Take the 2-minute tour ×
Academia Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for academics and those enrolled in higher education. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Our Chair is writing a major proposal and me and my colleague are on-board (both non-tenured)... Chair has asked for a meeting next week to work on the bid for a centre and this colleague of mine has replied back to both of us accepting the meeting and on my behalf and himself has suggested working two-three full days for the chair.

I replied to the chair saying sure lets meet and didn't acknowledge anything he had said. I am tempted to write to the guy and say I know he had the right intention but please never ever talk on my behalf again its not professional. Is this the right thing to do ?

I am worried if I don't react this will continue as I am new in my current job. On the other hand I am worried if i react by sending an email or verbal communication and asking him not do it he might just forward/talk with the chair with some lame excuse like suggesting that I am really busy and unhappy and he will do it himself to make me look bad or with the genuine intention of correcting his mistake which in both cases will make me look like crap!

What should I do?

share|improve this question
7  
Sheesh. Take a walk, go see a movie, get a good night's rest. Then, when you've calmed down, talk to him. Note: Not at him. –  JeffE Feb 2 '13 at 4:52
1  
@JeffE advice taken on sleeping over it. Given the negative consequences that are hypothetically possible if the guy has ill intentions (no way of knowing and this behavior was a complete surprise). You do recommend talking with him over letting it slip this time? what should I say and how should I say it? –  blackace Feb 2 '13 at 11:00
4  
What he did was definitely presumptuous and inappropriate, but you seem surprisingly angry over it, which suggests that there's some backstory (e.g., maybe someone has caused trouble for you or a friend in similar ways in the past). The main thing is to talk calmly and straightforwardly, so he doesn't dismiss it as an overreaction. A key variable is how the chair has responded. It's possible that your colleague is known for talking without thinking first, and the chair probably understands the situation and doesn't actually expect you to follow through with your colleague's plan. –  Anonymous Mathematician Feb 2 '13 at 15:15
3  
That does sound annoying. Cbeleites's answer seems like a reasonable approach. One variant might be to send an e-mail along the lines of "It will be great to be able to contribute to the proposal for the new centre, and I hope our meetings will be really productive. I have to say, though, that I found it a bit awkward when you signed me up without checking about my constraints or availability. Going forwards let's make sure to coordinate and confirm plans with each other before announcing them." It's pretty clearly critical, but hopefully not in a way that will make him defensive. –  Anonymous Mathematician Feb 3 '13 at 0:46
add comment

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'd suggest putting in those days - they may or may not be lost, but losses occur*. No use crying over spilt milk. Writing the time down as lost means, you can be happy if something good comes out of them at the end. OTOH, aking a fuss creates a serious risk of a trench war that would cost much more time.

However, I'd also talk to him in a calm minute. I may be taking a line saying that he luckily foresaw the way my opinion went, yet I'd wish him to quickly ask me beforehand in the future.
Talkin calmly may need that you know exactly why you are so angry that you have to post in a public Q&A site.

* partiuclarly in writing proposals. There's a rumour here in Germany that the Bundesrechnungshof once estimated that for different kinds of public grants from a national economic point of view (i.e. including all proposals that are written: accepted as well as rejected) about as much money/effort goes into writing grants as is distributed by the different grant programs (estimates ranging from 1 : 2 to 2 : 1 are mentioned).

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.