Monday, April 7, 2008

In which I explain reasons 1 and 2 my PI is crazy (and is making me that way)

I understand that many of us scientific types have our quirks.  I personally try not to intentionally do things that I know annoy other people.  Or in this case, really, really, REALLY tick people off.

My PI is crazy.  I told him that and he disagreed.  (I know, GASP!)  He tried to argue that he was clearly not as crazy and definitely not crazier than other faculty in our program.  I told him that they all have their eccentricities.  He refused to concede that point.  We (his lab) continue to call him crazy man.

Anyway, one of the many things he does that really, really, REALLY ticks me off (me and the rest of the lab) is that he doesn’t tell us when he isn’t going to be here.  He sneaks around and doesn’t tell us when he’s going on vacation or to a meeting or on a field trip with one of his kids.  No “I’m not going to be here next week, but I’ll be checking my email.”  No “I’m not coming in until late tomorrow afternoon, give me a call if you need anything.”  No “I’m going to be in Hawaii for a week so don’t even bother.”  NOTHING! 

I suppose he believes that if he’s not here lording over us that there will be no science done.  I’ve tried on many occasions to explain to him that we actually tend to get more done when he’s not around. 


He’s the type of person that gets bored sitting in his office, so he comes into the lab and wants to chat about last night’s baseball game or whatever useless thing he found on the internet.  He will try to have these conversations while I’m doing cell culture, which is annoying as crap because it’s hard to hear him over the blower and I’M TRYING TO DO AN EXPERIMENT!!!  Apparently this is unclear, even though I have asked him several times to please not talk to me when I’m in the hood.  In case it was unclear, this is yet another pet peeve.  He actually tried to have a conversation with me while I was sitting at the microscope counting cells!!!  Not like, “I wanted to tell you John called” kind of conversation.  A full-fledged argument about an important aspect of my project.  WHILE I WAS COUNTING CELLS!

Apparently on Friday, he mumbled something to his pet post-doc about not being here part of the week.  Didn’t say anything to any of the rest of us.  Because we’re clearly just not going to show up for work on Monday because he’s not here.  Son of a….  Deep breath! 

It just makes me really angry because he’s treating us like children.  He actually asked the PI whose lab is next door to check on us the last time he was gone.  I mean really! 

Of course, I have been here for 2 hours now and haven’t gotten out of my chair yet.  But I have things planned for today.  I have tissues to pull and lengthy experiments to set up.  Things that aren’t going to wait for tomorrow or Wednesday or next week (whenever it is he’s coming back).  My big experiment for the day will be running overnight, which is why I’m waiting to set it up.  I don’t want it to run too long.  So my sitting here is partially justified.  But crazy man, if you’re reading this, I’m doing more work today without you here than I would if you were standing here breathing down my neck.  So THERE!!!

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