Working hard

Linnea Ista lkista at UNM.EDU
Sun Mar 2 17:18:18 EST 1997

On 28 Feb 1997, S L Forsburg wrote:

> > > >This is not a 9-5, weekends-free profession. Getting a PhD isnt a
> > job.
> > > >If being a student were like having a job, the pay would be a lot
> > > >better. This should not be a surprise to anyone. If you go to
> > > >graduate school, you must be prepared to work hard. My technician
> > > >has a 40 hour week. My students don't. It's no different
> > > >for me as a PI. Certainly I work more than 40hrs/wk....
> ........
> and
> > > The point here isn't the 40 hours, but the falling behind.
> > > I would look at two things:
> > > what was attempted, and what was accomplished.
> > > If not enough was attempted, the student would have 3 choices:
> > > get more efficient
> > > work more hours
> > > take a masters and become a tech
> Linnea responded:
> >  Okay I passed up on the first "tech" remark. I won't on the second.
> ...snip.....
> > ........What I am getting a little testy at
> > here
> > is the implication that a tech job is something for someone who
> > doesn't
> > want to work too hard. 
> You get me wrong.  My tech works 40hrs because that is all I can pay
> him for, and I have no business asking him for more if I can't pay him
> overtime!   I don't mean that techs arent motivated or hard workers, 
> mine have been real gems and essential to the running of my lab.
> But a technician position is a "real" job with  real constraints--
> back to an  earlier post,  the rules about work weeks DO apply to them. 
According to my contract, I am exempt.

> Because of this, someone who wants a more structured position is
> probably going to be happier as a technician than as a graduate
> student.  There are no guarentees for the student, and there
> are some for the technician.  THAT is the point I was making.  I
> certainly don't disparage the technician's role, because they are
> the unsung heroes of most labs, and just because the job has some
> formal structure doesnt mean there's no hard work.
> If you are working more than your contracted 40 hours/week, 
> you are probably in legal terms entitled to overtime. 
Once again, I am in legal terms exempt.  And on a happier note, here at 
UNM, we are going through a staff reclassification. The job description 
that most nearly matches what I do is a  "Research Scientist II". Which 
means I'll probably get recalssified as a "Research Scientist I". Which 
puts me in a different category than a technician. I will *still* be exempt. 

> For the record, I don't disparage my tech, my aa, or my support
> staff.  I couldnt get along without them!  But the requirements
>  and expectations for a graduate student are quite
> different -=- that's the take-home message here.

Susan: I have gotten the impression before that you are certainly very 
appreciative of all the staff in your lab.  ANd certainly there are 
different expectations for different positions, at least there should 
be.  But that is not the case in the laboratory in which I work. I am 
held to the same standards as everyone else, grad student or post doc, 
who is in the lab. My job evaluations are based largely on the number of 
publications in a year.

(Who is spending a glorious Sunday afternoon in the lab. Alone. No grad 
students in sight!).

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