I love when people ask me how I received the promotions and income I currently am grateful to have, but yes, the eyes glazing over when you talk about strategic plans, staff management and report writing shows their true colours.
When I explain to people how little power I have, to improve the educational organization I work within, they are shocked. No one has freedom within a post secondary institution; everything we do gets signed off by someone else, who needs approval from yet another higher up.
‘Ohhh….you’re a project manager? I think I could do that.’ Could you? Could you sacrifice sleep, spend eight hours a day in meetings and then come home and work and somehow still have a social life and significant other.
I once had a priviledged white male, who is in middle management, ask me how I get my work done, since I am in meetings for so much of my work day. I told him that I wake up at 4:30 and deal with all of my emails and report writing before I get to work. The look of shock on his faced verified to me that he will forever stay in middle management, unless his white priviledge gives him a leg up, which I have never received.
No one wants to get their hands dirty; the priviledged just want to be ribbon cutters. They want to do the interviews and be at the celebrations, but the tedious, solitary work? Uh….is there someone else that can do that? I have not found anyone to dump my boring work on yet, but that’s the price of playing the game: the good and fun comes with the bad and boring.