My job sucks.
Well, it's a new day, and nothing is working.
It's probably fixable- most bench things are, with enough time and elbow-grease (and sometimes money)- but I'm frustrated to the point of wanting to go home and cry.
But benchwork is not the only reason why.
Spent part of my day counseling yet another distraught grad student, who is being bullied by a sexist visiting professor in her lab. Her somewhat sexist advisor is nowhere to be found when she needs an authority figure to step in, and while her co-workers all agree that this guy's behavior is inappropriate, nobody will stand up for her or with her to either confront this guy or the advisor.
This is such an old story, but this poor student feels like we all feel when this happens:
Is it me (no)?
Am I alone in this (sort of)?
Is it because I'm a girl (probably)?
Is this what I can expect if I go into academia (or maybe the workforce in general) (yes)?
Is this worth putting up with (questionable)?
I wish I could go over there and give the advisor a piece of my mind, but I somehow doubt that would do any good (?). After all, I'm a Nobody.
Meanwhile, she can't get any work done because the bully is literally monopolozing her equipment, and sending her harrassing emails.
He's only there for 6 more months, so I told her that she's tough, if she has to she can suck it up. I gave her a bunch of other suggestions (including to document, document, document), but mostly I just hate that she has to go through this at all.
Perhaps most nauseating about this whole scenario is that she asked another postdoc what to do. This postdoc (whom I don't particularly like or respect) told her to just act sweet and stupid and do whatever he says to do. And then he will like her.
Thankfully, this grad student is more like me than this other postdoc. We agreed she would be setting a bad example and hating herself if she tried to 'act sweet.'
Worse than that for me on a personal level, the interview talks are starting up, which means I'm getting details on the people who are getting the interviews.
What's most sickening is that they aren't much different from me. They don't have more papers. Their projects aren't even that interesting.
What they do have is pedigree. Their papers are in Nature Something journals and always with famous co-authors.
I'm trying to be happy (?) that at least some of them are women.
In other news, while I'm thinking about going to industry, it's also because I'm worried that I'm either way too smart or way too efficient to be in academia.
(You're either standing in the shoes of a genius or a fool?)
Bear with me for a moment while I explain.
I agreed to host a speaker for a group.
I invited the speaker. Speaker agreed and we set a date, time and place and picked a title.
When I informed the group that this was all set, they were amazed that I had done this so quickly (it took 1 email, and 1 to confirm).
I was stumped, but pleased that they seemed impressed.
Some time goes by and we need to confirm the room. There's a staff member who is supposed to help print the flyers and book the food, etc.
Group Leader asked me to make the flyer. I said I thought the staff person did that, and I had already sent all the info that would go on the flyer (date, time, title).
Two more emails back and forth, I just made up the flyer and sent it, just because it wasn't worth the time to argue.
Eventually Group Leader writes back that Staff Person will make the flyer with the Logo.
I was thinking: Ok so you didn't send me a template, but now you're saying my flyer wasn't good enough? Does anybody even recognize the logo? I know I don't pay any attention to those things.
But I didn't say anything.
Now I am getting emails about the room. The room we wanted is booked. There are literally dozens of other rooms on campus we could use.
They are conferring amongst themselves about which room. Several emails about this. The most obviously available ones, they argue, are too hard to find.
I'm thinking: Um, is this a college campus? Shouldn't we assume that people are capable of reading a map? Or asking for directions?
But I don't say anything.
This is not a big event. The audience will definitely number less than a hundred, maybe less than 50, maybe less than 20, I don't know and I don't care. I wanted to see this speaker, I will be there.
All of this got me wondering, is this how academia does things? Because I am horrified at how inefficient it is. How pointlessly democratic. Do we really all need to agree on the logo? The flyer with the logo? The room? NO. We don't. It just has to be functional for what we want to do.
And I have to wonder what Group Leader and all the other group members do all day. Because it can't possibly be actually productive, actual work.