Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cautiously optimistic (for months now)

Where did June go, let alone July?! The pace has thankfully slowed down to reasonable at work since my last post in May. Thank goodness. I was really wearing thin. I still feel like there's not enough hours in the day or days in the week but now I don't feel like I'm holding up anyone else's work, just my own ideas & ambitions.

But the reason I wanted to write today is because I realized I've been in this state of "cautiously optimistic" about my project's funding for months now. I wrote back in March that my project didn't have enough funds to cover my salary starting in July. After that, I had a meeting with several higher-ups about the funding situation and they basically said they were kind of in a bind because of their higher ups and there wasn't really anything else I could do to help beyond what I had already. I'm in this weird position where I rely on other people to secure the funds for project (and therefore my salary), but I'm by far the one with the most skin in the game. It's a strange position to be in considering how many successful grant applications I wrote during grad school. I can write grants, but it is clearly not my job, even though my job depends on it.

We've got some stopgap funding for salaries only, which is better than losing my job but not a recipe for growth. We have two proposals pending that have been pending for months now. I've gone back and forth between being very discouraged and cautiously optimistic, but I'm pretty firmly in the cautiously optimistic camp most of the time.

Many people in my part of the department are anxious and disgruntled. They are complaining about bosses and management and unused talent and favoritism and lack of priorities or misplaced priorities and lack of resources (almost all of these are totally legitimate complaints). I might be the only person who is *not* looking for another job. I might be a total idiot for not doing so, but I am really committed to this and I don't *want* another job.

You see, my project is awesome. It's not getting the internal attention is deserves, but I am determined that its time will come and I want to be here to see it. It has some high-level endorsement even though some levels of management below that don't really get it. For reasons I won't go into, it would be really, really, really stupid if they eliminate my job, even if some people in the middle don't understand why it's important.

So, I'm trying to stay the course and crossing my fingers that my beloved boss does too. Maybe I'll know more in a few weeks, but I've been saying that for months now.