To admin or not to admin

If existentialists are right and life is absurd, then we need a new adjective to describe what everyday life in academia is.

I have voluntarily taken up a little admin role in my department and it basically involves organizing stuff and writing emails. Last week, I made a very stupid mistake that lead to a lot of people being invited to the right place at the wrong time. I cannot even remember another time when I was so genuinely embarrassed of something I had done. Nevertheless, only two people appeared to that meeting. I am still ashamed that none of them was me, but many, many people did obviously not even bother at all.

For formality reasons, I had to start the next day by apologizing to all invited people via email, basically risking to make a lot of them aware of my mistake. Reaction: Not a single one cared. Or if they did, they probably chose to hold a grudge and secretly judge me for the rest of my life. But most people probably haven’t even read this mail. Or the first one, for that matter. I know that, because not even those among them who are my friends have. I asked them.

Doing admin stuff in academia is very peculiar.


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