Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Doodle and Monkey

Doodle Polls and Survey Monkey are quickly becoming my most hated websites. What started out as good ideas are now being abused by faculty and staff in trying to find meeting times and input on various topics. Sending me a Doodle Poll with 40 day/time slots is ridiculous, especially if it takes you over a week to actually pick a date. There is no way I'm going to block off 40 slots for 1 potential meeting. Do you really expect me to cross reference my schedule against 40 potential meeting times spread over a whole month?!And if you wait two weeks before chosing a winner, odds are my time is already dedicated to another cause and your poll FAILED. Then there are all the people who already for whatever reason don't bother replying to these things. There should be an option for that in the poll "don't bother me or I don't care or I'm not going no matter what." If you insist on using these sites, I propose to impose limits on these things, say no more than 10 time slots and 3 days to identify the winner, if that.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

working hard / hardly working

Ok. How much do faculty really work? This is me. Most weekends, I'm lucky if I invest one quarter to one half of one day usually. During the week, I usually do 9am to 6pm and then 2-3 hours in the evenings twice a week. When I have a proposal due, I'll spend 3-4 days working 16-18 hours a day. Last year I did 9 proposals as lead/sole PI. I took three weeks of vacation total. That's a lot of hours for almost any job in the world, outside of say doctors, nurses, military, lawyers starting out, and maybe some consultants. The difference, and maybe it's just me, but I think not, I almost never stop thinking about work. At the movies, while watching TV, on the train, I'm thinking about work and all the stuff I have to do and how it never goes away. There's no slow season, there's no hanging up my coat.

And compared to all these other blogs I'm reading, I feel like I'm not spending nearly as much or enough time on this job as all the other TT faculty out there. Talk about Catholic guilt. Why is it that I'm competing against every other professor in the world? And will do it all alone until I retire. In a company, you have co-workers, colleagues, at a startup, you might start alone, but you build and add people. I don't know about medical doctors, do they feel like they are competing against every other doctor out there? There's not really a team for faculty. I try to get my trainees on board, but their hearts aren't in it. They see how much I work and can't wait to graduate and leave academia as far behind as possible. So help me out, are all you TT folks out there really working the kind of hours that you blog?  Can I at least not feel guilty for taking a Saturday off?