Friday, July 10, 2009

Free your goat Friday: Bright and early

I am going on fumes and four hours of sleep. Oh, and coffee. Of course. Been up since 5am, working on the bloody stupid important report for work I've been trying to finish for too depressingly long to think about. And I went to sleep around 1. Fun times. So this is to be short and sour. I'll tell you my goats, you tell me yours, and they walk off into the sunset together. Or, to pasture. You know, whatever metaphor works for you.

Goat-getter the First, or Not cool, public policy people, not cool

The Cub had H1N1 this week. Well, he got it Sunday afternoon, as we were packing up to leave the lovely and wonderful place where we spent the most relaxing weekend I've had in a long, long while. And we didn't know that's what it was until our pediatrician came to see him (that's right, our pedi does house calls, jealous?) Monday, although I began to worry about it fleetingly on the drive home and then for real when I realized just how hot the kid was early Monday morning. The high fever was not fun, and the coincidental pink eye added a layer of wonderful. (The Cub, he doesn't appreciate anyone putting drops into his eyes. And four times a day? Oh, the betrayal!) But, he broke the fever in a day and a half, instead of the worst case three to four, and none of the rest of us got sick. So good deal.

Where this becomes a goat-getter, though, is that according to our pediatrician, about 90% of what they are seeing now is it. 90 bloody percent. And do we hear about that on the radio? Do we read about that in newspapers? Of course not. Because ooooooh, big, bad, scary virus, with big bad scary farm animal name. The reasons I worried about whether the Cub had it were that (1)I knew it can carry very high fevers for a number of days and I didn't want him to be so miserable for long and (2) because I thought we'd have to quarantine, causing Monkey to miss her beloved gymnastics practices (three mornings a week at 4 hours a pop, and she'd love to do more, if she was allowed; I know-- insane). But I didn't for a second worry that the diagnosis might mean a particularly dangerous illness or a bad prognosis. This is because of my education and what I do for work-- I am used to analyzing scientific information. JD on the other hand? Flipped out. Until, that is, he spoke to the doctor and learned both how common it is these days and what the typical prognosis, oh, and that the Cub looked like not a bad case at all. And my mom didn't get much sleep Monday night, staying up thinking bad thoughts about her youngest grandson.

So this is what gets my goat-- that we are not being talked to like adults about this by our government OR our scientists. We hear on the radio that WHO has called the thing a pandemic, but that the course is mild. If we perk our ears up a whole lot, we can hear stories here and there about how official figures are such and such, but unofficially they are probably a lot higher. And yet, no story that comes straight out and lays the facts out. For our own protection, I am sure. Harrumph. I do enjoy being treated like I am three years old. Don't you?

Goat-getter the Second, or Oh, Academia, the bastion of civility

I applied for one job this fall. I received an email saying that if they needed any other materials, they would contact me. The closing date for the search was end of last month. I finally called this week to see where things stood, so I could plan my fall. Oh, the search has been completed. I can deal with the place two miles from my house not wanting me, even for an interview, I really can. But seriously, people, how hard would it have been to send out rejection letters, even by email? Let me break it down for you-- you are looking for a person to be a colleague of yours, your equal. The person you pick comes from a pool of applicants. You don't think people in that pool deserve the respect of being told they didn't make it? And don't you remember when you yourselves were swimming in the pool? C'mon! It's a form letter, how hard could it be?

Ok, my goats are free. Where are yours?

P.S. I am also at Glow this week, talking about telling people about one's dead baby. And screwing up.

Bling borrows the image from this story.


Mrs. Spit said...

People who amble across cross walks. That's it.

Magpie said...

So with you on employers who can't be bothered to follow through. It's so rude.

My current pet peeve is the new 990. I think it's asinine.

niobe said...

I'm really sorry that the job thing didn't work out. The failure to tell you sucks too.

Gaby said...

I, too, work in academia, and I find it very troubling that most searches cannot be bothered to let you know that a search has been completed. Even worse? The knowledge that many of these searches are essentially a formality--they already know the individual that they will offer the position to (frequently someone who already works in the department), but they must go through the motions of opening a search. It's frustrating, it's a waste of time for the applicants and those who serve on the search committee, and I think it should be illegal, but that's how it goes. Argh. I comfort myself with the idea that the reason I don't get call backs is that they already had an applicant in mind...and I keep telling myself that, over and over again. Best of luck to you.

Beruriah said...

I'm sharing your goats this week. Jeez what a crappy one.

I hope the Cub is firmly on the mend now, poor cute little man.

caitsmom said...

With you on the timely rejection letters. When asked why so late, one institution told my DH that they had to wait until the the contract was signed.

As for my goat . . . wine that tastes great at the vineyard tasting, not so good at home. UGH

Miryam (mama o' the matrices) said...

okay, my goat seems to be a cousin: squirting conjunctivitis goop into a little kid's eyes, while they wriggle, wail and generally make a smeary mess of the antibiotic cream.

which, by the way, you might just be allergic to.

while, as it happens, they are in public, for a series of complicated scheduling reasons, possibly even parked on the side of the road.

and if you are very, very lucky, a bystander or four will come up to you and try to talk to you while you grit your teeth and put the furious kid into a half-nelson.