Monday, August 11, 2008

PI Power.

This week's experiment: more interactions with PI than usual.

Very curious to see how this goes.

Lately PI wants to be Involved. I am both amused and bemused by this.

In some ways, it is a big relief, someone to lean on. Someone who cares about my project (all of a sudden). At least insofar as it will make PI look good.

In other ways, I suspect it will be too little, too late.

But most of me just thinks hey, better than nothing. Better late than never.

As a point raised by JR in a comment, re: opportunity, I think this is a good example.

I often find myself wondering if the problem is that I don't handle these interactions correctly, if I don't anticipate PI's every desire and finagle every nuance in my favor, will I have missed some invaluable chance here?

I've never been good at kissing ass. And I think PI is suspicious even of sincere compliments from me, because they are so very rare indeed.

So I can't help thinking about former Postdoc(s) and how some of them, who were no better than I am at the bench, no more hard working, and no more well-read, no better writers, etc... how they somehow achieved a meteoric rise up and out of the lab.

I can only assume this - interactions with the PI - was the missing ingredient?

So I keep trying to channel these Ghosts of Postdocs Past and think about what they did differently. Why them and not me, I have to wonder?

I have to assume it's because they knew how to harness PI Power to their advantage.

I'm trying to figure out how to build PI panels and attach them to my roof.

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8 Comments:

At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can only assume this - interactions with the PI - was the missing ingredient?

Yes.

 
At 6:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being on great terms with your PI is the only way you can get things done with that person. I am on good terms with my old boss but he's always, ALWAYS favored other people in the lab. Just last week, I found out that this girl is secretly working with my old PhD advisor to finish up some papers. Meanwhile, I have tried contacting my advisor every week and he's ignored my emails and voice msgs. Every single fucking time I've tried to finish these stupid papers with him he's blown me off, and the thing that gets me is he's the one encouraging and actively engaging with that other girl.*

Another thing that really gets under my skin is if I didn't NEED his approval on these manuscripts, I would have submitted them years ago. He's the only person who is holding these papers up. It's only my career he's fucking up. He's got tenure.



*The other girl is an exchange student from the same country he is from. National pride is nice and all but she's not even his fucking student!!! It makes me so friggin mad.

 
At 7:06 AM, Blogger Hawkeyegirl said...

It's all about "playing the game"

 
At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto Anon12:55. This may be your opportunity to launch. Do not squander it. Your PI may now believe you are ready.

 
At 9:47 AM, Blogger Perry said...

Wrong. I think you're being overly simplistic. I doubt it's as simple as kissing your PI's ass.

I could cite any number of trite cliches about assumptions here, but I won't.

If you assume that you're right, you'll probably overlook the evidence that suggests you're wrong. Come on - aren't you a scientist?

 
At 10:10 AM, Blogger JaneB said...

Definitely a hypothesis worthy of careful testing

 
At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has to do with an older post than this one.

Here's another reason why women don't get as much authorship as men do. Sexist bosses! My old PhD advisor called me out of the blue, just to announce he is putting himself as first author on a paper that I did the data collection, analysis, and write-up and used it as a 1/3 of my PhD thesis. Way to backstab me once again, old man! I can't help but think I, a female, am getting completely screwed by one man, mind you, the full professor male BOSS. He doesn't really need any more papers. He's just decided YEARS after the fact that he is changing his mind about my contributions to the paper. I wish he'd just retire immediately. He's a detriment to science and promoting young people to stay in science.

 
At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YFS -
I finished reading "seducing the boys club" and didn't care for it much. I was really looking for solid advice to navigate boys club territory day in day out, and just thought the author missed the mark in the arena of providing tried and true methods for common issues.
So, I'm going to read "women don't ask" by Babcock and Laschever - it's enroute now via my favorite forest.com :) It looks like there is much more advice rather than preaching to the girls choir that discrimination sucks. And academia is a main theme so it might actually be useful. here's hoping! JC

 

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