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What do you do for a living? I’m a professional gambler

You know what I’ve decided? That so many jobs are way more similar than they are different. This idea has come to my mind because I’m currently honing my application for the next round of fellowships that (if all goes well) will pay my salary for the next four years. It is definitely onerous – lots of extra reading, lots of thinking, heaps of time spent writing a project that there is a very real risk the reviewer won’t like. I can’t help but think in this over-worked, slightly over-stressed state of mind, that researchers are exactly like professional gamblers. I am putting all my money (literally, considering I won’t have a salary without this) on a one-shot effort…sound familiar?

So instead of working on my fellowship application, I’ve decided to compile a list of why researchers are like professional gamblers:

- The odds of a receiving a grant are similar to the odds of a horse winning in the Melbourne Cup (aka POOR).

- We both spend inordinate amounts of time reviewing data and statistics.

- We both are constantly justifying to others why we do what we do.

- We both can often be found at the pub having beers with colleagues.

- The majority of the time, we put in more than we get out ($$-wise), except for the small few who are incredibly successful

- We often become overly attached to random objects and can’t work without them (e.g. the professional gamblers’ lucky troll vs. my laptop)

- We both are known to occasionally lose it (in my head I compare the lady who I sold the “wrong” Bingo card to, who attacked me with her dobber, to my reaction when I didn’t get an Academy of Science grant which mainly involved yelling and very melodramatically throwing papers up into the air…seriously, I’m never allowed to get cats. I’ll end up throwing them at people like the crazy lady from the Simpson’s).

- We both have been known to not sleep for periods of up to 48 hours (with the results being disastrously similar I’m sure).

- We both are constantly chatting to others in the field to get the inside scoop.

And the final reason?

- Isn’t yelling out “Bingo” when you win eerily similar to yelling out “Eureka”?

Exactly. I rest my case. However, I’m certain I’ve missed a few gooders so please feel free to add to the list!