Sunday, August 3, 2008

4 Months From Now

Sigh. Here I sit trying to cobble together enough business every month to pay my bills. Altogether they aren't much really, but I thought seriously that I'd at least be making a living wage by this point and could contribute more to our family expenses. As it stands, I have what amounts to a handful of part time jobs, none of which pay worth a crap because they're kind of on an on-call basis, and the people I work for have pretty crappy reputations, so the referrals aren't coming in like they used to, so I'm not getting called as often. Granted part of the problem is that some of the referring agencies are at the end of their budget year, so they should pick up a little after September 1.

The good news though is that four months from today, my postdoc year (read: indentured servitude) will be over and I can start my independent professional life on my own terms. Sure I'll be slogging through the Medicare and insurance provider paperwork and trying to get established in my own practice with all the headaches and bills that entails, but at least I will be working under my own reputation and license, not someone else's. The better news is that I am already beginning to establish my own reputation and relationships with the major referrers in the region. They like my work, they like me personally and they have made it very clear that they want to know when and where I hang my shingle. It just can't be done until after the licensing paperwork is completed. I'll mail it December 4. Last year when I filed my provisional paperwork on the same date, it was approved December 31. Of course I didn't get the confirmation for a couple more weeks, but at least I got it.

The training for the giant corporate online university feels oddly like American Idol. There ended up being 378 trainees in my entry level class, then I was assigned to a group of 1o. Within the first week 4 of them dropped. Of the remaining 6 only 3 of us were in the same entry class so there was at least one other huge ass entry class somewhere. The training itself seems like a lot of busy work, but they have selected me to continue on to the next stage so that's good, I guess, except so far I'm not seeing a lot of attention being paid to academic rigor. After the next 2 weeks in developing syllabi et cetera (mind you I've already been through the first 2 weeks so in total this will be a full month of "training" i.e. working for free), the next stage will see me actually teaching a class with an instructor's instructor who can give me feedback on how I'm doing. I appreciate that. I will get paid the full rate for a doctoral level instructor for teaching that class, but that won't happen until the end of September. At least it's something to look forward to, but there's no guarantee that I'll even be offered a position until after the class wraps up in mid-to-late October.

Still no word on whether or not I'll be teaching at the community college again, and class starts in 3 weeks. The Psyc/Soci instructor/coordinator guy left in May, which is why the division chair asked me to apply for that job, which I did immediately - in May. Now the division chair is leaving so the two top leadership positions in that area are vacant, and nobody's saying a word. I'm debating whether to shoot a friendly email to the human resources coordinator to check on the status of my application.

The good news of the whole thing is that at least I'm 2/3 of the way through the postdoctoral purgatory year and that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Take one look around and you can see that nobody's starving around here. We still have a roof over our heads, the lights are still on, and I still have stuff I can sell on eBay. I can do anything for 4 months. However, if you know the money fairy, could you send it my way? Kthxbai.

3 comments:

Loving Annie said...

It is nice to see light at the end of a murky tunnel, Doc.

Your years of hard work and dedicated efforts will pay off, but it definitely sucks small overly ripe bananas in the meantime.

Money fairy being sent your way. Would you like that in counterfeit tens or twenties ?

Hugs/Love,

Loving Annie

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

call the darn HR coordinator.

Brunhilda said...

Yeah, I would call the HR dept. too. **sending good thougts your way**