Death by OverDoc
There are two kinds of OverDocs.
By OverDoc I mean, people who rank above Postdoc, below PI, usually Research Track type Staff but with PhDs.
Almost no one aspires to these kinds of jobs. This is the kind of job you end up in by default when all else fails, the bottom-of-the-barrel backup plan when you have been a postdoc beyond forever.
So the two kinds are:
1) The awesome kind (SuperDocs)
2) The awful kind (PermaDocs)
These people are the unsung heroes of science. They keep labs running, they publish, they are full of expertise of all kinds because they've been doing experiments forever, but they will never be promoted.
They don't want the stress of being in charge, because they view it as a real responsibility. And/or they're viewed as being too nice, too accommodating. They have trouble sticking their necks out.
They usually worship their PI, for better or worse, and will stay on as permanent lab managers for as long as they can.
They often end up going to industry if the lab loses funding or moves to a new location.
Most postdocs are secretly afraid of becoming one of these people. We're not always sure how they got to be where they are, all we know is, it wouldn't be our first choice for a permanent job.
These people are the bane of my existence.
They get paid more than I do, as a regular postdoc, but they work less, don't listen to a word I say, don't have a clue what they're talking about, but PI loves them.
They always say they're going to leave, but they don't.
They hate their jobs, and have no loyalty to anyone. Their main activities at work are gossiping or surfing the web.
They're in academia because it's easy to keep "Flex Time", or even what I refer to as "No Time".
They often work for PIs who are perpetually absent and/or completely clueless.*
They may have PhDs, but in these cases the degree is meaningless.
So I decided to write this post because today I had yet another run-in with a PermaDoc.
I was on the verge of having a meltdown about today's run-in when I realized, you know what, it's not me.
I didn't do anything wrong.
And it's not that unusual for me to be treated like dirt at work by people who arguably should not outrank me. I should be used to it by now! I'm sure I can expect more of them wherever I go, whatever job I end up doing!
PermaDoc is just a lazy idiot, and I already knew that.
So why let it upset me.
In fact, I'm proud of myself for taking the time to choose my phrasing carefully and be the Ultimate Professional when dealing with PermaDoc.
Not that anyone here will reward me for that.
So I'm giving myself a virtual back-pat for editing what I would have liked to have said (something really snotty, actually).
And now, I need to ice my tongue. I've been biting it too hard, and all day.
*My PI is only mostly absent (~50-75% of the time?) and sometimes clueless.**
**I won't try to quantify what I mean by sometimes.