Monday, November 2, 2020

Political Musings

I find myself harking back to something my dear mother - a lifelong FDR Democrat - told me when as a young man I asked her why she wasn't active in local Democratic politics. She replied she had met the women who were active in the local Democrat organization and they weren't people she liked. To which she added in a bemused, plaintive tone, "All my friends are Republicans." 

Not looking for an argument, I let the subject drop. Ironically, I spent my career in academia where most of my colleagues were Democrats. She was proved right, many of them were people I didn't much like. 

Although the roles were reversed, like her I shut up about my politics and tried to ignore theirs. Life is a minefield studded with such odd coincidences.


A fellow doctoral student who went into industry for a couple of decades, later in life interviewed for B-school jobs, listing me as a reference. Following one campus visit he asked me, "How do you put up with these weirdos? They wouldn't last a week in industry." I responded that you did a lot of ignoring and even more avoiding, which the non-collaborative nature of the faculty job permits. 

Faculty teamwork is unusual and mostly unnecessary. Nearly everyone hates the faculty and committee meetings. Out of a B-school faculty of 60+ I was fortunate to find two simpatico guys with whom to collaborate on research and publication.