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Long hours

giner ginerNOgiSPAM at myremarq.com.invalid
Wed Apr 5 15:07:55 EST 2000

In article <38EA7A32.CDAB027D at unm.edu>, Linnea Ista <
lkista at unm.edu> wrote:
>I guess I am reacting from a different perspective. The
academic culture I am in
>right now is pretty laid back. This is probably because I have
a boss who
>prioritizes his family equally and is thrilled when he hears
that we do things
>outside the lab. It is indeed a refreshing change from what I
experienced as a
>grad student.

Your boss sounds great, the sort of person who could really help
change the way things are done. Reminds me of my graduate
advisor, he leads a very balanced life. Sometimes I forget people
actually can pull that off!

>Of course they are noble! That is why I cited them. They would
drive me all
>loony, however.  What I am saying is that there seems to be a
societal norm that
>somehow doing these jobs for a woman is okay, even if they put
in long hours,
>whereas I am some sort of overworking freak. I don't get this
so much from
>people in science, but rather from other women, usually older
than me that don't
>understand why I really don't mind working until 7:00 some
evenings and infer
>from that that I don't have a life or that I have sacrificed
everything for my
>career. I have a very good friend who is  a nurse and works 80
hours every week.
>She gets paid overtime, which is a whole other story. She seems
to be seen by a
>certain social circle as noble and sacrificing, whereas what I
do is selfish. I
>think that was a societal rant.

I think I had misunderstood you the first time around! You are
right, there are some people just don't understand what we do.
And the double standard is *huge*.

>> >I am not saying that long hours are always necessary. I can
>> usually get what I
>> >need to get done in a 10 hour day or less, but occasionally,
>> when that grant just
>> >needs to get out, or if by staying 2 extra hours I  will be a
>> day ahead on a
>> >project, why yes, I will stay. I call my husband and let him
>> know. I sometimes
>> >have

I feel the same way, long hours are sometimes necessary, and
rewarding. I just have a sensitive spot there myself because of
the type of attitude people have, like this one guy I worked with
who would put down '9 - 5ers', but then would spend half the
morning bullshitting (not science related stuff, either), then go
out to lunch, read the paper, etc. I can do more in 8 hours than
a lot of postdocs and grad students I know. Not that I'm
wonderwoman or anything, just efficient. But that doesn't get you
noticed. I used to think that doing good work would speak for
itself, but I'm far more cynical now.

>Well, I am not a tenure-track prof. I am a staff scientist with
a master's
>degree (cause I didn't want to play the tenure track game). I
mentioned before
>that the culture here is somewhat more laid-back, at least in
our lab, which is
>pretty successful all in all.  So yeah, when I come in on the
weekends or stay
>late, it is considered a sign of "superstardom" at least
according to my last
>review. And the reason I stay or come in is because I want to
do it because the
>science is interesting. And I like writing grants so I don't
mind working on
>them late. My tune may well change later this year when  my
boss goes on
>sabbatical and pick up some of the resultant  admnistrative
slack ;-)

If I had to do it all over again I'd stop at a Master's. After
three years of postdoc'ing I've landed a decent, interesting job
in industry, but it wasn't worth it. There are many more jobs
available to someone at a Master's level, particularly in
molecular biology.

>I guess I had better sit back and count my blessing that I have
managed to work
>it out so I have time for everything I want to do. Now, if we
are talking money,
>that is another story!

No, I think your boss should sit back and count his blessings for
having you!


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