Wednesday, January 04, 2006

My worthless ego

Ugh, so I spent the whole day today reading and thinking hard, and trying to meta-analyze a huge pile of confusing data. I made some progress, but my brain is tired so I'm giving up on getting anything else done today. I hate how I feel lazy if I'm not working all the time, and I can't just be satisfied that I made some progress. Progress is good! Guilt = bad.

Then I checked my email - I really shouldn't bother doing that at all, it never seems to put me in a better mood, only a worse one.

This time I had a message sent to all postdocs on campus, announcing, among other things, the 'creation' of a few services I had personally orchestrated setting up a couple years ago when we started the postdoc association. We didn't have the resources to extend it beyond voluntary participation, mostly because the administration wouldn't cooperate (privacy issues, etc). And we literally went door-to-door to set some of this stuff up. It was hard work, but we thought it was important, so we did all the legwork ourselves. Literally.

Anyway I was just annoyed because as usual there is absolutely no mention of the contributions of myself and others who set this stuff up in the first place, and instead it probably sounds to most postdocs like the administration finally got their act together (which is partially true, but still).

Anyway I'm just annoyed because it feels, as usual, like no good deed goes unpunished, and I should give up ever getting any credit for anything that I do, whether it be for postdoc policy or science or whatever. I don't know why, I just really want some kind of acknowledgment once in a while. I wish I didn't. It would be so much easier.


At 7:08 PM, Blogger post-doc said...

I've been in that same spot lately. Feeling guilty for not working constantly, mildly frustrated even when research is going well, completely annoyed when ideas and work don't gain the credit I think they deserve. I have no idea how to get out of it - things just shift eventually for me and I don't feel so bad anymore - but I wanted you to know that you're definitely not alone in your feelings. Hope interviews and accolades are heading your way soon!

Oh, and congratulations for seeing your policy work do some serious good! I think that's amazing.

At 9:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A scientific person ought to have no wishes, no affections, - a mere heart of stone.

Charles Darwin

At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel quite similiar myself right now. Guilty for leaving at a decent hour and not staying late to get more done. Unfortunetly I haven't even made a lot of progress lately.... as none of my experiments are working.

Cheers on doing something to change things, even if you didn't get recognized- know that you made a difference, and that is what counts!


At 11:28 PM, Blogger ScienceGeek said...

Must be something in the air. I also have that feeling of guilt lately combined with laziness or I suppose more of a "will this really matter?" attitude.

Good for you on doing the grunt work even if you didn't get credit. I've realized that's university administration for you.

At 1:54 AM, Blogger Kristofer said...

Yes, it's hard when you don't get any appreciation. Hope you will get it soon, maby for something else but still something that shows that what you do makes a difference.

Kristofer's computational biology blog

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...

Thanks you guys!! Especially considering what I did for the postdocs here may be the most useful thing I ever do in science.


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