Saturday, March 07, 2009

Cream crackered

Yes, ok, I'm tired now. Having worked non-stop since Christmas, and easily pulling 10 hour days and most weekends for most of February I have officially stopped now. Had a duvet day on Monday and worked from home Tuesday and Wednesday. My brain was so tired, and so full of stuff. Amazingly I haven't had a proper CFS crash, I think this may just be 'normal knackered' which is quite a relief. I am now sat in bed with a ginger cat and my laptop, with hubland is watching football downstairs. I'm browsing for new jewellery (I actually don't have that much, need more earrings) and watching 'Kitchen Nightmares USA' on 4OD.

Although I've enjoyed what I've been doing at work, and learnt so much, I'm pretty hacked off at some of the Senior Management and the general lack of direction for the University I work in. We're not bad, and we're not an ex-poly (which comes with its own challenges), but we're not currently holding our own among what we'd consider our 'peer institutions'... in fact some of our alleged peers have completely transformed themselves in the last 10 years or so while we've stood still. That has finally been brought home to everyone with the joy of the RAE (google it, go on, I dare you) - the funding letters arrived on Thursday and we've lost a big chunk of our recurring research funding. Some of it isn't our fault, the new allocation formula is mad, but a lot of it is.

We don't actually have a strategy, something that tells us who we are and where we're going. We seem plagued by indecision, with Senior Manager's influenced more by an offhand comment from a fellow VC/PVC at a conference than from the advice of their professional staff... and then there is the paralysis from fear and inability to talk calculated risks. I think I'll give it another year, but then if things don't improve it may be time to move on. It can be pretty demoralising to work your arse off in a job that you've been hired to do, present great ideas, beautifully written papers, to do everything you are meant to be doing, and not get anywhere or have your ideas taken seriously when it comes down to the crunch.

I am lucky, with the internal rearrangements that took place last summer, I've got a lot more responsibility and I am glad to be able to say that the people I respect, respect me. So that's keeping me going for the moment. But my work means a lot to me and I can't stay forever in a place that doesn't let me do for it what I know needs to be done.

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