The postdoc is a deeply spiritual person, and no, she’s not ashamed of it. There are a few higher entities she simply believes in and devotedly prays to, with absolute, unshakeable faith: her friend Emilia, for instance; or again her friend Giuseppe.

From very dark valleys indeed, the postdoc has invoked them and reliably beheld their miracles: mattresses to sleep on; reference letters; free granizado at the Sant Joan fest; retributing emails to famous-but-regrettably-sloppy reviewers (some even including CAPITAL LETTERS); interactions with terrifying officials in the unknown tongue of new countries; truthful judgements on bad ideas; smileys at opportune times.

Right now, in some overflowing godliness, both Giuseppe and Emilia are telling the postdoc about the complexities of income tax across successive research contracts, and she’s wondering whether she should just sit in the best lotus she can muster, close her eyes, and peacefully wait for enlightenment.