Life on the Imaginary Axis

The wonderful world of scientific research has suffered some seriously crunched financial cherries this year.  As is always the case, one of the first things that gets cut is the travel budget.

This has had made planning and organizing productive and useful technical conferences virtually impossible, as even the rock stars of the scientific community are grounded.

Trying to recruit an alternate for a tech session i’m organizing, i snagged one of our brilliant junior geniuses, AU*, in the hallway this afternoon.

daisyfae:  Hey, i know it’s a long shot that we’ll have a travel budget anytime soon, but would you be willing to be an alternate for my session at the “Nerdliness is Next to Godliness” Symposium next November?

AU:  I would LOVE to do that, but there’s no way I can commit.  I’ve had to back out of the last two Plenary talks I was invited to present.  I’ve finally had to start telling people “No!” before they ask!  I’m tired of letting people down!

daisyfae:  Yeah.  i know the feeling.  i’ve got to do the same thing when the supermodels come knockin’ at my door…

He wants me...

image found here

* i’ve written about AU before – here and here.  He is a million kinds of awesome…

24 thoughts on “Life on the Imaginary Axis

  1. Not having a travel budget sucks donkey dick. The reason you don’t have a travel budget sucks worse. However, I’ve seen some of the men you hang out with, and I don’t believe you say “no.”

    • It’s unlikely, but we can hope! He is one of the rare ones that is both brilliant, and high-functioning. After this part of the conversation, we went on to talk about my old motorcycle, and options for rejuvination. He’s a motorcycle mechanic, too!

  2. I cheat – we are about the most conveniently located campus in London, there is one other but they aren’t within walking distance of three major rail termini as we are. So now when someone suggests a few of us should get together to talk about “Open Access” or “Regulatory Reporting” (I know you can imagine the thousands bashing the doors down to join in these witty topics) I offer to host. Everyone is like “Oh thanks so much” etc. Then they have to argue about the inconvenient train times to get a cheap ticket and I just roll up with the coffee pot 🙂

    • For certain meetings, where a substantial number of my team needs to attend, we can call for the local tribal council. i find that FAR more stressful than getting on a plane, though. i’ve got to assist with logistics, meals, lodgings, attending to every little nitnoid thing that comes up. much more fun for me to show up, dine on room service, appreciate the maid service, then go home!

  3. Travel budgets…. My employer is quite liberal with her policy regarding travel. Of course, she is also peachy at allowing me time off whenever I want it. Too bad she doesn’t do the paid vacation or sick leave thing…. Being self-employed has its moments.

    • Your boss is an absolute goddeess! She could be named one of the top ten bosses, if she would allow herself to be nominated. But, of course, she’d probablly have to write up the award nomintation herself…..

  4. I’ll make no bones about it. I had to Google the word ‘Plenary’. Even worse, I spent all morning trying to interject it into a conversation on at least several occasions. So far, my greengrocer, postman, three of my brothers, two random llamas and the barmaid of the Hungry Monk all think that I am a fecking eejit.

    They all perfectly understood the crop dusting plane scenario however, which just goes to show the level of sophistication of most of my pals.

    • It brings me a fair bit of pleasure to be able to engage many strata of society… i usually learn something along the way. i find your sort of pals to be the most fun, though. Feel free to interject anything you’d like in my direction… promise not to crop dust.

      • The world is a lot smaller place than you may imagine my wee cutie, you never know who might turn up on the doorstep with a 30 year old single malt and a Scottish beef interjecter device concealed about his person.

        Can you imagine the aftermath once the pair of us hit all of your local bars on a Friday night?

        • i’ve always been quite fond of Scottish beef – and a sample of the well-aged variety would fix me right up! we could cause quite a bit of trouble, i think. i’ll get the guest room ready… let’s go!

  5. I blame those losers at GAO and the IRS for ruining it for the rest of us. I don’t think people realize how much of the real work gets done at technical meetings. Or perhaps they don’t care. Our travel budget has been pretty severely restricted, but fortunately we can still get out to present some papers on occasion.

    • i am also quite cranky about the doofi at GAO and IRS, and not just for the conferencing debacles! while i am known for extreme farting around at conferences, i also learn a great deal, make amazing connections, and am able to generally target the greatest barriers to transition for that moment in time for any particular tech field… as you might expect, we’re sitting on an empty tank, and it looks grim going into next year as well…

  6. Travel budget?
    I haven’t had one of those in years (work related OR personal! lol)
    After I traded in my Office Goddess heels and moved into the fast paced (cough, cough) world of working for the school district, there is no such thing as “Travel Budget,”
    Hell, we BARELY squeaked by on getting our school budget passed!

    Sorry your cherries have been crunched. 😦

    • Yeah, i’m being whiney… Definitely a “First World Problem”. i’m starting into my summer vacation run, so i will be spending enough time on airplanes to get sick of it again! i’ll shut up now… 🙂

    • There was this one time, when… well… ok… not that time. But once, when i was in band camp, this thing happened… well, in my imagination. Seriously, though, ummm….


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