Actual conversation: neighborhood edition

Apr 05 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

Elderly Neighbor: Nice to see you home on the weekend, seems like it's been a while.

PLS: Well, yeah. I had a lot to do at work over the last little while.

EN: You know, my husband used to work extra hours on the weekend when we were younger. He always wanted to bring in the extra money.

PLS: Um, yeah.

EN: I don't know how much they pay you for those weekends, but it aint worth it.

PLS: I don't get paid extra for weekends...

EN: WHAT? You should tell them you're not working one more weekend unless they pay you for it.


EN: What in the hell would you work for free for.

PLS: It's complicated.

EN: Doesn't sound like it to me.

PLS: sigh.

12 responses so far

  • Dr.Girlfriend says:

    LOL. I have had that conversation a few times!I try not to think about how my people I know who never went to college, but still earn more than I do.I explain it like piecework - that is I am paid for what I produce, not how long it takes me to produce it. I sucked at fruit-picking, so they assume that I must suck at science too!

  • chall says:

    ahh.... 🙂 It makes more sense as a post doc though, doesn't it? Working weekends I mean. "I need this to get tenure/have a future" ... so now it's "I need to do this because I like it, I need it for the grant money..." or?!?!I tend not to ponder too much abour it - that life balance seems so hard to work out as is.

  • Alyssa says:

    It's tough to explain to someone who doesn't know what academia is like, isn't it? I do like Dr.G's explanation though!

  • tideliar says:

    If I had a dime for every time I've had this conversation I'd be retiring a happy man...

  • Observant Academic says:

    Or: "Working one weekend after the other without getting paid, you realize your boss is exploiting you.""Nah, it's for my own progress.""So you CHOOSE to work those extra hours?""Yes.""You must be earning a whole lot then."*Me sadly shaking my head*

  • Anonymous says:

    I have this conversation every weekend with my wife.

  • Genomic Repairman says:

    My fiancee and I had to have this discussion a few weeks ago.

  • Ms.PhD says:

    I like Dr. Girlfriend's explanation, since it will make sense to quilters and other crafty types. Here are some other options:"Actually, I like my job better than talking to people. The second best thing I like after work is telling people how much I like my job. Wanna hear why my job is the best job in the world?""Actually I don't have a boss. I'm the boss. I work for me."

  • Prof-like Substance says:

    I tend to explain it like being an entrepreneur with a small business - in that one needs to sell one's ideas to build the business and it takes a lot of hours to get things off the ground. Unfortunately, even if it takes off it'll require a lot of hours and the pay won't scale with success like it would in business, but I leave that part out. I just didn't have the energy yesterday to go through the explanation.

  • Dr Becca, PhD says:

    I'd simply answer all questions with: "Look Elderly Neighbor, being early tenure-track faculty is stranger than you think!"

  • Ambivalent Academic says:

    Weirdly, I have this conversation with myself on a regular basis...the misunderstanding has not yet been resolved.

  • Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    The entrepreneur analogy is great! I wish I'd thought of that while I was still a postdoc. My group of friends is much more understanding of the guy who runs his own business than they were of me...LOL@AA!

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