This letter is a contribution to the epistolary circle created as part of our workshop for the SEDA Spring Conference.
Below our imaginary friend responds to the letter from Me to You.
Hi, great to hear from you.
Sorry it’s taken so long to reply. Things and stuff, you know? And I’m not very good at correspondence, or keeping up with people, or, you know, having friends… (is that very male of me?)
So, I hear on the grapevine that you have a new job? I saw it advertised and immediately thought of you – precisely because of those qualities you mentioned: creative, thoughtful, compassionate, and indeed challenging (in the good way!). It looked so right but wasn’t sure if you’d go for it. Congratulations, of course, and I’m sure you’ll smash it, interpretive dance and all.
I’m jealous if I’m honest. Yes, there is shit everywhere, but at least you will have new shit, in a new context, with new energy. Here we have been restructured (again), with new admin (again), and I’m frankly exhausted and struggling for motivation. Maybe I shouldn’t care so much, maybe I should just let the incompetence and the politics of the University play out, keep my head down, work away on AD stuff and switch off more. I totally get what you mean about people pretending, especially taking credit for things they didn’t do, puffing themselves up in front of managers, saying the right thing in front of the right person… and generally being a man.
Is AD a women’s world? I’m not sure, I’d never thought that – or at least I’ve never put it in those terms to myself. I suppose the closest I’ve got to thinking about this is about balance – ‘isn’t it good to have a team that’s balanced, so it helps us connect with lots of staff’. Gender is part of that, but plenty other things besides. I always felt, when we worked together, it was a good balance as you could do the fun, exciting, boundary pushing stuff while I was the boring curriculum design, practical, remember the outcomes guy.
Sorry to be such a drag! I’m worried about the future, about what I will now have to do. I’m not a ninja either! But don’t go round telling people I’m kind or gentle – it will ruin my look…
If you would like us to publish your response to any of the letters to our imaginary friends, please send your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.