Not Enough Publications!

In an academic institution, a large part of progressing through a career is having enough publications to get to the next rung. It’s a battle I was aware of when I joined, but have not been motivated enough to fight well. Maybe I’m not equipped, maybe I’m not a battler, maybe I’m just plain lazy. “Not enough publications” is a yearly ordeal I hear every June as I settle into a stagnant life in my C grade quarters and I find myself unable to remove the Asst. in my designation. This is also an easy excuse for not being allotted a car park at work. But it hasn’t impacted on the joy factor in life thankfully. Only my overall impact factor on the academic world has been, tragically, close to zilch.

I’ve now started using “Not Enough Publications” as an excuse for everything to try and twist this academic disability in my favour. Here are some (possible) scenarios:

1. (At work): Doctor Sir, why can’t you discharge my child. He’s already 1.5 kg and gobbling milk through that NG tube.
After 15 minutes of explaining our discharge criteria, parents were adamant.
“I still can’t discharge the baby dear parents”.
“Why doctor ji”
“I don’t have enough publications”
(After a round of hugs and tears)
“Doctor, we’ll stay till you say he is fit for discharge”

2. At Radisson Beach Resort:
Me: “Could you upgrade our room sir”
Receptionist: “Are you a Club Member sir”
Me: “No sir. But I don’t have enough publications”
Him: “You can take the Royal Suite sir”

3. Auto guy: “80 RS sir”
I give him a 100.
“Do you have enough change sir”, he asks.
Me: “Not enough change. Not enough publications. Keep the 100”
Everyone is a winner.

4. “I won’t be able to help with music at church this Sunday”
“Why Benji”
“Not enough publications”

5. “I’ll skip dessert”
“Why honey”
“Not enough publications”

6. JJ: “Appa, could I have a new Lego set for my birthday, please?”
Me: “No JJ”
“Waaaaaaaah. But why Appa? I used manners”
“Appa has manners too, but not enough publications”

7. “Sir you are eligible for a lifetime free Platinum credit card sir”
Me: “That’s ok, I’ll skip this offer. Not enough publications”
“Sir, then you can have our titanium card with more benefits.”

8. “Benji, you don’t update your facebook status often. It’s been a loooong time”
“Yah machhan. Not enough publications”
Publish or Perish they told me. I know which way I’m headed. If you don’t see this diary updated in a month, say a silent prayer for me.

Author: Benji

3 thoughts on “Not Enough Publications!

  1. Hey Benji ! I can identify with everything you say. Not all of us are cut out to perform a certain way . It can be I really demoralising and I went through exactly what you went through when I had my two kids three years apart, My life also started revolving around the stress of publishing great articles as it was a decide factor in everything in CMCH esp housing, salary, respect from peers and juniors etc. I was lucky that I did not have to park my car in hospital campus as I only lived in hospital campus so that did not matter to me😂 I manage to get from assistant to associate but was not motivated to go above that. I am aware that the criteria has become a bit more rigid and I would have been like you trying hard to get above assistant to associate professor level of I had to do it now. I kept telling myself that it was not becauseI cannot do it but because I had to get my priorities right as I had a young family who needed me at home. I like yourself felt I was lazy and blamed my incapable of finding time to write a paper. I also never had the right mindset and peace of mind to do so and that was reality actually when I was struggling with finding time to spend quality time with kids after work and teach them all the right things. I thought I could hang on until they grow up and put a hold to writing research articles until the kids are able to fend themselves and don’t want you around like how it is now. But unfortunately it is rat race and I realised things won’t wait for my personal circumstances to improve. Finally you become shameless and accept that it is what it is and decide to bow out as I could take the pressure anymore. So here I am with not enough publication but so happy that I chose publication over family 😂 Today I am not ashamed that I have not published enough articles because I know that my forte is my clinical skills and experience and I am glad that I have stopped running after trying to publish. May be sometime down the line I might to a PhD to just assuage the guilt I have for not being able to publish but as of now I have better things to do. I thought I should share my experience with publication just show that you are not alone in this. You will also get there one day whether you chose to publish or not. Do not be harsh on yourself and let things demoralise you too much Have great time at your 25th reunion without wasting time worrying writing an article ❤️

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