Thursday, April 21, 2005

A Sisyphian Task?

In an email exchange with my housemate, Phil, this morning, I commented that I was trying to wrap things up here in the office - "So close and yet so far from being done ..."

He responded and reminded me that he had gone through a very similar experience four years ago when he was denied tenure. He compared it to the myth of Sisyphus, who "was asked to do a futile and frustrating task, but he 'keeps his chin up' and accepts it as it was part of his responsibility. After I knew I had been denied tenure, I kept thinking of that myth - and the futility of doing my job, but also of the pride I took in doing it well. There was no way I was going to let the people who sabotaged me get the satisfaction of seeing me miserable and unhappy (even though there were plenty of times I felt that way), and compromising myself and my standards."

So, I have thoroughly prepped for tomorrow's donor visit, and now I am working on a report for the upcoming board meeting (to which I have not been invited) and when I'm done with that, I'll finish outlining suggested moves and strategies for my prospects. And whether or not 'the powers that be' recognize the exceptional final effort I have put forth, I will know that I did my job to the best of my ability, and I will hold my head high as I walk out the door.

T-minus two and a half and counting ...

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