WWJAD: What Would Jane Austen Do?

Pride & Prejudice

Despite its thorough exposition of social mores, I don’t recall the chapter in Pride & Prejudice when Elizabeth was upset with Mr. Darcy for “friending” his ex on Facebook. No, these are problems unique to the new millennium and the blurry protocols for dealing with them often leave us dangling helplessly over the precipice of impropriety. To wit, I give you my most recent frustration born of social media:

I work with an instructor, let’s called him Alfred, who was scheduled to assist a workshop on Wednesday. On Monday, our supervisor sent this e-mail:

Due to an unfortunate auto accident, Alfred will not be able to assist the Unix workshop Wednesday evening. Thankfully Alfred is OK, but is tied up with the aftermath of insurance paperwork and car replacement. Is anyone able/interested in assisting this workshop for Alfred?

I like Alfred and know the trauma of car accidents all too well so I volunteered. The next day, I logged into Facebook and noticed these updates on Alfred’s page:

Alfred's Facebook
Click to embiggen

I felt a teensy pang of annoyance that he had a car on Tuesday and wouldn’t assist on Wednesday but knew he couldn’t have predicted how long his car search would take and aside from the purchase, there’s always a lot of red tape and paperwork to deal with in these situations as well.

Unfortunately, my waning pang of annoyance turned into a fiery ball of rage when I logged into Facebook on Wednesday evening and saw this:

Alfred's Facebook
Click to embiggen

Poor Alfred was so traumatized by his accident he couldn’t assist but could swill beer and participate in some contest for mouth-breathers at a local bar! And here’s what: if you’re going to do something like that, don’t brag on Facebook, where I’m certain to read about it since we often comment on each other’s statuses!

So what should I do? In truth, I probably won’t say anything (except behind his back – haha) but trust me, the next time Alfred needs a hand, I will not offer mine!

P.S. This post is dedicated to Lean, who is completely besotted with Matthew Macfadyen.

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8 Responses to “WWJAD: What Would Jane Austen Do?”

  1. thebrokins Says:

    Oh man!

  2. a.k.a. Matthew Says:

    I think more interesting is the peek this offers into your method of conflict resolution. We all know that the passive/aggressive approach never solves anything. Perhaps this is the golden opportunity to step off that well-trodden path and try a different approach. Allow an appropriate amount of time to pass so that you can objectively express your displeasure with Alfred directly instead of indirectly. It will be refreshing.

  3. Lean Says:

    MIMS…thank you for the dedication. And I’m glad it’s because of Matthew MacFayden and NOT because I would skip work to go to Bourbon Street to marinate in cheap beer.

    I’m putting Alfred ON NOTICE. And PS, the woman beside me here at the library has HORRID breath. Maybe if I yell, where are my tic tacs, she’ll get the hint!

    lsv

  4. tmc Says:

    That’s awful. This Alfred needs a good dirty look or a scolding or something.

    btw, I love the new banner!

  5. unclevinny Says:

    Oooh, and what are the chances that someday Alfred stumbles on this very post!!! The future of facial-recognition software means that our “anoymous” blogs (mine included!) won’t stay anonymous forever…

    It’s a scary future ALREADY, 10 years from now is gonna be horrifying. We might as well start walking around naked right now, and beat the rush.

  6. Amy Says:

    Just take solace in the fact that his insurance will probably go up and since he didn’t take on extra work, he will go broke and will be living in the Sentra soon.

  7. A-frame Says:

    You’d be within your rights to notify your supervisor and provide the documentation. Many folks have gotten fired in a New York minute for such indiscretions. I also like akaMatthew’s suggestion, that after some time elapses you tell Alfred directly what you observed. Let him learn from his mistake (or continue to make it and deal with the consequences).

  8. SweetBasta Says:

    Try being even more passive aggresive. Write a note as a dissapointed student that missed out on his teaching only to find out he was driving around in a new sentra while he was drunk after making beer sculptures. Then tape the note to the afforementioned Sentra with duct tape. Then with a hidden camera record him discovering the note, and send him a digital copy of the recording telling him that he is always being watched. That sounds like a lot of work, but it would make him very parinoid.

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