Monday, September 8, 2008

Some Chair on Chair Action

Last week and then again today, in carrying out my duties as department chair, I got to spend some time trying to round up chairs. Not other department chairs or the chairs of any committees, but actual furniture.

My department complained about classrooms being short of seats. Facilities people told us there should be plenty of chairs. We explained there weren't. They threatened to take our conference room chairs. Our admin assistant stood them down on Thursday morning. Other chairs were found to fill out the classroom by Thursday afternoon. But then, over the weekend, said chairs magically disappeared from our conference room.

So today I got to write terse e-mails to high level administrators about missing chairs. There has never been a finer use of my skills.

10 comments:

biscodo said...

Well, we can't all of us be astronauts. The world still needs good chair-finders, right?

Zoe the Wonder Dog said...

Apparently I am not good at this, however. The chairs are still missing and my inquiries have gone unanswered.

Hello, NASA?

biscodo said...

There is only one proper solution to your predicament. You're going to have to escalate. If this were a Godfather situation, you'd "go to the mattresses".

You must set aside kindness and diplomacy and just do what is necessary. Resort to subterfuge, or steal them from other departments. Delegate your trusted lieutenants to the task.

If you prefer subterfuge, steal your own chairs from yourself, depleting your classrooms temporarily and then drag an administrator down and say "see, not enough chairs!" They'll replace to the bare minimum, and then you can bring the excess out of hiding after the crisis is resolved.

Or if you prefer a brute-force approach: take chairs from an adjacent building, preferably pilfering one per classroom in a department that's 2x as big. If caught, feign innocence: "just borrowing for a special event, we'll put them back." If they're recovered/stolen back, steal them back again. If necessary, do it under cover of darkness. If the theft/re-theft exchange looks to continue or escalate, be sure to covertly obtain keys for the rival building/department's doors, and ensure that your own are securely locked up at the end of the day. If necessary, remove your own chairs from your classrooms and secure them elsewhere at night, taking them out of storage during the day only. If you can't win against other Social Sciences departments, go on long-range reconnaissance and steal from the Art department. Maybe even the Math department. Under no circumstances should you try to take them from any department associated with Law Enforcement Training or CSI School. Avoid the Law School furniture as well.

I would recommend against pestering Upper Management too much about the neverending "chair situation", lest you become characterized as petty and whiny. Better to ask forgiveness than permission.

Be strong. Fight the Power. Kill Whitey.

TeacherPatti said...

You can do it, sista! If my chairs weren't kiddie chairs, you could have some from my room. My parapro is excellent at acquiring goodies for our room :)

Zoe the Wonder Dog said...

This is no longer about chairs. Our students all now have places to sit in the classrooms in our building. This is an escalation of tensions between facilities and my department. When they took our conference room chairs, it was to punish us for complaining about them not doing their jobs very well. Taking chairs from other buildings has the potential to inconvenience our students and piss off other academic departments. No, we will be much more strategic in our response. The response they get will not come in the form of chairs...

biscodo said...

" The response they get will not come in the form of chairs..."

He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue.

That's fucking AWESOME. Go get 'em.

TeacherPatti said...

Stick it to the Man, girl. Stick it to the Man!!! If you want, we can posse up the girls and get ghetto.

Warren said...

Life insurance premiums are up-to-date, right?

Zoe the Wonder Dog said...

Chair report: two more chairs went missing over the weekend. I again reported the incident to the higher-ups who had just told me it was not their policy to take such chairs. And then, just now, one of those administrators showed up in our office to apologize to my administrative assistant and offer reassurances that he is going to replace our chairs.

I'm not declaring victory quite yet, however...

TeacherPatti said...

Today, my parapro (the fabulous Mr. Peoples) came in with a computer monitor from...somewhere. I told him about your chair situation. In all seriousness, he said, "Ms. Smith--you just tell me what she needs."
It's a good life sometimes :)