A few days ago, I was talking to a senior colleague from a related program. Part of the conversation went like this:
Sr Colleague: So, do you ever take time for yourself--non-work time?
Jane: Well, I do take one weekend day completely off from work.
SC: [looks at me incredulously]
SC: Well, you should really take 2 weekend days off completely, ideally.
J: I know. I wish I could. The thing is, most junior faculty don't even take a day off on the weekends on a regular basis.
SC: Wow. I had no idea.
I am continually amazed by how little senior faculty know about the lives of junior faculty. Most of them don't realize how much being a faculty member has changed since they were junior faculty. I think some of them think we junior faculty bring all this stress on ourselves--they have no idea of the external and internal pressures we face on a daily basis, of the changing nature of the tenure process, of the increased expectations around research. (Or, if they understand this on a meta-level, they have no idea of the magnitude of it or how it plays out on a daily basis.)
Conversations like this are frustrating, but if ultimately it means that there's one more faculty member that "gets" what it's like to be a junior faculty member these days, then these conversations are worth having, and worth having often.