I’m like Mara in wonderland in my new job. I graduated from and used to teach at a traditional old university, where all things and people are ancient, crumbling and unsmiling. At the modern college where I currently teach, everything is new, everyone is happy, and it’s terribly creepy.
I don’t object to the up-to-date facilities that are actually working. I can’t get enough of the view from my temp office, which shows functionalist buildings—none of which looks like it’s going to collapse under its own weight and age any moment. I was so excited when I checked out the workplace’s restroom that I had to tweet it:
The hyperfriendly staff is a concern though. I don’t believe it’s a natural disposition for staff to be so superexcited when dealing with fellow staff. A colleague who was handing in the classroom key to me looked like he would propose any time. A cleaning woman whom I was handing in the classroom key looked like she would adopt me. Maybe it’s a magic key.
Or maybe it’s the asbestos in the building that makes everyone act so saccharine. The building will be stripped of its asbestos in summer, so it might be interesting to see if the staff’s unhealthy upbeat attitude will be normalised. Before that, I fear I might be a victim to some twisted social experiment which examines the effects of the kindness of strangers upon (un)suspecting me. The fact that I’m paranoid doesn’t mean that they’re not after me.