Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Well, that's ironic

The last two weeks I have been making a really big effort to finish everything I need to do for "work" within work hours. Like, nine to five, Monday to Friday. (Gasp! I know.) This has only been possible because the only essential thing I have to do right now is the teaching, and that's only supposed to be 0.75 of a job* (or would be, if they'd fricking give me my contract.**)

I've also been fixing typos on my thesis (due back from the binders tomorrow!) and preparing a conference volume I'm editing. But I'm managing to squeeze all of this into weekday daytimes.

So here's the irony: Now that I'm giving myself permission to take evenings and weekends off, I spent less time in the evenings and weekends procrastinating by endless web-surfing, unnecessary house-cleaning, or other busywork. And now that I spend less time procrastinating, evenings and weekends feel extra long and empty. Which means I frequently find myself at a loose end, actually wanting to do some work.

I'm not sure what lesson I'm meant to draw from this. Feel free to make up your own.


* So since most people here work a 55+ hour week, a 0.75 job is approximately a full standard working week.

** Yes, it's now week four of the teaching period (week six of the actual job) and I still don't have a contract. I know, I'm a sucker for not refusing to teach until they get it to me, but I'd prefer not to make myself so unpopular that I'll never get a job here again. And yes, I know they know that, and yes, I'm just perpetuating the organisational disorder that reigns here. And yes, the next person to be in this situation might actually be waiting for the money before they can pay their rent, but damn, THEY can go on strike. Latest news on the contract front is that the department is in trouble from HR for not advertising the job, so they have to write a justification for this, and submit it together with my CV and application for the job. So yes, I am having to put together fricking application materials for a job I've already been doing for the last six weeks. I tell you, though, there's an assignment due soon, and I'm not marking it until I get paid. Any students who want their grades can complain to HR.


Julie said...

Surely there's a UNION you could complain to about this. Although, I guess without an actual job you aren't in the union?


Lucy said...

I had the same problem with being at a loose end when I was being productive, too, although I wasn't really tempted to do more work. I just read a book a day.

The contract mess sucks. I hope it's sorted out soon!

CAE said...

Setting your ungraded student minions on them should do the trick.

Badaunt said...

The contract thing is funny. Here we don't really want one, because they mean we're on one year jobs, and not full-time. If they forget to give us a contract that means we're hired FOR LIFE.

Well, it used to be like that, anyway. The rules keep changing.

But the funny thing about my contracts this year is that they all arrived while I was away, and were due back while I was away, so The Man forged my signature on all of them. I am pretty sure nobody will notice.