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On Power Trips

by snaggle at 01:44 PM on May 14, 2003

I have entertained the idea that, sometime in the future, after a stint in the “real world” of graphic design and then obtaining my M.F.A., I will return to the sheltering bosom of academia and impart my wisdom unto young, fresh minds eager to discover the new aesthetic and further champion the cause of visual thinking. Mayhaps this will even lead to a long and fruitful time as a teacher, complete with tenure and all that jazz. Maybe eventually, I will even become the head of the department, with my own staff and someone else who manages my schedule.

And then I’ll have the power to fire the asses of the likes of that bitch I had to deal with last week.

The head of our Art & Design department is very accessible; he’s always willing to talk to students, extremely friendly, and always looking out for us. I can’t say the same for the secretarial staff, however. Somehow, two of these four crones have taken it upon themselves to make our college experience just that much more stressful and seek to reduce us to squalling babes.

When I went into the office to speak with Roger, our chair, I had a list of topics I wanted to discuss with him regarding my academics and the fall semester, which I will be spending abroad in Rome, along with half our design class (huzzah!) I knew it would be easier to just go to the top immediately, rather than trying to weasel answers from others. The secretaries, on the other hand, decided that wasn’t going to happen. As I stepped into the office and asked to speak with Roger, one of the secretaries (we’ll call her Euryale) gave me a strange look and interrogated me on the reason why I wanted to see such an important and inaccessible man as Roger. I really had no desire to go into the details of my personal life that had precipitated this need to speak with him, so I made some vague comments that, unfortunately, must have sounded less than important to her. She slithered to the back room where the Gorgon sisters sacrifice small children to the Goddess of Bitchdom, and summoned the head crone (we’ll call her Medusa) and proclaimed,

“There’s a student here who wants to see Roger, but I don’t think he really does. Can you get rid of him?”

Medusa emerged from the back room in disguise, the snakes in her hair transformed into unruly red spikes of hair, blood of small children still dripping from her mouth. With a sweet smile, she led me back to her lair.

I can only imagine how much pleasure this frustrated shell of a woman found in harassing any who tried to speak with her, for what followed was only a few words short of verbal abuse. I had to use all my training and emotional reserve not to start shouting back at her and to confront her on what she was saying. More than once, I drew out my mirrored shield named Laptop to deflect her stony gaze back to her, throwing at her the exact words she had emailed to us students, which contrasted sharply with what she had just declared she had stated in those emails. She seemed intent upon barring my way to Roger.

Finally, at long last, she grew tired of her power trip and consented to let me see Roger later that week. I stumbled from the Gorgon’s lair, weakened by my experience. The next day, I happened to run into Roger in the hallway, and we proceeded to chat for half an hour. Apparently, he didn’t seem to think he was as inaccessible as his staff. When he gave me the answer I was looking for, which happened to be the complete opposite of what Medusa had told me, complete with screaming and promises of blood and death to any who dared oppose her, I wanted to go back to her and throw it in her face.

But I am just one small student, and if the only joy and pleasure in life for these bitches is to torment and harass students, reducing them to tears, I suppose I’ll let them have their power trip. It seems obvious that the crones must have some frustrations in their lives that they need to take out on everyone else. Next time, I’ll just circumvent them completely.

comments (6)

I noticed during college that a fair number of the administrative staff seem to despise the undergraduates. They just go out of their way to be nasty to them. Signs of the class struggle perhaps?

I'll never forget the shrew in the records office who nastily informed my first-year roommate that, due to her father misreading the school's bills, she technically wasn't enrolled for the quarter. And then didn't offer any help. Obviously she was working the situation for some sadistic pleasure. It's evil.

by jean at May 14, 2003 3:31 PM

Get Roger's e-mail address and pretend the bitchas ain't there.

by MrBlank at May 14, 2003 4:14 PM

Dude, this might sound petty and I know this was meant to be more amusing than anything else, but life is full of soul-crushing assholes who want to steal your soul and wipe their asses with it.

the Best thing you can do for yourself, for others like you and probably some other BS, is to learn how to crush these peolpe beneath your pointy boots. functionaries have all sorts of problems. At ISU, it was anything to do with financial aid, or worse, the treasurers office. God forbid you had to ask anyone to hold off on collecting a bill. THese pathetic lifers sufferered endless daily frustration and had nothing better to do than take it out on the next unsuspecting bastard who came into their office.

The truth is, secretaries and recpetionists exist to facilitate your passage. Even if they are meant to keep from the top dog, they arent supposed to be bitches about it. At SCHOOL? Oh hell no. The head of the department works for your you! They work for him! That means they work for you too. The one thing these assholes like to pull is this notion that they DON"T work for you.

I say, go back in that office and make them pay through the fucking nose. Go in everyday with something new, feign stuttering or some other annoying disability and when they get mad, turn the tables on them. Or just say, "are you being rude to me because I'm not white?" That works around here, people are shit scared of being labeled as racists and who knows they probably are. Maybe they ARE nice to the white folks.

by eff at May 14, 2003 5:19 PM

I'm a student of turns of phrase. The one that got me was "blood of small children still dripping from her mouth." I think it's the "still" that really did it for me. Ah, the imagery.

by Anna at May 14, 2003 6:30 PM

Oh, God. Do not scream 'racist'. Shit! What good would come out of that? If Roger is so cool, tell him how much the hags suck and he might fix the problem without making you look bad.

by MrBlank at May 14, 2003 7:15 PM

Blood of children... how about we take a 'still' of the bloodladen orifice, and look at it only in the red room... and then, as she feels comfortable in her own lair, expose her to the light! Hear her shrill, agony, slow death... Because life is a slow death... unless you're lucky...

by LOCKHEED at May 15, 2003 6:59 PM

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