The brain trust at CNBC just published this little fluff piece about the least stressful jobs for 2013 and of course the least stressful job was being a university professor. Their rationale? There are no physical demands, no deadlines, no environmental condition hazards, we don't put our lives on the line, nor are we responsible for other peoples' lives. I will grant that we're not crab fishing on the Bering Sea nor making command and control decisions on the front lines of a military conflict; however, this feeds the myth that being a professor in the US is like living in a plush ivory tower disconnected from the world -- holding class like we've all seen in the movies.
Coming from a smaller university, one that encourages a more democratic relationship between faculty and administration, not all of this applies to my experiences. I had no committee obligations during my first year, but I gladly took on some workshop work to earn some extra money. I will be getting advisees this spring, and that I do worry about. I am on two committees this year, but for one I was asked to be a co-chair. And luckily I had a post-doc research fellowship that has helped me create a publishing record. But for anyone who thinks professors have an easy job, this detailed breakdown of our lives really tells the truth.