Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I haven't felt this in a while, pride at the end of the day. I am a simple public servant and what I do matters. *sigh* It's a good thing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bad Science

I don't mean to continue a rant on a job that I'm leaving, but I must address one last issue; Bad, bad, bad science. I've spent basically my whole adult life in pursuit of scientific truth and I've learned from great scientists how the art of science is practiced. I'm highly ethical, and meticulous in my science. So, when management told us what results we needed to find in the data we were about to collect, I had to swallow a snort of contempt. In other words corporate already said what the data was, now we had to make it so. I've spent years working on maintaining neutrality, knowing any result is interesting, there is no emotional investment in an outcome, and finding the truth of an experiment is the real purpose. I do pure science, not corporate order science.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Two Weeks and Counting

I've done it. I've landed a new job, best of all a job that I can be proud of and feel challenged by. I have learned a bit from these last 3 months. Not about science or research, but a bit about myself. Specifically, how in my adult life I've frequently let my work (or schooling) define who I was. I labeled myself "college student", "conservationist", and "grad-student" in turn. (All the while thinking of myself as an independent person who rejected labels.) It's a bit funny to think that I only realized this short coming when I got stuck in to a job I was ashamed of, and had to search for purpose and meaning in other parts of my life. I certainly haven't gotten it all figured out (what would be the fun of figuring everything out this early on) but I have found that I need to have goals and purpose in my personal life as well as my professional (maybe even first).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Faking it.

How do you deal with hating what you do everyday?

At first I tried to fake it. But I soon realized every insincere smile and consenting comment killed a little piece of my soul. I was also afraid that one day the hyper-conservative nonsense spewed by my co-workers would begin sounding sensible. So one day I just stopped. I didn't actively look miserable, or begin voicing the angry and satirical comments that sounded in my head. I just let the gray shade of indifference mold my expressions. And indifference is about as good as I ever feel about the work I do. This "research" job sits squarely at the bottom of the list for jobs that I've enjoyed or could feel proud of (and I had to survive 6 years of schooling just to do it.) On the best days I feel that gray cloud of indifference envelop me and I ignore the work at hand to let my mind focus on an audiobook or thoughts of something at home. On the bad days I can't stop feeling the frustration and contempt for the tasks at hand and I rake the same negative thoughts over the coals until I've given myself a stomachache. On the worst days I end up weeping silently alone in a dark bathroom, wondering how I'll ever climb out of this hole I've descended into. Say what you will about the stress graduate school has on your mind, body, and personal finances but I only had one tearful melt down during the whole 2 years and 2 months I was there. I haven't kept count of the number of times I've fought back tears of despair and frustration at work or the times I relented and shed those tears at home, but it's more than once (way more) and I've only been there 2 months. I haven't found a way to deal with hating what I do all day. Maybe it's the way I was raised, but I've always needed to feel proud of my work. Even back in my undergrad days when I worked retail I could find things (quite a few things actually) to be proud of. I can't force myself to be proud of the pointless capitalist shit called research I'm forced to take part in, because I think any spark of a soul left in me would certainly die. But maybe there are other, better ways to deal with throwing away 8 hours of my day.