Disclaimer: I may or may not have done any or all of these things at one point or another. Hey, no-one’s perfect.
Have lots of meetings about “potential collaborations” but never get those collaborations off the ground. Then, later, reinvent the ideas as your own and never feel guilty, because you’ve genuinely forgotten that meeting.
Overpromise and underdeliver. You gotta impress people at some point, right? Might as well do that right away when you start collaborating. Promising a shockingly quick and unrealistic turn-around will make you seem highly efficient and productive. Let them figure out later that you never really planned to get it done on that timeline.
Constantly remind the older faculty in your department how much more you had published before you got hired than they ever will in their entire career.
Humble brag about how much you’re invited to review papers, be on panels, give statements to the media, and other annoying, unpaid activities that you secretly know are markers of your importance and visibility in the field. If at any point you do start getting paid for these activities, never mention this until the amounts cross over into “highly enviable”, and then throw these amounts around in conversations all the time.
At conferences, be constantly scanning the room for more important people to talk to than the person you’re currently talking to. If you spot one, dismiss the less important conversation partner and go to the next. Work your way up the food chain until you’ve spoken to the most important person at the conference, complimented them wildly, and reminded them that you exist and are here for whatever privilege they’re willing to bestow on you as a reward for your excellent schmoozing skills.
Always give students whatever grade they want, let them call you by your first name or whatever else they want, have their phones out for texting their friends in class, and hand in work as late as they like without penalty. After all, what do you care? You just want to get out of the class unscathed and with positive evaluations. The rest of the faculty can do the whole “education” thing - meanwhile you’ll just keep the students happy and reinforce the idea that they are entitled to good grades regardless of effort or performance.
When creating assignments, think ONLY of one thing: how long it will take for you to grade it. Seek to always minimize this, and if in doubt, have students peer review each others’ work or just give points for completion.
Remember, you always have a back-up plan: group work.
NEVER make yourself available for students who want to meet for advising. Those who actually want to see an advisor will self-select out by requesting another one, and those who don’t weren’t motivated enough to succeed anyway.
Attend as few meetings as possible. When meetings are being planned, exclaim loudly that you have much more important things to do than attend another stupid meeting. After an important meeting that you choose not to attend, request that the organizers sit down with you and give you a run-down. When it’s your turn to hold a meeting, express disappointment and disdain towards people who didn’t make it a priority.
If you do choose to attend a meeting, bring your computer and work on clearing out that Inbox. Reply to emails from other people in the meeting about completely unrelated matters to make sure they know you are far too important to be paying attention to this meeting or making time outside of meetings to respond to emails. Particularly effective if your laptop keyboard makes loud clicking noises as you type and you don’t mute notifications. Bonus points for doing this while actually leading a meeting.
Once in a while, look up from your laptop to ask a question that’s already been answered.
If you decide to engage, take the devil’s advocate position on all issues, particularly ones that are contentious. Be sure to raise your hand right when the conversation has died down and everyone else is ready to move on to the next item on the agenda. Even better - when the meeting is drawing to a close after running over time.
Next time: How to Be an Asshole on Email