Aug 25 2006

Weirdest vacation week EVER

Okay, so the weather eventually shaped up…but Dr. Darling‘s schedule (which is normally non-existent) got even busier as the week wore on, and then my right eye decided to have a relapse of the alleged allergic reaction that scared the crap out of us last February. I say "alleged" because if it really is some kind of an allergy that’s causing the white of my eye to swell and form what appears to be a blister just above my lower lid, why is only my right eye affected?  I got to spend Thursday afternoon in the Emergency Eye Clinic and Malmö University Hospital. FUN. NOT.

In the meantime, Dr. Darling‘s sudden popularity continued to grow as word of her availability for what the Swedish government calls "Plus Jobs" spread throughout the biology labs at Lund University.

Plus Jobs are public sector positions that are reserved for folks who have been unable to find work after a specified period of time. They naturally try to put you into something that has some relevance to your education and experience…but it’s strictly temporary and is only supposed to serve as a stepping stone to a "real" job. Therefore the salary you draw is essentially the unemployment benefit you’ve been getting all along, plus a little bit more thrown in by the agency that is reaping the rewards of your time and expertise.

Evidently there are quite a few research labs at Lund University that have Plus Jobs available, and getting a PhD in molecular medicine would be quite coup considering it will only cost them about a 10th of the normal salary for someone with that level of education. Three different labs are now vying for her services and all of them wanted information from her this week.

In the meantime, she’s also just become eligible for another program that’s just recently been created specifically to help people with academic degrees in the hard sciences…and all of her (also unemployed) PhD colleagues from the lab where she did her degree want to know the scoop on the program since they will eventually be eligible for it, too.  So they all wanted to meet her for coffee to hear the details this week.

And all this activity had to be worked in around the post-doc grant proposal that is need of final polishing with input from her sponsoring scientists at the big state research lab in Copenhagen this week.

I honestly don’t know why I even bothered to take the time off work.

Feed my ego!

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