Financial pinches from the pandemic vary widely from mild to severe. Reduced hours, furloughs or layoffs hit some wage-earners hard. Small business owners see sales shrink and livelihoods jeopardized.
And then there's an Ann Arbor educator with a six-figure salary who tweets this week about "burdens" she sees as unfair.
"I am being asked to work at home as much as possible until the end of the year," posts University of Michigan psychology research professor Pamel Davis-Kean, "and so now I pick up all of the physical cost of my job (electricity, upgrading internet) with no raise or subsidy from the University."
In a follow-up, she responds to a U-M economist's gentle reality check:
I am thankful for my privilege but also aware that many others on our staff and on the faculty are taking on burdens especially monetarily with little recognition of those burdens or solutions— Pam Davis-Kean, Ph.D. (@pdakean) July 30, 2020
That was enough for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy to pounce with a whine-shaming post Thursday. The Midland center notes that Davis-Kean mentions higher home office expenses "at a time when Michigan’s unemployment rate is 14.8%."
It also notes that the professor earns $148,021, according to a U-M database.
Davis-Kean, 54, joined the faculty in 2013 as an associate professor, became a full professor two years later and currently is associate director of the Michigan Institute for Data Science on campus. Her specialties include socio-economic status.
Other academics in Michigan and beyond commiserate on her Twitter thread:
♦ "We should get some of our indirect costs back." -- Kate Bauer, U-M epidemiologist
♦ "It's not fair. But I prefer it to the alternative of working and teaching face-to-face." -- Alyssa Cheadle, Hope College assistant professor of psychology
♦ "Remember, they consider us lucky to have jobs." -- Melinda Sue Hill, health policy lecturer in West Palm Beach, Fla.
♦ "We are having to buy a new router and wireless mesh so Zoom doesn't drop out -- $250 minimum." -- Clare Conry-Murray, associate professor of psychology at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia
♦ "Count your blessings." -- Brian Sloss, high school teacher in Salinas, Calif.
♦ "Still can't afford my own office furniture on my grad student stipend." -- Ryn Linthicum, Florida State University