|What I eat all day every day during the 4 months of vacation I have each year.|
Well, bite me. No, I have not been sitting on my hands, if that's what you are implying.
All faculty are perpetually in the putting-out-fires mode, and most of the time it's not because we are lazy or disorganized. It's because we are constantly being pulled in all directions and often have to prioritize other people's immediate needs over those of our groups. Last semester I spent a lot of time on reviewing all sorts of internal proposals and award nominations for a university-level committee, often during inopportune times when I really needed to work on something else. Very often there are proposal deadlines, project report deadlines, all sorts of administrative and service deadlines. I am not even talking about deadlines that appear because one of your collaborators finally got their head above water and can finish the collaborative paper they'd been sitting on for months and only has a week before another pile of shit befalls them, so of course, if you want this thing to get done, for your own sake and the sake of all the students and postdocs involved, you drop everything else and make sure this paper gets out.
|Faculty member dealing with an urgent service task.|
Near as I can tell, all faculty fight this battle, and it is simply part of the job. It gets much, MUCH worse after tenure. That's why it pisses me off so much when I see that a fellow scientist feels it's their duty to scold me for asking for a short turnaround time on a letter of recommendation. They should know better than to assume I am a disorganized twat or the whole committee isn't doing their job, and, instead of admonishing me via email, simply take it as yet another request that needs to be done on a suboptimal timeline, likely sent to you by an equally stressed out colleague from another institution.
** Please don't ask why the application submission is not by file upload, followed by an automatic request for letters. That is another ulcer I am getting right there.