When you see a fork in the road, grab it and stab someone

The other day I was sitting quietly in my office, being productive and a strange suit (male, of course) walked in.

I looked up expectantly as if to say “what the fuck?” and “why are you bothering me?”. He smiled, there was a nanosecond of awkward pause, so I said, with all my natural grace,”Hi, I’m Potnia Theron, who are you?”.

And he said “I’m the President of the University”. I supposed he figured that I would know his name or that he sees himself as the title.

Recovering swiftly (a trait I have only begun to master) I said “won’t you have a seat?”

“Oh, I wont be staying that long”, he said. I bet not.

Anyway, we chatted for about five minutes, while my inner Honey Badger jumped around biting tender organs saying to “say something intelligent, use the opportunity you idiot”. Well I tried, but he was gone all too soon. The End, I figured.

Nope. Yesterday the dept admin emailed me “The President and the VP of Research want to have lunch with you. Which of these two dates work”.  Inner Honey Badger goes wild.

How to get ready for lunch with The BSDs?

Rule 0: prepare. Do not kid yourself that this is a casual chat because they like you. They don’t give a shit.They want something. Even if all they want is to appear to be men of the people (ho ho ho), it is still an opportunity for me to make a point.

Step 1: Like a 3 hr seminar – pick a topic and get your Anas platyrhynchos in a row. Figure out the ONE POINT you will be able to make. Do not make too many. They will not remember. One well supported point, with poignant  stories of suffering underclasses, and a myriad of facts will stick better in their teeny tiny brains.


Step 2: Be prepared to paddle furiously, but under the surface of the water.

Step 3: Do your research. Get the facts and and be able to call on them. From memory. So, not too many facts.

Step 4: If your topic is the churning and burning of jr faculty, then go back and talk to the jr faculty. Get permission to use stories. Discuss (with them!) the pro’s and con’s of using names. Pro: I can say good things about them. Con: they are not under the radar (often the safest place for jr faculty. when the elephants stampede its the grass that gets trampled).

Step 5. Don’t forget to brush your teeth. Find a shirt without stains on it. Don’t order sloppy food. Take your meds.

Any advice?


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