IN these scary economic times, most people are hunkering down in their jobs like soldiers in foxholes, trying to stay out of the line of fire. Concerns about work — is it fulfilling, is it meaningful, do I like it? — can seem almost frivolous.
And asking for anything — raises, different hours, a better chair — seems fraught with danger. Am I being too demanding? Can they find someone willing to work longer for less (and put up with the old chair)?
So the idea of asking to leave work for a month, let alone six or nine months, for a sabbatical or a fellowship, seems almost ludicrous — an indulgence, like the three-martini lunch, that belongs to another lifetime.