A Letter to Lara Croft from the Dean of her Archaeology Department
Dear Ms Croft,
It has come to my attention that there have been some complaints about your professionalism as of late. After some of our previous conversations I thought we had come to an agreement on this behavior, however with your tenure hearing coming up this year it seems to be an issue once again.
First of all, we would prefer you not refer to yourself as a “tomb raider” in your press interviews. We are trying really hard to forget about the role our institution played in the plundering of treasures during the period of colonialism, and the term “tomb raider” opens old wounds we would rather forget. While we are on the topic of interviews, please remember that field dress is appropriate for the field but not for a sit down with Anderson Cooper. I’ve seen your royalty fees, so I know you can afford a pair of shoes that aren’t drenched in blood.
Secondly, many of the interns are reporting that they have witnessed you kick over large vases and then pocket the contents. This is absolutely not in keeping with the professional ethics of this field. You are to be an example for these young professionals, and as such are expected to exhibit behavior that is representative of who we want them to become. Despite the portrayal of archaeology in popular culture as a care free rollicking adventure, we expect our faculty to have the patience and discipline required on site, no matter how tedious. Furthermore, at no point are you to take anything off site without following the correct cataloging procedures.
Finally, we recognize that this work takes you to dangerous locales and for this reason you have to be armed, but during your last mission there are reports that nearly 700 people were killed with the investigation still pending. Many of these deaths are traceable directly back to you, and the administration is finding it increasingly difficult to believe that these missions are a matter of life or death for the whole planet. To be frank, I have severe doubts that you are committed to the ideals of archaeology and wonder perhaps if this may not be some sort of weird revenge thing for you. I simply don’t have the time to fill out all of the paperwork for your field work if you can’t follow the bare minimum protocols for armed engagement that are set forth in the policy manual.
We value the work that you do here, and especially value the name recognition you bring to our campus. I hope that you also value the fact that other institutions might not be so forgiving of your laissez-faire attitude towards following rules. Please take this letter to heart and implement these suggestions into your work life so that I don’t have to field any more complaints from docents who are tired of being held at gunpoint by one of our most distinguished faculty members.
P.S. I urge you to look deep inside yourself and ask yourself some tough questions about what motivates you. If the answer is not “A passion for uncovering and preserving history for future generations,” you might want to consider a new field.