Monday, April 28, 2014

False Crisis

I reacted to a post in the Astronomer section on work/life balance (to paraphrase Ghandi on Western Civilization "that would be nice"). The term I coined was "false crisis" and it has been something I noticed at UCT and Leiden: there is a continuous sense of crisis working at a University. Not only are you trying to keep up with any given deadline (ESO, HST, ALMA, funding!) but also any and all little crises thrown your way. Most people seem to be working in permanent crisis mode. But it is a false crisis: inevitably is it because someone (possibly you yourself) have started too late. In real life one would simply hear "that is too little time to do it well, sorry, better luck next time" but not in the macho world of academia where an all-nighter is a badge of honor. And 60+ hour workweeks de rigeur.

and another flip phrase I thought of:

"Not working 60 hours a week. I did it right the first time. And mulched the paperwork".

But I am opting out of the false crisis. Or trying to. Then I submitted the paper on Saturday while Mister M was taking a nap...

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