We're a little crazy, about science!

A small job update

It’s not a straight line to the finish, that’s for sure.

A week ago almost exactly I did something incredibly stupid. Okay, I did it because I really want it, but there’s a chance it could blow up in my face, I’m going into research full-time to help pay for my PhD. Now, I’m not paying for my PhD, that is never a good option. Instead the hospital I will be working at will be paying for my PhD now and I will get paid better while I wrap up the last two years or so of my degree (more here).

I have lost so much sleep to this decision I can’t even keep track of it. Some nights I won’t be able to sleep at all, others I wake up feeling like I never slept at all. There’s been a lot of caffeine involved the past week or so to keep me going. To say that I’m anxious would be an understatement, I’m terrified because every day that passes without any progress is a day closer to running out of money to live on and having everything that I’ve worked so hard for collapse around me. With that much pressure, why wouldn’t I be stressed about the wait?

The worst part is I will see it coming, if the hiring process doesn’t progress fast enough I will know weeks in advance that I will not make it in time and that there will be nothing I can do to fix the problem. It would look something like this, I would not get hired in time, my bills would be due, some would get paid others would not. Then the payment for school will be due, will I get hired in time for that to get covered? If not, then I would be dropped from the program and the funds that the school gave me to pay for my education would suddenly be due since dropping from the program *for any reason* is an automatic loss of funds given to me.

So even if I survived the bill situation, which I may or I may not, I don’t have savings to cover a full months worth of bills, but maybe I could just miss a payment and hope for the best, if my school doesn’t get paid then I’m screwed. I feel like I’m going to have a panic attack just writing this out, it’s so bad. I was told 4-6 weeks hopefully, that was 2 weeks ago and I could POSSIBLY make it to 8 weeks, but I haven’t started the hiring process yet so I don’t know how long the onboarding takes, how much I’m actually going to make, or if I will get paid as soon as I agree to the job or if I need to wait for all the background checks and what not to clear.

Which brings us to yesterday. A over a week ago I was told the job should be posted last week Friday or this past Monday. Well as of this writing Monday was 5 days ago and I still had no word about the progress on even getting the position approved. So I spoke with my Co-PI about reaching out to the coordinator who is managing that. I basically told him I was going to follow up to see if there was any update and he said they I would probably be disappointed, but to go for it. The issue was that if there was an update the coordinator would have reached out to me to let me know, since that hasn’t happened the update would most likely be, “I have no idea what’s going on yet.”

So I sent the email and waited. It was late in the day so I wasn’t even sure I would get a response, the coordinator works strict hours (the normal 9 to 5, or I think 8 to 4). I was expecting to hear back Monday, but I got a response from them and the news was good! The position was approved by the department and it should be posted Monday (hopefully). They told me I would get the link to apply as soon as it was posted and then the rest is kind of a mystery.

I don’t know what happens next, I know there will be some negotiating salary (since I’ll be a salaried employee) and there’s the whole onboarding that has to happen. Background checks I’m told take the longest, but there’s also the standard drug test, some certifications I need to get, things of that nature. Then there’s the wait between applying and the actual interview process (or whatever comes next), it won’t be an instantaneous thing and I imagine since hospitals are full of bureaucracy it will take just as long as it did to get the position approved.

To be perfectly honest, the whole thing feels surreal. Not that I’m getting a job, I’ve wanted this since I started doing research at the hospital, the surreal part is having to apply for a job that’s mine. Literally the position was created for me, but I need to go through the formal hiring process to get the actual job. It makes absolutely no sense to me, it’s not the hospital that’s paying me it’s my Co-PI’s lab that’s paying me, so this feels like additional steps that shouldn’t even be needed.

Then there’s the fact that I’m already part of the hospital. For the past two years I’ve been on “visitor” status. Meaning I was affiliated with the hospital, but not an employee. I had to go through a lot of (if not all of) the same onboarding, background checks, drug tests, certifications, classes, etc. to do research at the hospital. You would think that doing all that would speed the process up, but it doesn’t sound like it will. I don’t know how much crime they think I’ve committed in the past two years since the last background check, but the number is shockingly low. I know, I know, I need to commit more crimes, life’s been busy and COVID, I’m sure you all understand.

Overall I’m happy that progress has been made and the first step has been taken care of (well half step I guess since the job hasn’t posted). I guess they could’ve declined the position all together, the hospital knows my Co-PI has another job offer so they could’ve been dicks about everything if they had wanted to, but I’m glad they didn’t screw with him or me that way. Basically I’m hoping to have an blog update on the job front Monday or Tuesday depending on when/if it gets posted Monday. I’m anxious to get the process started and since we’re already a week behind, I’m getting nervous that if there are any more delays I could be completely screwed.

As usual, it’s a waiting game. I don’t want to keep waiting, but here we are… again.

But enough about us, what about you?

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