Monday, November 23, 2009

Tips for Conveying How Busy and Important you are to Your Colleagues

. Monday, November 23, 2009

Feminist Law Profs Blog and The Faculty Lounge put up two great and funny posts on ways to look productive to your colleagues. It was written for law professors but most can easily be applied to our lives as social scientists. The first list, from Fem Law Profs, gives specific tips on how to "act like your being productive":

What good is your inner, clandestine productivity if your dean, colleagues, students and even you yourself don’t really know the extent of just how unbelievably productive, busy, stressed, in a rush, and important you really are? Here are some tips on how to communicate this to others at your law school.
Tip #1: Walk fast when on campus and explain to colleagues that you cannot go out to lunch because you are busy responding to law review editors’ comments on your manuscript.
Tip #2: Remind your colleagues how many students you teach, how many exams you have to grade, how frightfully many hours it will take you to grade them, and how grading exams really cuts down the time you can be available for scholarship, service activities, friends or family.
Tip #3: Send an e-mail informing your dean or colleagues that you have been invited to speak at the local Rotary Club or the neighboring town’s PTA meeting.
Tip #4: Bring massive amounts of work to talks by outsiders and student events, and make sure to visibly mark on documents — as if editing your own paper or making comments on student work — in full sight of everyone else in the room.
Tip #5: Get ticked off and behave badly at faculty meetings.
Tip #6: Do not timely answer e-mails from anyone who may be relying on you to show up to an event, help review applications or schedule a meeting, then get huffy when the meeting takes place before you respond to the e-mail.
Tip #7: Make sure you tell students and administrators, “Now is not a good time.”
Tip #8: Pretend that you don’t know how to use the copy machine or create a pdf.
Tip #9: Refer to anything you write that is longer than 500 words as an “article.
Tip #10: Check how many times your and your colleagues’ articles have been downloaded on SSRN.
Tip #11: Regularly log on to the Westlaw JLR database and search “FIRST /2 LAST % AU(FIRST /2 LAST)” using your own name.
Tip #12: Keep your cell phone on during class and all meetings, and let it ring several times before stepping out to answer it.
UNC Professor of Law Kim Krawiec writing over at the Faculty Lounge adds some more to the list:
1. Make the support staff mark your exams and papers. Why should an international superstar waste time on menial activities like grading?

2. Even very busy professors should take the time to demonstrate their importance. Email your faculty list serve with regular updates about your standings in SSRN’s Top Authors ranking.

3. Truly busy people have little time to spare for even relatively efficient communications like list serves. Save time: blog about how much more productive you are than your colleagues!

4. If you burp, sneeze, or say something important to the local media (like “fraud is bad”), make sure that your school’s website reports on each instance, thwarting attempts to highlight colleagues’ scholarly accomplishments.

5. Don’t use your own office for media tapings. Instead, demand the use of scarce classroom, library, or other common spaces. In fact, insist on the dean’s suite.

6. Busy people must multitask to get everything done. When on a symposium or conference panel, text in full view of audience members and fellow panelists. If you receive an amusing communication, laugh out loud while others are presenting.

7. Another panel tip: demand to present first and then leave as soon as you speak without waiting to hear your co-panelists. Alternatively, demand to go last, then show up late, just before your start time. One instance may not be enough to demonstrate your busyness. Make it a hard and fast rule.

8. Time, page, and other limits are for less important people. When giving a faculty workshop, send a paper that is at least 100 single-spaced pages, and spend the entire hour presenting it. Why leave time for questions? Your paper’s already perfect.

9. Treat attempts to schedule committee meetings as an opportunity to demonstrate your many contributions to the institution. When prompted by the chair for a list of available meeting times, do the opposite: list every event on your calendar.

10. Don’t try to remember the names of students, staff, or untenured faculty. You’re too busy.


Tips for Conveying How Busy and Important you are to Your Colleagues
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