Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks for Not Moving to Bolivia

Thanks to Peggy Kolm for her nice review of my blog-book in Nature this week. It's great to have such comments from someone whose own women-in-science work I admire so much. And she's right about my writing for many different audiences, though she did neglect to mention cats in that list.

Anyway, the fact that I am getting increased blog traffic as a result of the review almost makes me wish I were posting something a little less strange today, but this is what I am thinking about:

On this Thanksgiving Day, I am taking time to reflect on the fact that I am thankful that this has never happened to me:

"In 1960, with sales [of Slinkys] down, Mr. James joined what his wife considered a religious cult and moved to Bolivia, leaving her with six children and the company. "
- from the obituary of the widow of the inventor of the Slinky

Well, I guess it wasn't all bad. She did awesome things with the company, which prospered (but even so..).

Perhaps I should try harder to find something else for which to be thankful? How about this:

I am thankful that the departmental accountant who left work without warning very early Tuesday, not to return until Monday, and who neglected to do a very essential thing that absolutely had to be done before the end of the month (i.e. Sunday), checked his email from home Wednesday morning and finished the task.

I got all my paperwork done on time, but he did nothing with it before leaving the office Tuesday without warning or even a message to say he hadn't done anything with my forms. I was just a little bit stressed out about this for 15.5 hours, but that's OK, the problem was solved in time.

The accountant, who fortunately had not moved to Bolivia and joined a cult but had instead started his holiday early, and I just exchanged pleasant Happy Thanksgiving emails, and all is well again. Life would be boring without a bit of accounting peril now and then, would it not?


Anonymous said...

Just found your blog thanks to that Nature review. Been cruising your postings and am happy find that at least one other FSP out there in academia also suffers from the same stresses and joys of the vocation. Thanks for being there and Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the review in Nature. I enjoy reading your blog and have linked to it on our own lab blog, GribbleLab. You should encourage your students to blog as well, if they don't already. I'm sure you remember (as I do) that life as a graduate student is also filled with its share of bizarre situations and unprecedented craziness.

Unbalanced Reaction said...

I had a similar experience during the christmas holidays with the grant office....needed a signature to submit Big Grant, but they took off for the holidays two days early. (without any advance notice)

I got home telephone numbers.

I'll have to check out the review. I've enjoyed reading your book immensely.