Impediment to Progress

There has been a lot of shit going down lately around the observatory program I’m trying to create. Without getting into any details (and boy, I’d love to write a big rant post about all this shit), basically there is one character whose seemingly only life goal is to impede the progress of this program using any means necessary. Let’s call them ItP for Impeder to Progress.

ItP has made my life (or at least my time spent on this program – which is work that I do not get paid for) absolute hell. They are around every corner, just waiting to hit me over the head with some “rule” that didn’t exist yesterday, or some other demand that must be met in order for me to move forward. I’ve jumped through about a million hoops for ItP, and it still isn’t enough.

Now, dealing with one person might not be so bad, but since ItP is more senior than me, their behavior and attitude is starting to wear off on other people – people that have some power when it comes to making decisions about the future of the observatory. In the battle of ItP-said/Alyssa-said, they automatically win because of their position.

I don’t get it. I’m trying to do something good here!! The department will benefit, the university will benefit, the city will benefit, even the whole region will benefit! Why, God, why, is ItP trying to stop the progress at all costs? They have no long-term investment in the observatory! Apparently they’d rather see it close down and be “moth-balled” instead of used to educate the public about astronomy and science in general.

If this shit doesn’t change soon, I’m going to drop the whole damn thing and just let the observatory go blind. Kudos, ItP, kudos. You may get what you wish for.


Comments on: "Impediment to Progress" (4)

  1. Ah, Impeder to Progress, thy nickname is a Pain in the Butt. As an assistant prof, I tried to push a couple of relatively major curriculum changes that eventually got through and were always nothing but beneficial for the department. However, there was a mountain of obstacles, many from a couple of wise-ass senior faculty who didn't have anything to gain or lose by the changes, but were just making things harder for god knows what reason. Maybe because they didn't like the ideas. Maybe because they didn't like me. Maybe just because they could and little bursts of adrenalin made them feel good. Maybe because they are opposed to any and all changes out of pure inertia…

    Bottom line is: if you believe that what you are doing is worthwhile, take a deep breath and keep at it. It sounds like it should be easy, but it never is. Don't waste your energy trying to figure out why this person (I'm guessing a woman) is after you and/or your project. Just special-order a tough hide and keep at it.

    Good luck!


  2. oh… you mean that there might be someone there who feels that someone else is doing what they wanted the credit for and why oh why are they not in charge and wit, it's better to show power than to be the road blocker…

    Depp breaths, patience and keep pushing through. Small steps make it forward.

    (Or find someone who's more superior and throw a curve ball to see if this makes a difference. Usually though, it makes it less good. Other option might be to get their super to tell them it's on them and the get some credit too…. but that's also a bit risky.)


  3. GAAH! How frustrating. I'm sorry this person is causing unnecessary stress.

    I'm sure you're already doing this, but my only advice would be do document all these interactions somewhere, so if there's a dispute you have something to back you up.

    Hang in there!


  4. GMP – it's kind of nice to know that this probably happens in every department at some level, but frustrating for sure!

    Chall – it's more like ItP doesn't like the idea of this program going forward because they are very territorial over the observatory.

    Cath – the wonderful thing is ItP loves interacting via email. I've kept them ALL.


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