Saturday, September 17, 2005

In VB Veritas

It seems I’ll have to change the job title in my blogger profile. This week I joined the ranks of the gainfully employed. I can no longer indulge in the lamentations of the underemployed, raging against a casualised academic labour market or, in my case, against those phone companies who call all day long wanting me to change my service provider. If it isn’t bad enough that they’ve teased me with the prospect of a life every time the phone rings, they’ve also interrupted the sleep schedule I’d devised!

Beginning this Wednesday just past, I’ve been working as a research assistant for the Associate Professor ( hereafter, Aspro) whom I mentioned in an earlier post. I followed up a lead given to me at a party over a flute or two of Queen Adelaide Champagne (Okay, les vignerons Français, Queen Adelaide Sparkling Wine). I hadn’t heard anything when I went to drinks after an early career researchers seminar I attended. The only seat around a crowded table, when Aspro arrived, was next to me. Over a schooner or two of VB, an offer of employment ensued, and not wanting to count my chickens, I reserved any celebrations until I received an email or a phone call during the working week. So, it appears that the offer was not affected by the imbibing of alcoholic beverages, although I’m not sure whether the moral of the tale, that employment comes to those who drink at parties and pubs, is one that should be encouraged...

I’ll be working on a couple of projects. The first is simply securing publishers’ permissions for Aspro’s forthcoming book. The other is some preliminary research for an ARC grant application Aspro is submitting in conjunction with some colleagues. In total there will be approximately 200 hours work, or 20 hours per week for the next ten weeks. While it’s still fixed-term—very likely, I’ll yet regale you with more stories of underemployment—it will help flesh out my professional profile, which has been wafer thin on the research assistant front.

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