This blog is my attempt to reconnect with the world of chemistry. I have a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry and make a living doing research for a large company in Michigan. As times have changed, that company has changed its focus and I no longer have as much chance to do the basic, fundamental research which I most enjoy. Through this blog, I am hoping to recapture the magic which I felt during my graduate (and undergraduate) days in college. Expect topics on chemistry and alchemy along with some non-chemistry related items which I think might be interesting.

"The chymists are a strange class of mortals, impelled by an almost insane impulse to seek their pleasure among smoke and vapour, soot and flame, poisons and poverty; yet among all these evils I seem to live so sweetly that may I die if I would change places with the Persian King."

Johann Joachim Becher (phlogistonist)
Acta Laboratorii Chymica Monacensis, seu Physica Subterranea, (1669).

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why Free Time and Blogs Do Not Mix

The biggest reason why I haven't been updating my blog lately (other than laziness) is apparently due to having too much free time. Strange as it may seem, I am finding I require a certain minimum level of structure in my life in order to post anything on this blog. Back when I lived in the land of employment, there was structure. Searching the net for interesting science articles at work (during lunch, of course) was a regular routine and this process generated most of the ideas about which I posted. When I'm home all day, I never get around to performing this ritual until late at night, and then I feel obliged to work on my resume, or rearranging my office, or any of the other tasks I managed to avoid during the day.

Well it looks like that practice is about to stop.

Unless something unforeseen occurs, I should be entering the land of the employed in about a week. Now before you all start cheering too loudly, I should point out this job is not a permanent position. It's a contract position, with a length of one year, and the salary is significantly less than my prior job. And it's not going to involve a lot of interesting research on my part either, at least not for a while. I'll be developing computer automated test reactors for the evaluation of fuel cells. Not what I'd call an ideal position, but it will help keep us financially secure until I do locate a more favorable, permanent position. To say the national job market for inorganic chemists has fallen off a cliff is an understatement. The trick will be to ride it out for a couple of years until the job market opens up.

The funny thing is -- I am going to be working for the same company I was laid off from two months ago. I was only able to pull this off because:
1. it's a contract position, which means they can cut me loose at any time, and considering the precarious state of the company, that time could be measured in months or weeks.
2. it's at a different facility, which unfortunately means a 50-60 minute commute each way.
3. it involves a product area in which they are very excited. And the fact that this project is partially funded by the government actually allowed them to hire someone.

Anyway, I hope to be spending lunch breaks posting in a more regular fashion soon.


Katie Collette said...

Congratulations! Even if it's temporary, it's still employment for the moment which I think a lot of people are lacking right now. I hope you can find something better but for now I just look forward to more posts. ;)

Ψ*Ψ said...

Glad to hear you have a job, at least for the time being!

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Its totally good news that you have got the job. You should not stop here you should try further may be you can get better than this. Any ways cheers for now!!!!!!!!

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