Working hard

Caroline Szymeczek-Seay seay at
Wed Mar 12 19:39:21 EST 1997

Rachelle J. Bienstock wrote:
> This entire line equating the number of hours worked to working hard
> is annoying...A person can be in science and take articles, journals,
> and books to read at home, and work on papers and answering e-mail
> at home and still be accessible to their children and family when
> needed....They can also be more productive when they are in their
> lab at work and sit around eating donuts and make less small talk
> with people...When you are paying someone a significant fraction
> of your salary to watch your child/children you are going to make
> the most of your time...
> I should also mentioned that scientists in industry are not expected
> to work 60 or 80 hour work weeks and are certainly compensated far
> better than graduate students...They are expected to be professionals
> and to perform the work necessary and required but they are not
> expected to punch a time clock...If there is somekind of dead line
> or they are preparing a manuscript, patent or presentation they may
> work additional hours but it is rare on a regular basis...

I totally agree with you that one can accomplish a lot outside of the
lab.  As a postdoc, however, I surely get the impression that "face
time" in the lab is very important.  The perception of some is that if
you're not to be seen, you're not working....unfair, but I tend to deal
with it by playing the game....making sure to be here always at least
during "normal hours" and often on off hours.  Of course, the most
important thing is to get the work done, but if it's best for me
politically to do it when everyone else is around, unfortunately, that's
what I do.


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