Being a sessional academic is shite. As sessionals within the system we do untolled work for free, receive no benefits and are not allowed to use any of the toilets on campus. This means we have to shit in the bins provided in tutorial rooms. Ten minutes before class begins, countless sessional academics all over Australia can be seen hovering over a waste paper basket squeezing out a log of beefy goodness. That’s why you can smell shite when you first enter a tute room. To urinate we’re forced to piss in corners in the multi-storey car park, or even in the stairwell. That’s why female members of staff always wear skirts and men can be seen with their zip halfway down, after a hasty retreat from footsteps.
The knock on effect for the students is dire. With poor toilet facilities rampant throughout academia, tutors live in fear and this effects our teaching performance. Some of the kinder students, looking for good grades, offer to drive us to the local Hungry Jacks, so we can use the toilets and also nourish ourselves on chips and fizzy drinks. Last week a colleague of mine was driven to Hungry Jacks and never returned. He worked out that working at a fast food outlet is more lucrative than teaching, so he now manages the drive thru.
I don’t know what I’m going to do. Faced with this state of affairs I may be pushed into the corporate sector where shit and piss are valued, even endorsed. My mate lil’ Ed told me that the toilet floors are paved with gold in the corporate world. Lil’ Ed loves Michael Caine and Stagg chili on Monday nights after a hard day rubbing shit into the marble floors at ANZ. He said I could join him if I stop wearing waistcoats and drinking red wine from ribbed tumblers. I can drink three bottles of wine in one sitting. Four if I need to go into work.
Ultimately, in Academia, bodily wastes are hidden behind closed doors and locked in cages but celebrated in the corporate sector. Large shits with beards lurk in the darkest recesses of our greatest lecture theatres, while shit and piss flow freely from the mouth of Colonel Sanders. It’s a tough call. Maybe I’ll move to Orkney and open a 7/11. There are no trees there.