On the Purpose of Whining
An experienced senior colleague and I are talking about University X.
“That place is horrible,” I tell my colleague. “It’s a regular dump.”
“What makes you think that?” the colleague asks me.
“I’ve been talking to people who work at that university,” I explain, “and they say it’s a horrible place. They are exploited and unappreciated in all kinds of ways.”
The senior colleague looks at me with compassion.
“Did they also tell you that their teaching loads are 1.5 times lighter than ours and their salaries are significantly higher?” he asks.
“Really?” I say. “But then why do they complain so much?”
“Whining is what we as academics do,” the colleague explains patiently. “We pretend to be miserable so that nobody realizes how great we have it and tries to take it away.”
“But ours is the best kind of job ever,” I say.
“I know,” the colleague smiles. “But shhh. . .”