Up... and then down.
Yesterday was a Pretty Good Day (PGD). I don't have a lot of those. I set up an experiment, helped a student, went to an interesting seminar, emailed some people about reagents and they REPLIED RIGHT AWAY, and I read some papers. All around, it was a good balance of thinking and doing, alone-time and interaction-time, faith in ideas and faith that there are some people who actually are willing to share both ideas and tools, so we can actually get some work done.
Sigh. Why can't they all be PGD?
Today started out as a PGD and went downhill. I managed to do almost everything I needed to do before a meeting, managed a non-rushed lunch and actually found some people to eat with!
After lunch things got a little hairy. I had to do some running around looking for stuff I didn't have at the last minute (e.g. in the middle of the experiment)- poor planning on my part, mostly. Okay, fine. Disaster averted.
But I got interrupted by someone needing help, and didn't have the heart to just say NO when I should have... am still working on that skill.
Then at the end of the day, a couple of guys in our lab were sitting around talking. Every once in a while I would say something and notice that the one guy was rolling his eyes at the other one, like "When will she shut up?"
Maybe I'm just being hypersensitive. Maybe the guy had something in his contact lens, I don't know. But I could really do without that crap. hint: If you don't want to talk to me, don't have your conversation right next to my bench.
And I was struck by how typical it was: the guys are sitting around chatting, while the only female in sight is working her tail off.
Again with the math: we literally have to be 10 times better than our male peers to get the same job.
I was thinking about this today, how we get hit with bullshit stereotypes all the time. You know how they claim that women have fewer publications because we tend to collaborate more and have lots of middle-author papers? There was an article in Science recently (sometime in August, I think) about how women, on average, have fewer patents than their male peers. The explanation? Women collaborate LESS.
How can we both collaborate TOO MUCH and TOO LITTLE??
Oh, they always find a way to screw us over.
Anyway so at the end of the day, I heard from a PI friend that his wife, a postdoc, has some job offers. He was telling me this since they will probably move. Now, here is what my little brain thought when I heard that:
Now his position will be open, right?
Is she getting offers because he helped her shop her CV around to a bunch of schools (and they get him as part of the bargain)?
Who the hell is getting job offers? This woman better walk on water, or I'm going to be PISSED.
Lately I've been going to a lot of seminars by senior-ish postdocs, and it's quite clear to me that I'm among the top postdocs who have similar levels of experience. So I'm left with trying to logic my way out of a very illogical, very black box:
Assumption 1: My CV does not suck.
Assumption 2: I deserve a job.
Assumption 3: There are no jobs.
Observation 1: I'm not getting offers.
Observation 2: Other people are getting offers.
Conclusion 1: I must suck.
Conclusion 2: There are no jobs for people like me.
I'm either working in the wrong field, not supported by politics (which I knew), and/or it's just that nobody can picture having me as a colleague. I'm not likeable enough.
Goody. Not much I can do about any of that. Despite my efforts to meet people in positions of power, I think my un-likeability prevents them from, you know, bending over backwards to help. So it all comes back to the cult of personality.
I've read the body language books, the communication books, the management books, the managing-up books. I've mellowed considerably, believe it or not, since I started grad school, and I've made a serious effort to learn how to be more patient and give people the benefit of the doubt.
But there's only so much you can change about yourself.
So I'm a bit of an arrogant bitch.
Let's say I can't get a job in science that I would actually like, because people find me unbearably opinionated. Is there any kind of job where that isn't considered a liability?