In a heartachingly detailed post to his class’s CTools page, Economics Professor Hans Berman canceled lecture Thursday due to his “inability to find the marginal benefit of even getting out of bed in the morning.”
The announcement came to the concern of his friends and family and to the celebration of his ECON 367 students. While the announcement made no specific mention of the reasons for the recent supply shock to his happiness, colleagues inferred that it was related to Berman’s relative depreciation of self-worth.
“Professor Berman’s always been a prick, but he only started being a sad prick pretty recently,” said Jamie Goncalves, a GSI for Berman’s ECON 367 lecture. “I know his field is depression economics but this feels a little too on-the-nose for me.”
Despite a relatively successful career in academia, including several published papers, Berman often feels unable to reach his potential, like “a big fat sunk cost that’s not worth recovering.”
“Some days, I wake up feeling like an inferior good,” said Berman to one colleague. “I’m always tired, but I can’t sleep. I just feel out of equilibrium. I spend nights awake, wondering if my marginal product of labor will ever sum up to anything when I’m gone.”
Berman admitted a loss of utility from the things he used to love, and an inability to access the joy and wonder he used to derive from normal goods, services, and experiences.
“I feel like for every possible bundle of life experiences, I have nothing but indifference, and derive no utility,” said Berman. “My indifference curve is actually just a plane, covering all of existence.”
In an email to his department head about possible future class cancellations, Berman confirmed he is “going to take the weekend easy and see how Tuesday treats me” and assured that market-clearing conditions will provide that students will learn the material on their own either way.