I think the answer to both questions in my title is, "Always and Now."
Thank you all for your support in my my multiple PITAs situation. As I said before, the strategies and tactics that you are all offering help me frame the situation more diplomatically when I want to yell, "OMFGWTFF?" That many f-words really doesn't accomplish anything -- well, not anything toward any original goal.
On the Diva PITA: She is now going around duplicating some of my work and making sure that I am included in the correspondence. If she wants to do the work, fine, but please don't come back and say that I'm not adhering to my responsibility.
Meanwhile, I contacted my dean, who is very cool. In fact, the administrators up my chain of command on my campus are all very cool and are not included in my indictment of "administration." My chain of command includes administrators who actually think faculty are competent and knowledgeable, and believe that part of education involved the creation of conditions in which faculty can do their jobs. The "Administration" who drive me nuts are those upper level Vice-presidents of Vice-presidents of New and Shiny-shiny Things. They don't trust faculty and seem to view us as the main detriment to education and the functioning of the college.
I contacted my dean and apologized for begging for a huge sum of money in our prior correspondence and explained how there must have been some "miscommunication" along the way as to how this whole event would pan out. Wholly plausible anyway. She said to think nothing of it.
Then, I asked what sort of power I have to resist anything that I think might be unwise. Some of what is going on here is my own dysfunction of wanting to please everyone and be seen as good at my job and therefore be liked and needed. I'm finding that if you realize that at any level your goal is to be liked and needed, you are on a fool's errand.
I also am uncertain as to the chain of command in this position. Who has what authority over me (and over whom do I have any authority)? Is the Diva issuing orders, or asking for help? Is my help expected or offered? I know that I would be wise to facilitate a good working relationship, but are we partners or subordinate and supervisor? It's all very vague. All of which resulted in me responding, "o.k., I'll go ask for the funding," when I should have said, "Our campus cannot do that." Except that I wasn't sure that I could say the last.
Now I know. The dean said to push back against unreasonable requests or send them directly to her, and she will be happy to say "no." This isn't her first time at this particular rodeo.
Again, Sal told me this last year when a really really huge event was dumped on her and there was no way on earth that she could take it on, especially since it was in the summer. She was leaving the position, so had no reason to volunteer, and I hadn't yet assumed the position and am not contractually obligated to work in the summer. I am, however, contractually obligated to deliver a manuscript, and that manuscript required research in the summer. In any case, I seemed to have forgotten that experience or didn't connect the dots very well.
Perhaps it shall not surprise you to learn that the other PITA chastised (although not to our faces) both Sal and I for not being involved in the really really huge event that was dumped on our campus without even the pretense of asking if we could handle the project.
Meanwhile, I've learned another general "how to get shit done" lesson here. If you want to plan some sort of big event that will require funding for things like honoraria, lodging, travel, refreshments, and printing, then a good idea might be to compile the budget before committing to the project. That ways, you can explore options for funding the project or discover if the project is even viable in the first place. A good idea might also be to poll the people who will be involved, especially those who will be sacrificing lines in their own departmental budgets to support this endeavor, to discover if this is a wise project to pursue. There might be better programs on which these funds could be used, or you might get more people invested in the program.
Is this what other people do: create budgets before jumping in with both feet? My own speakers' series and other events that I do haven't involved any cash, except what I pay for really really bright paper for fliers, so I have no experience in launching an event that involves funding. Still, now that I'm in the middle of it, this seems like a wise idea, even if not required.
As for my other PITA, well, I tried the locked door suggestion. The doors automatically lock upon closing. I usually rig them so that they don't out of capitulation to the tardy and incontinent. So, this time, I didn't. The door locked on closure. Twenty minutes into my class came a tapping. Before I could do anything, a student turned around and opened the door. The PITA colleague then stepped in to give the student a hand-out to pass around the class. She was in for all of two seconds, but still.
When you hand student things during a class, their instinct is to look at those things, meaning that I had students shuffling through a hand-out for another class in the middle of mine and I had to ask them to stop, which wasn't fair to them because they were just doing what any other human would do: be distracted by a distraction. So, this week, I address this problem head-on or I will consider myself a bad professor.