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This Category:   PostgraduateForum.com > PhD Advice / Support


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The nocturnal workers' thread


User: Alpacalover - 06 October 2009 10:30

Welcome back Sheena and congrats on finishing editing your chapter! It feels like such an achievement doesn't it!? I can't imagine what it feels like when you finish final drafts of last one!

I'm in the lab again, determined to do these experiments this week and be done! not too ill just stuffed up but got sudafed and strepsils! :)

Going to go through chapter 2 today and look at patterns in results for discussion - hopefully be able to put a done there by tonight...!

User: sheena - 07 October 2009 00:49

Thanks AL. I hope you will get through the task tonight. I just spent some time organising lit.for next chapter, have a big folder, just need to get some writing going on before I get overwhelmed by the task ahead. But I'm calling it a night.
Good luck to any other night owls!

User: Alpacalover - 07 October 2009 13:22

Hello all! hope you're all doing well this week!?

UPDATE: I got the job at local science centre, as a primary education officer. after much thought and one way discussion (everyone listened but told me for once in my life I had to stick to my guns and make a clear decision all by myself!!! not easy for me!) I decided to accept the post! It is full time and permanent, money is not great as it is charity run, however there is a great team and lots of fun and variety! I decided that I was really starting to stress about money and although this isnt great, its secure and brings in about what I do now. I start week on monday, and am just working 3days until my lecturing is over and then go full time! (they've been really great about that!).
Anyway, most people are really chuffed for me and understanding of the need for a job, and more importantly its something I love and i think i'm quite good at! but my sup is being really funny about it! my dad and partner are just worried its going to take away from getting my PhD done, but i'm determined with that! however, I think sup is just a bit funny cos its out of academia, and I think he thought i'd stay in research! I've said, I just really enjoy this, and he's really ok with that, wants me to do something i'll be happy in, but on other hand says that once i have my PhD there's no way I could stay in this job!

I know in a way where he's coming from - but the job is good and worthwhile and fun, the only downside is the pay, but thats due to charity funding. To be honest for me, as long as I can pay my bills and eat food i'm quite happy, we've never expected to be rich, just want comfort and security. But is it so bad to do my PhD and then side track to something else you feel you're better at and could hopefully make a career out of, even if you have to go back down to the bottom a bit!?

I don't know what any of you can say really, its just that my boss has put a dampner on my excitement of the day!!! :(

oh well, better get a rocket up my a*se as now I have two jobs and a thesis to write! (a cold and insomnia to boot!! :( )

but this probably means i won't be able to get on the midnight train so much :( was really looking forward to some productive silent nights too!!

cheers folks!

User: BilboBaggins - 07 October 2009 15:35

That's great news Alpacalover. It sounds like a really good job to me. Ok maybe the pay isn't enormous, but it's the sort of job that could be really enjoyable and very satisfying. Academic jobs are also harder to get at the moment, and can be very short-term. My husband has been working in academia for a decade since finishing his PhD, and has only ever had short-term contracts, so there is a bit of uncertainty always there.

You must take care not to burn yourself out though, fitting in finishing off the PhD as well. Establish a timetable and working pattern that works for you. Maybe working at the weekend might be an option? I'd just be a bit concerned about your continuing to do the night hours when you have the new job up and running as well. But that's a decision you'll have to make for yourself.

Meanwhile well done again and good luck with the rest of the thesis.

User: Alpacalover - 07 October 2009 18:18

Thank you Bilbo! Yeah i'm really happy, I really want job security and knowing that i'd be jumping from one contract to the next just scares me and stresses me out - although my boss today told me "that's the excitement of it!!!" - easy to say when you're a permanent professor, his wife who lives on short contracts did not feel the same!! :)

I don't think i'll be doing nights, just couple of evenings and work the weekend, but i'm not going to stress about it. I'll get the job started and see what the hours are like and then work out a routine for my studying.

Right now, my cold is getting worse, so i've come home and tucked into bed with a hot toddy! feeling awful but gotta go into lab tomorrow, friday may possibly be my last proper lab work I ever do.....! so just going to rest up tonight so I can have my head screwed on!
Hope you're doing well? x

User: BilboBaggins - 07 October 2009 19:48

Look after yourself Alpacalover. Best to rest to get over the infection, rather than try to push through it.

I'm doing ok thanks. Still recovering from being very sick (literally!) at the weekend, but I made it to my supervisor meeting yesterday which is the really important thing, and am all set to do my final thesis rewriting. Feeling very positive about things which is great. Hoping to start on that in the next few days (well more likely at night knowing when I work best!), but for now it's more rest.

User: Sue2604 - 07 October 2009 20:37

Hi Bilbo and AL

Congratulations Alpacalover!!!! Well done!! That's great!! You certainly are in demand at the moment, which is well deserved and really good for you!!

And hi Bilbo, sorry to hear you were sick, glad you're doing better and thesis is coming along.

AL, don't worry about your supervisor -they probably have expectations of you staying on in academia, being their protege, and can't understand why anyone would want to leave! I have the same reservations about short term contract work, so that's great you've got a secure job. Who knows where it will lead? You'll still be in education, and yeh, your PhD might not be crucial for it, but it could lead on to other things. It sounds like you're doing what's best for you, which is great.

Starting a new job is really tiring, so make sure you don't take on too much to atart with - pace yourself with your thesis. Concentrate on the job for a bit, then work on the thesis when you've enough energy. But it sounds like you've got a plan in place, so that's fab.

User: Alpacalover - 07 October 2009 21:47

HI Sue and Bilbo!
Thanks Sue, how are you getting on with the editing etc? (thinking of you!)
And good for you Bilbo, I meant to ask if you got into sup! just take it easy getting over illness and the last thesis edits will come together soon enough!

jobs really are like buses - non for ages and then two at once! I do know how lucky I am, but really feels undeserved, I just hope other people get their desired opportunities too! It really is what I want, and its going to be mad for a while but all worth it in the end i'm sure! I think possibly also having this job security might help with my writing!? it will give me other things to keep me busy but also to know that I can write while not worrying about finding a job- and when i'm finished do nice 9-5 hours!!! I cant even imagine how that will feel its been so long!!! :)

I feel terrible reading the swine flu thread and knowing (as a microbiologist), that if i'm ill i shouldnt go into work! but these last couple of days its just been sinusitis, which if I was off every time i went down with I would be off half the year! I have really sensitive sinuses and once tehy get a wee infection like last month then thats them for the winter! :( but tonight i've started with a sore throat, however I have an experiment running over night which I need to finish tomorrow, nobody else can really do it and it is the last sample I have!! so kinda have to go in, maybe wear a mask....! I know there is no-one immunocompromised around our labs but I know that doesn't make it any better!
I do agree that people are constantly made to feel guilty if they take time off when ill, I always feel like if i'm not completely laid out sick then I should be in, and yet some people take it the opposite way and if they feel slightly sniffly then thats them for a week! I guess its human nature and there's nothing we can do, but it does make it hard in situations like swine flu!

anyway, going to rest for night, go to bed asap and hopefully sleep tonight, maybe a wee hot toddy before bed to help me sleep :p (what a scots girl! :) )
good luck any midnight workers, choo choo! x (up)

User: Sue2604 - 07 October 2009 22:28

Hey AL

Am going OK with studying, writing a chapter, which is going slowly but am making progress every day, so that's good. Once this chapter's finished, will have written the first draft of my 5 case study chapters, so that's something!

And yes, a 9-5 job would be nice - although you'll still be studying for a while, so could be a way off? And even after we finish, will be journal articles to write, so the work continues!

Take it easy with your cold, take lots of nice herbal things and don't stress. Have a good rest and talk to ya later.

User: BilboBaggins - 08 October 2009 01:38

Ok folks. Want to sleep. Desperately want to sleep. But am going to be up for at least another few hours due to pesky medical/neurological problems. So might as well do some thesis edits! Eek. Good luck to anyone else out there.

Also Alpacalover don't feel guilty about going into work. I'm only annoyed with people who have been definitely diagnosed with swine flu spreading the infection unnecessarily - well as definitely diagnosed as anyone can be, especially if diagnosed over the phone like I was. And that's not you. Hope your overnight experiment works ok.

Good luck with the chapter Sue2604. Sounds as though you're making good progress too. Yes it will be really nice to have the drafts of your case study chapters sorted. Well done you!

Right, now, where's that highlighter pen ... :)

User: Sue2604 - 08 October 2009 03:40

Hey Bilbo

You were diagnosed over the phone? That's terrible!! Hope you're feeling ok and the editing goes well. I'm here for the next few hours too, beavering away, so you're not alone! And hope you have a good rest once you're able to.

User: BilboBaggins - 08 October 2009 03:54

Quote From Sue2604:

You were diagnosed over the phone? That's terrible!! Hope you're feeling ok and the editing goes well. I'm here for the next few hours too, beavering away, so you're not alone! And hope you have a good rest once you're able to.
My health centre doesn't want people with swine flu symptoms to go in there and spread the infection further. It has big signs all over the door saying please don't come in if you have swine flu symptoms: phone instead. However given my underlying disease and permanently immunosuppressed state it might have been good if a swab had been taken (at home) to double check the diagnosis - indeed the practice nurse asked me recently if this had been done. Nope. But I'm confident in the diagnosis. Normally I'd be getting the swine flu vaccine as soon as it's available, so knowing if I really had the infection would be useful. But I can't get the vaccine for other reasons so it's all academic really.

Good luck for the next few hours. I'm working slowly through the next couple of dozen pages. Am up to page 100 now. Wooh! Tackling the easy edits for now. The harder ones will have to wait. Very boring though, so I'm doing quite a lot of surfing in between!

User: BilboBaggins - 08 October 2009 04:38

And signing off for the night. Very very tired, and the neurological problems have eased at last so I have a hope of getting to sleep now. Expect to be knocked out for the duration tomorrow. But on the plus side I'm now over half way through the easy thesis edits. So that's good going. But enough for now.

User: Sue2604 - 08 October 2009 08:20

Well done Bilbo, over half way is fantastic! You're getting there! Hope you wake refreshed and well.

User: Alpacalover - 08 October 2009 13:26

well done both of you, thats great Sue that you almost have 5 drafts complete! make sure you have a bit of relaxation to celebrate! hope you got a good sleep Bilbo and well done on the the editing!! :)

I slept like a log for the first time in over a week, i HATE insomnia! amazing how much better I feel for just one night, really hope i get another! also cos i slept my cold is starting to ease! yeah, i defo don't have a flu of any kind, just bit of cold prob just cos of start of cold weather - its freezing today!

9-5 won't be coming round too soon, but if i'm really good i could still be done by march, as original plan was storm through to xmas, so if I can try to keep close to that and do my weekends and 1-2 nights per week I think i could still manage it! might be mental for a while but it'd be worth it to get it done!!

right, back to go try one last thing in lab and then probably home for the afternoon to try and get stuck into chapter - not managed to do anything all week due to cold so really need to get cracking! and then just 3 days left in this place of work - got coffee and cakes with lots of different folks so might be rolling into my next job :p gonna be weird not being in here every day, evening and weekend after 3 years + of it!!

best of luck for today folks!





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