I may not be cut out for administration because I get my feelings hurt just too darned easily. There was the Curriculum Committee meeting a few weeks ago from which I drove home in tears and then cried in bed later that night, all because a friend and colleague referred to the English department as "selfish." (I still think it was an asshole comment, plus completely inaccurate in terms of what we were proposing, and he did apologize later.)
And then this week it was Ex-Co-Author, who wasn't at school on Tuesday because her husband was having an emergency medical procedure. She sent an email to the entire department on Monday night, saying that she needed coverage for her two classes on Tuesday -- all entire appropriate and procedural -- but then sent another email later, again to the entire department, saying that I would just have to deal with coverage for her classes as part of my duties as department chair. One gets a lot of leeway when one's spouse is having an emergency medical procedure, of course, but her email was rude enough that another colleague said something to me about it the next day. And it was also annoying since I had already said that we would get her classes covered and that she should not give school another thought. And in fact, I wound up covering both of her courses myself because I'm the only person in the department who doesn't teach during one of those blocks. (We get substitute teachers whenever possible to cover absences, but Ex-Co-Author is part-time and only teaches two courses, so we cover those in-house.)
The stupid thing is that I fretted about her rudeness and our deteriorated relationship for the whole day. And then, in the late afternoon, she sent another email to say "thank you" for my covering her classes and to let me know that her husband had come through the procedure and was doing just fine. And that email was really friendly, such that one would never know that we'd ever exchanged a cross word. I really appreciated the latter email, and it's possible that my having done her a favor (albeit one that is indeed part of my duties as department chair) will help to mend our broken relationship.
But the up and down of my emotions during the day left me completely wiped out, such that I was cranky and fretful and teary by the time I got home and I wound up crawling into bed at 8:00 and turning out the light by 8:30. And today I've got that emotional hangover feeling and wish that I could get through the day without talking with anyone.
Maybe I'm just too sensitive and delicate-flower-ish to be in an administrative position?