Monday, August 01, 2005

A Career is like a Ship ..

A magician worked on a cruise ship. The audience differed each week so the magician did the same tricks again and again. However, the captain’s parrot saw the show each week and learned how the magician did each trick.

Once the parrot understood how each trick was done, he started shouting in the middle of the show: “Look, it’s not the same hat!” or “Every card is the ace of spades!”

The magician was furious, but couldn’t do anything about the situation. The parrot, after all, belonged to the captain.

Then — unfortunately — the ship sank. The magician found himself, with the parrot, floating on a piece of wood in the middle of the sea. The magician and the parrot stared at each other with hatred, but neither uttered a word. This went on for a day ... then another day ... and another.

On the fourth day, the parrot could not contain himself, and said, “Okay, I give up. Where’s the bloody ship?”

731 days ago today, I began searching for a job. Needless to say, during the past two years and one day, I have been repeating this parrot's words. Often.


© 2004, 2005, 2006 by GrrlScientist

6 Peer Reviews:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if I get this joke... but I think I know exactly how you feel.

Wish you lived closer so we could go for coffee together. Nobody here seems to understand how I feel as well as you do!

-- ms. PhD

6:40 PM  
Blogger Rexroth's Daughter said...

Did you get a job offer the other day? What has come of that?
I like the joke-- the parrot has the best lines.

10:07 PM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Ms. PhD: If I have to explain it, then it's just not that funny.

RD: I FINALLY have a full-time temporary position. I am still looking for a real job, one that has benefits like health and dental insurance, sick leave and that pays into the state's unemployment insurance fund (without UI, I would have become homeless) -- NONE of which are true for an Adjunct position. A real job also pays more than what I will earn as a full-time Adjunct.


7:37 AM  
Blogger Pinky said...

I know -being in similar shoes- that there's really nothing that I can say that will make things better.

It sucks. That's about all I can offer.

Congrats on the full-time gig. I understand your frustration with the adjunct position, but hopefully this is the sign that things are making a turn for the positive.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Alon Levy said...

I presume that you're still better off than you were ten months ago, when you had no full-time job. It sucks to have a job that has no benefits and pays a pittance, but it's still better than having no job at all.

By the way, does your full-time adjunct job pay all your bills, or only the rent like the part-time job you had last semester?

12:48 PM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

It is true that I am better off than I was ten months ago, but I am not doing as well as I think I should be doing. I did not work my ass off for the PhD to have adventures in modern trailer park living such as selling almost all my possessions to pay for food, spending countless nights worrying about selling my parrots that I had hand-raised from chicks because (as my reasoning went), I was clearly unable to provide them (or me) with a home, nor ending up suffering several stress-triggered health problems that made me question the value of my continued existence.

The fact is that the PhD was a huge impediment to getting ANY sort of job that pays, and it still prevents me from getting a job that pays reasonably well. I am not a 20-year-old college dropout, but I am expected to live on college drop-out wages, and to be happy for that. Well, I am not happy with that. I see no reason to rejoice at being treated a little less like shit than I was ten months ago. There are no rewards for what I have experienced, and my (rather creative, in my opinion) attempts to survive have earned me no respect whatsoever, even though I managed to keep my apartment and I did so without doing anything that I should be ashamed of.

It is true that this full-time temporary position is a move in the right direction, but NO ONE can live like this forever. In my experience, I have met MANY adjuncts who DO live like this for many years (some, as long as two decades -- that sure seems like forf*ckingever).

And I read a story this morning that decried the sorryu state of this nation's ability to respond to a potential avian influenza epidemic, to SARS, and to a probable terrorist attack using germ warfare .. all because this monkey-run government refuses to spend the money necessary to hire new people to work on this and other pressing issues.


2:08 PM  

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