Hello again

Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Hello again
Fri, 03-08-2013 - 12:52am

By now I'm sure I didn't get a job this year. Right now, the only remaining possibility is if the negotiation with the person they offered the job to falls through unexpectedly. That happens once in a while, but not often at all. While everyone would feel bad in such a situation, I feel particularly bad because I tried so hard. I was sick during the long, arduous interview trips (the interview in my field lasts for days, and I am basically constantly talking, constantly being observed), but I was so good. I tried and tried even though I felt not so good.

So I have to spend another year in this toxic place. Fortunately the College is dismantling my department, so yay!!!! The good thing is that I can be more removed from my department.

I am a little frustrated by the slowness of the reimbursement checks. They should add up to about $1,000. So what's holding up the money?? That's why I'm not updating my ticker.

I can't help but look at my upcoming expenditures. My dental costs are adding up. I fear I'll reach the annual maximum soon, and after that I'll pay to pay every cent. I still have one more crown to get. At least I have a supernice dentist. I'm going to get an MRI for my shoulder. I hope I won't have to get surgery. If so, I guess I'll reach the annual maximum, after which I won't have to pay. I have some trips (both professional and personal). I feel like I should crunch some numbers to get a sense of how big of a setback I'll have this year.

I also have to get my mind in the right place to finish writing my book. I'll need it to get a job next year.


Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 03-25-2013 - 1:12pm

Thanks for the update, PB.  I was thinking of you last week.

The only thing I can really add is that for myself, working a 12 step program has not just saved my life, it has given me a life.  The word 'alcohol' in Step 1 can be replaced with anything.

Anwyho, I could go on and on, but I won't.  Innocent  Point being, I understand the premise of therapy not only costing money, but not being of much help.

Whether you belive in a Higher Power, or not, your experiences, good and bad, all serve a purpose.  There are no mistakes.


Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Sun, 03-24-2013 - 3:28am

I am not looking for career advice, and I'm not asking for help with my career. Because my profession is so specialized, people who are not in it often do not understand it, and as a consequence the advice they give is generally inapplicable. For those who tried to help, I thank you for your enthusiasm, and for the good intentions you've shown. The spirit of your generosity will remind me there is always light even in the darkest storm.

@Freeatlast, thanks for the kind offer. The kind of job I want doesn't come by making inquiries, but I am touched that you'd lend a hand to a virtual stranger.

@Dee: My plan for the next n years is tied to my career. If I stay in the academic track, it looks like: get tenured, get promoted to full professor, then (and this is where I differ from most academics) I'd want to move into administration, which pays a lot more. But this is really long term. From now to full professorship, I'm probably looking at 15 years. The "short term" financial goal is simply to get out of debt & be able to afford a lifestyle that won't make my colleagues embarrassed. (Currently, some of my colleagues refuse to come visit me because my place is too shabby.)

I'm not sure what you mean by my "unique style of communication." I do like sharing my life here, partly because normally we can't talk about the financial dimension of our lives with friends. So my fellow debtors here understand it was stressful for me to go on these interviews and getting only partial reimbursed. (I finally got a check. Now waiting for the other one.) I can share the financial worries about my medical situation -- whereas most people I know pretty much expect to be able to afford any medical service they need. 

However, my life doesn't always go well, and I like being able to share that, too. That doesn't mean it's always raining where I am. It's just that this is a place where we can share our financial worries, and our financial worries are often tied to other worries. It's harder to share the sunny days on this forum, because they typically don't have much to do with money… and not always "family-friendly."

@Karen: I don't have a family. That's one of the attractions of this group: I get to see what families do. (Apparently they shop at Costco a lot. I'll have to keep that in mind for future reference.)

Thanks for your practical questions. For 2013, I'd like to be able to pay off $7,000 -- or the amount I was able to pay off last year until the debt started climbing back up again. In fact, I've been working with the same monthly budget as last year -- that means paying off $583 every month. However, it's kind of hard to view this as a plan knowing that medical costs and travel costs will cut deeply into my payment progress. Medical care may very well eat up three thousand dollars. Dental costs fall under a different insurance plan, and I'm afraid I may be staring at some big numbers (two or three thousand).

I have budgeted for one personal trip, as I did last year. But I feel I need more than one. You know, a part of this is a good sign -- I'm feeling physically healthy enough to endure the rigors of travel. In fact, I feel well enough that I want to do it.

@Serenity: I went ahead with my MRI. I actually have good insurance (compared to most people). It just wasn't as good as it used to be three years ago. I have a deductible, but the employer will cover that. After that I pay a percentage of all costs until I reach the annual maximum out-of-pocket amount. After that all treatments are free. So I guess if I get shoulder surgery, I'll just see about those boob implants I've always been so fascinated by. j/k

@Kelly: I'm actually OK with the idea of teaching at "lesser" institutions, though it sounds like your well-placed siblings may not be. For example, I'm willing to consider community colleges -- except they won't consider me. I just want a better balance in life: living in a livable place, able to do the things I want, being able to have a life with a partner and possibly a family.

If I have kids, I think I'll be OK even if they don't end up going to the same schools that I went to. They are not for everyone. But I guess DW will have a say, whoever she will be. At one point I was thinking about marrying someone with the same educational background. Suddenly it became "obvious" that our kids would just have to go to our alma mater. Since then I've seen colleagues who felt such pressure for their kids -- mom & dad went to Yale, so junior had to go to Yale, too.

A number of you seem to think I need therapy. I'm very reflective, very self-aware. There is very little therapy can do for me. As one therapist said to me, "Human beings aren't meant to do well in your situation. Talking about it won't help. The only real solution is to leave. In the mean time, you can do meds if you want."

The sad thing with "retreat centers, spiritual directors, and therapists" is that they all want money from me. What I want is something that doesn't involve money changing hands. I want someone to care about me without having to pay for it. I want to care about someone without having to pay for it. Scratch that -- I discovered around here I can't even pay for that. There is no positive community here for me, and the one community I have is my toxic work environment.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
In reply to: mahopac
Tue, 03-12-2013 - 2:53pm

Well, you know I have family in higher education (3 out of 5 of us), so I believe you.  And nothing against community colleges or other methods of higher education, but my siblings would have dropped dead rather than change from the large universities with massive research budgets that they worked at to some other place where research is "meh."  Don't even get me started on the standards my older two kids have for themselves WRT their own college educations.

I agree with others that friends are a balm to the soul.  I also feel strongly that there are other balms to the soul, such as retreat centers and spiritual directors and therapists - all of which depend on your inclination.  Mental health is *more* important than physical health, so I say, avail yourself of whatever brings peace and joy to your soul, not fleeting happiness.  It gives you a better perspective on everything else, including your physical health.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 03-11-2013 - 6:10pm

Friendship is so important!  

Only you know how urgent the medical issues really are.  And if you are anything like me, you don't even want to go in and get dinged with another co-pay unless it is absolutely necessary.  

I don't know if this even applies to your sitution, but I was pretty honest regarding my situation with some of my doctors about my $1,000 deductible.  Yea, it can take forever to pay things off, but it has allowed me some to get some things done that I was tempted to forego because of money.  

Anywho, you are a smart guy.  Point being there may be a way to do both.  It will slow down your debt repayment plan, but you can't put a price on sanity.  


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Mon, 03-11-2013 - 9:11am

Hey PB!

I was wondering if Serenity meant a mom and dad by family?

I hope it works out next year to apply for a job. Perhaps it would work for your particular budget to put a line in there for travel costs, and one for personal travel as well?

Dental issues are terrible. I hate cars and teeth. They seem to really throw a wrench in things. I was hoping you could put off the shoulder thing until you get that resolved, make a little head way on the debt then worry about the shoulder. 

Do you make a yearly goal for debt repayment? Even a little  a month? I know it is hard with the extra costs right now. Even a little helps for your spirit.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Sun, 03-10-2013 - 1:29pm

I think it is sad that Americans have to choose between their health and other things. Healthcare coverage should cover you...

If you miss your friends and need to see them for your mental health, then it is a question of physical vs mental health. I see that as an easy question.

Now for the tough love part. I know you are capable of reading the tone of genuine care that I put into this...but!

Do you have a plan for the next 2 years? For the next 5 years? Do you have your financial goals clearly outlined?

Often you will say, "I'm okay with not worrying about it." If you let the current take you where it may, you will end up down river...that is only okay if you want to be down river! You seem to end up in places/environment/situations that maybe you would not want to be in. Time to start steering this boat! You are the captain of your destiny! (please excuse the cheesiness and just pair it with a nice red wine)

If I were your friend, and this is why I don't have friends I would feel compelled to help you. I know you are going to reply that you are not asking for my help and you don't need my help...but as the others have proven, your unique style of communication reaches out to us. People jump on here and want to offer you career advice because of this. We "hear" something there that envokes the need to nurture. Please excuse us as we are women Tongue Out

Use as a resource and start taking control. We are here and more than happy to help.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Sat, 03-09-2013 - 11:32am

Hi Poorboy

I tried to private message you three times but it didnt work.. Anyway.. I read your post and I am t hinking if you want I do know a few professors and other folks in Academia here in New York ..

If you want and its up to you and I dont mind I could ask them if they know of any positions anywhere. There are a few of them I know on facebook also...

I am just an Ivillage member but feel for you as I read your posts.. You said you want to live in Northeast so NY is Northeast right? (lol)

hey; let me know okay.. doesnt hurt to ask..

PM me as It didnt work for me but might work for you....

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2010
In reply to: ktqt07
Sat, 03-09-2013 - 7:11am

You explained the jobs and academics part so I won't even go there other then to say, I hope next year works out better.

Personally, given all you have posted, I think spending the money to be near people you love would be worth it.  Even if you can only see one friend.  I'm taking an unpaid week off at the end of this month and taking my little one to go see my family and my friends back "home" because I'm getting borderline depressed here with my husbands continuous deployments.  If you need the mental break, you need it.  As long as taking the trip won't cause more mental anguish and worry than it will relive, you sound like you need the break.

Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Fri, 03-08-2013 - 10:18pm


Yes, I can use my expertise for something else. I can teach online classes, I can teach prep schools. Sure, these are all good suggestions. But I don't need to consider these options right now. As you are aware from your BIL's experience, it takes a while to get an academic position. I have no reason to hurry, because I will have my current job for another year. In the meanwhile, I can think about these options for when I go on the market next year.

As for the hiring cycle, I know it's very hard to believe. I've spent many years explaining how this works to my friends and family, and like you, they don't believe me. I actually know my profession quite well. I have been on both sides of the fence for more than 10 years, so I know how it works.

Are there positions that interview "out of season"? Yes, but they either tend to be undesirable jobs, or they tend to be in disciplines that hire clinical professors. I think community colleges may work that way as well, but Marie can speak to it with more authority. I know little about community colleges, and I have no chance at getting a community college job. That brings me to answer another one of your questions. I'm looking primarily for first-tier positions or for positions in large cities in the northeast or in California. My profile is such that I'm competitive only for competitive jobs, but that doesn't mean those jobs are any less competitive.  

I think I'm OK with not getting a job this year, since I still have a job next year. It was just a gruelling experience, and thanks to everyone here for the support and the hugs! I like getting female sympathy. I'm more worried about the upcoming expenditures. I struggle between feeling like perhaps I can put off the dental care or the shoulder MRI, and knowing that early treatment is the best route. Maybe my crown can last another year. Maybe I can just put up with the shoulder pain. I mean, it's not bad or anything. At the same time, I am afraid that if I put things off, I'll end up in a worse situation. I'm surely not the only one who feels like he/she has to gamble on his/her health.

I also would like to take some trips to see friends, and I think you guys can help me with this. Again, I feel like I'm calculating the worth of friendship. I need to spend an x amount of money for the trips. Is that worth it to see some friends I love? With health I have a good excuse, but with friendship it's a really big struggle. How do you decide?

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 03-08-2013 - 6:13pm

Hi PB, 

Okay, I think my perspective got lost in translation somewhere.  But that is okay.  I was simply speaking to the "big picture."  Innocent   Sorry if using your details as an example threw you off.