bad rec's and bad luck

aloisia schmid a-schmi at
Thu Nov 28 03:30:41 EST 1996

In article <40599.chale at>, chale at SAGE.NRRI.UMN.EDU
("Cindy Hale") wrote:

> Paula recently posted the hypothetical scenario enclosed below.  Please 
> don't take this as a person attack Paula, but it was the straw that broke 
> the camels back.
> I am completely sick of hearing (reading) all the whining that goes on 
> about "poor us" having to try to manuever around this shark pond of egos 
> and politics.  Well, you chose it!  If you are in pursuit of knowledge and 
> truely interested in what you are doing then who cares what others think!  
> BUT, if you are in pursuit of academic credentials and a "good" job then, 
> welcome to the game.  I know you are going to say..." but I NEED a job to 
> survive".  Yes, you do, but does it NEED to be as a professor at a 
> prestigous university? What about a small university or college.  What 
> about a community college? What about contract work? What about a mirad of 
> other choices?  You can complain all day that you "shouldn't have to choose 
> between these things" and maybe that's true.  If you choose to stay in that 
> system and work for change from within for yourself and others, then great, 
> you have my support and likely the support of others.  But if you want to 
> whine and complain about how unfair it all is to you, grow up!

Cindy wrote a letter in which she suggests that people who complain about
difficult job searches and long hours, low pay and little mentoring
support are
not being mature in facing up to the challenges of a life they themselves
have chosen.  It sounds to me as though she is very frustrated.  

However, I don't think that voicing these concerns is whining.  I think
you'd be pretty stupid (rather than stoic) to just accept all of these bad
things.  People who voice these concerns ARE taking stands and working
from within.  They ARE dedicating themselves to a better future in having
to suffer through a less than perfect present.  They are looking for
answers to things they have identified as really troublesome problems.  I
have to admit that taking the position that people who say these things
just aren't pulling themselves up by their boot-straps and getting ON with
it, is frustrating to ME.  I want to be able to say that expecting me to
shut up and let my work speak for itself, like the boys do, ISN'T fair. 
First of all, the boys DO NOT HAVE as much to complain about.  Notice I
did not say they have nothing to complain about---but things ARE easier
everywhere in this world if you are a man.  That is not to say that
together we can't figure out ways to make things easier and more equitable
for women.  

And secondly, one of the very things we've been complaining about is the
fact that just because you do work hard and just because you do love the
work and just because you are productive---does not mean that there will
be any financial reward or job security or professional achievement.  That
being the case, how can you fault people who are trying to bring their
worries and fears about their careers to an open forum for discussion?  

I think you ought to cut people a little slack here, Cindy.

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