Yet Another Fine Evening At The Club

“It never ends, does it, Reg?”

Really, Syd. There are spring flowers everywhere, the weather in Puget Sound has finally turned acceptable, and the service here is, for once, approaching first rate. Not to mention the server. With my wife out of town, I might see just what money can buy when dinner is over. Surely all this is enough to put your mind at ease?”

“It should, Reg. But I have to confess that I find this university stuff, ah, distracting.”

“Is that the silly business about teaching assistants going on strike at the University of Washington?”


“Syd, this is so beneath you. They want to strike, let them.”

“Let them?”

“Of course. What do most of them make?”

“Says here, around $15K a year.”

“Right. They think they’re better than burger flippers, when the burger flippers make more and provide better service? They want to push the issue, we’ll unleash the same barrage of public outrage we set on University of Hawai‘i academics a few months ago. By shoving those teaching assistant kids off the public coffers and into more productive, not to mention cooperative, walks of life, we’ll be doing them a favor.”

“But then we’ll be paying more senior academics $60K for what the TAs were doing for $15.”

“They’ll do those jobs more efficiently than the kids could. They’ll have to, what with their other duties. The efficiencies plus the extra non-compensated hours they’ll put in (ah, the delicious combination of salaries, wage freezes, and escalating performance review standards) means that the same work gets done for less. And those that can’t cut it …”

“I see …”

“It’s good that you do, Syd. I worry about you sometimes. A captain of industry should be able to work these things out for himself. Like these university eggheads should have worked out long ago that they’ll hardly ever earn back in an academic job what they spent to get the degrees they need to get those jobs. So why are they bothering?”

“Put that way, Reg, our, ah, economically-rational compensation packages actually look good!

“That they do, Syd. And if we stay the course, we can end this ‘public university’ folderol once and for all, and return higher education to its sole meaningful purpose.”

“A playground for children of means. Our children.”

“Trust me, Syd. I’d rather have my daughter spend her days as Professor Butterfly Collector than have her spend five minutes ‘helping’ my business. She’s a bankruptcy looking for a place to happen. Put her where she’ll do the least damage. I know you feel the same about your son.”

“I’ll drink to that, Reg. Have a glass? This Château Latour Pauillac is très fine …”

“Thank you, Syd, but no. If things go my way in a little while, I’ll be looking to my own performance …”

  – O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2010 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.


  1. I guess Reg & Syd can do as they please, love. Nobody seems concerned about the possibilities of the colleges closing their doors to all but the “elite”.

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