Saturday, December 12, 2009

Actually getting to do my job

Someone asked on the last post what about the fun parts of the job.

I enjoy:

-doing experiments
-getting data
-analyzing data
-discussing data
-reading papers
-thinking
-making lists of experiments I want to do someday
-making lists of experiments I should do immediately
-getting excited about doing those experiments immediately
-getting excited about new data
-new data giving me ideas for more experiments I should do immediately
-daydreaming about having my own lab someday
-asking questions
-hearing good talks
-giving good talks
-writing
-being asked questions
-finding out that other people's latest results are consistent with mine
-being treated as a colleague

I do not enjoy:

-working in labs that don't have what I need to do my work
-being told I'm "not eligible" to apply for my own grants so I can get money to buy what I need to do my work
-waiting for broken equipment to be fixed
-waiting for shipments because someone used up the last reagent and didn't order more or even tell anyone we ran out
-scheduling snafus
-get phone calls at night about last-minute extremely important paperwork due the next day
-other people getting credit for things I did
-being held to different standards than my male peers
-assumptions made about my work or life plans based only on the observation that I am female, or because of any aspect of my physical appearance
-nasty competitors
-lying, self-promoting fakers
-frienemy tor-mentors
-the little birdie effect
-anonymous commenters who represent just how rampant sexism still is
-seeing women leave science because they are discouraged by sexism and/or lack of sufficient mentoring
-deniers who act like sexism doesn't exist or it will just go away if we ignore it
-women who pull the ladder up behind them

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9 Comments:

At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like you like grad student work and not so much professorial work.

This means you may have been promoted to your highest level of incompetence.

I liked the research, but I never liked the self-promotion of the postdoc period and I probably would not have liked selling research for grants and academic politics.

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

I enjoy:
-designing projects

-getting my fucking data in the fucking program without a fucking error message! (this leads to a happy dance)

-talking about my work to schoolkids and having girls tell me they want to do what I do. Seeing their beaming faces makes my day.

-helping undergrads with their grad school search and applications

-working with a group of supportive creative people

I do not enjoy:
-lazyass colleagues who don't cough up the shit they agreed to do

-being told to "shhhhh"

-being told to "not make a fuss"

-incompetent twits in positions of power

-polidicking

-shitty equipment

I'll daydream with you about my own lab someday. It'll be on a remote island away from d00ds.
jc

 
At 10:09 PM, Blogger DrDudeChick said...

what exactly is "the little birdie effect"? (excuse my ignorance if I should have know it)

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...

Anon 6:46,

Where did you get "grad student work" from that list? Making lists of experiments = writing grants. That's a big chunk of "professorial work", from what I've been told.

I'm also amused by your cynical view that the things I don't enjoy are "professorial". All of those are things that have happened to me as a postdoc. Maybe I am being naive by assuming that many of them would not be true in a faculty position?

I should have listed mentoring under things I enjoy, also.

You can decide how cynical you are based on whether you consider that postdoc or professorial work.

jc - I like the way you wrote that.

Dr.DudeChick- see this previous post.

I couldn't remember where it was, so I found it by asking google using this string

youngfemalescientist.blogspot.com:little birdie effect

 
At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zuska's comment on your little birdie post is spot on.
jc

 
At 3:58 PM, Blogger JaneB said...

Oh how I wish grant writing = making a list of experiments to do! That bit is fun. Most of the process is not fun, sadly, or I would write many more grants (i too love making lists of experiments). maybe it's a field/context/country difference.

 
At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it sounds like you may do better in an early stage high tech startup company, than in academia. I left my postdoc for such a job,and I find it has a lot of the things you listed as what you like, and it doens't have most of the things you listed that you hate.

sure there can be sexism because that's not limited to academia, and there can be incompetent colleagues for the same reason, but a lot of institutional bullshit is gone. Also, IME lying and self-promoting tend to be less successful in early stage high tech start up companies so you see less of it. (in big established companies it's not the case)

 
At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Things you listed that I have encountered as a female postdoc and also hate:

-working in labs that don't have what I need to do my work
-being told I'm "not eligible" to apply for my own grants so I can get money to buy what I need to do my work
(broken equipment fixing seldom ever happened)
-waiting for shipments because someone used up the last reagent and didn't order more or even tell anyone we ran out
-other people getting credit for things I did
-being held to different standards than my male peers
-assumptions made about my work or life plans based only on the observation that I am female, or because of any aspect of my physical appearance
-nasty competitors
-lying, self-promoting fakers
-frienemy tor-mentors
-the little birdie effect
-anonymous commenters who represent just how rampant sexism still is
-deniers who act like sexism doesn't exist or it will just go away if we ignore it
-women who pull the ladder up behind them

That's just about your entire damn list. I'm going through the same shit.

 
At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the expression "polidicking". I'm not being ironic, it's spot on!

 

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