Question (from "Luanne"): I’m in a bullpen oﬃce with half a dozen adjuncts, some of us sharing desks, all of us crowded, overworked, and demoralized. But that’s not what I’m writing about.
"Dana" manages to make it so much worse with his chronic complaining. Every day there’s a new crisis — noisy plumbing, bad drivers, barking dogs. He hates the weather in our part of the country, and despises the local politics. His students, he rails, are all morons. And we, his colleagues, will never measure up to the world-class professors he knew at his Ivy League grad school.
He’s known as "Dana the Complainer" and making fun of him behind his back is a common pastime. I’m not happy with that. (I’m probably called "Luanne the Pollyanna.") I can’t get any work done, with his fuming and stomping around.
Holidays are the worst, when he scolds the staﬀ members about Christmas stuﬀ on their desks. (They’re mostly single moms from the small Appalachian towns near us, and they have to be polite, no matter the provocation). I agree that religion doesn’t belong in the university. But I also believe in tact, which is a foreign concept to Dana. He loathes "mindless politeness" and values "people who speak their mind, no matter what."
How can I deal with him? Our college pays so little that I can’t even hope he’ll be ﬁred. There’s no line of people wanting his job.