It might all be moot.
Things have been going pretty well in terms of experiments. I've been getting enough data that my ideas are advancing... that's the fun part, what keeps me going despite all the s**t. In fact, I am downright excited about the science.
But this week I have had this awful feeling, like something really bad was about to happen and I wasn't sure what.
Today I got an inkling of what it might be, and realized that it probably doesn't matter how good my science is, if politics are really so important.
Which is really too bad, since I think I'm onto something of potentially wide interest, but if I can't finish it, nobody will ever know.
So I'm having that feeling again, like I should just try to hang in there until I can finish this project and get it out there, since I think other people would benefit from knowing what I did, even if it doesn't get me a job or any accolades whatsoever, it might save someone else from wasting time and effort reproducing what I've been doing all this time.
But I think it can't be coincidence that everyone always seems to be putting obstacles in my path, making everything harder than it needs to be. At some point, it's too much to be unintentional, it must be deliberate.
They are never acknowledging how hard I work, both on my own experiments and to help everyone around me get their experiments working.
You'd think they would appreciate it, but instead I get nothing for rescuing their grad students, saving them money by troubleshooting BEFORE expensive mistakes are made, calling the repair people to maintain the equipment, everything.
But no. Instead I am getting into trouble.
First I'm in trouble for spending too much time helping other people when I should be focusing on my own work.
Then I'm in trouble for not helping people as much as I used to, even though I still try to make sure everything is taken care of, and everyone knows I have my own work to do.
I don't know if it has to do with being female, maybe it has nothing to do with that. But I do think that male scientists can, and do, get away with personality quirks and flaws, and a lot less generosity, than female scientists can right now.
In fact, I have NEVER seen a male scientist, of any level, help his coworkers as much as I've been expected to help mine, while still getting all my own work done. If I fall down on either of those counts, I must be a failure.
But maybe I'm just playing the game all wrong. I'm sure I did something stupid along the way, but it's too late now to go back.
Yes, this is probably all my fault. Too bad nobody ever gave me the keys to the club, or the location of the manual of unwritten rules.
I was thinking of this guy today who started his own lab a couple of years ago, and how it's amazing that anybody would want to hire him, much less want to work for him.
This guy was not a team player. He was not liked by anyone. His science wasn't even that great. And he was among the most arrogant people I've ever had the misfortune to meet.
I can think of plenty of examples of people like that, who are not likable at all, whose science is mediocre, but who have somehow managed to what, dodge the politics? Blackmail someone? How does that even happen?
Because I'm wondering if I should change my strategy. Maybe, instead of trying to be liked by the right people, and do the right thing, I should just figure out what people do whom nobody likes. How those people are successful despite being selfish jerks.