Friday, November 11, 2005

More ethical woes

Random Asides:

To Zuska: as I mentioned in a previous reply to one of your comments, I already read Ms. Mentor's book. It didn't solve all my problems. Sorry.

re: recent discussions about the Pill, etc. I heard on CNN this morning that the makers of the Patch are now admitting users are at a higher risk of blood clots because of the high dose of hormones in it... really glad I got off it. And I have to wonder if there's a connection there with the onset of my migraines- there definitely was a correlation with the timing.


So I have two really frightening stories to tell today, assuming I have time to type them before my timer goes off. I'll try to make it brief.


1- Regarding the job search. A friend of mine told me recently that the reason her husband got a job at Well-Known University is because she happened to know a guy from her company who knew a guy on the search committee, whose wife wanted to work at their company...

and voila, everyone scratches each other's back, and two days later, he has the job.

Granted, he got the interview all on his own, but he hadn't heard from them in months. The friend wrote a somewhat misleading recommendation letter (he had actually never met the husband), and all is taken care of.

This is the stuff that wakes me up in the middle of the night.


2- Apparently a National Academy of Sciences member who works in my area has been sexually harrassing- actually, attacking- women for decades.

It's one of those stories that comes out when women admit to each other that it happened to them, "Oh, it happened to you too???" is how it goes.

I want to know why the National Academy condones this kind of behavior.

The worst twist in this story: one of the women on the Misconduct Oversight Committee said the women who complained "shouldn't rock the boat." Thanks a lot, lady. We really want guys like this in our midst!

I have a feeling I would critically injure anyone who tried a move like that on me, and I would be the one to end up in court for assault and battery. But it would probably be worth it. I'd rather be the one who takes the guy out for good than the one who is supposed to be in charge of Oversight, and chooses instead to Overlook. Shame on you!

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At 12:21 PM, Blogger John said...

Just a couple of caveats. If nothing happened after the interview for a couple of months, that probably means the search committee was cycling through their first, and perhaps second and third candidates before hiring the husband. Depending on the length of the short list, he might well have been near the top of the remaining list of candidates.

Also, if the new hire's wife and one of the search committee's wife wind up working at the same company, everyone in the dept will eventually know about it, so it can hardly have been conceived as an underhanded plan afraid of the light of day.

Maybe improper considerations were considered, but your second case seems far more serious.

At 6:03 PM, Blogger angrygrad said...

As somebody in biomedical sciences, #2 has me seriously scared.

At 3:01 AM, Anonymous inky circus said...

way back when i was among the usual cast of characters at the zoo building, a seeminly harmless (but inevitably creepy) old professor found cause to grab my ass. GRAB MY ASS. i would have liked to think that no one who GRABS MY ASS could have escaped said situation with said hand intact. but i was so shocked and so appalled that i was mute. but then i reported the incident regarding MY ASS and he has since retired. ahem. turns out that ass-grabbing was a bit of a hobby of his.

At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Zuska said...

I normally don't care for picking nits, but since you addressed me in your blog post...what you said to me in reply to my comment was that your university does not participate in MentorNet. Not that you had already read Ms. Mentor's book. I am not an idiot. I did not make it through thirteen years of higher education and four degrees without being able to read.

I am wondering if part of the reason why you find that female faculty or AWIS members or women in industry are of no help to you as mentors...might be because you are dismissive of anything they might have to say? If I were to tell you that stuff like your story #1 happens quite often, that candidates often get (or lose) jobs for reasons that are completely out of their control, and that therefore what you need to do in addition to having solid research and publications is network, network, network, even with people you don't like, and try not to worry about things you can't control - if I were to tell you that, I suspect you would not welcome that information from me, and you would not ask me for additional ideas on how to go about that networking. Because you have dismissed me as condescending.

Electronic communication does not allow for body language and tone of voice, so communications can be misconstrued. Apologies if that's what I've done here.


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