Dan Drezner tries to explain to his brother what he really does for a living:
Jay: Oh, wait a second. Explain it to me now how difficult your “job” is?
Dan: Fine, I confess. Without teaching, there’s nothing for me to do. Well, except for the book manuscript that I’m editing. Oh, and the book manuscript I’m writing. Oh, and the many conference papers I need to write. And the grant proposals I need to prep. And the multiple journal articles and book manuscripts to review. There’s the university committee I need to serve on, the professional committee I need to serve on. I got a lot of work.
Jay: When I think about what you do for work — and I’ll give you credit for what you do in the classroom because that’s actually teaching students and that’s a service that’s demanded for and they pay for that with their tuition — but what I really don’t understand are all those things that you theoretically do — and I do mean “work” at outside of teaching. How many office hours do you hold, Dan, for your students?
Dan: Maybe two a week.
Jay: Two hours? OK, and how many hours do you spend lecturing? Around five? Six?
Jay: OK, we’re up to eight now and that’s good for, let’s say, one shift at Starbucks. When do you go to the pool? There’s got to be time for the pool. My job, when I was in investment banking, I worked 80 hours a week. Now I’m at a hedge fund. I can’t just take off a month and decide to come back to see where my portfolio is. It doesn’t work that way.
Dan: By the way, the sound you’re hearing right now is the world’s smallest violin playing for you.
Jay: Well, Dan, I have to say, I do make more money than you. And I do get our parents better gifts as a result. And you know what? I think they love me more.
Dan: That was cold, man.
Laura McKenna on the same issue.