Thursday, May 12, 2005

Losing the Faith

Yesterday evening, I was informed that the journal that had accepted a paper of mine "with revisions" LOST the revisions! Yes, indeed, they lost the resubmitted and revised version of my paper, and no one bothered to tell me about this for FIVE MONTHS. I thought I was going to hear from them any day now about the progress of my paper as it wanders through the interminably long review process. Then I learned through the grapevine that the journal editor stepped down, so I wrote and asked them about the status of my paper and to inform them that I have a new email address. I wondered why no one bothered to tell me, an author whose paper was in revisions, about this change of editor and was astonished to learn that they had no idea what the hell I was talking about! The reason they had no idea what I was talking about is because they LOST my revisions.

I am at a loss for words, except to repeat that they LOST MY REVISIONS.

I am so sick right now that I can barely hear or function, I am struggling every day to pay my rent by working as an Adjunct Professor at a crappy completely unsupportive profit-only motivated school, I am scooping cat shit so I can pay for my food and my cell phone bills, I have been eating rice and beans for the past nine eight months because that is all I can afford, a friend in California sends money so I can buy a metro card to get to the school where I teach and to my cat sitting jobs every day, and I am being pressured to publish MORE so my life will might possibly change from its current state of hell AND THEN THE JOURNAL EDITOR LOSES MY REVISIONS!

Some days, I question my sanity. Other days, I ask myself why I bother working so hard when I could make a better living by pursuing a life of crime.

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© 2004, 2005, 2006 by GrrlScientist

13 Peer Reviews:

Anonymous Tom Wigton said...

Sorry to learn of your misfortune. Hang in there....

9:48 AM  
Blogger P.M.Bryant said...

Well that certainly is a pain in the ass. I hope this doesn't reset the clock on the eventual publishing date. Good luck with this.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Black Rat said...

That sucks, hon. Sorry to hear about that. Anything else I can say will sound trite so I'll bug out now. x

11:43 AM  
Blogger Rexroth's Daughter said...

I'm not sure I know how it all works with publications and revisions-- did you save a copy that can be sent to them? With the new editor, are they still interested? Do you have copies of previous correspondences that will help these people contextualize the situation?
I hope you don't mind all these questions. I would like to see you published--

11:43 AM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Hi everyone (and hello Tom and BlackRat, thanks for stopping by! Too bad it wasn't under better circumstances).

To answer your questions, I did save copies of everything but unfortunately this unexpected event does set back my publication date by at least five months, if the journal's new editor is even interested in publishing my paper AT ALL.

Because this paper will not be published by next autumn when a new round of tenure-track searches are underway, this delay essentially guarantees that I will be living another year of hell as an Adjunct, complete with no sick leave, no health benefits, and constantly on the edge of financial disaster. After aggressively searching for a job for one year, nine months, and two weeks without any success at all so far, I don't think I can live like this much longer before I die from cortisol poisoning. The anxiety that I feel right now from realizing that this uncertainty will drag on for at least another year is enough to kill me.

And I still can't even get a job in a bookstore .. and even if I manage to, that's no guarantee that I will earn enough to survive anyway!

Grrl"Scientist"

12:43 PM  
Blogger Alon Levy said...

What happened to the job you described in your post entitled Good News (Maybe)?

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Kristjan Wager said...

Sorry to hear that. It sounds increbly unprofesional of the publication in question.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Tabor said...

THANK GOD (or whomever) you still have your wonderful sense of humor.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Kristjan Wager said...

Girlscientist, this is not relevant to the post, but is relevant to a former subject (I don't know if you get notified if somone posts a comment to an old entry).

If you want a copy of The Verb: To Bird, Peter Cashwell would be willing to send you one - drop me a line at public@kristjanwager.dk if this has interest.

11:47 PM  
Blogger Alon Levy said...

About applying for tenure-track positions next fall, can't you say that your paper has been accepted for publication? I was under the impression that papers accepted for publication were as good as published papers.

7:39 AM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Well, everyone, you might be relieved to know that I spent most of yesterday with my fellow Adjunct Professors and my students -- they are the bright spot in an otherwise dreary and self-limiting situation. One might think of this as "chicken soup for the soul", to steal an already overused cliche. So I have added a few strike-throughs to my rant, which might make my explosion somewhat more politically correct. But I am literally sick of all the stress I have to deal on a daily basis in addition to everything else.

Alon, the job I mentioned in "Good News (Maybe)" refers to a job that I am interviewing for on 3 June (the interview date was scheduled earlier this week). The position -- if they offer it to me -- will start in Jan 2006 and will run for one semester. I am already thinking about that interview and will begin preparing for it in earnest as soon as my commitment to my current teaching gig is over in two weeks.

Yes, Kristjan, I am still upset with the journal and may never submit anything to them again for this reason. But they are a good journal .. well .. they were good and I still like reading them (By the way, check your email).

Thanks for stopping by, Tabor, and I am glad to hear that your grandbaby is doing well.

I am really am thinking of starting a life of crime. I could start by moving to a tropical island where my research birds are endemic (I could conduct field research with them). I could raise enough money to buy the entire island so my birds and I can live there forever by setting up an internet-based scam. Isn't that a good idea? I could become the "token glamorous criminal" at all my friends' parties, too. How could I lose?

On the other hand, if I actually get caught for being a scammer (doubtful, considering the current success rate), then I will not have to worry about rent, food or medical care for the rest of my life. Not only that, but I would have lots of dates on Friday night, too (beggers can't be choosy, sigh). And then I could write my memoirs and sell those for a tidy sum that would fund my retirement after I am sprung from the ole hoosegow. What more could a grrl ask for?

GrrlScientist

8:12 AM  
Blogger PZ Myers said...

A bit over 10 years ago, when I was on the job market myself, I had two papers that were lost for over a year. They were accepted, I'd sent in all the revisions, and it was a long, painful wait. The excuse I finally got was that the secretary bumped the pile, and my submissions slipped down behind the desk and the wall and they didn't find it until they'd rearranged the furniture looking for it.

1:22 PM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Hi again, Alon .. I was busy ranting er, replying while you wrote your second comment .. anyway, I am back and somewhat more firmly planted on the earth.

To answer your question, I could say those things BUT the truth is, an application package that is fat with included publications is better than a thin package that says "they're (the pubs) out there .. somewhere".

Thanks PZ for stopping by and commenting. For about 45 minutes, I had a brief flirtation with quitting science altogether, that no one wants me anyway, but then I realized that they want me to quit so there will be less competition for jobs; that I could be a better, more effective pain in the ass to my science colleagues by remaining in science forever and ever, and then, after I die, having my body frozen until they can revive me and fix whatever killed me in the first place so I could continue on and on .. and on .. . If ever there was a better motivation for immortality, I'd sure like to hear what it is.

But I digress. I actually meant to tell you, PZ, that I saved everything regarding this paper so getting it published (I hope!) should not be a problem, but I waited so blasted long already to see this little paper in print, and things are so frustrating right now, that I sure would have liked a small pick-me-up in the form of a publication.

GrrlScientist

7:29 PM  

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