Today's CoHE "First Person" features the melancholy musings of three assistant professors who have discovered that "being an assistant professor is a cool gig, at the end of the day it's only a gig." Two complain about faded "glow" (perhaps they should invest in flashlights?) and one admits that he is "doing many of those things because I have to, not because I want to." As they sigh in unison, the "rigors of the professoriate are beginning to weigh heavily."
If I understand this essay correctly, these three assistant professors have discovered that being a professor is...a job. Which, like all other jobs currently existing on the face of the planet (and even jobs existing in the far future--after all, between episodes, Benjamin Sisko probably spent most of his time on DS9 filling out boring bureaucratic paperwork), primarily consists of obligations that aren't especially interesting, enjoyable, or fulfilling. Amazingly, tenure does not make any of these obligations go away. (My reward for tenure, besides a small raise, was more committee work.) To describe the petty annoyances of day-to-day academic life as "the rigors of the professoriate" overdramatizes the nature of academic labor. We aren't "above" all that sort of thing, purported ivory towers notwithstanding. (Given the current state of the NYS budget, goodness knows of what my ivory tower will soon consist.) Moreover, I wonder to whom "the professoriate" refers--many adjuncts, for example, would probably be delighted to have such rigors. I don't object to the griping per se; after all, most people gripe about their jobs. It's a universal hobby. But perhaps a bit more self-reflexivity might have been in order, especially when many people are having a difficult time finding opportunities to "enjoy" the rigors in question?