Neutral Territory, Sartorial and Otherwise

In between discussions of seafoam lady crotch rockets, and coveting expensive and unethically produced yoga gear, I spent a good portion of the weekend feeling bad about what I thought, on Friday, was the culmination of some politically charged job-related negotiations. Then this morning, another email arrived asking my thoughts on another possible arrangement. This most recent suggestion seems exciting, but politically risky.

As a post-doc turned sessional, turned post-doc, turned faculty member, I thought I understood just how political space issues can be in the university. As it turns out, I know nothing.My new strategy, therefore, is to remain neutral. This way, I can watch and learn as (tenured) others make these decisions. Because I do NOT want to risk permanently pissing off those whose good will I most require down the road.

From now on, my line is, “I’m happy with whatever you decide is most feasible.” Today’s outfit reflects my new neutral position:

Navy & white striped jersey top: Linea Domani (via Winners, remixed); Khaki cotton skirt: Raindrops (thrifted); Brown leather belt: ?? (remixed); Khaki & silver-studded sandals: Steve Madden (via DSW)

Please note: I’m aware the pose in the image on the right is wonky, but I included the pic anyway because I like how thin I look in it.

Anyway, the wonky collar on this top is really starting to bug me.I see a visit to the tailor in its future. Otherwise, I’m happy with this ensemble.Next time, I might spice things up a little, though.And as always, I am open to your excellent suggestions. (Bring ’em!)

Also, what do you do when things get political at work?

19 thoughts on “Neutral Territory, Sartorial and Otherwise

  1. When things get political at work, I stay out of it. I like my job and I use the money I make. I do not complain if I'm not willing to help in the change. I wouldn't want to risk what I love to do, or piss off anyone who helps me do it, or anyone who pays me. I am neutral.That being said, IF I wasn't financially or emotional tied to my job, I would become a radical, voice my opinion from the board rooms, and fight the fight of the underdog (nothing to do with my name).That is all, except, awesome shoes!

  2. EK: I think we typed comments at exactly the same time! It's funny, isn't it, that with all the 'bricks and mortar' projects on campuses these days, so little of the space gets allocated to Arts and social movement-related endeavours?Also, you may be right about the skirt length. But I kind of enjoy the raggedly longer hem. So maybe I'll try it with some giant heels, first, before I consider hemming. . .

  3. ADubs, what's wonky about the collar? Is it just a cowl gone wrong? From my vantage point (which is neck deep in cat drama), everything looks lovely. I am also swooning over those sandals, and your ability to look willowy and long in a just above the ankle skirt. Mad props.Sorry 'bout the work drama. And academic department awkwardness is truly in a league of its own. At my own work, I manage to keep my nose clean, which includes not getting too close personally to anyone, (which doesn't help with the whole finding friends thing, but I am following sage advice given before I left grad school) but being friendly and cordial with everyone. In fact, I was so neutral and accommodating my first year that the other untenured folks were surprised to discover at a social event that I actually have a personality. However, since I've been placed on various committees, I've had to take more of a stand on things, but I am only happy to do so if it involves teaching and our major, not hiring or anything like that.

  4. I love the skirt, it looks absolutely amazing!As for work politics, I don't have any first had experience, but I would say for now you seem to have the right idea, and if you do feel the need to voice an opinion, be polite, respectful, and have a valid, well backed thought; and nobody can really hold it against you.

  5. EK: I think we typed comments at exactly the same time! It's funny, isn't it, that with all the 'bricks and mortar' projects on campuses these days, so little of the space gets allocated to Arts and social movement-related endeavours?Also, you may be right about the skirt length. But I kind of enjoy the raggedly longer hem. So maybe I'll try it with some giant heels, first, before I consider hemming. . .

  6. Rad: God, long-distance relationships suck, especially when we're crazed with work and just need our partners to do their jobs (i.e. listen to our crazy and hold us while we bawl ourselves to sleep). But I like the farting plan. I like it A LOT. I also like that we're adding "fart" to our list of awesome words employed in blog commenting.Cynthia: Oh, I envy your top-doggedness. Also, 'good idea to focus on grant proposals rather than managing the unruly academic masses.

  7. At my University, space is a BIG issue. There are tons of groups who need more space, and so very little space that's available. It's one of the most frustrating, pushy issues we deal with. As to your outfit. I like the color palette and the shapes, but I wish the hem was shorter. Right under your knee caps, or even a little higher would be a nice symmetrical balance with your shoulders and show off your long gams.

  8. The top is awesome.Where I am, I am academic politics. The assistant professors fear me. They scatter when I walk down the hall leaving tenure reviews in my wake. Or something like that.Actually, I'm the luckiest academic in the world because I'm in a totally new (5 years old) department where there are 12 of us, I'm the senior-est except for the chair, and so far, no major conflict. I know this can't last but while it does I'm savoring the hell out of it.I was college faculty president during the last year and that gave me enough politics. By mid year I was like "OK, I am not going to try to herd these cats, I'll just be over here writing this grant proposal if you need me." Head down, working hard.

  9. I cried once in the only bathroom on the floor where the provost and president's office is located. Not because of anything anyone did to me, but because of a whole pile of stress, Blokey being in Minnesota still, being new to NYC and being one month into being a professor, etc. Then I ran down the stairs, only to see one of those "Emergency Exit only Alarm will sound" signs and considered crying again. Then tore off into the blinding mid fall sunlight and avoided all eye contact for a while. But crying in the administrator's bathroom isn't funny, so now when I go there, I just try to fart. A lot.

  10. Thanks for sharing, all. 'Lots of food for thought, here.Also, D-Med: you don't sound like wanker. And it's too bad you don't still have a sink in your office. I wish I had one to help me clean up after my own professional-frustration-in-office wahs.

  11. I just read over my comment and I totally sound like a wanker telling you stuff about this job you obviously already know. Full disclosure: when things get political at work–and there were five tenure and promotion meetings and 2 new hires last year so it was a nightmare–I am respectful, thoughtful and quiet and then I go to my office, close and lock the door, and burst into tears. It's very therapeutic.

  12. I think as a new faculty member you are taking the right approach. I find this to be one of the most delicate and maddening things about academia where EVERYTHING is decided by committee and everyone is accustomed to carving out their own research often by entering into debate and (respectful) disagreement with other scholars. It is difficult to translate that ethic to the more collaborative space of committee work. No one is allowed to decide anything by themselves in the administration of a university but our work (at least in the humanities for the most part) is extremely solitary so sometimes we are not as conditioned to play well with others. Anyway, that said, I think being the quiet, but firm when you need to be, new kid is the way to go. (Says I, who insisted on changing the requirements for the major my first year here, but I had huge support from my colleagues.)Also, nice pedi. Nice sandals. And the pattern on that top is doing crazy things to your boobs in this photo. Probably you shouldn't wear it if you are going to appear on television.

  13. I love the skirt, it looks absolutely amazing!As for work politics, I don't have any first had experience, but I would say for now you seem to have the right idea, and if you do feel the need to voice an opinion, be polite, respectful, and have a valid, well backed thought; and nobody can really hold it against you.

  14. ADubs, what's wonky about the collar? Is it just a cowl gone wrong? From my vantage point (which is neck deep in cat drama), everything looks lovely. I am also swooning over those sandals, and your ability to look willowy and long in a just above the ankle skirt. Mad props.Sorry 'bout the work drama. And academic department awkwardness is truly in a league of its own. At my own work, I manage to keep my nose clean, which includes not getting too close personally to anyone, (which doesn't help with the whole finding friends thing, but I am following sage advice given before I left grad school) but being friendly and cordial with everyone. In fact, I was so neutral and accommodating my first year that the other untenured folks were surprised to discover at a social event that I actually have a personality. However, since I've been placed on various committees, I've had to take more of a stand on things, but I am only happy to do so if it involves teaching and our major, not hiring or anything like that.

  15. When things get political at work, I stay out of it. I like my job and I use the money I make. I do not complain if I'm not willing to help in the change. I wouldn't want to risk what I love to do, or piss off anyone who helps me do it, or anyone who pays me. I am neutral.That being said, IF I wasn't financially or emotional tied to my job, I would become a radical, voice my opinion from the board rooms, and fight the fight of the underdog (nothing to do with my name).That is all, except, awesome shoes!

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