Some days, I just want to crawl under my desk and cry

I hate my job.

Yesterday I loved it. I found a really cool paper that related to my work, and it gave me a couple of great new ideas on how to attack my own research. I got a great deal on a quote for some equipment that I need to order. A colleague referred a great set of hands for my new lab. I got my first grant application out the door. Yesterday was a good day.

Today is different. I can’t get some problems with my first huge lab order addressed. I’m fighting HR on a hiring issue that shouldn’t even be an issue. With all the little fires that keep sparking, I can’t figure out how for the life of me I’ll ever get enough data for an R01 without hiring somebody. And Monkey is having a terrible time adjusting to his new daycare, which means I’m starting every day with the vivid memory of a screaming, tear-soaked toddler hanging off of my leg. I get the feeling that I shouldn’t be here. I REALLY shouldn’t be here.

I think there’s a blog carnival (or was) going on about this kind of thing. I haven’t written about it up to now, because I didn’t feel qualified to share. Yep, we’re talking about a serious case of impostor syndrome, and at this moment, I’m having trouble finding enough “fuck you” in me to get my big girl pants pulled back up and move on.

So I’m going to hide out under my desk for a short while, cuddled up in the fetal position with a bowl of Lindt and Ghirardelli chocolates. After which I have to go be social with some colleagues and pretend like everything is going fine. Fake it ’til you make it, right?

I know it will get better, but today really sucks.

12 thoughts on “Some days, I just want to crawl under my desk and cry

  1. This is the kind of stuff that makes me scared of TT positions. I had many days like this as a grad student, still do as a postdoc, and I know it won’t get any better as a PI.
    Leaving a screaming, sad kid at daycare is a horrible start to any day. Sometimes it just takes time for them to adjust, and sometimes it’s just how it is. We’re on our 3rd center in 18 months since moving to my current position and she’s finally in a good place and it relieves so much of my stress to not be worried about her. Can you talk to the director or teacher to see if there is some kind of routine to help him with the dropoff transition? My kiddo always did best if someone greeted her and got her started/distracted with an activity.

    for now, enjoy the chocolates

  2. Daycare stress sucks.
    My kidlet does much better if we do gymnastics before daycare. But that depends on having it available and more importantly having the time.

  3. *patpatpat*

    I SWEAR it gets better. The first year is tough– there’s so many ups and downs and so much happening and so little time and you’re not really sure what to do.

    I endorse chocolate!

  4. So, you just got there, right? And you have other forms of grant $$ and start-up….while, I’m not saying that you should not be thinking about your R01 (bc you are doing the right thing about thinking about it)–in all truth-you will not be submitting it tomorrow or even next week or even in June, right??!! All’s I’m saying is that is that the stress directed in this department might be better utilized elsewhere or, better yet, not at all.

    If you have a faculty mentor, they might be able to give advice on how to wade through the HR bullshit.

    Hope Monkey starts to adjust-that probably feels way worse than any of the other garbage.

    And even though everything seems extra hard right now, you deserve to be where you are! You have busted your ass to get where you are! Don’t ever forget it! You also might want to slip some bourbon balls in with your normal chocolate stash…..just sayin’.

  5. Thanks all for the encouragement – today is a MUCH improved day.

    PM and Becca – They started transitioning some of the kiddos in Monkey’s room at daycare right as he was starting to settle in, and his friends disappearing caused a huge uproar this past week. But I had a talk with the center director and teacher yesterday, and we put a plan in place to try and alleviate some of his stress. Today was amazingly different when he walked in, had a teacher there to greet him, music on, and his favorite truck within view (he LOVES trucks right now). It’s amazing how much better the day goes when you aren’t carrying around the parental guilt chip.

    Lizzy – You’re totally right – I shouldn’t be freaking out about the R01 right now, and I really need to find a way to better channel my stress on that front. Most days I’m actually fairly evenly keeled, but the first half of this week went to shit after hearing a couple of horror stories from folks who didn’t get tenured here. I know it’s not a care bear tea party, but sometimes just a big of blissful ignorance can be beneficial, ya know?

  6. It DOES get better. But I still have days when sitting under my desk with the office door locked feels like the only logical solution… however, I think I’d manage to have those whatever I did, because the problem is usually other people!

  7. So glad to hear that the daycare has been able to come up with a plan to help Monkey (and you!). There are always going to be crappy dropoff days, but having a routine and a teacher presonally greet the kids makes a big difference.
    Sounds like you had some success in your battles with HR too- congrats.

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