Late night distress

You know how it is some nights, when you can’t sleep (thankfully for me these are rare), and you are feeling a bit distressed <= HORMONES, and you start thinking about the future…


I’ve been thinking alot about the future lately, and every time I get into a panic. I think the idea of moving to South Africa is fuelling the worries. I just can’t convince myself that I will find a job in South Africa. The whole scientific world and structure there is different to the UK. It seems that if you don’t have a Masters degree in South Africa, there is just no job for you.

Even though I don’t really want to do a Masters, I strongly considered it in the past. My previous boss begged me to do one with him, because he wanted me to stay and be his slave forever. I thought those were bad reasons to do a Masters, and when I saw how he destroyed the lives and confidence of his students I thought I could not sell my soul just for a stupid qualification that I don’t even want.

Now I am wondering if I should do one just so I can get some kind of job back home. But if I can’t work in a Biological field, I think the only alternative open to me is teaching. I really don’t want to teach. Both my parents are teachers. I think that put me off for life!  I think to teach you have to really love the job, or it wears you down. I am bad with people, I let them walk all over me, I think I would be a terrible teacher. But if I was desperate I guess I would be willing to try.

Then there are other issues regarding my job. A few weeks ago we had a safety inspection, so I had to reread all our safety handouts. One of them stated that if you are thinking (thinking!) of having a baby, and you uses a certain toxic chemical (although some people argue it is not toxic) called ethidium bromide (I use it every day) you need to have a consultation with the safety officer and stop using the chemical during any pregnancy.

Say what? Everyone I know keeps thier pregnancies a secret in the first 12 weeks because of potential miscarriages. But if I was even contemplating having a child, I would have to announce this to my safety officer. And then if anything went wrong with the pregnancy well obviously everyone would know.

And anyway, if I can’t use the chemical then I can’t do my job at all.

And I’m not even thinking about having a baby. I’m thinking about thinking about having a baby. Which is too confusing to even understand.

Hectic. Too much to think about. Really it’s best not to think at all when you are hormonal. I recommend eating chocolate eggs instead.


21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lady Fi
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 07:49:00

    Chocolate cures everything!

    And in reference to your previous post: no wonder you felt hideous if you ate chicken feet! Could be linked… just sayin’ ;-)


  2. Cam
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 08:06:31

    Po…here’s my thinking.

    ‘When my job becomes my life…then I’m worried.”


  3. Nonnie
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 08:19:22

    Well you could also change fields, move out of the scientific arena and find a job doing something completely different, even though thats what you studied, lots of people land up doing something completely different.

    Where do you want to live when you move back to SA? I’m thinking of leaving and it stresses me out, the only thing I would miss is the weather – but thats a huge part of life.


  4. prixie
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 08:45:40

    i obviously agree with Lady Fi.



  5. Paula
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 10:15:11

    I eat chocolate too when I am hormonal. I’m more of the non-fussy just plain dairy or the buscuit one for when I am sick of sucking on the same thing.

    Fantastic teaching from Zen master (with regard to your work) To know the road ahead, ask those coming back. I’m not very knowledgeable but ask people who are in your field who have come back here- see what they have to say. If you know anyone.

    ALthough the coming back bit sounds dodgy like they came back and went.

    And teaching isn’t so bad… I love my teachers. Most of my life today is a direct influence of what my English teacher Mrs Sparks (cool name) used to say. Even if it’s temporary… plus you’ll have a chemistry closet that your students will prbably lock you inside of (it’s juvenile, but… we like that kinda thind) and then you can blow things up to your hearts content. LOL. There was also this mad scienstist teacher we used to have, forget her name… something like Jarmin/Jarhead- she made science some alive, despite push-over-y-ness and I enjoyed her classes. We once made some ozone or something that gave back the ozone it’s -ness and that was awesome.

    Experiments in general are awesome.

    Hold on, what was I saying?

    Yeah, you may be in like and find the perfect job.

    About pregnancies: Babies are awesome when they belong to someone else. Just wait till after 2012 (just in case the world does end) and then think about thinking about having a baby. It’s really interesting that chemical though- but like wouldn’t you be thinking about having a baby because you’re pregnant. Or is it and outside exposure to the chemical that causes miscarriages. Because, it really doesn’t make sense.

    Wooo. sorry for the long answer :D


  6. Tamara
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 10:55:03

    Shame, Po. My offer to flip burgers at Steers and write novels in between still stands.


  7. Helen
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 14:21:13

    you can come to joburg and sleep in the lab… we’ll feed you two-minute noodles and everything!

    I know exctly how you’re feelng, I have much smaller decisions and they keep me up at night in a panic. Moving countries is B.I.G. I hope you figure it out! in the meantime have some chocolate.


  8. Po
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 19:24:40

    Ladyfi: they weren’t linked, I swear. I didn’t dig the chicken feet though, not at all!

    Cam: I think you have a good point there. Maybe I’m worrying too much. But without a job life is a bit bleak though.

    Nonnie: I’m thinking of coming back to Cape Town. Why, where are you planning to go? I didn’t find leaving stressful at all, but that’s because I was going backpacking and was young and straight out of Varsity. I think moving is stressful when you are older with more at stake. I think you will be surprised at what you will miss though. I was always the most unemotional un homesick person in the world. I never missed anyone or anything a day in my life. Suddenly after being here about 3 or four years, homesickness hit me so badly it has never left. But everyone is different!

    Prixie: good thing it’s Easter then hey?!

    Paula: I think that zen advice is just brilliant! One problem, the people I studied with did a mass exodus. So far no scientist one I know has gone and come back to SA, but I have a friend who is doing so soon. I don’t know anyone in my position though, ie no PhD or Masters. I am one of a kind. Blegh.

    As to the chemical, it is supposed to be a mutagen because it slides into DNA, and people are worried that foetuses are most susceptible, and if you use the chemical during pregnancy the baby will be all mutated, possibly get cancer etc etc. But we wear labcoats and use gloves etc. But would you want to put a baby at risk? Anyway, my work wouldn’t let a preganant lady work witht he stuff.

    Tamara: Seriously that sounds like an option to me. But aren’t burger flipping jobs hard to get in SA?

    Helen: awesome! I could feed your lizards for you or something!? I seem to attract flies.


  9. Po
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 20:14:16

    P.S. Can any wordpress genius help? I have installed both the subsrcribe to comments via email and the comment luv plugins, and have gone and activated them but they don’t show up! I have a feeling this is a template issue and I need to delve into the code, but am not exactly sure where. Goodle usually helps me but this time I haven’t found help. HELP!


  10. sonnyvsdan
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 22:11:45

    be a climbing instructor!


  11. Dora
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 23:13:50

    Well, it IS Mini Eggs season after all….

    But while you’re at it, I’m long played with the idea of getting a Masters, and I’m now seriously thinking about it.

    I quite fancy going back to school again, but like all things, it’s the money bit that’s putting me off.


    Yeah, maybe be a climbing instructor!


  12. Po
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 23:16:48

    Sonnyvsdan: I tried to become a climbing instructor while I was here, but it was too complicated, health and safety and qualifications etc. and anyway, that’s teaching! But if all else fails…

    Dora: I have already consumed three packets of mini eggs. Man those things are good, I love that the shell tastes like marshmallow. Nyum nyum.


  13. Craig
    Mar 09, 2010 @ 06:41:25

    Truth be told, I don’t get hormonal – but I do eat chocolate. Doesn’t make anything go away though – rather it brings with it a delightful array of sticky fingerprints all over the place… :P


  14. Fu Yang
    Mar 09, 2010 @ 06:51:02

    i want chocolate eggs!


  15. Po
    Mar 09, 2010 @ 16:58:52

    Craig: all I’m thinking abour right now are mini eggs, even those disgusting creme egss, bring it on!

    Fu Yang: hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, are you who I think you are? If not then sorry. If yes, then:

    MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get your bunny to get you some eggs.


  16. Champagne Heathen
    Mar 10, 2010 @ 23:19:17

    Do your masters. Not necessarily right now, but definitely have it on your cards. Study it at UCT or Stellies even! Doesn’t Stellies have a great biomedical place? And I have enough friends doing biomedics through WITS even.

    But these days, to stay in the game, internationally, you will need your Masters – at the very least.


  17. Angel
    Mar 11, 2010 @ 05:44:00

    Oy. Some hectic thoughts going through your head at the moment!
    Did the chocolate help?


  18. Po
    Mar 11, 2010 @ 08:50:03

    Champs: its funny cos here it seems people (in Biology anyway) often do a Masters if they don’t make the grade, cos you can go straight from undergad to PhD here at many universities. When I worked at Warwick uni their attitude was you only did a masters there if you were dumb. So doing a masters is not always good.

    Angel: well, it made me feel good for a while!


  19. Tara
    Mar 30, 2010 @ 13:40:47

    Erm, I can has MSc….and a job that is in NO way related to what I got the damn thing for. I think that it’s like anywhere really. If you are prepared to put the effort and work in, then you will find something.


  20. Tara
    Mar 30, 2010 @ 13:41:56

    Oh and remember that here, doing a Masters is the next step after Hons. So it is slightly different to an M done straight after your undergrad in many other places.


  21. Po
    Mar 30, 2010 @ 20:55:55

    Hey Tara, well here in the UK they go straight from undergrad to PhD which I find totally insane.


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