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This Category: > PhD Advice / Support


The nocturnal workers' thread

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 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: 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: 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 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 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: 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 - 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 - 05 October 2009 23:07

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Back after few days, just to tick off the planned work. The editing DONE for this chapter :-) but took almost two months due to so many reasons.

Anyway I will leave that for now and move to the next one. Maybe from tomorrow, while I'm still interested in it. need a new plan for this month although a week has gone by.

Aim: Start a new chapter
Task for this week: Gather all the results and finish writing that off.

Alphacalover, sorry hear you are not well. I have just recovered. Just need to rest, as nothing else will work.
Eska, (up) on writing

User: Alpacalover - 05 October 2009 21:07

Dave does come out with some hilarious lines! :) maybe one day eh...!

Well, i am coming down with yet another cold! can hardly breath, headachey, cold and totally bunged up! been in lab today and in for rest of week and really have to be to get these experiments done as relying on other lab and people have taken time out to help me!
Came home to get stuck into my second chapter, read through what I have so far and made a few edits of glaringly obvious stuff, but now need to get on with discussion and my brain is mush! :(

Just don't know how to get started and how i'm going to write discussions for 4 chapters that have totally rubbish results!

oh well, must soldier on, just want to do a little and then can go to bed! Good luck to anyone out there tonight

User: eska - 04 October 2009 23:26

Yeah, I'm really tempted, but I reckon if Dave could get any mileage out of you he would be ruthless, that's the best part of the show! Maybe when I'm really old and I don't care any more. I don't get people who cook stuff for the first time either, fools! The people who get loads of help, but don't tell the other diners usually do really well, but I'm not sure I could get through the week without blurting it out.

User: Alpacalover - 04 October 2009 23:21

heehee, you sound just like me, i have done "fantasy Come Dine with Me" too! :) defo never skimp and do something not too mental, timing etc! I never get the folks who use a recipe they've never tried before either!!! how silly! I would probably get a few friends over and do a test run, make sure had it all timed etc, but cook for my mates quite a bit anyway - or used to until last 2 years! and they always love my food so i have considered it - but like you, just the whole tv thing that puts me off! I always wonder, what kind of folks what go onto this programme, but for £1000 and if you didnt make a fool of yourself!?! never know what kind of crazies you'd have to invite into your home though....! :) maybe one day!

User: eska - 04 October 2009 23:17

If you ever do Come Dine With Me you need to spend all of the 100 quid they give you on food and drink, the people who skimp never win. Words of wisdom from Eska here. Timing also needs to be spot, so they're not waiting for food, and don't have anythong too odd around the house. I'd do it in a shot if it wasn't on TV, I'm just not ready for that public a profile - I've done fantasy Come Dine With Me in my head a few times though - keep it simple, no entertainment, invest time and money in the food and drink.

User: Alpacalover - 04 October 2009 23:11

heehee, i love Xfactor too, TV is ace for just staring out and relaxing the brain! do not feel amoral, we all need these things to chill out with! I just like watching them make food and also thinking - i could totally do with 1000£ and maybe I should participate! don't know what kind of person that makes me....! :)

User: eska - 04 October 2009 23:07

Alpacalover - I think Come Dine With Me is morally superior to X Factor. I feel a little bit amoral, especially as I enjoyed it - it's a good way to rest the brain though.

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