Dear Science Job,

Since seven years we have now been together, you and I. I have always been nervous and excited about being with you, and I did what I could to make you happy, to guess your wishes.

You on the other hand have stayed reserved towards me. You only became charming and enthusiastic when you wanted me to move to a different city for you, luring me with sudden praise and promises of amazing collaborations, and each time I fell for it, gave up my life for you, became even more dependent on you.

Nevertheless, you are still not ready to commit to me. You are still not sure if I am good enough for you. You are always looking around for someone even more devoted, cleverer, stronger than me.

We often had fun together. We had a lot of interesting conversations. I learned so much from you, about you. I know you so well. I have given you so much. But if I go now, I know you will not try to hold me back.

This makes me very sad. Do I not matter to you? Do you just take my efforts, use them to make progress, to write your books, and do you not feel like you have to give me anything in return? Do you think my meager salary is enough payment for all my idealism, all my time? Do you think I am a robot? Do you think I have no other plans for my life than moving after you like a love-sick idiot?

Yes, I know what you say. It is the system. Noone makes the system. Nobody is responsible for the system. The system just is. Kiss its feet or get out of here.

You have eaten my ideas, my contribution, my work, you are well fed on the ideas and contributions on an army of others like me, all competing against each other. You thrive on the results and the work resulting from our competition, while we left to fight each other to the  death.

Thanks for that. I wish I could say that I have enjoyed the process. But in fact I am not sure of that anymore. All my idealism is, in the end,  not enough to balance the feeling of being used.


Devoted Postdoc

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