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September 9, 2010

Lately I’ve been joking that I have senioritis, that ubiquitous condition suffered by students in their final weeks before graduation.  I crack this joke where I feel most afflicted by this dread disease, which unfortunately is at work.  Unfortunate because I am not in school, and they all know this, making my condition sound more like that of the “short-timer,” of one who has Planned To Leave.

I have planned to leave.  Many times.  In the worst of them, I’ve fantasized about slitting my wrists under the massive table in the board room during a staff meeting just to see if I could bleed out unnoticed before the meeting adjourned.  I assume I would just look like I was dozing off, as the interns are wont to do.  It should be noted before I go further, I suppose, that I am not in any way suicidal.  I don’t want to die;  I just want to be melodramatic.

Lately I don’t even bother with the theatrics though.  I no longer envision myself jumping out of my 15th story window or throwing my letter opener like the secret weapon of a white-collar ninja and stabbing whomever has most recently pissed me off through the heart.  I no longer make puppets out of my brown paper lunch bags, naming them with such clever monikers as “Betsy Quitsy” and rehearsing my resignation with them.  (I do still occasionally try to drum up the most audacious resignation letters possible, though.  Since I’ve read that one should always keep them as brief and to the point as possible, the current champion is as follows: “To whom it may concern: Peace out. XOXO.”)

Just today I considered that I might be well served to set aside what my boyfriend lovingly refers to as my “control freak need for instant closure” in order to meet the dual goals of (a) furthering social science, and (b) collecting more paychecks.  I’ve decided that were I to quit tomorrow, I would write the above on a Post-It and stick it to the docking station in the cubicle that Boss never inhabits, as he is above cubicles and spends his brief and infrequent visits to town camped out in a conference room, pre-scheduled meetings of the daily inhabitants of our floor be damned.  I would then pack up my personal effects, leave my laptop and Blackberry with a trusted (former) colleague, and go home, where I would fortnightly check my bank account to see how many more paychecks would be direct deposited to my account before Boss finally got hip to my absence and called HR.

Peer review being a critical component of any legitimate experiment, I’ve of course taken bets from my co-workers as to how many of these unearned checks I would receive.  The general consensus is 3-4, or 6-8 weeks, if you don’t feel like doing the math.  This seems reasonable, if perhaps a touch conservative.  I feel certain that if I kept the Blackberry and periodically replied to his sporadic and nonsensical emails, I could carry on this ruse for months on end.  Sadly, I’m too ethical to steal the phone.  And also, reading email in even the most cursory of fashions would defeat the purpose and skew the results, invalidating both the moral and scientific grounds of the exercise.

Since I am basically All Talk on this and most every topic, in actuality I will continue going to work five days a week for eight to ten hours a day, collecting my paycheck, amassing my sick days, and enjoying my dental insurance with twice-yearly cleanings.  For now.

I will also continue to schedule meetings with professors in each of several departments and schools locally which I am considering for my eventual re-entry to academia.  I will cancel work meetings to attend mid-day office hours without taking any time off and will feel positively decadent in so doing.  Because I do have senioritis, and I need to treat it with some action toward a new future.

Because I’m tired of being All Talk.

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