Poisonous

After the Ph.D. one gets to spend five years in a gut wrenching struggle for tenure. Publish or perish is sometimes publish and perish. For those who become tenured here is some of what lies ahead: comprehensive annual assessments and five year post tenure reviews; the often brutal politics of academic departments; educating ill prepared students most of whom are merely going through the motions; working like a dog to publish scholarly material no one will read; endless committee work that will have virtually zero impact on the quality of the academic enterprise …

It’s infantile moaners like these that poison academic life. I probably have tougher working conditions than this dumbazoid but I haven’t encountered absolutely anything “gut-wrenching, brutal, perishing, dog-like, or endless” in academia.

What I don’t get is, if you hate it so much and feel brutalized and gut-wrenched all the time, then why not go do something else? Life is short and there are probably many people who want your job and would love doing it.

Also, if you work with people – students and colleagues – how is it fair or honorable to inflict yourself on them in this mental state? Students pay for their education. Many of them get themselves in debt to be in your classroom. And you are selling them this rotten attitude and this extreme contempt for them and for academia. This is disgraceful. Not even in the darkest time of my life did I indulge in the need to feel this sorry for myself.

There is no shadow of doubt in my mind that this spoiled little whiner has experienced no bigger hardship in life than “gut-wrenching committee work.” God, it’s annoying.

“Mwah, mwah, poor little me, I got tenure and I have to do some work, what a tragedy.” Disgusting.

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3 thoughts on “Poisonous”

  1. What I don’t get is, if you hate it so much and feel brutalized and gut-wrenched all the time, then why not go do something else? Life is short and there are probably many people who want your job and would love doing it
    Sunk cost fallacy is notorious among academics?

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  2. I frequently vent and complain about my job as a tenured professor, but not like this. I have to deal with some of the same issues mentioned in the article, but the adjectives and descriptions used… I can’t relate to any of that, because there is absolutely NOTHING about my job that is “gut-wrenching, brutal, perishing, dog-like, or endless.” And I also realize how lucky I am to even have a job–I went on the job market right before the recession; otherwise, I would probably not be working in higher ed.

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    1. That’s exactly what I mean. Everybody complains about committees, students, admin, colleagues, etc every once in a while. But gosh, if you are truly suffering to this extent, just go do something else. Life is truly too short to be this miserable.

      Everybody has problems in the workplace (and at home) but if they are really of this magnitude, do something about it.

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