Friday, July 17, 2009

Oh, the drama: Happy Ending

After I had finished purifying cells on Wednesday (after being Golden Child's lab bitch on Tuesday), I came to my desk and there was a plate of cookies and a card. Duckling 2 made me cookies and gave me a thank you card to say that she appreciated all my help. I teared up a little. It didn’t solve any of the drama, it didn’t magically give me any more time to do my own experiments, but it did make me feel less used and abused, which made my whole day brighter.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oh, the drama: Part 2

I had to spend a whole day this week taking care of the Golden Child’s crap. He’s out of the country, visiting the Golden Wife’s family. Which is fine. In theory. Except that he was gone for this same reason for the entire month of December, and now he’s gone another week plus. Not to mention the days he took off for the wedding. Sigh. That all ticks me off, since our graduate program handbook clearly says we get two weeks of vacation time. It dawned on me today that he’s taken more time off in the past calendar year than other FGS gets to take for maternity leave! Ugh!!!

But what’s even worse than the frivolous amount of time he’s taken off is the work he left for me to take care of. I don’t mind taking care of somebody’s cells while they’re on vacation. It’s typically not a big deal. The instructions he left me said that he has this one cell line he wants to scale up, so he asked me to plate up all the live cells I got back and said that it would probably be “a lot” of plates. It ended up being something like 70 24-well plates worth of cells. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but when I’m doing somebody else’s work, “a lot” is maybe 10 or 12. It’s definitely not 70. So I asked Crazy Man if I really needed to do all those plates and he just looked at me like it wasn’t a big deal. So I flipped out on him. Again. Sigh.

After all that, I finally made it back into the lab, and I had an email from the engineers…they wanted cells Thursday, in addition to the Wednesday and Friday ones I had already agreed to. I told Crazy Man that and again he gave me this attitude like it wasn’t a big deal. I got spectacularly pissed. And then I got over it. I still had slightly less than 70 plates of cells to deal with and it just wasn’t even worth my effort to yell at Crazy Man.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Oh, the drama: Part 1

I’ve had a pretty nasty couple of weeks. We’ve had all this drama with our collaborators about getting this paper out and getting scooped on paper number 2 so now we’re trying to get that one out and I have a big problem with the authorship on paper number 2 and it’s just been drama, drama, drama. Which is not so much fun.

It’s really been stressing me out because my part in this whole little scheme is to purify cells for the engineers to work their magic on. This process takes me about 2 hours and requires a transgenic/knockout mouse as the source of the cells. I’ve been purifying cells for these collaborators basically since I started in the lab. I usually do it once a week and we’re all happy. Now, because of aforementioned scoopage drama, they’re trying to do every conceivable experiment NOW. Which has translated into me purifying cells 3 times a week for the last three weeks. Needless to say, do not want.

What’s really getting ridiculous and why I’m getting progressively more upset about this is that most of the experiments don’t need to be included or could be added in response to reviewers if needed. Meaning there’s no reason for me to be spending 6 hours a week purifying cells.

The real reason I’m getting upset about what a chunk of my time this is taking is how the authorship has panned out. Last draft I saw I was fourth out of seven. That’s despite the fact that I purified every single cell used in every single assay (not to mention breeding and genotyping the mice). There’s one whole figure (of four) that is entirely my biological data. One of the people that’s ahead of me has been in the other lab literally a month. As far as I can tell the two people between the first author and me have contributed one line on one panel of one figure each. Crazy Man and I agreed when we discussed this. And yet he continues to be bullied by our collaborator. He’s not standing up for me, and that both pisses me off and hurts my feelings.