Monday, August 13, 2012

Another reason why work is better than adjuncting

Paid holidays are great!

You have enough money to pay for a trip, you have enough money to spend while you are away, and if you go a little over budget, chances are, you will be able to pay it off quite soon.

What can be so bad about that?

Oh, I know, coming back to work totally sucks. But whatevs. You will notice that the building hasn't burnt down, your colleagues are still the same, and that you really didn't miss much while you were out. Depending on your level of seniority, you may have a shite-load of emails to catch-up on, or your projects may have been devolved to someone else, but hey, you don't get paid enough to care. It's not as if YOUR ENTIRE CAREER depends on someone else doing what you thought you would be doing.

You will notice that something needed doing, it got done, and nobody cared that you weren't there to do it. Instead of sticking knives into you while you were out, they simply used your seat to store supplies on.

So, yes, I can get used to this.

Meanwhile, while you are actually on holidays - you don't have to think about work. How refreshing. You don't have to take work with you. You don't have to try and find an internet cafe to finish doing something by some impossible deadline. You don't even have to check your email. Let's face it, if anything truly important happens on the home front, the people who matter will find a way to get news to you. The people who pay you, on the other hand, probably won't even know where you've gone.


I really needed that break. It was just at the right time to give me a moment to recover from being out of work, finding a new job, getting used to a new job, getting over my career failure and just generally taking stock of where I am at now. It was also the perfect holiday to help me realise that the issues I have had in my new job are actually a function of the office and the people in it, and not me. I kind of knew that already, I have to say, but being new, I was inclined to give the benefit of doubt. But no, it's not me. That much I can tell you for sure.


  1. As I just returned from a relaxing holiday that didn't involve internet cafes and checking emails, or even caring about any of that, I can say I am sympathetic to your nice post. I am about to start my new job formally in September (and not in August for various reasons) but I am going to be going in here and there for some meetings and informal orientation business. What's nice about this non-academic job start is that I am so chilled about it all at the moment, and not worried that I am 'un-prepared' etc. This is the result of a relaxed holiday but it's also due to the change in role, where I haven't out myself in a position where I'm thinking I have to do lots of preparation before I'm even on the payroll. Thanks for your post - you may have just inspired me to continue and pick up on this topic.

  2. It is great to hear about the wonders of the "real world" vacation! Taking reading along on trips was one thing I really really hated about grad school - usually I would bring way more than I could possibly get through and then not do much of it at all because I found trains/planes too distracting for reading dense material. Instead I would just stare out the window and feel guilty for not doing the piles of reading I brought with me. Blech. I do not regret leaving that experience behind!

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