Labor (Day) Weekend
Yes folks, I will be working tomorrow, the day after, and possibly some of Monday. I'd like to think of it in part as a statement against the whole UAW thing. What good is a union going to do for me? Not working this weekend would actually be worse, I think, than just getting these experiments done.
So yesterday was AWFUL, but I went out with a friend and vented for a few hours about how I really can't see what staying a postdoc any longer is going to do for me. Sure, I'll have more experience. So what? Do I really need more experience?
Yesterday was particular awful for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was that I realized something really depressing this week.
I'm terrified that my PI thinks I'm going to stick around here for a lot longer than I want to. I thought I was safe, because I've been a postdoc for long enough that I can't be one much longer, thanks to length-of-postdoc limits.
But I was wrong.
Although some universities are now putting limits on how long a person can stay a postdoc, they've gone on to condone, even encourage, what used to be considered a really unusual thing: yet another intermediate step.
Yes, that's right, the Super Doc position- known as Assistant Something Scientist/Researcher, depending on where you go, is becoming more and more popular.
It used to be hard to get these positions, because these people get paid almost as much as starting faculty, and since they can't write their own R01 grants, usually someone else (usually a faculty member) has to pay them the big bucks off of his/her own grants.
On the one hand, it could be viewed as progress. It used to be quite common for a person to remain a postdoc for years and years. Some universities like to claim the average postdoc length is 1-3 years, but that's bullshit. Most people switch labs at least once. So even if they switched labs, the sum total of the average postdoctoral work (I'm talking mostly people who go on to faculty positions, here) was frequently in the range of 5-9 years.
Now it seems that, although the sum total of time is still insanely long, at least for the last few of those years, the person might actually get, you know, paid more.
After all, there's nowhere near enough faculty positions for all the people who want them. Where else are we going to put them?
Enter the mentality of "Well it worked before with the postdocs, and now they're getting all organized and starting unions and stuff, so let's see if we can't pull one over on them again."
What's sad is, I don't think anyone has even noticed yet that the pattern is repeating itself. So, you heard it here first, folks. Those with science PhDs are doomed to repeat history because we didn't learn it.
In other news... well there is no other news I can actually talk about here.
On a positive note, I did some benchwork today and it was GREAT. I feel less tired, less stressed, and less generally depressed than yesterday. I'm still royally pissed off about a whole pile of things, but I'm hoping I can come in tomorrow and get some actual DATA. The day before data is like the night before Christmas, only better, because if it worked, you know exactly what you got. No need to shake the box.