Why Would Academia Be an A-Hole-Free Zone?


This is an addendum to Aaron’s critique of Ranii Neutill’s piece on Salon, “Sixteen Years in Academia Made Me an A-Hole.”

Before I was in graduate school and found a library job in the summer to supplement my grad-teaching stipend, I must have had 30 to 40 jobs–everything from being a dishwasher, a soda-jerk, and a short-order cook to making deliveries and emptying and filling trucks on a loading dock, to being a custodian in a hotel and then in an office building, to working in the “sorting and “wash” rooms of an industrial laundry, to being a security guard, to working the overnight shift at a residential facility for emotionally disturbed children.

At every one of these jobs, I met some really nice people, but I also encountered a large number of a-holes. At the risk of coming across as a misanthrope–and as an a-hole myself–I think…

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