Excel Saga

"The ice stone has melted!"

Mixing real life with WoW

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Excel Saga
Lately, I have been hit with feelings of travel. Kinda surprising since summer is over and winter is around the corner. But, I figure I try to get down as to "why now?"

For the last few years, especially after the '08 summer season of $4 gallon of gas, I have limited myself of much travel since it has gotten expensive in both time and money to do so. Another reason is that I just don't have anywhere I rather go. However, being cooped up in Greenville has slowly begun to catch up to me and suddenly I find myself wanted to get out for awhile.

Its funny. I've told some of my friends this and the No. 1 response to my plight was "Go to Vegas!" While the idea may seem pleasing, I just don't see it as a panacea, and even more so I just spend 6k on hearing aids and I don't have much to blow on a bunch of slots and blackjack. However, I'll probably visit Sin City one day, but just not now.

I've been pondering as to what to do, but sadly no real answers that fit my interests come to mind. However, I DO intend on visiting Washington D.C. one day and go to the Smithsonian. My inner nerd has been salivating on the idea since I passed by D.C. back in '09. Been trying to arrange it work, but fate had other ideas and slammed me and my colleagues all year long with task after task (if you asked me if we were in a recession this past spring I would have laughed my ass off). But D.C. is at best a spring idea, and right now I just need to please whatever traveling bug that bit me.

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So let me ask you...now that you've been out of PhD for a while, what is that you actually do? As in, are you finding yourself moving away from the bench and into a more administrative role?

I'm fleeing bench science ASAP. I have mixed feelings about it, but it's probably for the best. I'm currently trying to find another even more expensive way to ruin my life (lol) by seeing if I might be a good fit for patent law. 3 years and 100K+ of debt = bring it.

Well, currently I'm a senior scientist who's responsibility is still doing bench work, but I am engaged throughout the gamut in dealing with clients all the way to the quality assurance end of it, rather than being simply handed the project and doing whatever is on the list. I would be managing an analyst or two, but we simply do not have the capacity yet since we went through a belt-tightening time over the last year and a half.

Now I have been approached in doing more directorial work (aka a desk job, let-somebody-else-work-in-the-lab type role) and that is what I will be expected to be doing in the next few years as my PhD will make it easier to move up. I just simply needed the experience on the floor, knowing how things are done so to speak. I could easily be making 20k or more just by becoming a director of sorts.

So to answer your question: right now, no and I'm in no hurry either, but my work is eventually grooming me towards a director-like role and that will probably happen. And everybody agrees its due to me having a PhD.

Now, let me say that I am really sorry you got screwed over by your jerk of a PI, but I just hope you don't throw away 14 years of college/post-college education and experience over just ONE guy. I would try to find a tangent that I can apply my education and skills with so I can rebound quickly. I'm not that familiar with patent law and its proceedings, so I really can't give you an opinion without some knowledge about it. However, I do sincerely wish you luck, and if you ever come back to NC and feel like coming to Greenville, let me know :)

Fortunately some time has passed since the initial shock so I find myself laughing at how messed up the situation is than crying over it (though I get angry...daily, still). I don't know how many of the ugly deets you read, but if you've got any comments or questions, ask me over in the protected entries.

I've been jaded with bench science (in academia) I think for a while now, and it culminated in this spectacularly effed-up way. I do have some job leads (and have had more interviews and interest in the past three weeks than some of my colleagues have had in the past YEAR who've been trying to apply), but then again I'm being shrewd and looking for employment in areas that I know are in demand and flexible (like science writing) if law school should become a reality (and I end up making bank and being in a position to laugh, I mean REALLY laugh, at academia).

Thanks for the good wishes--I'm doing all I can to make the best of a really shitty situation. What I do know is that no one has ever said I'm a jackass or a bitch (or worse)...while high-level admin here most definitely can't say that about my PI.

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