Monday, June 04, 2007

No more MsPhD nice guy.

Yup, that's it. I'm done. I'm no longer going to worry about helping certain people, because there will always be some of them.

You know, the ones who ask for your protocol, and ask you questions about it, and then don't follow it.

You find out they didn't follow it when they have a problem, and when you ask what they did, they say they did it a different way.

But they still want you to troubleshoot it for them.

Here's my answer:


Yeah. There's a special place in hell for those people.

It might, in fact, be time to make an updated version of lab hell. I may have to try to dig the old one up and optimize it.

Other than that, it was a perfectly decent day, except that...

I found out that despite having a calendar for a specific piece of equipment, nobody remembered that someone had apparently booked this thing I was planning to use later this week... on the day I was planning to use it.

It wasn't on the version of the calendar I had, so I'm wondering if it was really just an honest oversight, or if I got bumped. Either way, it screwed up my day today and more or less screwed up my whole week.

People who can't write on calendars get their own level of hell, too.

And the advisors who are always out of town and never reply to email? They get a nice toasty spot at the bottom, right next to the coals.



At 8:02 PM, Blogger Professor Howdy said...

Very good posting.
Thank you - Have a good day!!!

At 7:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too agree that all who ask you for your protocol and then do it their own way but still ask for help when it doesnt work should be marked with a permanent marker on their forehead. If they do it 5 times, they get kicked out of lab. Especially those people who dont know how to do experiments anyway but think that their previous experience in a field completely different than what they work on now has somehow given them divine insight into the inner workings of PCR. Idiots.

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Joolya said...

I guess I am kind of a bitch, because I would never offer to or agree to troubleshoot a protocol problem when the person hadn't actually followed the protocol. I think this has happened, sort of, and my reaction was simply: (brow furrows) "Oh, right. That sucks. You see, you should have done X-Y-Z instead of A-B-C, like I said in the protocol." (eyes return to computer screen).
Not thought through at all, so I guess I am not very nice ... on the other hand if they want to do it right they should follow the protocol they are given, and if they think they know so much, they can fix it themselves. Not my problemo.
Similarly, my response to the calendar situation would be to go to the person who booked it and say, "Hey, I booked that thing. Do we not have the same calendar? I really need to get on it so how can we divide up the time? Cause I have to use it at such-and-such a time."
Finally, my trick with non-responders to email is to just send the same email I'd sent already - that is usually embarassing enough to get them to respond right away and if confronted about the duplication, I can always parry with "Oh, sorry, I thought it mustn't have gone through, or maybe I typed your address wrong. Thanks for getting back to me."
My eight cents, for what it's worth.

At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take note from Joolya. She's absolutely right. You are well within your rights to refuse to troubleshoot for someone who did not follow the protocol. You don't need the use the "Cheney expletive" in enforcing that right. SImply say "I just follow the protocol to the letter. When you do that, and it still doesn't work, come talk to me".

I've been lurking here for a while. Something that would really help you, professionally, is to think about what your boundaries are, and then take care to protect yourself without purposefully offending anyone. Sure, people will still be mad when you don't do something for them, even if they have no right to expect it, but they will be wrong. If you tell them to go F-off, then they can reasonably be pissed. Even if they were wrong in the first place. And you will get called a b*tch, and no one will be sympathetic.

You seem to willfully put yourself in situations where you will be exploited, and then wase a lot of energy complaining about it. THIS, not your gender, is what will hurt your career the most.

If you get to be a PI someday (and yes, you do need the big publications in the top tier jounrnals, at least at some point in your career), the way you interact with people will be a huge determinant in how you do. Just wait until your graduate students, with mids of their own, start messing with protocols for no apparent reason when you are trying to stick one more peice of preliminary data in your grant proposal. Sure, you can scream at them, but, as you know, that's not helpful, atmospherically speaking.


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