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January 29, 2012

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Mary Dudziak

Here's one tip I wish someone had given to me: share with your new colleagues any private, personal matters that you would be comfortable seeing in the newspaper. In other words, it will take a while, maybe a year, to figure out who really keeps secrets, and who is lovely and well-meaning, but still a gossip. Over time, try to find at least one senior colleague who you can really confide in.

not a prof

I am not an academic - but I have my office politics. The most annoying are the insecure types who are sensitive and defensive to anything they do not want to hear. These types are hard to deal with b/c a conversation has to be on their terms, or you risk them getting offended and ending up in a fight. How do you deal with that sort?

Jeff Yates

I think that many offices (academic or otherwise) have had, at one time or another, a character resembling Don Logan from the gangster heist movie "Sexy Beast" (brilliantly portrayed by Ben Kingsley). I'd provide a youtube clip or series of quotes, but none of them are really appropriate for this forum. You really just have to watch the movie. Clearly, such office characters are not exactly like Don, but they approach his demeanor at times. I recall Don's primary tactic for getting to 'yes' as being "You will! You will! You will!" ... but I've probably left out a lot of cursing that was actually in the movie.

Anon

It is important to note that faculty meetings are conducted differently from school to school. Don't assume that everyone will be encouraged to be heard. Keep quiet in the beginning and observe the unspoken rules.

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