Some people debate whether or not they should get a 2nd job to supplement their income. (The answer is generally yes!) Now that I’ve finished my second degree program and have a good job, I find myself wondering if I should give up my second job.
It’s a casual position at an institution where I used to work as a research assistant. The job involves taking care of laboratory animals for one or two shifts on the weekend. It was an easy part time job for me to get years ago because I already worked at the institution as a researcher and, to be blunt, I had far more experience than the majority of their “animal care” technicians. I haven’t accepted a shift in a long time though. Actually, I haven’t returned their calls in a long time. I’m not sure what to do. [Confession: When something bothers me on a philosophical level and I am unable to come up with a resolution, I will usually ignore and hope that it goes away. I call it the ostrich manoeuvre]
Clearly, it’s a great casual job. The days are flexible – I get to choose when to accept shifts and when to refuse. The hours are flexible – I can start work any time between 7 and 9am. And it pays very well for part time work – over $20 per hour. But, there are a lot of things that bother me about it.
I don’t agree with a lot of the work on a moral and philosophical level. Let me be clear – I do believe that there is a place for animal research, but I do not believe that all basic research requires animals in order to be considered good science. There’s a lot of science that requires animal use due to federal regulations and safety requirements. But there’s also a lot of non-required animal use due to publishing pressures, inexperience, and waste. Finally, in my own personal and anecdotal experience, there is not enough regulation, training and enforcement to ensure that animals are given proper, humane care all the time. Most of the time, yes. But not all of the time. It makes me sad.
So therein lies my dilemma! Do I give up the money because of my moral and philosophical conflict? Or do I stay in order to better my own financial situation?