This is an unwise, self-destruction email,  with an angry undertone that is bound to ignite future trouble. But for all the mistreatment in the past two years, I must let it out. Also, the ass-kissing culture the boss is cultivating, especially among juniors, needs a check.

After emailing him and the school, I feel much relieved.


Dear R.,

Since you asked, here is my update: I do have another paper in press at P, the journal that counts on the U list. As Y mentioned yesterday, this is a list that actually matters in B-school ranking. The paper comes from the master thesis by our 2012 graduate, T. The thesis was supervised by me, M, and Y.

The paper breaks no new ground, builds no new framework, develops no new theory, provides no new explanation, and attracts no media attention. It only attempts to make one idea precise. Even that is doubtable.

But the paper does help T land a tenure-track position. So four years after our indoctrination, our student T is officially joining the tribe.



[Summer Palace, Beijing, China, 7/25/2012]


    • Yes. I did. That’s why it is the happy moment of my day.

      The letter is a statement of how I see the school matters. It’s as much to the boss to others: I hate the pretentious, ass-kissing smell in the school.

      To be fair, I know he can screw me but he cannot fire me.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Here is the prelogue of the story.

          In the school, the measure of one’s worth (and hence his volume and weight in school matters) is his/her publication record. The top publication is hard to come by. The best can manage one per year. So when one gets a hit, he would want his colleagues know.

          Here comes the hypocrisy/pretence I hate. If you want your colleagues know, just email them all directly, as simple as one click.

          No. They don’t. In our school honesty/decency is in short supply. People email the ‘small good news’ to the Boss only, which they know the boss will then congratulate him in another email to all coworkers.

          This extra step of wasting time serves two purposes: first, rescue them from the accusation of self-promotion; second, give the Boss an opportunity to show who is in charge. This sick culture is especially common to ass-kissing ones. But there are several who hate this practice.

          This year alone two already asked the Boss to spread their ‘small good news’. On Friday’s meeting, the Boss asked me ‘when I can announce your good news’, in a provocative tone (he thought I haven’t had any hit in the last year; I actually had two so far and I saved one for the next bomb :).

          At that moment I had enough. I decided to call what it is. In the email title, I put “Naked Self-Promotion”.

          Now the ball is on the other side, next time any junior kisses the boss ass this way, he/she needs to think twice, because it is “naked self-promotion” any way. Why just skill the Boss, save time, and email everybody directly? After all, that is what you really want.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sheep. That’s why they don’t email everyone directly: behaviour sets example. In the end, we’re not unlike sheep. We do what others do because we think that’s the way to go. You can’t blame them for not having a mind of their own: that’s something only a few dare to practice.
            (I am secretly very curious to your boss’ reply, btw!)

            Liked by 1 person

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