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Between the good and the bad what’s a Physicist to do?

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Ok, so I thought I would now have lots of time since this past July when I was liberated (actually RIF’d) by my former employer. With that lots of time I looked forward to: (1)completing a reliability theory paper, (2) getting my feet fixed, (3) going back to a bit of my former physics research, (4) updating and maintaining a more serious blog, (5, … n+1, n+2,…n+∞).

Still seem to have that need to get everything done NOW. I believe this is because my prior job was so stressful, doing the work of two+ people under situations without resources and neccessary design support. It was a waste of my time to have stayed so long, however, being layed off does have it’s advantages. I’ve had some great interviews and there is one likely possibility, we’ll see.

Two days later: I am sitting on my sofa now, flanked by two pups, another pup in his bed in front of me and my 4th pup, 13 years young, is couch potato-ing it out on his red stuffed chair wrapped in his hand croched blanket. His upper jowl is layed out over his blanket. He’s asleep with his GPS collar pouch facing out. I have the GPS unit charging. Akbar is an escape artist and a very clever one at that. He has a whole life story of his own that is marveleous, courageous, and of course I’m going to tell it one day.

This is heaven, and heaven gets better with Jim here. All I want to do these days is review my previous research, hang with my family and friends, garden, violin, do yoga and write.

There is an earlier post on www.physicistonedge.blogspot.com that presents an article; ‘Over Worked America’. The article discusses the consequences of what is happening to workers; stress related illnesses, loss of family time, burnout, etc.

Employers complain of lack of employee enthusiam and loyalty; it goes the other way most of the time, a large enough number of companies in this economy are using up and ditching employees. The modus operandi or profile is the same; employees forced to work overtime for months to years on end due to lack of resources, manpower, or job revision where unscroupulous management decides to eliminate employees forcing remaining ones to take on the extra work. You can only work someone overtime for so long and then burnout, inefficiency, and stress related health issues kick in.

Now, I’m not talking about that really great job where occasionally for several weeks the midnight fires are burning, calls across the planet are happening light speed, you’re up 1:00 am emailing files to the boss as he sits between flights at JFK, etc… This is fun – really, I can recall having people startling me because I was so embedded in an analysis, delivering a fine report to the customer – excellent results driving an excellent product to follow. Then there’s the quick puddle jumpers (prop jobs – planes) to some field site to collect data, learn more about product environment, crawling around a military transport being retrofitted, making sure it’s done right. Conferring with pilots, submariners, field/depot maintenance guys, I loved it. Working a great job is almost like research – do what it takes to get your results – go the mile and then some.


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