The responses to my last post got me thinking. First, thanks for all the encouragement about the bike. It's truly a glorious thing to go out and play on my bike.
That said, thinking about the responses has made me really aware of my inner petty bourgeoisie. Either that, or I've become The Man.
I don't skip meetings, and though I may post occasionally about being frustrated by meetings, and being frustrated by colleagues, I think most of what we do in our meetings has some purpose and is worth doing. No one has to make me prepare for my committee responsibilities, because they're my responsibilities. That's it. The job may pay poorly, but I've agreed to do the job for the pay (well, except for the furlough thing), so my sense of responsibility leads me to do that job. And I try to do it well. I may not always, but generally, I try.
Recognizing how important it is to be well-prepared for meetings and to work hard to make them useful has been a big step in my development as a faculty member. Yes, I always took the meetings that seemed important to me seriously, but now I take the stuff that doesn't seem obviously important to me seriously, either out of respect for the colleagues who've put in work and think it's important, or out of self-respect. And often enough, I've learned something useful. Sometimes, though, I haven't. (I've yet to find an assessment meeting really useful, alas.)
I was chairing a meeting last week, and one of the male members came in late and disrupted the meeting by loudly greeting his buds. He did this while a female committee member was talking, and continued while another female committee member tried to do her part in the work. I think there's likely some sexist attitude there, but in any case, he's being disrespectful of his colleagues.
I'm trying to think how to better handle his rudeness if he does it again. Maybe it's as simple as "Mr. A, please don't disrupt the meeting." Or maybe more like, "Mr. A, please don't interrupt your female colleague." I'd really like to make him aware that he's being rude specifically to a woman, because I think he doesn't want to be a sexist, and might actually change his behavior if he recognized it (hey, I live a rich and full fantasy life!). On the other hand, he might also be all the more resentful and rude if I call attention to his behavior.
There's another woman on the committee I know well, and I checked my perception of his sexist behavior with her, and she agreed. So I don't think it's just me misperceiving. There's another female colleague on the committee, but I don't really know her well, so I don't know how she takes things.