I am in shock. I’ve just been effectively given the sack.
I feel such a fool, as I’ve been making changes to my life in order to accommodate what I thought was going to be an increase in my study support hours. I was in college this afternoon, seeing one of the college accountants, oddly enough, who had been having difficulty passing her accountancy exams. Although this was a bit of an unusual case for me, the hour had gone very well, and it was in a buoyant mood that I walked out of my rooms towards the car park. Then I bumped into the Senior Tutor who said we had to talk about what had happened in the council meeting, and after we’d made a few suggestions of times we could meet, he suddenly asked if we could talk right now.
The idea had been to bring my job more in line with other teaching jobs in college but the proposal he had put together with an increase in my hours was turned down flat. A lot of the problem revolves around something I can barely explain here which is the title of my job and where it fits into the structure of titles. It’s a complex system and the council refused to have me as a Fellow who a) works part-time and b) is not attached to a University post. Then they had decided that if there was to be an increase in study support, it should be subject specific. (I currently see all arts and humanities students, and the idea is to nominate ‘teaching associates’ for each subject area, which really means that there won’t be study support any more because I can’t see that being organised by harassed lecturers). So that was that.
Much as I absolutely hate asking this kind of question, I said to the Senior Tutor: ‘Did the council think I had done a poor job these past four years?’ And he said, no, they were appreciative of what I had done, it was just that it could not be made to fit with what they wanted. But of course, at the moment I can’t help but feel like I did a bad job.
Mister Litlove’s take on this is that I did indeed do a bad job – at the politics. ‘You never managed up,’ he said, ‘and it’s the people who manage up who really get on.’ And it is true that I do not do the politics, which I loathe and think wholly unnecessary and am in any case completely unable to engage in. When I look back there were enough people telling me I should eat in hall at lunch, and go to the college dinners, and I suppose the Senior Tutor may have been giving me an opportunity when we last spoke to offer some sort of study support kingdom on a grand scale that might have saved me. But I didn’t want to do any of those things. And I didn’t do them. I thought doing a good job was the point.
It still seems peculiar to me, as I had felt so sure, looking back, that I did help the students. Or at least, well, I thought I did. This wholly unexpected change in events makes everything look unsure. Mister Litlove says it’s nothing to do with me at all, but then he is my husband and a sweetie. All I know is that it’s the end of an association that’s been a huge part of my life since I was 18. It feels really, really odd.