Friday, April 6, 2007

Hell Froze Over

Holy sh*t, the impossible has happened. I got a generous raise AND a promotion!!

My company hands out promotions like Fort Knox hands out gold. What’s more, I got a raise that was quite a bit beyond what I would have expected. I’m now at the bottom edge of my income bracket, according to at least a couple surveys about folks in my field. I’m actually – gulp – feeling . . . momentarily . . . appreciated. Quick, hold my hand. I think the ground is shaking.

Does this make me less of an angry lab rat? Maybe a little – today. Maybe today I’m more of a “curmudgeon” lab rat. But then I was here working from 10:30PM until 2:30AM frantically analyzing data for a presentation I had to give today, thrown upon me with practically no notice. Eeesh. Maybe my optimism is just “loopiness” from too little sleep.

The other day I had a post where I vetched about Big Talking Head Syndrome, and made a comment to my blogger friend Maggie from Mindmoss that I had no upward mobility. It disillusioned her about the nobility of science as a profession. I guess I can’t complain as much now, though I’m still not moving upward in the sense of changing duties. Even with the promotion, I’m not at the rank many of my peers are at, based on their background, duties, and contributions to the company, but something is better than nothing.

So, Maggie, and my tens of other readers, to keep you from being disillusioned about the nobility of science, below is a list of the things I actually like about my job. I’d better write it now, before some new event at work sets me off. As my lovely wife pointed out to me the other night, it’s not my job I hate, it’s the management (although I guess I see it as a complete package). I think you’ll agree, these are some mighty good things to be thankful for:

1) My evil global biotech company has in its inventory many thousands of reagents and other products, and numerous subsidiary biotech companies with specialized products, just waiting for me to innovate with them.

2) Some of my coworkers are cool.

3) I get paid a decent salary, compared to some.

4) I get decent benefits.

5) I get to play with some nifty technical equipment. I’ve always been a quick learner with these things and love to operate them.

6) I occasionally get to exercise my creativity in preparing samples and coming up with innovative new protocols and products, though much less than I used to.

7) My profession is noble. The products I have made become the tools by which others save the world. The many products I’ve developed have gone on to be used in a wide array of studies to better the human condition, like investigating Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, neural development, cellular division, and animal physiology, to name a few.

8) I have an office with a door and a window, with plenty of room, and I don’t have to share it with anyone.

9) I have a good reputation with most of my coworkers and outside contacts.

Ugg. I’m not feeling so well now. I’ve gotten so used to hating my company that all this talk of liking it isn’t sitting well, like running a marathon and then stopping to eat a grease-dripping Big Mac.

Would you like fries with that promotion? Yes, thank you, and please super size my angst.


Maggie said...

Thank you for restoring my faith in the scientific world. At least on some scale. And more importantly, Congratulations! Wanting to innovate does have benefits.

Now go get that smudge of ketchup off your mouth. No, over there in the right corner. There you go.

Overpriced Designer Man Bag said...

dammit, i thought biotech makes you money! do i need like an MBA and a JD to make serious money?

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