If it's any consolation, this shit doesn't stop even when one gets that coveted tenure-track job. When you're an assistant professor, normal people (you know, people who aren't academics, just in case you know any) disturbingly often ask, "Who are you assisting?" If you answer, "I'm not assisting anyone, that's just what the job is called," they never believe it. It's much like trying to trying to tell a student: "A B is a good grade. It means 'good'." I've stopped trying to use that one, since they never buy it.Even when one finally gets tenure and is promoted to associate professor, the shit doesn't end. Once I was told, "I want to talk to the real professor, not just the associate." So, being promoted to full professor is sweet: I wish it happened to more people.