Teasing sucks

And I mean teasing in the sense where you think you’re going to get something nice but it’s all a lie.

There’s something professional that I really really want.  It would help my career and make life easier and be a big boost reputation-wise in the profession.  A lot of my colleagues (not in my department, but in the greater community) have it… but I made some incompatible choices, ended up at a place that isn’t a top 10 school, and although I have been productive and have impressive publications, they’re not tippity top… I’m in the potential pool of candidates with a mass of people who are qualified but not obviously must-have contenders.

This year on a schedule, there was something written suggesting I’d gotten this thing.  But on the official page, there was nothing.  Finally I made a phone call and it turned out to be a typo.  Some folks just assume I’ve got this, hence the typo.  But I don’t.  So I don’t have access to the professional benefits that come with it.

I wouldn’t be feeling bummed right now if it weren’t that they’d dangled the possibility in front of me that this could actually happen this year.  All my hard work might have paid off.  This could be my year, and it would be an excellent year for it, with my tenure packet being sent out to external reviewers and so on.

I also wouldn’t be feeling quite so bummed right now if I hadn’t looked at the cvs of the people who got this benefit last year and saw that they were inferior to mine even at the point in their careers that they are now.  Usually the folks who get it I’m like, “I wish I could be that cool, maybe I will be in X years.”  The folks from last year are at better schools but they don’t have the cvs to back it up, only promise (they’re earlier in their careers).  And it is much easier to fulfill promise when you’ve got this benefit, and are at a better school.

I like where I work, but if I’d made different choices, maximizing my career would have been easier.  I need to remind myself that I’m doing ok, I’m respected, I do good work, even though it is slower than I’d like.  I don’t work as hard as I could, I don’t put myself out there as much as I could.  But my quality of life isn’t so bad.  And if I’d never gotten my hopes up, I wouldn’t be feeling them dashed right now.

#2:  They’re pooty brains.

#1:  YEAH!  Poopy heads with pooty brains!

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: . 36 Comments »

36 Responses to “Teasing sucks”

  1. First Gen American Says:

    It’s okay to be sad, but I think you also have the right perspective. You willingly gave up skyrocket career potential for a life outside of work.

    I worked for a fortune 100 company and put in some crazy hours for about a decade. There, career growth was only limited by your personal drive, not by job availability. Right before I had my first child, I deliberately got off the fast track. Although my ego loved being the youngest product manager at my company, I barely saw my husband and ended up having some health issues from the stress. It wasn’t fair to me or him or my unborn brood.

    I don’t regret the decision but my ego periodically suffers and I also feel guilty about not being an A player in all aspects of my life. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      There really aren’t.

      • Debbie M Says:

        If the pooty brains can stick the professional-goodie-might-really-be-yours perspective in your head, I can offer you this other one:

        A friend of mine is selling all her stuff and moving in with her mom, partly to help out her mom, but also partly to get back out of debt. After leaving a real job she’s tried all kinds of other jobs and none of them have added up to enough to cover her low (and getting lower) expenses. However, even now, even during the sale of all of her stuff (and at age 38), she still has no regrets about not sticking with that career which made her so miserable!

        So, there’s a few other things to remind yourself: you still like your career, you still have your job in that career, and that job totally pays the bills, so you are in no danger of having to sell all your stuff or move in with your parents.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        No, that’s one thing I often remind myself. Money isn’t a constant worry. Home-life is peaceful. The kittehs are doing great. Life is much better than it was 20 years ago. But still, teasing sucks.

        And your friend is probably glad she doesn’t live in a developing country…

  2. hush Says:

    They’re pooty booties and doody brains for sure.

    Disappointment sucks; I’m sorry you’re going through it. You’re ok, you’re respected, and you do good work.

  3. bogart Says:

    Argh. I’m sorry.

    I was thinking of you just last night. Here’s a happy yummy good-for-recipe involving cheese to cheer you up (?):

    red leaf and/or romaine lettuce, walnut halves, granny smith apple slices, chunks of stilton cheese. Mix together in appropriate (obviously YMMV) proportions, top with a mild vinaigrette, eat. Variations/additions/sides include sliced figs and prosciutto. Really scrumptious.

  4. Spanish Prof Says:

    I’m sorry for the disappointment. I know how you feel, and I occasionally question myself similar things, though in my case, the fact that I didn’t understand American academia very much played a big factor in where I ended up. Not a top 10 school, but I am very happy with the place I did my PhD.

    Furthermore, the summer I graduated, two very creepy things happened: two professors in my department died, none of whom was older than 51. One of them, a woman, once had told me that she never had kids because she got tenure too late in life. The other one, a man, died literally the day that the president of the university signed his promotion to Full Professor. Although I am not religious, for me those were very clear signs not to let my career absorb everything. Some people might call it lack of ambition, I call it being reasonable.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      That is creepy! My mom probably would have gotten tenure at the first (prestigious) school she was at if she hadn’t had me, but it was a pretty toxic environment, so I don’t think she regrets having kids before tenure, even if it meant leaving that job.

  5. Grace Says:

    You’re surrounded by pooty-heads that were too dumb to give you what you deserved, and Bogart wants to feed you SALAD? Gimme a break–this requires chocolate, prosecco, and Jude Law doing a massage!

  6. Dr. O Says:

    I don’t know the feeling myself right now, but I’m sure I will in the future. I’m at the decision-making place right now, and I’m choosing family over being a rock star. I’m pretty sure I’ll be [mostly] happy with this decision in 10 years, but I know I’ll be VERY satisfied with it when I’m retired, looking at my life, Hubby, and grandchildren.

    Hubby got his first degree in business and worked his ass off climbing the ladder for his first few years out of college. He made a ton of money, worked 80 hours a week, was surrounded by power, and completely miserable. The guy I met 5 years ago had quit his job, taken time to figure out what he really wanted, gone back to school, and secured a stable government job doing environmental research. He’s now well-respected, making good money, and (most importantly) happy.

  7. Comrade PhysioProf Says:

    What kind of f*cken thinge are you talking about? Fellowship? Career award? Honorary society membership? Wut?

  8. MutantSupermodel Says:

    I’m sorry that thing you thought was yours turned out not to be. That’s probably the WEIRDEST sentiment I’ve ever expressed but it’s as sincere as it can be. I’ve no clue how academia works (and you’re so totally making me happy about that) but I get that there was a major bummer for you and that SUCKS.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Well, I didn’t think it really was mine because I hadn’t gotten any sort of official notification, but they dangled the chance at me, so I thought there was a possibility it was mine. :|

  9. Julie Says:

    Are you guys planning to “out” yourselves when you get tenure? (Just curious). Kind of hard to sympathize with your post when I have no idea what you’re talking about!

  10. Cloud Says:

    That sucks.

    One of the things I’ve struggled with career-wise for many years is the obvious fact that I’ll never be famous- or even well-known- in my field. I’m not sure I really wanted to be, but the choices I made ensured that it would not happen. I’m an anonymous industry drone…. who likes what she does, is paid well to do it, and is treated with respect by my peers and bosses. So you know, not at all bad.

    But still, not what I envisioned when I headed off to grad school!

  11. leightpf Says:

    That sucks!

    You say that it’s something that would help your career. I work in industry and I know if there had been a misunderstanding over something that would really help my career, I probably would have gone directly to my manager and said “What do I need to do to get this this year?” Is there anyone who you can talk to and ask those questions?

  12. Revanche Says:

    That is the Suck. :(

    Hate the letdown.

    This is kind of why, when the subject of raises came up in connection w/ME came up in conversation as opposed to in the abstract recently, I just sat deep in my seat and nodded without really thinking about it because I can’t stand to be teased on something I can only do so much about. I’ve done my groundwork and all the necessaries but at a certain point, you have to let it go and I can’t stand the actual dropdown to reality. (Hi, I’m a pessimist, and you are …?)

  13. Everyday Tips Says:

    I hate letdown! Being led astray feels awful. Sorry this happened to you.

    At the end of the day, you do have a good job and there are a lot of positives for situation. However, frustration is definitely still allowed.

  14. Anna Says:

    Is it an RA? A lab?


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