Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Punishment and reward.

Today, I am gearing up to do some painful science stuff.

It is going to suck, but I am going to make myself do it, because I can't put it off any longer.

It's not repetitive stress injury painful, it's mentally and emotionally painful.

It's philosophically, morally painful to be forced to slog through some incredibly horrible science and document everything that's wrong with it.

I didn't make it to the gym last night, but tonight I am going to need it because I will be royally pissed off by the time today is over.

Despite my best efforts, I will have a very hard time not noticing how much money and time has been wasted on this horrible example of how not to do science.

However, with the goal of good-attitude-yields-good-karma, I am trying to take a merciful approach.

I will choose to assume that these people just didn't know any better, and not just at the beginning when they clearly screwed up. I will also choose to assume that they didn't deliberately go out of their way to try to hide their screwup. They just really didn't know any better. Right?

Yes, I am trying to give them the benefit of the stupid-is-as-stupid-does kind of doubt.


I am ignoring that these people have labs, and grants, and faculty positions. I am ignoring that they probably should have none of those things if the system worked the way it should.

Ignoring is bliss.


In better news, I am really enjoying this book and will be rewarding myself later by reading some more of it.

In some ways, I find this book a lot more uplifting and empowering than some of the more angry books I've been reading lately on bias and how it holds us back.

Reading those other books was helpful in arming me with the studies showing that indeed, bias is a factor and we have to account for it and figure out how to work around it.

This book is different because it is FUNNY and the author gives some very specific advice on how to change your attitude, not in a pollyanna way but in a practical New Yorker no-bullshit kinda way.

Yup, this author is my kind of person. I would like to meet her someday.

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At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am SOOOOO getting that book. I could write a freakin book on the tactics I have tried. I had an industry interview last year where I swear to you I went dolled up like a famous movie star and the interviewing old white male dude couldn't sit in his chair - he squirmed for the entire first 15 minutes, rubbed his head, adjusted his sleeves, twirled his pen, etc. I basically played the role of innocent siren (I was definitely knock em dead hot). At the end of the interview, I told him that the job really wasn't what I looking for and it was a pleasure knowing him. HE SENT **ME** a thank you card for interviewing - telling me how pleasant it was to chat with me and that he could recommend me to other depts if that was more interesting to me!!! I nearly fell over reading the card. Usually the interviewee sends the thank you. This whole seduction thing DOES work - I have to refine my skills. I'm sure the book is a hoot. Ordering NOW.

At 12:54 PM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...

Well, she does talk about how appearance matters, but so far as I can tell the idea is not seduction using sex, it's using ideas. Much more my style. Still, your story is funny. I think if you had taken the job you would have gotten attention of a sort you didn't want, but that's just my guess based on my own experiences where I could tell the person interviewing me thought I was attractive and then when I showed up they were sorely disappointed to find I was not there to flirt with them all day.

At 6:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a female research assistant professor (non tenure track), who has managed to get into a fight with every single person in our 25 person lab, is moving to her new tt faculty position in a couple of weeks. she was always talking smack and being passive/aggressive. she also lobbied to get her friend a job and get the existing admin assistant fired. she has NO first author papers from the last 5+ years here (after postdoc'ing), although i hear she is going to submit something soon.

anyway, there is a strange upside to all this. if someone so awful like her (personally and professionally) can get a tt job, there's hope for all of us. you just gotta stick it out for a long while...


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