Monday, January 26, 2009


Lately I find myself occasionally consumed with panic that I will not find a job.

On the one hand, not being able to find a job is bad enough, but on the other, I know that me being unable to find a job would be indicative of SERIOUS problems with the economy. In other words, it's like, "who cares if I can't find a job that I want when we are in the midst of the Great Depression Part II?" My whole worldview will be skewed and all the rules of life which I have carefully learned may not apply. We have plenty of savings, but they've largely been cut in half and if things continue the way they are, who cares how much cushion of savings you have? One time I said to a friend that I like to make sure that I'll be ok even in the worst of times, like apocalyptic times, and he said, "If it's the apocalypse, who cares? It's the apocalypse." That's sort of how I'm feeling now. I'm supposed to be seriously in demand, and I think I'm not.

On the other, I tell myself to stop being such a boob.

I talk to so few people in the world, my bubble is so small, and all the people I have talked have said that things are rough and they'll let me know if the purse strings loosen up....I cannot get a real idea of how it's going to be.

It's driving me crazy. I just know, already. What am I going to be doing in a few months? I don't have a fucking clue.


Ambivalent Academic said...

You just wrote exactly what I have been thinking. Are you in my head? I'm glad I'm not the only one who's going nuts.

I go through little panic phases too...and the "who the fuck cares if life as we know it ceases to exist?" phase that follows.

Then I slap myself in the face and yell, "Get a grip AA! Snap out of it!" and give myself this little pep-talk:

"You can't control the economy. You can't know right now what is to come. What you can do is make yourself as prepared as you can be given your current circumstances and information...and come up with a couple contingency plans just in case."

I feel better if I'm being proactive so I set about doing just that and it makes me feel better for a little while...until the next bout of panic sets in.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Grumpy, PhD said...

Fortunately, Prince Charming makes enough money to cover us, so my measly income goes to daycare and housecleaning expenses. Which, if I stopped working, I wouldn't need to pay anymore. My panic arises out of the fact that I've put all this time into this career... and I'm like "Now what?"

Did you read the article in the NY Times about how happy scientists are now that Obama is in office? According to that article, everything is rainbows and sunshine for us now. If only it were so...

Silver Fox said...

One thing about panic: it's always telling you that things won't be alright. So, although it may seem cavalier or cynical, it can be helpful to develop an attitude that, indeed, everything will be alright. Just that attitude, I think, can help settle one's mind enough to start finding solutions instead of hanging up on problems.

I think job-type anxieties are hanging over many of us. Right now I'm simply not going to stress about it, but I can certainly relate to the stressing aspect.

If it gets real bad, maybe you can join me in hand mining gold on small prospects in the Mojave Desert! - That's what some people/families did during the depression. I'm thinking it won't be coming to that, but that's a very tentative, fantasy-based, bail-out plan!

PhizzleDizzle said...

Silver Fox, you are right - panic does nothing. Every time I have an inclination to panic about anything, I try to stop.

It's just...times are really bad, and I'm like AA - cyclical in my panic. It just keeps coming around. Sigh.

Grumpy - I know - I'll wait til I see a 15% increase in NSF funding before I get tooooo excited about science under Obama. Though I do love me some Obama.