What If You Are Not Horribly Busy?

On her blog, Z wrote:

I do not think it is the work itself that is hard, I think it is the working conditions that make it hard. One of these working conditions involves having to listen to warnings about how hard it is and so on, and how you need to feel that it is hard.

I had to respond to this, and here is what I wrote:

This is SO true. I was at a committee training session last week, and the person conducting it kept repeating, “I know that you are all horribly busy, I know that all of you barely have a moment to breathe, I know that all of you have too many obligations as it is. . .” Maybe this was supposed to sound reassuring or something but, to me, it just sounded like something was wrong with me because I didn’t feel all that busy, had ample time to breathe, read, blog and take walks, and didn’t have all that many obligations.

I just hate this idea that unless you act the role of a permanently exhausted academic, you will be seen by everybody as an underachiever and a non-productive person. I fulfill all of my work-related obligations very well, and it doesn’t make me all that horribly tired or busy. I don’t think this makes me a bad academic or a weird person.

I recommend that you read Z’s post in its entirety because I find it very insightful and refreshing.

4 thoughts on “What If You Are Not Horribly Busy?”

  1. When I went to nursing school, we were told by the school administrators that we could not work and go to school, that it would be impossible.

    Well, it wasn’t (I worked full time), but it sure was annoying hearing it constantly.

    Like

  2. “I just hate this idea that unless you act the role of a permanently exhausted academic, you will be seen by everybody as an underachiever and a non-productive person.”

    I think this attitude has been around a long time or variations of it–people viewed as lazy or not living a full life if every waking moment is not filled to the brim with constant activity and only activity that others approve of. And then there is the constant drone of competitive, obnoxious busybodies who have to compare their level of busyiness with those around them and always coming out at top of the heap–because their level of busyiness is greater, better, more meaningful and more oppressive than the mere pions around them. What makes me “horribly tired” (to use your word) is dealing with those fools and idiots.

    I’m becoming more anti-people. I wonder why some people don’t just mind their own damned business, but I digress. This attitude is everywhere. I sometimes feel that people even use it as a convenient excuse to avoid the incessant obligations and demands of others.

    “I fulfill all of my work-related obligations very well, and it doesn’t make me all that horribly tired or busy. I don’t think this makes me a bad academic or a weird person.”

    Well even if you were “weird” and I’m not saying that you are, but hypothetically I would pose that if you were, so what is wrong with that. Why the hell would it be any of their damned business anyway? I’d say fly that “freak flag” and wear it proudly and tell them to stuff it.

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    1. “And then there is the constant drone of competitive, obnoxious busybodies who have to compare their level of busyiness with those around them and always coming out at top of the heap–because their level of busyiness is greater, better, more meaningful and more oppressive than the mere pions around them”

      -So true! It’s like people compete as to who’s more miserable and get really thrown off is they see somebody who refuses to participate in the competition.

      “I’d say fly that “freak flag” and wear it proudly and tell them to stuff it.”

      -This is a truly great suggestion. 🙂

      Like

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