I was at a small casual get together to meet some new faculty folks, and get to know some other new folks today. Most folks were newly minted phuds, though there were a couple other folks who've been around as I have.
One of the spouses argued that things on campus should work like they do in the military, and when a faculty member asks a non-faculty staff person to do something, that person should basically drop whatever they're doing and take care of the faculty member. Then the new folks all started in agreeing wholeheartedly that non-phuds should treat phuds with way more respect.
And weirdly, I, the old fart, was trying to say that no, sometimes staff folks had more important things to do than whatever it was the faculty person wanted, and no, staff folks are sometimes treated with less respect than is right, and so on. I was probably more polite than I might have been, but also cognizant that I have more power than these folks, and shouldn't throw it around.
It's not that I've never been frustrated by administrative staffers. I have. Still, their reactions struck me as showing that they thought having a phud made them special, better than people who don't have phuds. They seem way more enamored of hierarchy than I am, even though I have more power in the hierarchy than they do. I guess that weirds me out.
Want to guess what our common denominator was?