3.07.2006

Your MOM'S on strike

So my lecturers were all on strike today, only I still had to go in and work because I have a piece of coursework due on Friday. And I finished it today, on account of I have become One Who Finishes Things Early.

Anyway, the strike thingy you can read about here at the BBC. Also you can go to the actual Higher Education Union webpage if you like. I'm sure my Dad will be the first one to race over there, on account of he just luuuuurves him some unions. Anyway, I read some of the literature they were passing out today, and it does sound like they're getting the rubbish end of the stick. I guess last year the government said it would increase teacher salaries, only then when the academic year got started there was no change. And then the people in charge said they'd never actually promised anything. Or something.

The part I didn't know, though, was that it's not just the strike. They're also going to boycott grading student assignments and tutoring students and all kinds of stuff until negotiations work out. So it turns out I needn't have bothered getting that report in early. The only thing that concerns me a wee bit is that I'm meant to turn in my "What I'm Doing My Dissertation On" form this Friday, and I'm hoping that my dear advisor won't consider it Going Against the Union to sign the thing.

Also the funny part was that as all my lecturers were out picketing, I still had to go to this tutorial thing for my "Management and People Skills" class. Today's topic: Conflict Resolution. There's one guy in my tutorial group from the Middle East, and I get a kick out of his hard-line solutions to things: "You must make sure people are working all the time!" "You must watch your employees very carefully." "There should be no reason for people to be talking with coworkers! If they are talking then they do not have enough work to do."

The other funny moment today was when the tutorial teacher talked about conflict resolution with what she termed "awkward" (read: insane) library patrons. She even warned us of who we will generally find in the Unholy Trinity of Crazies, at least if we work in academic libraries. According to her, the most difficult library users are:

Music/Drama students, because they get all dramatic on people and forget they're not on stage;
Law students, because they forget that they're not in a courtroom (Hi, WR sweetie!);
Surgeons, because surgeons are just jerks. (Jaime, can I get a witness?)

So there you have it. And now you can go celebrate strikes by watching Newsies, where you get to see Christian Bale dance and sing like he's in NKOTB. And that, friends, is something.

14 comments:

Cicada said... [reply]

When I was in high school, our teachers went on strike for two weeks. It really didn't get any better than that.

And excuse me---if employees are talking to their coworkers, they don't have enough work to do? When he makes comments like that, do you all just shut him down, or do you let him get away with rubbish like that??

Miss Hass said... [reply]

I heard some stories about the crazies that come to the public library when I was eating lunch with all of my IU library science friends. The best one was when a redneck-y sort of fellow brought a dead mole (the rodent, not the skin growth) to the library in a Ziploc bag to ask for help identifying the creature. Ew. Good luck with that...

Squirrel Boy said... [reply]

I always wanted to be One Who Finishes Things Early, but it just never happened. So congratulations to you.

And it's a good thing they didn't employ the "if you're talking, then you must not have enough to do" philosophy at IS. I think we would've all been fired.

April said... [reply]

Oh, yeah. Crazies LOVE the library! Especially when I'm working, for some reason.

Rachel said... [reply]

Oh, those Europeans love their strikes...

Lady Steed said... [reply]

As I walked up to the Public Library yesterday I noticed a few crazy looking people milling about outside, and wondered to myself, why is it that libraries always attract crazy people? But it is obvious-- because one can hang out in a library quietly and use their bathroom for free! Unfortunately crazy people are not always quiet and cannot always keep to themselves, which is where a really kick-A librarian comes in...which I presume will be you in the near future Nem.

CBH said... [reply]

Too bad the movie Newsies SUCKS. Crap, that movie is stupid. I simply "had to" watch it last semester. And it was dumb. That is all.

jaime said... [reply]

Yeah...I can certainly back you up on the surgeon thing, Nem. Although, to their credit, not all surgeons are jerks, but the few that are give the group a very bad name (ie Voldemort). I can't comment on their library behavior, but I'm sure that it is true. :)

Abby said... [reply]

I have to agree with Miss Hass public libraries have the most crazies. A homeless guy once sued a library in my home state state because they threw him out. Apparently, he was smelly and making the patrons uncomfortable. He won his case though. I work in a special library so the crazy factor is lowered, although you have one or two people that make you go "Huh?"

Streets of Belfast said... [reply]

My profs are on strike also but unhappily because they figure it is the unions fault for actually believing the government. Subsequently their strike has been pretty lame: about 12 strikers standing around looking like they were waiting for a bus who then marched down the street with two police escorts presumably to the center of Belfast but most likely to some pub. That was it. Really, you'd think people in Belfast would know a bit more about civil disobedience, making a scene, standing up for their rights, fighting the government, etc.

kristen said... [reply]

The people who are getting hurt the most in this strike are the students. Sorry your school is putting you through this. The students should mount some counter strike of some sort. After all, you are paying good money to be educated (you are paying good money, aren't you?). That is why I don't believe in unions--they are so counter productive! I'm obviously not a member of my teachers' union because I do not agree with a majority of what they do.

Anyways--good luck with that and hopefully everyone will come to their senses soon!

amyjane said... [reply]

Kristen, sweetie, I knew I loved you. I've never been able to get on board with the union thing at school for similar reasons, even though they send the rep around to harass me regularly for not joining. My fav was this year after my baby and surgery when they tried to tell me that I didn't deserve the medical benefits package I had used because the union negotiated that and I don't belong to the union. Crazy-- here I was thinking that my benefits package was part of my contract with the school district. But I must be mistaken.

Savvymom said... [reply]

When I was working at an elementary school the teachers lounge was offlimits to the people who wouldn't go to the union meetings and the union rep would stand outside the door during lunch and hound people. I'm really glad I was a special ed TA and never had to get into it with those people, since my Dad would probably have disowned me had I pledged my alliegance.

And Amy, I can't believe you never told me about the maternity thing. Wow.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Hey Cic. We don't agree but do try to be nice to the guy, because I figure it may be some Saudi Arabian cultural work ethic thing. Either way it's funny to hear what he's going to say.

Yep, crazies, Hass. I just did a paper about this and one of the quotes I found talked about libraries being pretty much the most welcome of all public buildings, and so people who "cannot or will not conform to societal norms" feel comfortable going there. Yikes.

Hee hee, SB. I totally thought of that.

April, honey attracts crazy flies. What choice do they have?

Yep, Rachel, they sure seem to. And you get to come here in like less than 2 months and be part of it all! Yipee!

Lady Steed, I can only aspire to be the person you think I am. ;-)

Ha hah, my brother, a bunch of freshman girls made you watch Newsies! I hope they at least fed you.

I told them about Lord Voldemort, Jaimz! So now the English know that he's crap too.

Wow, Abby. That's too bad the library lost, since it seems like they should be able to ask people to leave if they're being a nuisance.

Well yeah, Streets. I'm kind of disappointed in the Belfast reps. I mean, where are the bricks?

Kristen, you and my dad should get together. You could discuss unions, Dr. Laura, SUVs, and would probably have great time! :-)

Amyjane, go you with not letting people guilt you into stuff!

Savvymom, I can't believe YOU never told me about the teacher's lounge thing. That's insane!

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