Monday, May 28, 2012

'Workin' 9 to 5...'

With respect to Ms Dolly Parton, working 9 to 5 (or whatever your fulltime equivalent is) can be a bit ho-hom from time to time. There are some days when I miss the freedom of the academic life, where you could have a little sleep in work from home if you couldn't be bothered dragging your sorry arse into the office. No such luxuries in the "real world". You just have to drag your sorry arse into the office whether you like it or not.

Now perhaps you were/are the kind of academic who works from home in any case. Not me. I always went in to the office, if for no other reason than to create a bit of a distinction between my home and my work life. (I've mentioned before that I always had good work-life balance - keeping work at work really helped in this). But I still liked having the option to work from home, or to work hours that suited me better.

For the most part, my job is pretty flexible. They at least talk the talk about work life balance. (Whether anyone takes them up on it or not is a seperate issue).  But that doesn't mean you can just turn up late because you'd rather take your hangover "weighty thoughts"  to the coffee shop...

However having said that while some days require a lot of effort just to get there- there are a million ways to look like you're doing something while you're really running on empty without having that awful gnawing feeling of being unproductive crushing you even further. In short, there are a lot of crappy things you can do while you're not feeling up to the bigger things and at no point will you be made to feel like a god awful loser because you can't string a sentence together. I guess what I am saying is: even the worst day in the office can't make you feel as incompentent as an unproductive day of (not) writing that next paper/book/conference presentation.

Then before you know it - the day is over and you can go back to your PJs and crap TV and hope tomorrow is a better day. You don't need to feel guilty about all the work you didn't do, and you don't need to be melodramatic about how crap you are as an academic compared to the person down the hallway. You don't need to count the number of papers you don't have, or the number of grants you have failed to get. You can idly flick channels and watch your favourite reality TV show without guiltily reflecting on what you should be reading instead.  

Thank goodness for the "real world".

I still hate ironing though.


  1. I'm a "get up and go" kind of gal so I'm really struggling with the downtime we have every day when we get up. I like going to work early, but hate staying late!

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