Friday, July 29, 2005


These People Have Tenure

This actually happened.

I got a call from a tenured professor who was upset that she was being charged for destroying her college-issued laptop. She destroyed it by running it over with her car.

She. ran. it. over. with. her. car.

In what context would this even happen? Under what circumstances, other than sheer malice, would you actually run over your laptop with your car? How would the laptop get under the wheels in the first place? Did the car drive itself into the dining room, hop up onto the table, and accelerate?

I’m baffled.

I’ve spend the last few weeks going over this in my mind, again and again.

Did the laptop have a death wish? Was it struck with the ‘Darwin’ virus, causing it to grow legs? Maybe the laptop lost its will to live after a particularly insipid email?

The tenured professor insists that it is grossly unfair that she be charged. After all, the laptop was relatively old.


She has tenure, and I don’t. And I’m supposed to manage her.

I’ll just avoid her in the parking lot.

I can imagine how that could happen. If you put some bags down whilst packing some of them into the trunk of the car, and then you forget that you haven't packed one of them (the one with the laptop in) and drive away and unfortunately it was next to the back wheel.

I managed to ruin a suitcase like this once. I thought the other person had put it in the car. They hadn't. It was behind the car. It got run over. It's now rather squashed.

I think she should take responsibility though, accident or not, the college shouldn't have to pay for her mistake.
My guess is that she put it on the roof of her car, forgot it, and then ran over it after it fell off.
Hey, it could happen, right?

I'd like to know dept. granted her tenure. I mean, that seems to me to have everything to do with it.
tee hee!
That sucks for you, but really, under what theory is she anything but responsible? It's just ridiculous. I'd be so mortified that I'd just pay for the laptop and claim that it got dropped or something. Geez.
I wish I could say this was unbelievable.

But I have a colleague who can't work the microwave or photocopier. And another who make the secretaries print out all of his emails because he refuses to learn.

But to fully run it over takes some doing.
Kind of reminds me of that scene in Office Space, where they beat the shit out of the printer with a baseball bat - one of the most cathartic moments in film history, if you ask me. There have been quite a few times when I would have derived a great amount of satisfaction from driving over my laptop with my car.

Kudos for her to giving in to abandon and then being victimized enough by it to shirk responsibility. She's a 21st century hero!
I agree it could happen. But her car or homeowner's insurance should cover it, shouldn't it?
Wow. That's horrifying.

I had a colleague in the past for whom the university got a new computer because he dropped his down the stairs. (At least it was a laptop!) Actually, I think the U paid for 3/4 of it - he did have to pay a little. I suggested to the admin. asst. that perhaps the U would find it a little suspicious if I dropped my big desktop down the stairs, otherwise I'd try for a nice new laptop too!
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