t’wassen me!

Don’t you hate those times when you feel like you have to come up with a way to delicately frame the fact that you are not at fault for the error at hand? When you don’t want to be seen as too quick to jump to the defensive, but also don’t want to be too quick to point the finger in the direction of someone else? I feel like I have those moments a bit too often sometimes …

A situation has been brewing here at work while a senior staff member has been abroad. This senior staff member is not the one responsible for the mistake; she is, in fact, the one who has the final say on the situation, and the one who is quite rightly annoyed that another colleague has gone over her head. The other colleague, the one who over-stepped her position and presumed her authority to change something (a unit timetable that she teaches in, but does not coordinate) has been noticably silent over the past few weeks, after at first initiating the request to change said timetable [back to the original, pre-October option]. Changes (which just shouldn’t have been requested by this person) were made in October last year by the less-senior staff member. Her e-mail requesting the change was copied to me (and thus filed appropriately), and certainly referred to the fact that she should check the request with her colleagues before proceeding. It appears that courtesy was not paid to them on this occasion. I should have noticed that the appropriate authorisation was being bypassed, but I didn’t. Fortunately, today the subject coordinator didn’t think that it was my job to watch out for all possible breeches of authority of this type, and so isn’t blaming me for not seeing the problem earlier. Now we have to scramble to get the whole situation sorted out satisfactorily before the beginning of second semester.

The whole thing is even more frustrating because, a) it involves coordinating with teaching at one of the regional campuses, and simply further highlights the lack of support and lack of options for videoconferencing lectures up to the border; and, b) it involves a staff member who is a more recent addition to our teaching team, and (even more frustratingly) who was not the first choice for the position for a lot of the people who deal with the day-to-day running of the department, based on the collective instinct that she would be difficult to work with.

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~ by pincushiondiary on July 1, 2005.

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