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Faking it

is ringing me at work, on a saturday afternoon, clearly not impressed. "You were meant to be packing" he says. "Yep" is all what I can come up with. I've got my mind on other things.

The truth is I've been trying to put finishing touches to two paper requested on wednesday. I barely spoke to the guy twice, once on the phone, once at the interview, but he already manages to make me shiver at the idea of annoying, or worse, upsetting him. He just looks exactly like the type of people I trully look up to, those old academics knowing everything about everything, in a wise and taught way. A little bit like my old boss, nicknamed the mad M by the analytical chemistry lab. The guy was trully mad, in an academic kind of way. Mad curly hair, mad rolling eyes, a tendency to shout when challenged on his pet subject (vacuum and electron bombardment, who would have dared...) .... I loved working with (for) him, just because I learnt so much in the process, constantly being challenged. It also meant I worked in a permanent state of stress, trying to forsee when the guy was going to flip, and ask me to draw weird opiate molecules on the white board, from memory. Coming to work in the morning was a real challenge, and I remember journeys from flat to hospital in bus 38, with a tight knot above my stomach, while I was trying to remember if yes, or no, I had started the night run on the GC, or if I had used the right internal standard. I got shouted at a fair number of time, every time bringing tears to my eyes, a further proof I don't take critiscisms, or any form of confrontation, very well. But I still remember today what he taught me, and he'll certainly be on my thesis' aknowledgement, as the first real scientist role model I met.

Today, after four years spent working with really soft and nice people, I find myself about to work with people I know I will respect, but who are also likely to scare me to death. Just considering the effect a little email had on me. Did I manage to get myself a job out of my league? Quite likely. And it is also a great possibility that my old imposter syndrome will resurface very soon. My dreams of working 9 'til 5, and enjoying life will quickly fade away. Because the only way I know not to be seen as a fake is to throw in extra hours, trying to fake it even more. Anyhow, it's all doomed, I fear.

My , on the phone, kept asking why I was still at work. I gave him some elusive answers, pretending doing spell check for the thesis, which is, by the way, as ready as it will ever be, the poor thing has, for X sakes, full tables of figures and tables, a comprehensive abbreviation list AND a glossary. I could push the boat out and include an index, but that would be a bit try-hard. Ehm. Anyway. I swore the boy I'd return home "very soon, at a decent hour" to do some packing and rest. But. It is 19:40, and I'm still at work, considering wether or not to have dinner here. I'm scared to go home, and cook a proper dinner, at a time earlier than 22:00. I don't like the idea of not eating in my comfy PC chair, in front of my draft papers. I'm hooked on the writing/procrastinating thingy. I need to get out. Fast. The blob is battling fiercly to push me toward the vending machine, but I tricked him: I didn't pack my purse this morning, leaving me pennyless today. But it won't last. I can be (or rather the blob) resourceful, when needed.

I need to go home. Pack. Move away from the midlands, my PC chair, my desk, my corner. Let go, and start afresh, trying hard not to be outed as a fake. Ew, I'm already scared.

# mimile, le Samedi 1 Octobre 2005, 19:28 dans "bienvenue sur l ile maudite".


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