Wednesday, August 11, 2004

'Virtually Unemployable' Scientist Slated to Sell Body to Fund Research

New York City (AP) - After an unsuccessful year-long search for funds to support two years of research and living expenses, a scientist and freelance writer has offered to fund her research by selling access to her internationally televised death by electrocution and by auctioning all body parts on ebay.

GrrlScientist, a molecular evolutionary biologist and ornithologist, and a freelance writer, researches and writes about speciation in birds and the evolution and historical geographic movements of parrots among the islands of the south Pacific Ocean. These islands encompass a large area that includes the politically and seismically fragile country, Indonesia, popular vacation get-aways Tahiti and Fiji as well as Australia, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. GrrlScientist earned her PhD in 2002 at [elided] and has conducted research on the speciation of parrots at [elided] as a Postdoctoral Fellow since September, 2002.

Funds raised from advance sales of electrocution videos, projected pay-for-view television revenues and from pre-auctioned body parts that will be collected after death will be used to finance a two-year research trip to the islands of the south Pacific Ocean, where GrrlScientist's research birds live. At the conclusion of this two-year research trip and after the resulting research papers have been published, GrrlScientist will be electrocuted on pay-for-view TV before all body parts are removed for redistribution to their respective purchasers.

Electrocution was chosen as a method to hasten death because it causes less tissue and organ damage than GrrlScientist's preferred methods of death, either alcohol poisoning or a sedative overdose. Unfortunately for excited pay-for-view TV executives, GrrlScientist expressed revulsion with beheading, another method of death that minimizes tissue and organ damage. Pay-for-view TV executives suggested beheading after market research predicted it would generate greater revenues than electrocution, particularly in view of the rampant internet popularity of Iraqi-hostage beheading videos.

After death, the process of organ removal will commence immediately and this process will be widely available on pay-for-view TV and can also be purchased as teaching videos. Already, these videos have generated great interest among medical and forensic schools throughout America and Europe, and the Lions' Eye Bank has reportedly purchased the eyeball removal segment. Lions' Eye Bank representatives were unavailable for comment.

GrrlScientist sent out more than 300 application packages throughout the world during the past 378 days in response to publically advertized academic, research and postdoctoral fellowship positions at well-known universities and research organizations. These application packages consisted of a cover letter, Curriculum Vitae or "CV", statements of Research Objectives and Teaching Philosophy and two or three letters of recommendation, one from each of GrrlScientist's academic advisors. To date, only 7.8% of GrrlScientist's applications generated a response of any type. This lack of response puzzles other scientists in the field.

"GrrlScientist's CV looks fine. It clearly shows her wide range of skills and experiences that make her a valuable member of the scientific research community," commented one source, who wishes to remain anonymous. When asked if the source's organization would offer GrrlScientist a position, the source responded with; "GrrlScientist applied to our institution several times for postdocs [postdoctoral fellowships] but they were not awarded to her because of internal politics, nothing more, nothing less."

"GrrlScientist's work is very important," states a highly-placed source who agreed to an interview under the condition of anonymity. "A lot of money has been invested into her research for this reason."

Six months after starting the original unsuccessful job search, GrrlScientist expanded her job search to include "anything, I was even rejected, rather rudely, might I add, by my neighborhood McDonald's to be a french fry chef! This is simply incredible because I've worked for fast food before." GrrlScientist worked for McDonald's chief competitor, Burger King, for six months in 1981. The manager for GrrlScientist's neighborhood McDonald's refused to comment.

"I haven't had even one interview," reports GrrlScientist. "Well, I did get one interview to teach part-time for Princeton Review, but I bombed that because I forgot how to tie my shoes." Princeton Review is a popular college test preparation agency. They require each interviewee to teach a 5-minute lesson on a topic suggested by the interview panel or on a topic of the interviewee's choice. The suggested topic for GrrlScientist's interview was a lesson on tying shoelaces.

After September 2004, GrrlScientist will join the growing ranks of the "virtually unemployable". The "virtually unemployable" category is a recent federal government classification for Americans who are incapable of being hired or keeping a paying job longer than 2 years. Generally, the "virtually unemployable" category includes individuals with IQs of less than 70, the criminally insane and comatose medical patients. GrrlScientist is the first PhD to be added to this new job category.


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10 Peer Reviews:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hedwig, I know how you feel. I am a PhD graduate (in music, admittedly), working temp work in the Government of Canada because I cannot find work in my field.

Do you think maybe I could get in on your electrocution scheme? Perhaps there is a cross-border market for such things. :)


12:59 PM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Hee hee!

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unemployable? Get used to it. People are disposable and cheap-labor conservatives like it that way. Nearly every enterprise is self-selecting for docility and incompetence. What to do about it? One word: cheat. It's expected, and presumed anyway, so you might as well. Also consider taking up drinking so you'll fit in if somehow you do get hired.

3:25 PM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Wow, anonymous, such a sad world view. Do you have the PhD also?

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, I was begining to think I was the only Ph.D. (physics) to join the ranks of the "unemployable". Knowing that I am not alone makes life ... well, actually, nothing has changed, but it was good to share :P

9:27 PM  
Anonymous said...

Funny, I found GrrlScientist's blog while trying to find a site where I could sell my body organs after decapitation (close range 20 guage shotgun aimed at the throat). Hadn't thought through the Pay-per-view angle. Very insightful.

zguide (Ph.D. Animal Ecology, U. of Aberdeen, Scotland)

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an MSc in astrophysics, thus am also unemployable. A few months back I was thrown off my PhD by my supervisor (long story, but I've never hated anyone so much in my entire life) and now I work in a call centre. I'm seriously considering making up a cv without any qualifications on it, just to see if I can get a better job that way.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Bird Advocate said...

*Sniff!* Your fate is so sad for one with so much promise! I had yearned for years to further my own education and join the prestigious scientific community. Thank the powers that be, better sense prevailed and I recently retired as a piano player in a house of prostitution.
Err, you don't by any chance play the piano, do you?

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty nasty business this education has turned out to be...

As a child I was told that good education is key so I got my bachelors degree... no decent job, then a masters degree... still no decent job... I even started yet another Masters degree... still no luck...

Mine have been mainly underpaid jobs, dead-end jobs, sink or swim jobs or, my favourites: jobs with a mobbing culture, where people (insecure, older, less-educated than you) hate you and go out of their way to make you feel uninformed and very uncomfortable. My very latest job is in retail and that is the worst yet … It combines all of the above and it’s mind-numbingly boring...

The London Muse

10:06 AM  
Anonymous employment said...

Such a pity people cannot do what they want to. But then I think there's nothing equal to the importance and value of a human life. And certainly not science.

8:19 AM  

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