Friday, September 12, 2008

I have a headache.

Had another run-in with Permadoc.

Clarified for myself that Permadoc maintains incorrect memories of events past, wherein every time I was right about something, I wasn't actually right, and the reason why my suggestions fixed all the problems we were having "Is still a mystery."

I love scientists who use words like Mystery to explain troubleshooting success.


Again, I suppressed the urge to confront. I could have argued more. I do have more ammunition that I am actually using.

So yeah, sure, I could "stand up" for myself. But bear with me. Here's my reasoning:

Logic does not work with this person. SCIENCE does not work with this person.

Can't reason with someone who has the rational thinking ability of a doorknob.

I figure, yes I can be scary when I need to. But in this case, I think that aggression will only feed the fire. This is the sort of person who has deeply held beliefs about how women should put up and shut up.

And the PI adores this person, so I won't get any help there.

Better to just move past it, work around it, and not expect any help.

[And will NOT feel bad about pissing these people off. I refuse. If they get in my way, I will not hold back.]

Yesterday I was talking to a friend about this kind of thing, and she said she couldn't believe I still have to put up with it at all.

Interestingly, she seems to think that SHE has to put up with this kind of shit.

She thinks of herself as coming across as too girly. Like she's asking to be treated condescendingly by her mannerisms and manicure.

I personally still think it's unfair and stupid that people judge her on things like that instead of on her work.

But she thinks I'm very capable and come across that way.

(Not that I really fit the scientist stereotype, either.)

No, my friend is surprised that I still have to put up with a lot of people who assume I'm incapable and clueless.

I told her the point is that these are not observant people who look at my work objectively.

They see everything through the gender filter: I'm a girl, so I must be wrong. It simplifies things: nothing I say gets through. They just tune it out.

My friend said she had the same experience at the company where she was working.

But she has been unemployed for a few months now. And her unemployment is running out.

Despite everything, she can't imagine doing anything other than science.

She is hoping that the economy will improve, and then she'll find a new job.

I have a hard time believing the glut of PhDs looking for jobs will be cured by that alone.

All I can do is worry about her, and wonder what I'm going to do when I'm in her position. Except that, as a postdoc, I'm not an employee, so I already know I won't qualify for unemployment.

Quote for the day, from a House rerun:

"If you're right, and you doubt yourself, it doesn't help anybody."

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At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a Permadoc in our lab who is so fucking clueless. She easily fell for this junior postdoc's suggestion to include him on our project (without consulting anybody else) in which he volunteered to do this procedure which I already know doesn't work on our system. I really do not like that postdoc for several reasons which I will not write here. We have an impending deadline and Permadoc was away for 2 weeks and only returned this week. Permadoc clearly has no concept of deadlines, undermines my project, and doesn't really understand our project either. She is great at being a Permadoc, though. She refuses to let me (or anyone else for that matter) learn exactly what she knows how to do. I guess once I learn it, she will become useless. That is the collaborative spirit.

Am I the only one who thinks it's fucked up there is competition within our own lab? Way to be a team player, assholes.

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...

No, I've seen this over and over. PIs often make choices of who does what commonly-known procedure based on favoritism or who they think needs publications.

And some people are very good at getting themselves onto papers despite having contributed nothing whatsoever.

Personally, I think that if someone tries an experiment and it doesn't work and the data aren't included, they don't get to be an author. At least, this is how I've always been treated.


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