This PHDComic seems to me to sum up the work schedule of academics really well, at least in my experience. On the one hand, there has been an incredible amount of flexibility, inasmuch as the opportunity has in most cases been there to be involved in family activities and/or travel at times when classes were not meeting.
On the other hand, whether it is writing, grading, reading, or any other work-related activity, it doesn’t get skipped. On the contrary, it fills in all the time around both the classes and the family things.
Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I realize that in some contexts such as elite research universities, what I am describing means a schedule much like that of any high-powered corporation, the only difference being that, instead of hoping to become CEO and retire early to make up for all the extra hours, one is aiming for tenure.
But in other contexts, such as universities with a strong liberal arts focus where the emphasis is on teaching, the demands are much more realistic, and one does not have to choose in the same way between keeping one’s job or spending time with family.
If you are an academic, does the comic resonate with you? And is what it depicts mostly a positive or a negative thing in your own experience?