Day in the life

November 14, 2019

I feel like I’ve lost an entire week…and I’m not really sure how. I spent Friday-Sunday doing ship stuff, and alternately freezing/burning because the weather can’t decide wtf it wants to do. Then I technically had Monday off for Veteran’s Day – except for an 8am conference call with a client. After the call, I went home, fully intending on spending the entire day writing…and spent it napping instead. Whoops.

But in my defense, I was exhausted from the weekend, mentally and physically. Also bruised – I could barely move my left wrist on Monday, and apparently – which I’ve only just discovered because we no longer furl the sails on top of the yards – I have a bad habit of faceplanting onto the yard when I’m reaching around for the gasket. After 15 minutes of “Why the hell is this hurting so much??” I figured it out. Now that the sail is in front of the yard, I’m hitting the bare jackstay. I now have the lovely cheekbone and collarbone bruises to show what an idiot I am.

I really feel like slacking off of work today…we had an internal conference call at 7am my time; it’s cold again, and raining, and I now have two cats on my lap. I think I’ll make another cup of coffee and write until my 11am call.

I will never be able to give up working remotely.

Day in the life · Life, the universe, and everything

November 5, 2019

Today is already one of those days…my grand plan to wake up at 5am and get my 2000 words knocked out first thing failed utterly. I woke up at 7, which actually isn’t too bad – until I remember that the time changed this weekend so my body still thinks it’s 8am. Whoops.

I spent half an hour checking work emails and setting up meetings (the joys of juggling multiple time zones…); then I went for my 4-mile run. I started a new RunBet on Monday, and since it will be extremely difficult to run on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, I need to get my 4 runs done by Thursday. So of course, with half a mile left to go, my tracker app crashed. I restarted it to record the last half mile, and have asked Support if that will count for my four miles. If it doesn’t, and I have to squeeze an extra four-mile run in this week, I’m going to be super annoyed.

So, I started off the morning annoyed and out of sorts, but I really shouldn’t complain; my co-worker A’s car was stolen this morning, and when I called my other co-worker M to hear what her latest emergency was, she started out by telling me that she was calling from the backyard, where her wife had accidentally locked her out – and then went on to describe that latest client fuck up. Not my client, but she likes to complain to me because I actually listen lol.

She also told me that – what the fuck – last night our company was given the keys to the city. How on earth did that happen?? The best part is, my boss almost didn’t go, because he doesn’t read his emails and thought it was just some waste of time event that he was asked to RSVP to. The official notice went to our legal department (in Europe), who forwarded it to our office manager, who also doesn’t read emails and just told Boss that he needed to RSVP to this thing.

If he had blown it off because no one in this company reads their emails – omg that would have been the best thing ever. I’m just sitting here five states away and laughing to myself…

Anyway. On the slate for today: a call with a client, in which I will hopefully convince them to stop making changes to their proposal and just let me finish it; then I have to write an entire Research Strategy, that I’ve been procrastinating for an entire month, and is due by Thursday.

Procrastinate? Me? It’s like I’m a writer or something…

Day in the life · Health and Fitness · Writing

October 17, 2019

I finally conquered the blue route at the climbing gym!

Okay, so it’s a V0 (i.e. easiest level there is), and I’ve been working on it for two months, and there’s no reason why it should have taken me this long. But I don’t care, I did it!

It turned out to be mostly a mental block. I could get to the second-to-last hold, and then I’d be stuck; because the last hold required a long reach with my right arm, then gripping it and letting my right hand bear most if not all of my weight while I moved my left hand over to match. And…I just don’t trust my right hand. Trusting my whole weight to it is kind of scary.

Most of the routes there are for right-handers, and most of them (the ones that I’ve tried, anyway – anything above a V1 is too hard for me right now) don’t require quite so much trust there; not like this one.

I never even realized how much they favor righties until a few weeks ago: a new route went up and everyone was complaining that that last hold was super hard for a V0 – and then I did it in one try. Which never happens. As they were complaining, we realized that the tricky part was a left-handed hold. Which is why it was easy for me. And now I don’t feel quite so bad and being not quite so good as everyone else there. I have a disadvantage.

Goddamn right-handed world.

Today is going to be nice and slow…everyone is late getting things to me, which means next week will probably be hectic trying to catch up. But all I have on my plate for today is to send out passive-aggressive email reminders, finish some slides for a presentation, and then hopefully get some work done on outlining for Nano. I’ve been spending my outlining time watching YouTube videos about outlining instead of actually, you know, outlining.

Day in the life

Academia PTSD

I was having serious flashbacks to my postdoc yesterday. I had a call with a client and his former mentor to discuss the results of their last grant proposal; if I hadn’t already known that they were mentor-mentee, I would have guessed by the way Dr. L was constantly talking over him, contradicting him, and saying things like “I’m not saying no, I’m just asking you to think about why…”.

Dr. L was definitely an old-school academic. Instead of thoughtfully considering the reviewers comments, he would say things like “Anyone who thinks so has the brains of a brook trout” and “Well this guy’s obviously a moron.”

This is one of the major things that pushed me out of academia. I don’t know if it’s just a personality type that’s attracted to tenure professor positions, or whether the process itself fosters the growth of this kind of ego (honestly, it’s probably a bit of both). But when the people at the top constantly treat those who are supposed to be their peers with this kind of derision, is it any surprise that PhDs are leaving in droves?

There are more factors, of course, like lack of funding and the near impossibility of tenure anymore, but the way senior scientists treat their people is just awful, and needs to change. I don’t care if you’ve never had a reviewer not comment “world-renowned expert in X disease” whenever they read your biosketch – your grant was full of holes and the reviewer was spot-on with his/her comments.

Brains of a brook trout aside.

He liked me – because I just agreed with everything he said. I know how to deal with the academic ego: agree in public, then go back and write it the way it should be written regardless of how much they complain.

Just because you have a PhD doesn’t grant you license to be an asshole.

Day in the life · Writing

October 3, part 2

That feeling when your client (who hasn’t paid yet) sends out a press release announcing the award of their new NIH grant (that they wrote with the help of a different company) and gets told off by the program officer for 1) not running the release by the NIH press office first; 2) spelling the name of the NIH awarding component wrong; and 3) using the new name for their company which is not the name the award is made to. And then wants you to fix All the Things.

If she wasn’t such a sweet (if distracted) client I’d refuse, but…I like her. And the project I’m doing for her is going to be awesome.

But still, this wasn’t how I want to spend my day…

Day in the life

October 3, 2019

One thing I love about working remotely is that if I don’t want to see a single person all day, I don’t have to see a single person all day. The downside is that it makes connecting with coworkers a little challenging.

I had a meeting scheduled for 8am this morning – at least, I thought I did. I woke up at 730 (it’s my rest day, shut up, I’m tired), showered and coffee’d, signed on to the web meeting…and I’ve been stood up?

Then I saw that I hadn’t actually accepted the meeting invite; it’s colored as tentative on my calendar. So, am I the one doing the standing up??


Regardless, it’s not worth trying to track down my coworker – he’s in Spain, it’s 4pm for him, and if he wasn’t expecting to have the call today then there’s no point in having a call.

Because I reeeeeally wanted to discuss LinkedIn posting strategies at 8am this morning /s

Another bonus to working remotely – now that my meeting is off the calendar, I can squeeze in half an hour of yoga! After 6 miles yesterday morning and an hour of climbing in the evening, I need it…