Past Due

Quitting Mount Olympus has been on my mind. It’s a decision that would definitely break my heart, that might hit me hard, but not doing it it’s also chipping away at me. I love this job so much, that if they told me I could stay there full-time I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to quit my job as a teacher (no matter how much that would sadden me too for my children). Sadly that option is, let’s not even say far out,  but about three worm holes and two galaxies away from my reality. And the fact is, my economic needs are the exact opposite, I feel them everyday when I can’t get my hand surgery done, when I can’t buy my new set of contact lenses, when I have to see my therapist’s face whom I owe three weeks, and when I don’t have enough money to buy my expensive coffee (that’s not so silly as it sounds actually. I work all day long. I get up at 6 am and go to bed at 11:30 or 12, and there are still weeks where I can’t get my coffee??? Something’s not right! I don’t have children, I’m not married, all I do is pay for my living, and I can’t get my expensive coffee? Fuck, this whole coffee drama might me what offends me the most!).

And the decision only gets harder. The Mighty Teacher (yeah, I think it’s about time he got a name here) not only got me the job, he practically lobbied my position all over the institute until he was able to get me there, plus he believes in me and completely trusts me. I also know I’m needed at this job, and that we’ve all invested too much time and resources into making this work (I know both the Mighty Teacher as the editor of one of the reviews and his associate editor are glad they have me on board… I’m not so sure about the pair at the other review though. I just can’t make up my mind whether they think I’m helping, not doing anything at all, or right out obstructing their jobs.) just to throw it all away. However, I’m also becoming aware of some things: this is not just about money (which I need 😦 ), but just as much or even more about recognition. I’m doing a job that’s worth something, and however, the administration treats it, and me by extension, as if it’s not worth anything. I know perfectly fine that academia is a hierarchical structure where you sometimes have to keep your voice and your head down to keep striving, but I don’t know how willing I am to continue being spoon-fed the belief that I’m not important, that my job is something I should do for free, and that my needs are so stupid they should not be met.

Still, I continue showing up and doing the job because I love it, because I have a responsibility, because I’m learning, because I made a commitment to the Mighty Teacher… There are 101 reasons why I continue to accept that next week will really be the one where they pay up what they owe me, but the small reasons that I could have for stop showing up and stop doing it are getting stronger, and are being fed by stress, angst, and a growing feeling of worthlessness that I need to tackle while I can.

I haven’t being doing great, and, as L so wisely put it earlier today: if you’re doing something that’s making you feel bad, and you have the power to stop, stop! Of course it’s quite more complicated than that, but he basically has a point.

I’m paying yet another visit to the administrator tomorrow, but I’ve set up my mind: I’m going to set up a time limit for this situation. If that limit is met and my needs are not, that will be it. I fucking hate to be in this situation, but I don’t see how this can go on. And how long will the limit be? I’m not sure yet, but it won’t be longer than a couple of weeks I guess.

AS for everything else, it’s still there where you left if. At least something is. Take care y’all!


9 thoughts on “Past Due

  1. I had a job at a university a year or so back. It was the kind of situation that, on the surface, seemed promising. And it did pay well by the hour, but the conditions were deplorable. The stress, the lack of support, guidance and recognition, general lack of job description. In the end, I had to come to the realisation it was doing me more harm than good. The opportunity finally opened for resolution, and I found my release. Your chance for resolution will come, I’m sure of it. Follow your gut.

  2. This struck a chord with me for entirely different reasons…. too long a story, but I’ve been putting up with something unacceptable for too long. Time to take back some control….

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