Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Academia...

...is the worst profession I have ever had the misfortune of working in.

That is all.

4 comments:

Catelli said...

I hope that's a teaser! Right now I hate my profession enough to debate you on that. Details! Details!

I must admit, I rather you wallow publicly in your misery. That way I have a chance of realizing "My career might bite the big one, but at least I'm not Adam!"

ADHR said...

Gee thanks. ;)

The short of it is that I'm supposed to be teaching a six-week, six-credit course this summer (in addition to the online three-credit one I'm currently teaching). Since it's compressed, that would gross ~$6000 a month for two months. (Ordinarily, a six-credit course would run over eight months, thus grossing ~$1500 a month.) However, enrollment, right now, is at 2/3 of what it needs to be for the course not to be cancelled. If the course is cancelled, I will be informed three days before it was due to start, and will be paid a big $400. This after I've already outlaid $350 in deposit for subletting a place in London.

It's not that I can't absorb the lost income -- fortunately, I can -- but this was supposed to get credit cards paid off and give me the opportunity to take a year off from paid work so I could exclusively do dissertation/paper writing, i.e., the stuff that teaching is supposed to enable me to do. If five more students don't magically appear (the cap is 15, so I'm 5 short), that's all off the table.

The source of the post, though, was my inability to figure out another field where ~$12,000 can just get up and walk away on three days' notice. Hence why I tagged it as "labour". It's not an academic issue -- it's an academic labour issue.

(It is also, incidentally, enabled by the fact that academics aren't supposed to complain about this sort of thing publicly. I'm violating all sorts of taboos here. Viva la revolucion!)

Catelli said...

my inability to figure out another field where ~$12,000 can just get up and walk away on three days' notice

Manual labourers. Just went through some home renovation work, where the "help" was summarily dismissed halfway through the job by the contractor. They were just told that they weren't needed anymore, don't show up tomorrow. That's OK, the ones that stayed on the job had their pay cheques bounce....

(and yes there's a larger story here, but the happy ending is, at least the work I paid for was completed... eventually)

So at least I'm not you, and neither of us is them!

On my whine front, I'm supposed to be part of a team of 6, which is right now a team of 2. We've extended 5 job offers to 5 different candidates, all of whom turned them down for better opportunities elsewhere.

Makes me wonder why I work here...

ADHR said...

True, they can do it to manual labour. But, when they do, it's illegal. So, I still think I have it a little worse. ;)

If five people have turned down the offer for better jobs, yeah, I'd say you're probably not being paid market value yourself. Particularly if you're doing the work of (at least) 3 people.