Friday, May 30, 2008

Random factoids about my day.

So after all that waiting (brutal waiting!) I got some pretty nice data.

And I think I got the result I was hoping for. So that's a YAY.


* (parentheses necessary to avoid jinxing it)


Was annoyed at an admin who displayed, as usual, complete cluelessness about what I do and have done in all the time I've been working here.

Yes, to the casual observer, I am a nobody who does nothing. That must be why I'm here all the time (not that the admins would know that, they're never here.)

I am just going to shake it off. Stupid #$%!.

But I have to say, that kind of thing is so especially ironic (in the Alanis Morrisette use of the word) because meanwhile I am answering everybody's questions about how to do their experiments, how to get their techniques to work, and how to collect their data.

Now as you know, I like advising.

But they are not my students, and they are not my postdocs.

And with the exception of one (one student!), they never tell anyone I was the one who gave them the tools to make their experiments actually work. And I wouldn't care if I felt like I had some support of some kind for my own projects.

Argh. I am so tempted to start telling these constant questioners 'no'.

Unfortunately I didn't do a good enough job of hiding my expertise, or I could employ the computer geek's classic ruse and just pretend I don't know.

But I can't hide, because the students know I know. It's just everybody else (the admins, the PIs, the people who should be hiring me???) who are oblivious to all this science we've got going on here.


And then I was torturing myself looking on the web for methods papers, only to find that

a) The ones I want, where people are doing EXACTLY what I'm doing, are like, industrial journals or something.
And my university does not get these journals. So I can't get these articles.

b) The companies that make the equipment now sell KITS to do this stuff. I've been banging my head against various walls for the last 2 years working out how to do this, but NOW there are KITS. Now. When it's too late to help me anyway.



And the grad students are having a drinking-fest nearby, so I can't really hear myself think anymore. Can't drink with 'em, might as well go home and drink without 'em. Definitely can't get any work done with all this noise, hence the blogging.


And then I get to come back tomorrow. And get more data. Data = good. So I am going to try to focus on that. Good. Good. Good. Data. Data. Data. I am the MsPacman of data. Or is that DrPacMs?

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At 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that I know exactly how you feel. But at least there's data! Are you really always able to drag yourself to work on the weekend? I swear, I had to go in myself yesterday (perhaps) and today (really) but I am just so tired that I slept away sunday afternoon...

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...

I don't mind working on the weekend when I get data.

A grad student I worked with in college gave me some good advice. She always said, if you're going to work on the weekend, only do things you're sure are going to work or that aren't going to take too long. Her logic was that working 7 days a week for 5 years only resulted in her graduating a month or two earlier, so in the end she advised me to avoid burnout and always take at least 1 day off a week. And I have mostly managed to stick to that.

But what I hate when I work all weekend (when it's unavoidable) - and it happens almost every time - I crash around Wednesday of the week after.

Then sometimes I'll come in later and leave earlier if I'm really just too tired (not just physically, but mentally & emotionally tired).

It all evens out, I think, to about 70 hrs per week, whether I'm working at home on my computer or working in lab. 50 hrs/week is the minimum for me to really be productive and still put in all the required face time (which is mostly a hindrance to productivity but critical for career Success!).

So this weekend I ended up working pretty much all weekend. I didn't finish everything I wanted to finish, so I'm going to keep hacking away on the leftovers today.

The good (?) news is that the other thing I had planned to do today got canceled, so I'll have more time than I would have had otherwise.

At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you checked to see if your library can get the articles through inter-library loan?

At 5:04 PM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...


No, in this case I know ILL is too slow. I have gotten articles that way in the past and it sometimes takes months. In most cases it was worth it but not as useful as it would have been if I could have gotten it, you know, within a day or a week.

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It all evens out, I think, to about 70 hrs per week, whether I'm working at home on my computer or working in lab."

That's terrible. I don't know anyone who works 70 hours a week. Although some who say they do. Hope it pays off for you eventually.....


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