Are you feeling overworked?

Annette C. Hollmann ah690549 at
Wed Jan 7 12:03:57 EST 1998

In article <199801061917.LAA27470 at> linden at (linden higgins) writes:
>>So, do women in science work more than men?
>>I find myself putting in long hours and feeling put-upon from time to
>>time, but I'm wondering if this is a common problem with proefssional women.
>No, I don't think women work more than men, but that people in science work
>longer hours (and often feel put-upon) compared to many other fields.  Or
>is it just academics?  There is this underlying idea that if you DON'T put
>in absurd hours, you aren't REALLY serious about science.

I'm not only a graduate student, but also a competing speedskater. While I
don't exactly get 8 hours of sleep a night, maintaining a serious hobby
while working in science can be done.
I find that the people who give me flak for skating tend to be the ones
who are less competent and have the need to dump on someone else to make
themselves feel adequate.

My boss, on the other hand, is completely supportive. She didn't even
freak out too much when an accident involving a small child left me with a
shattered arm - well, actually, she was a little stressed out until she
saw that I was ambidextrous, and could stack a Western easily enough one
handed ;-)

While I think 40 hours a week really doesn't cut it unless you are a
technician, 80 to 90 hour weeks (which were at one time demanded of me by
a person working half as much) are not only ridiculous but also
counterproductive. If you work too much, beyond the point of fatigue, you
get stupid, screw up your experiments, and end up wasting time and
reagents. The only people who are serious when they demand 80 hour weeks
on a regular basis are the ones who have never worked them - and I have
never actually met a person who says the work 80 hour weeks and isn't
fibbing at least a little. I don't count going to the gym while you gel is
running (or even reading usenet ;-) as work hours - most people working 80
hours do count such stuff.


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