It’s not racist, it’s because you’re white…


Monday 14th June 2010

Soooo, last week I was called down to see the Chairman (the big man himself). I was terrified I’d be yelled at again because of the NGO programme, but it turns out he has decided that I’m not doing any CSR over the summer while the students are gone, and has ordered me to sit in admissions for the next two months smiling at prospective students because basically they need a white face down there and there isn’t anyone else left.

I’m supposed to chat to new students and gauge their English level (although if their English is crap they will still be admitted as the Uni needs the money and is desperate to up enrolment) so it’s utterly pointless – even if they haven’t got any English they’ll be allowed in, so having me interview them is only so they can be paraded past my desk to see that the University has white staff!
I’m not even allowed to stay in my office – I have to move downstairs to a cubicle in the admissions cell so as many people as possible will see me.

I asked what will happen to my programmes, and he informed me that they don’t really matter and he can arrange for some peon or assistant to take over my duties (that’s how little they think of me and the work I’ve been doing!).

So, my plans to resign have been speeded up somewhat – S got all fired up about it and wants me to resign immediately so that they re-instate me in CSR, but I don’t want to hold it over them as a threat, I actually do just want to resign!
I’m planning to wait until next week, which is pay day, and then hand in my notice, so that I can work out my month’s notice and get another paycheck before I leave. I don’t mind being a puppet for a month, although I can’t guarantee I’ll be nice to the new students!

I think it’s actually ok, because that means if I hand in my notice next week after payday, I’ll work until early July, and then be able to take a couple of weeks off to go to Nepal and see the kids, and maybe travel around here a little bit, before coming home – prob in early August. It would only be a month earlier than I was planning to come home anyway, and I’ve already sent out 10 job applications this week, and will just have to keep on slogging away at it.

Ho hum, lots to do – just thought I’d keep you posted!
xxx
love Pale-Face Maya

p.s. – After writing this email, even more drama has unravelled…..

So after payday, I handed in my resignation, and then had a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor. S was still trying to convince me to negotiate for my CSR job back, but I really didn’t want to hang my resignation over their heads as a threat. I had actually decided I really did want to resign.

So, when the Vice-Chancellor asked me why I was resigning, I calmly explained that I had spent 6 months working on these CSR programmes, and if they could just take me off them and frankly gave that little of a damn about the work that I do, then it wasn’t a job i was interested in keeping. And furthermore, it was also incredibly racist, asking me to sit in the window like a whore in Amsterdam, just because my face happens to be white.

(S was particularly impressed that I said all of this in an extremely calm and rational voice by the way!).

The VC responded that he couldn’t possibly be racist, because he was Indian – and Indians can’t be racist. Then he said it wasn’t because I was white, it was just because they needed the foreign teaching staff to help out with recruitment over the summer, as all of the teaching was finished until September, so I was available, and most of the other foreign staff are not around any more.

I pointed out that firstly, I wasn’t technically a member of the teaching faculty, so my job, and my projects, were still continuing regardless of classes, because I wasn’t teaching anyway, and secondly, that if it wasn’t about my skin colour, then he could ask the two remaining foreign staff to do it while I carried on with my vaccination programme, as they were not teaching and would have time to help out. He said he couldn’t possibly ask them to do this particular job, which I countered by reminding him of the racial issue (the two professors in question were Sri Lankan and Egyptian, and neither of them were white!).

The VC then tried to cover his arse by exclaiming “But they can’t do it! It’s not because you’re white! It’s because you’re a woman!”

I calmly explained that this was also sexist, but he announced firmly that it couldn’t be sexist, because he was saying women were better than men at this job!

Anyhow, he dug himself a pretty deep hole, I stood my ground, and eventually when he realised I couldn’t be talked down, he said in a huff “Well I do not accept your resignation! So you can’t leave.”

I said that was fine, he didn’t have to accept it, but nevertheless I would be leaving in a month either way.

So, drama over, and now I just have to work out my month’s notice! Phew!

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