I think of Thomas the Steam Engine. Sir Topham Hat: "You're a very useful engine." Boy wouldn't that make my day?
Valued & Useful. I said to my wife this evening, as she stressed over the pressures of work, that yes there are stresses, and it would seem that "upper management" would have been better off to listen to their charges a bit earlier, like last August when they said they needed 6 more people on the job to get things done according to contract schedule. Instead, they dragged their feet, and now are threatening the possibility of mandatory 50-hour weeks. She did work 50 hours this past week. So, yes, she is working hard, and has a great deal of responsibility, and is being asked to sign off on things that she isn't really given enough time with to honestly do that task.
But she is valued and useful. Which, sadly, is not something I can say about myself these days. I'm more like a skin tag that hangs from the neck or nose, which every now and again gets picked at until the host remembers I'm a permanent fixture of their physique. It's not pretty to feel that way.
The more I think about the career, the more depressed I get. There is only one thing for me to do, however, at the moment, and that is to forge ahead. I'm actually doing a bit more though. I've got a lunch meeting with a young professor in my department, just to talk about the academic job search and career path. And I've got a half hour appointment with a career counselor on campus this week as well.
I just need to break the silence. If there are things I can do, I want to hear it. If it's typical and expected that I'll be searching for a couple years, I want to hear it. I'm slowed down in sending out this article, since I feel a need to review these foreign language materials... but I'm going to do that, as efficiently as possible, and get this dissertation condensation article out as soon as possible.