A telephone solicitation for a contribution to her employer set her off. Note, though, we have some complaints in common.
Here’s my thinking: at least 50% of my pique comes from the fact that faculty at my university are dramatically underpaid compared to our “peers” at our own “peer institutions.” I also didn’t get a dime’s worth of a raise between 2008 and 2012, and when I finally got a raise in 2012, it was a measly $1,860! Seriously. Another 25% of the rest of my irritation stems from all of the unpaid labor I do that the university doesn’t even recognize (like donating time to the university archives, one of the causes I was asked to support tonight on the telephone!), and the remaining 25% or so comes from the fact that my research agenda has largely been self-funded. Yes, that’s right: humanities faculty end up paying for the privilege of doing more work, because we end up without any meaningful research or travel funds to help us move our projects forward.A More or Less Bunk post extends the argument.
My feeling is that I’m so underpaid for my education, experience, public outreach, and publication record that at least 50% of my job is volunteer labor. So, there you go, Baa Ram U.: this year, I’m giving you nearly $67,000!
Assuming you have the power to determine your own schedule (and most of you professors out there reading this probably do), then do more of what you enjoy and less of what you don’t. This is hardly the same thing as going on strike, but if more of us assert the prerogatives that we’re supposedly paying for through the opportunity costs of doing meaningful work, it may have the same effect.Withdraw your sanction. Withdraw your support. And if your electronic mail account has an autoreply function, put a strong hint of I WANT THINKING TIME in that message, particularly at summer and inter-session research time, and don't apologize for it.