Saturday, October 15, 2011

How to create extra work for other people

In this time of recession and high unemployment, it is important to create job opportunities. I found a new way to create extra work for other people, thus contributing in a modest way to the need for additional jobs at Brown.

After class the other day, I picked up all my stuff and left the classroom in a hurry. The next day I got the following email from the Media Technology Services at Brown: "When securing the room last evening, my technician was unable to locate the wireless microphone for Salomon 001. I'm wondering if you used the clip-on microphone during your class yesterday or saw it on the teaching podium." I looked in my backpack, and there it was!

I returned it immediately. Because I am a Full Professor, no one expressed any disapproval of my actions. Who knows how much time they spent looking for it? But none of that showed in the graceful way in which they took it back and thanked me for bringing it back. It's the privilege of high Status. There is so much respect for faculty around here. I've been at Brown a number of years, but I still can't get used to it. At Brown, Professors Can Do No Wrong. I am always disturbed when an incident such as that one reminds me how sheltered we are.


  1. Is it, or is it just people being polite? I had a similar episode as a grad student at Texas, and grad students are not anybody's conception of high status.

  2. Yes, Ray, sometimes I get carried away and interpret according to what makes a more interesting story. Confirmation bias, if you will. It makes life more fun.

  3. Your humility is very respectable, even if you did get carried away in your post.


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