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men and wives

patricia bowne pbowne at execpc.com
Mon Mar 4 04:17:33 EST 2002

Una Smith wrote:
> There seems to be a common falacy that workload is lighter SOMEWHERE
> ELSE, so new PhDs "switch" to industry and a 40hr workweek, and people
> in industry talk about how easy life is in academia.  Ditto teaching
> colleges:  it's a 9-5 job, its not a 9-5 job.  I think the difference
> is all in the person, not in the job.  I used to work 60+ weeks, and
> feel stressed and resentful.  Then I decided not to do that anymore.
> If anything, I am now more productive, doing more good work in 40hr
> than I used to do in 60.  And I have time for family and friends and
> hobbies and sports.  A non-trivial part of the difference is that now
> I waste no time complaining about working too much.

There's certainly a lot of truth in this. I've known people who spend
hours and hours at work talking with colleagues and then complain that
they have to work overtime to get their jobs done.  But there are
differences, particularly for scientists, between jobs that require
teaching and research and those that only require teaching.  At the
University I attended, all the faculty were doing research in their labs
on weekends and holidays, and during the summers (unless they were in
the field). Where I work now, if I go in on a weekend I will usually be
the only person in my department who is there.

Admittedly, I work pretty steadily when I'm in the office. But if I had
a research load on top of my teaching schedule, I'd never get done in 40
hours a week.


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