.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on February 11, 2021, 09:55:34 AM
IT IS FIFTY-NINE DEGREES IN MY OFFICE.  I can't type with mittens on.

What gets me is when this happens in the summertime....

In my previous office, I measured the temp as 85 degrees in the summer--we theoretically had air conditioning.

In my current office, the thermostat is broken. It is theoretically set at 72, but I'm sure it cannot be actually above 60.  When I have to be campus, I wear multiple layers including my coat and have purchased finger-less gloves due to the problem wareagle is describing.

That is too cold. In my building, we're not allowed to change the thermostat, well, we can't since it's controlled at another location.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: Langue_doc on February 11, 2021, 10:14:29 AM
NYC streets are by default narrow with only one lane in each direction. Today there were wide trailers and trucks parked on two blocks resulting in buses coming from the other direction getting stuck because of trucks unloading the usual groceries and supplies on that side of the street. Guess how long it took for the bus and the cars behind it to get through? Guess how long it took me, the cars in front of me, and the ones behind me to get through? Which idiot in City Hall thought that allowing on-location shooting was a good idea in this neighborhood? Most likely the idiot who doesn't live here and who probably stood to gain from the transaction. At the very least, the city could have assigned one or more police officers to direct traffic. I can't imagine what it's like during rush hour.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: the_geneticist on February 11, 2021, 10:30:05 AM
IT IS FIFTY-NINE DEGREES IN MY OFFICE.  I can't type with mittens on.

What gets me is when this happens in the summertime....

In my previous office, I measured the temp as 85 degrees in the summer--we theoretically had air conditioning.

In my current office, the thermostat is broken. It is theoretically set at 72, but I'm sure it cannot be actually above 60.  When I have to be campus, I wear multiple layers including my coat and have purchased finger-less gloves due to the problem wareagle is describing.

That is too cold. In my building, we're not allowed to change the thermostat, well, we can't since it's controlled at another location.
I have a thermostat, but I think it is merely decorative.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: wareagle on February 11, 2021, 11:23:43 AM
IT IS FIFTY-NINE DEGREES IN MY OFFICE.  I can't type with mittens on.

What gets me is when this happens in the summertime....

In my previous office, I measured the temp as 85 degrees in the summer--we theoretically had air conditioning.

In my current office, the thermostat is broken. It is theoretically set at 72, but I'm sure it cannot be actually above 60.  When I have to be campus, I wear multiple layers including my coat and have purchased finger-less gloves due to the problem wareagle is describing.

That is too cold. In my building, we're not allowed to change the thermostat, well, we can't since it's controlled at another location.
I have a thermostat, but I think it is merely decorative.

Current office has a decorative thermostat as well.  So did previous office.  I am trying to figure out how to incorporate them into some kind of attractive wall art.  At least they'd be of some use then.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on February 11, 2021, 12:21:32 PM
Quote
I have a thermostat, but I think it is merely decorative.

Isnt there some foundational psychology/HR study that shows that as long as people THINK that they have some control they are happy?
So would that explain why you are (or at least should FEEL)  warmer and happier when you move your decorative thermostat to 85 in the winter and 65 in the summer?
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: apl68 on February 11, 2021, 12:56:06 PM
Quote
I have a thermostat, but I think it is merely decorative.

Isnt there some foundational psychology/HR study that shows that as long as people THINK that they have some control they are happy?
So would that explain why you are (or at least should FEEL)  warmer and happier when you move your decorative thermostat to 85 in the winter and 65 in the summer?

I've usually worked in buildings where it was 65 year-round.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on February 11, 2021, 01:11:29 PM
NYC streets are by default narrow with only one lane in each direction. Today there were wide trailers and trucks parked on two blocks resulting in buses coming from the other direction getting stuck because of trucks unloading the usual groceries and supplies on that side of the street. Guess how long it took for the bus and the cars behind it to get through? Guess how long it took me, the cars in front of me, and the ones behind me to get through? Which idiot in City Hall thought that allowing on-location shooting was a good idea in this neighborhood? Most likely the idiot who doesn't live here and who probably stood to gain from the transaction. At the very least, the city could have assigned one or more police officers to direct traffic. I can't imagine what it's like during rush hour.

It's a problem in several places, yes.

   https://www.metrowestdailynews.com/story/news/2021/02/10/framingham-dont-look-up-filming-continues-for-netflix-series/6707240002/

M.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: downer on February 19, 2021, 07:41:50 AM
The two private schools I teach for both are now emphasizing a need to cut back on the costs of expensive textbooks. They are encouraging the use of free textbooks.

I'd be more sympathetic if they told us more about what they are doing to cut back on student costs in other ways. Textbook costs are only a tiny proportion of tuition. With greater class sizes faculty are more motivated to rely on the resources supplied by textbook publishers.

Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: clean on February 19, 2021, 02:52:21 PM
Quote
They are encouraging the use of free textbooks.

What authors write text books for free?
What publisher sells "free textbooks"?

In the recent congressional hearings on Gamesmart one of the congresspeople noted, "if you are getting free stock trades, you are not the client, you are the product".  (As the trading platform is selling your order!)

Similarly, what is the going price/value (revenue stream) of the student/product using the free textbook? 

____________
Facebook users are not the Facebook 'customer'. Facebook users are the Product being sold to the advertiser - Facebook's true customer.
________________
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 19, 2021, 02:56:06 PM
Quote
They are encouraging the use of free textbooks.

What authors write text books for free?
What publisher sells "free textbooks"?

In the recent congressional hearings on Gamesmart one of the congresspeople noted, "if you are getting free stock trades, you are not the client, you are the product".  (As the trading platform is selling your order!)

Similarly, what is the going price/value (revenue stream) of the student/product using the free textbook? 

____________
Facebook users are not the Facebook 'customer'. Facebook users are the Product being sold to the advertiser - Facebook's true customer.
________________

Openstax.com is one source.
Title: Re: The Venting Thread
Post by: mamselle on February 19, 2021, 03:34:54 PM
IT IS FIFTY-NINE DEGREES IN MY OFFICE.  I can't type with mittens on.

What gets me is when this happens in the summertime....

In my previous office, I measured the temp as 85 degrees in the summer--we theoretically had air conditioning.

In my current office, the thermostat is broken. It is theoretically set at 72, but I'm sure it cannot be actually above 60.  When I have to be campus, I wear multiple layers including my coat and have purchased finger-less gloves due to the problem wareagle is describing.

That is too cold. In my building, we're not allowed to change the thermostat, well, we can't since it's controlled at another location.
I have a thermostat, but I think it is merely decorative.

Current office has a decorative thermostat as well.  So did previous office.  I am trying to figure out how to incorporate them into some kind of attractive wall art.  At least they'd be of some use then.

If it's round, you might consider something painted on the wall based on Sonia Delaunay's work:

   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonia_Delaunay#/media/File:Sonia_Delaunay,_1914,_Prismes_%C3%A9lectriques,_oil_on_canvas,_250_x_250_cm,_Mus%C3%A9e_National_d'Art_Moderne.jpg

or

   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonia_Delaunay#/media/File:Sonia_Delaunay,_Rythme,_1938.jpg

or

   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonia_Delaunay#/media/File:Delaunay,_Dessin