It's been almost 48 hours since the "not No" email and already the drama is in high gear. There's panic about when I can start the position. There's panic about how exactly I did the interview process (really?). But the final component is the one Grey and I have been most concerned about: salary.
One of the hardest realities of being an educator in higher education institutions is how poor the pay is. While tenured faculty can make a comfortable living, those in temporary, non-tenure positions usual make far less (below $50,000 per year is not uncommon). Add in no office space for office hours, lack of job security, uncertainty about benefits and zero voting rights, and you have a subclass of educators who make up the majority of instructors in post-secondary institutions all over this country. There have been efforts to resolve this (unionizing faculty across the country) that have been met with a ton of resistance. The culture is one where university education has become a business, focusing on new dorms, rec centers and wade pools instead of fair pay and support for those who are doing the teaching.
Today I had a meeting with the admin to talk about my offer for this position. After answering a few questions, she told me a number that immediately made my heart sink. Circling back, I began to state my case for how my years of instructional experience warranted that I be in a higher pay grade. Even then, given the argument that it's academia, the offer will be $5000 less than what we were hoping for.
So here I sit in a cafeteria, waiting for my next meeting, feeling frustrated. On the one hand, this opportunity could open doors. I'm also burning out on research, particularly as my bully is still persisting with her toxic campaign, making work a less-than-fun experience. The flip is, what if something better comes along if I just waited it out? The point of being a postdoc is to train and make these connections, something that would become limited again if I took this position due to obligations to the course.
I've been told that I may get a formal offer by Friday. The question is, is it worth it?
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