Goodbye, Goodbye…

Well, this all feels a bit strange. After sixteen-and-a-half years it’s time to say farewell. It’s been a fairly long goodbye, though, knowing fully three months ago that this day would come, but now it has arrived it’s all feeling a bit, well, you know…”real”.

I’ve been working in Scarborough for about as long as I spent in continuous full-time education. It’s big slab of my life. This job has caused me to buy my first house, get married, have a daughter and then get divorced.  I’ve started and abandoned one PhD, and am ploughing away through a second. This time I might even finish it.

And from Monday, I’ll be somewhere else.

However, this has all been coming for a while. I’ve had periods where I’ve thought of moving on for a number of years, but I’ve either thought against it, or not been able to when I’ve tried. This time, though, it had to happen, because if it didn’t I might have gone mad.

One of the things that attracted me when I came to Scarborough was the closeness: the feel of a small college, which I’d loved back when I was a student myself.  But then it has been systematically dismantled by  what can only be described as some of the most clueless institutional management you could ever have inflicted upon you. I could write a book about how useless they’ve been (particularly the spectacular arse-headed ineptitude off our dear leader, Pistorius), but it would be written off as being unbelievable. And so I had to plan my escape. Of course, I wasn’t the only one, especially in light of what gone on down here in Scarborough in the last two years, but my escape tunnel seemed to break daylight pretty bloody quickly once I started digging in earnest.

So I won’t miss the brain-deadening corporatism of our senior managers. What I will miss are the people; the faces you see every day; the lives you become invested and interested in; the friendships that have built over years, in many cases. I’ll miss the minutiae of the everyday. I’ll be leaving a comfort zone. But maybe that’s no bad thing after so long in one place. So to everyone I’m waving goodbye to, best of luck.

But from Monday, for me I’ll be turning the other way to go to work in the mornings, and experiencing the “fun” of negotiating the Tees Flyover at rush hour. But, as George Harrison once sang, All Things Must Pass. Onward.


One thought on “Goodbye, Goodbye…

  1. Sadly, what you’ve encountered is a symptom of the way modern HE is playing at being business. The people who are trying to run things have no concept of how to make a business work. They concentrate on the numbers to the extent of forgetting that any organisation (with the possible exception of a particular type of manufacturing plant) is a collection of people who need to be incentivised to work towards the common goals. Lots of sticks are brandished, but carrots are only issued to those who play the numbers game successfully. Even worse, the criteria that used to indicate that someone was a good academic (i.e. single-minded dedication to one’s subject) are completely at odds with the criteria for good management. A good academic is, frequently, bordering on sociopathy, whereas a good manager needs high levels of empathy as well as drive and acceptance of personal responsibility.

    Me ? I miss some of the people, but NONE of the idiocy, incompetence and inability to see anyone else’s point of view.


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