First, thanks for the conversation about my decision. I found it remarkably helpful. And, I did say no, and yes, it went okay.
Frankly, you folks made me think about things a bit, and I realized that I'm willing for Task X to go undone if no one else is willing to do it. That was a good realization for me because there are only so many things I can do. And Task Y is looking very enticing, and likely to make me happy in the doing.
Basically, anyone with a PhD in English should be able to do Task X, and I actually had the nerve to tell Leslie so. Leslie gave me a shocked look. Indeed, Leslie has told me s/he feels unable to do Task X. But seriously, if someone with a phud in English isn't qualified to do Task X, we shouldn't have hired that person. The thing is, you have to step back and think hard about it, and then do a load of work that doesn't really pay off except in doing Task X.
Sometimes, I think I should get out of this business altogether. I could move to a warmer clime, right? And if new college grads with BAs in English can get a job, then I should be able to? I really don't think there's any more green grass on the other side of the fence, though, just different sorts of grasses.