Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's Not Just the Students

I have a pretty hands-off style of management. When a task comes up, I tell people what I expect of them and when I want it done. I try not to be too fussy about how it gets done -- as long as people don't violate university rules, etc. While this would work really poorly as a strategy for teaching a freshman class, I keep hoping that the people who I work with are adults and who can deal with satisfying the basic parameters of their jobs. Apparently, this is not always the case.
  1. For the class that I directly supervise, everyone who is teaching it is supposed to give me a copy of each of their exams. They don't need to be pre-approved. They aren't evaluated -- except on whether or not they exist. Once again, people are not giving me exams.

  2. I held a meeting yesterday for some of the TAs that I supervise. This meeting was announced well in advance, and all the TAs were asked to RSVP to indicate that they knew about the meeting and were planning on coming (or that they needed to reschedule). One TA didn't get back to me until today. TA gave me a narrow window that was an OK time to meet. TA further narrowed it to one "preferred" time that is fairly inconvenient for me. When you ignore my meeting until after it has already happened, I get to pick a time that works for me.

  3. I emailed someone in September asking for one day in October when I could do a classroom observation. Of all the days and times that this person teaches in the entire month of October, I just wanted one. Yesterday a day was suggested -- in November.

As the Invisible Hand does not work in the math department, the only consequence is that I will complain on my blog.