>My maternity leave is officially up in a couple of weeks’ time. This sucks mightily. Even though I’m working about half-time at the moment doing AAI 2 conference and research network stuff, the idea of officially going back to work is daunting. I’ll be going back 2 days a week till the beginning of 2008.
Being away from the academic shuffle really gives the world its easy glow again. It made me realise how sick I am of the small crumbs meted out at universities and how we’re meant to be overjoyed by the fact that we even have jobs. The way I did my postgrad study (full MA before my PhD), I spent almost a decade gaining various bits of paper. Hons in 1991, MA 1993-1996, PhD 1996-1999. I don’t regret getting my doctorate and I’m in an utterly fab fellowship BUT the atmosphere in universities all the time I was studying, and since I’ve been a research fellow, has been consistently negative. It gets wearing. Knowing that our ‘industry’ will never be the type to gain ascendancy is somewhat depressing. I’m not the kind of person to take comfort in persecution the way some do (i.e. if recognition occurred, you must have sold out. Whatever that means these days…hello, Linkage?).
I just read an article about how top-flight companies are striving to keep their employees happy and that, in a decade or so’s time, there’ll be a labour shortage so the workers will be in positions of power, etc. Of course, this only applies to certain industries and academia will never be one of them. Can you imagine universities offering free baskets of fruit and massages and gym sessions and Christmas bonuses for work well done? Folks say you should never be in academia if you’re wanting recognition or reward. They’re right. I knew that from the start and I still chose to pursue this career so it’s all my own fault, really.
That said, it still rankles. Regularly.