insults and injuries

April 15, 2009 at 11:13 am (rants)

There are days when I worry that I won’t be able to leave my lab when the time comes, because I’m so invested in so many of the experiments, and going to be published on at least three more papers, and I just feel like my leaving will disrupt the already fragile ecosystem that is in place here, not to mention pontentially bankrupt the budget when they pay out all my built up comp and vacation time.

Then there are days like today, when people around me assume I know nothing about the experiment I have been developing for over a year, when they haven’t been involved in it at all. They dismiss everything that I have been working very hard on and assume they know everything. They don’t bother asking me about it or discussing what could be developed further (which I love to do, by the way, I’m not a big stubborn jerk about that sort of thing), they actually just totally go around me and assume they have to start from scratch. My work has been for naught, apparently. So, if I leave, it’ll be ok! No one needs me now anyway!

Awesome. I’m writing my resignation letter.

Rant over. Otherwise I’m totally hanging in there, everybody, thanks for the nice comments. I should get my test score today, by Friday at the latest, so I’ll let you know how that turns out…

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Having apparently pissed off the universe, our heroine prepares herself for a weekend locked in a closet with lasers….

April 1, 2009 at 4:08 pm (rants, teach this!)

Sure sounds sorta cool, doesn’t it? In actuality, I have two major experiments to do this and next week, both of which involve spending at least 30 hours doing laser microscopy. Again, sounds cool, but what’s the one thing I’m not supposed to do but do anyways ’cause it’s pretty? Look at the damn laser. It’s so blue! It’s my favorite shade of blue! Also if I look directly at it I can tell if my slide is any where near where it is supposed to be….sure, I could do the right thing and look through the occulars on the microscope but doing that too much hurts my brain. The biggest pain the butt is that these are the two weeks I should be studying for my you-qualify-to-be-a-teacher test, but instead I’ll be frying my eyeballs and brains just in time to finish up the experiments and take the test. Grant season is awesome.

Anyway, I know some people like those in the back of my head are thinking, hey, it’s high school science and you have a Masters degree in a scientific field, you fool, what are you worried about? Well, interesting point, and the stuff that I know (biology, oceanography and most geology) I will ace on the test. The problem is that this test is a compilation of all the major sciences- that includes physics and hard (i.e. not bio) chemistry. This is a problem because even though I totally took those classes, they were forever ago and in some cases, such as chemistry, I didn’t pay attention for crap because I thought I was going to be an ecologist and save the world so who the hell needs organic chemistry anyways? Turns out I do. Especially since I’m a physiologist and not an ecologist. Those guys are nuts and their science annoys me now, but they usually fun at parties so I don’t yell at them.

Anyway again, the point I am trying to make is that I cannot keep physics equations in my head, which is a problem because 20% of this test is physics, and not nice general questions that you can reason out but hard, you-better-know-your-shit questions. Another 10% of the test is astronomy, which is mostly ok except when it comes to special relativity and expansion of distant galaxies because I cannot for the life of me wrap my brain around that stuff. Einstein, seriously, what the hell does it mean that when “mass is embedded in space-time it alters the shape of the universe”? My dad tried to explain it in a way that a blanket was a metaphor representing the universe and you throw a ball (which represents something embedded in space-time- this phrase alone makes my head hurt) at it, it makes a dent so the shape of the universe changes.

Um, what? Is it really so simple? And by simple I mean ….what???? Stupid physics!  And then someother guys determiend that the universe is actually flat…what?? See, this is why biology is better. It makes sense! Even the fact that the only absolute in biology is that there are exceptions to every rule makes more sense to me than astronomy physics.

And can I just say, I never had to learn anything this deep in high school! Of course, my biology class was taught by a volleyball coach, my chem class was taught by a disgruntled old man, and my marine science course, which should’ve been my most interesting class, was my most boring. So really even if there was some interesting, deep science in any of those classes, I totally missed it.

Well this post was a pointless rant, wasn’t it? Blame it on the lasers. I think there are lasermonkeys growing in my brain now.

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i don't like posts like this.

February 9, 2009 at 5:03 pm (history of meg, life in general, rants, reality is not for me, simply flabbergasted, so confused, work shmork)

I cannot stand double talkers. I cannot wait to get out of this job. I cannot handle hypocrites who blame me for their own short comings. I HATE that people try to diffuse their own faults by blaming me for anything and everything they can. I hate that my boss listens to them and not me. I hate that I am overqualified for every fucking job I have applied for. I hate that I am over worked, underpaid, and still cannot make ends meet. I hate rats. I hate the fluorescent bulbs in my office. I hate that I no longer feel comfortable with anyone I work with. I hate people who like to make my business their business. I hate that I have been as transparent as I fucking can be at this job and yet people still do not care to get to know me. I hate that I have been here two years. I hate that I only have a 1 in 5 chance of getting into this teaching program I’m applying for. I hate that someone will probably misinterpret this post. I hate that no one cares. I hate February. I hate that I am ostracized for doing my fucking job. I hate that no matter what I do, the fucking AlphaTroll continues to try to ruin my life. I hate that I can’t stay home with my cats all the time. I hate that the 12th is coming up. I hate that I recognize the 12th for what it is, the day my mom died, instead of forgetting about it all together. I hate that people tell me that they will be somewhere, then are not. I hate the way that my professional life has turned out. I hate that no matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to turn it around.

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i can't roll my eyes back any further than this

February 2, 2009 at 12:02 pm (blog-a-day!, jinxing myself, rants, stupid grad school)

Long ago, this blog was started as a way for me to deal with losing my mom. It also turned into a way to vent about how much I hated grad school, and you can’t bitch about grad school without bitching about your adviser, right? I always thought it was funny when I got comments from friends in grad school in other places along the lines of “Wow, how come your program sucks so bad? Mine is great!” followed by, 6 months to a year later, “Holy crap, you were right, grad school sucks!” comments. ‘Cause face it, people, grad school really does suck. It is a special kind of torture that science students put themselves through in order to become either completely disillusioned* by science or to go so deeply into denial about how bad academic science is run that they become professors and propagate the crappiness inherent in the system. If you decide that the whole system of publish-or-perish is not worth dealing with get-grants-or-starve work that they never tell you about when you are in school dreaming about becoming a scientist, you skip the Ph.D. ritual and opt to become a tech rather than a prof.

One thing you realize in grad school is that every single mildly sane grad student has a hobby of some sort, which they didn’t start until they got to grad school. I was actually talking about this with my boss yesterday- she plays violin and has forever, but didn’t really get back into playing in quartets until she was in grad school. I took up crafting in grad school, and one of my labmates became obbessed with dog rescues while another started volunteering with an elder hostel…the list goes on and on. The madness induced by the frustrations of being a grad student have to be balanced by or taken out on some completely unrelated event. The people who I see burning themselves out on work and wanting to drop out of science completely are the ones with no outside interests at all.

ANYWAY, the point of this post was actually to talk about how my graduate adviser recently, after two years, got back in touch with me. We have a long (professional) history- he was my mentor when I was in college and I developed a serious hero worship complex with him- he did the kind of science I wanted to do and was passionate about the same animals I was (elamsobranchs- look it up, kids). Then I got to grad school and he was a major jerk. I’m talking serious favoritism to the my lab mates, who were boys and definite “cool kids,” while I was a lowly girl with serious depression issues in desperate need of guidance which I totally did not get. Needless to say, I graduated with some serious resentment towards him. I even have a comment about it on my Facebook page- something along the lines of “I am awesome now and my old adviser, who said I would never be awesome, can suck it.” Now, I would like to point out to the universe that Facebook is not a professional website. It is a silly place to catch up with friends and see who got fat. Thus my comment about what I do now vs. grad school- I want people to see that I do awesome science techniques now, despite being told in grad school that, and this is a direct quote, I was a “waste of resources” and “would never make it in the sciences” (my adviser had a temper tantrum at me, which hardened my resolve to continually think evil thoughts at him). On Facebook. Where it doesn’t matter.

So, recently, randomly, my adviser has gotten back in touch with me. On Facebook. Even though he has my email and phone number. So, my Facebook page is super secret private, so I knew he’d never see it. Plus I don’t care. It’s just Facebook. No one cares. But I forgot that when you message people on Facebook, they can see your page. Poop. Well, whatever, he knew there’s no love lost between us, since we haven’t communicate in two years.

*I was very confused about why I kept screwing up how to spell this word. Turns out I was writing “dis-solution-ed.” I am awesome.

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sometimes i wonder…

December 8, 2008 at 2:01 pm (jinxing myself, life in general, rants, thoughts and musings, um...)

While walking to work this morning I decided to cut through the museum part of campus rather than going by the law school or being super lazy and taking an extra bus. Very good choice on my part- I got to see random art and the dinosaur tracks that have been on display since I was a little kid. On the way, though, I started to wonder: do I have boogers on my face? ‘Cause I walked by two different people who just gave me crazy stares when I said hello. One was a pretty cute music professor, the other was just a mean old man (or at least that’s how I remember him). Both just stared at my face as they walked by; the cute one had a bemused look, while the old guy just looked mean and angry. So I reiterate: did I have boogers on my face? That’s the only explanation I can think of. That or it was just sorta early in the morning on a day when no one really should’ve been on campus. That’s right, it’s finals time! Or rather, the days before finals when there are no classes, just lots of illegal review sessions (technically you’re not supposed to have any during this time, but everyone does anyway). I wonder if the two people thought I was a student who should’ve been hiding in a library somewhere, studying? People ask me all the time if I’m a student. Is it ’cause I look young? Or maybe because I take the bus? Or is that just the safe thing to ask people? ‘Cause let me tell you, I am not student age any more. 27, people! I’m supposed to have a real job and goals and a house and some kids and stuff by now. HA! That’s me, always disrupting people’s preconceived notions of what I’m “supposed” to be…

****

The weather in Austin is all poopy and Texas-y. We have a saying, “if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute!” meaning that the weather goes all schitzo in the winter and refuses to say the same for more than two days at a time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of cold and I’m super happy it rarely ever snows here. But it’s freakin’ December, people. The highs should no longer be in the upper 70s. I’m tired of having to seriously debate in the morning if it is worth putting on socks or not. Also, we have all these omnious clouds rolling over head all the time, but no rain. LAME!

****

I have a phone interview on Wednesday with the head of my old department…I’m pretty sure he hates me so I don’t really know how this will go. Ok, so I totally know how it will go. He hates me so he’ll ask me lots of “you’re so stupid” questions then decided randomly that I can’t work for the department. Whatever. I’m also pretty sure I didn’t get this other super awesome job that would’ve let me travel around the world, imparting scientific knowledge on people. Of course, they won’t tell me how much they aren’t going to hire me until they “finish interviewing” which I think is unnecessarily cruel. Jerks. I should know by next Friday, bleh.

****

Alright, mini rant time. I am tired of making crafts for people who do not appreciate them. Worse, I’m tired of being around people who just expect me to make them things. The people at work who just bust out with “Hey, where’s my (random awesomely crafted thing by meg)” or “You better be working on my (crafty thing)” make me want to stop crafting forever. Not to mention the person who said “I want to learn how to make jewelry like you, but I want mine to look professional.” Well, no more crafty goodies for you, jerk. I gotta go craft some awesome things for people who like them to make myself feel better…

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GAAAAAAAAAAAH

October 13, 2008 at 6:59 pm (life in general, rants)

I HATE MY JOB.

seriously, my boss is insane. i really, really must leave lab, as soon as freakin’ possible. i spent this year working my freakin’ ass off for her, working 80 hour weeks and taking no vacations, while the students around me did whatever they wanted and took weeks off at a time. i did my damn best to run the lab so that it worked smoothly and everyone was happy, while she basically told everyone in lab to ignore everything i said (i happen to know she didn’t pay any attention to the stuff i set up in lab, even when she told me to do it). i finally, FINALLY take a vacation and come back to a boss that does her best to avoid me, even face to face, then sends me a jerky passive aggressive email saying that something i brought up at lab meeting the day before my vacation, over a week ago, was an outburst, when in actuality it was just some uncomfortable lab business.  she is so damn busy trying to make sure everyone is always so happy and no one feels uncomfortable, even when they are WRONG, that lab is running out of control. her excuse is that she wants to be fair to everyone. everyone but ME! i ALWAYS end up taking up the slack for lazy students. i ALWAYS have to hear the ‘you’re so mean’ bullshit lectures, when all i am is informative. ever since my boss came back from her MONTH LONG VACATION, she’s been tearing everything i do apart. i cannot do the job she wants me to do if every time i do it, i have to worry if she’s going to come back and bite me on the ass about it.

i also KNOW that part of this is because of one stupid grad student who is trying to cover her own unprofessional, snooty, passive aggressive ass by blaming everything that goes wrong in lab on me. hey e, know who i’m talking about???

I CANNOT HANDLE THIS ANY MORE. i have applied to several ridiculous administrative positions at my university, because i need to leave this position. i hate people who harp on and on about being ‘fair’ to everyone, but are total hypocrites. SHE CAN F*CKING SUCK IT.

how’s that for an outburst, huh??? shall we set a little meeting to ‘discuss’ it, like we did the ‘incident’ where i almost died in lab? hmm?? where all you do is defend your bad choices and refuse to let me defend myself?

there goes all the relaxation i sucked up on vacation. in good news, i also applied for a position working as program coordinator for the austin side of the grad school where i went. the good news is that it is an easy job and pays more than i get now, and doesn’t involved chopping the heads off poor defenseless rats (which is what i had to do today-welcome back to lab, meg!). the bad news is that it doesn’t start ’til jan. also, i only just applied today and haven’t interviewed or anything. maybe i can refrain from going too nuts and not screw up my chances to get this job…but, with my boss being who she is, i don’t know about that…

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warning: this is a rant

September 20, 2008 at 3:17 pm (rants)

aaaaaargh! there are many perks to working on a major university campus. it’s big, it has lots of cool things to do, lots of art everywhere, random free food, etc., etc. but, there are downfalls, too. today’s rant is dedicated to all the damn football people who hijack my campus and want to charge me $20 to park at my own damn building on those unfortunate occasions when i have to go to work on a game day.

 

let me reiterate: aaaaaaargh!!! i work here, and it’s already hard enough to park or commute into campus during the week. most of you damn tailgaters didn’t even go to school here, and yet you get preferential treatment? my university is supposed to be one of the top 10 research universities in the damn world…so let me get to work and do my damn research! it’s not like any of the damn football money goes to the science departments. if it did, i might have slightly more sympathy. but no, football always gets put before the sciences- for example, a new biomedical research building was just built on campus, and was completed a couple months ago. a few weeks later, part of the football stadium finished its own construction, but wasn’t open for a while. so, who gets their internet and phones turned on first? is it the building where people are already working, the building that was completed first? no, of course not. it was the damn football stadium. now my own lab gets pushed even further back on the list of stuff we’ve requested the physical plant help us with. all for stupid football fans.

 

don’t get me wrong, i have no beef with football players, mostly, even though most of them wouldn’t know what a hormone was even if it bit them in the ass. i was in marching band, and i mostly liked it, so i know games are fun, and everyone works hard. but i work hard now, too, and all i ask is that you damn fans let me get to work and do my job. no, i will not let you into my secured building just because you are here for the game. no, i will not wear my school colors on purpose (actually, i tend to always be wearing the opposite team’s colors…oops. also not on purpose). no, i will not stick around and watch the game at one of the gillions of bars around campus, and cheer for random reasons while ogling the waitress. my school spirit is expressed by doing my research hard and well, giving up precious weekend time to complete an experiment even though i don’t get paid to, and generally contributing to that fancy title of being a super awesome research institution. so give me a break, i just want to get to work, do my job, and go home.

 

in other, mildly related news, i have an interview on monday!! it’s for a fancy pants lab that looks at viruses and other microbes as  delivery systems for drugs/therapy for cancer, etc. very fancy. we’ll see how it goes. the grad students in my own lab continue to think i am lazy and incompetent, and while my boss always tells me how great my work is and how no one knows how hard i work but her, i continue to be rankled. so much so that i understand that the last sentance didn’t make any sense, and i don’t care.

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dear lab…

September 10, 2008 at 12:47 pm (rants) ()

dear lab.

why do you suck? it seems you have come back around to blaming all of your issues on me. i am merely a staff member, do not get mad at me for being done with school. i manage you, and i manage you right, so stop whining. don’t make me go find a new job, ’cause i will if it comes to it. people are hiring, and they pay more than you do. oh yes. and i am more than qualified to go work for those people who would pay me more. so shut it and suck it.

love,

meg

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i must not let the bastards wear me down…

January 15, 2008 at 7:32 pm (rants)

i must not, must not, MUST NOT let the bastards wear me down! whether they be crotchety old witches who are contrary on purpose or collaborators with good intentions but circumstances that completely ruin my carefully laid plans for the week, i must remember that there are people, cats and things in my life much more important. the bastards are merely blips in my life that i occasionally have to encounter but that have no bearing on my overall well being. so what if my fellow tech at work is an evil shrew who hates my guts? it’s not like i have to fight her for publications, and i’d rather interact with s. and e. anyway. and so what if my collaborator isn’t sending me tissue until thursday even though i planned for it to be here tomorrow, so now i have to be in lab until 2 in the morning or something? at least i’ll be so busy at work that i won’t have time to think about how angry the little wicked witch of the south (because her lab is south of mine) makes me.

not that i mean any disrespect to any witches out there. i’m wiccan (pretty much, sort of, though definitely historically) so the above mentioned “witch” is only used because i don’t want to use any stronger language…

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attention pod people!

November 27, 2007 at 10:42 am (rants)

is it really necessary to set up your freakin’ ipod at the creamer/sweetener station at the coffee shop? can you not be with out your ipod for the two seconds it would take to move out of everyone else’s way? seriously. it is just bad manners to hold up the entire coffee universe while you untangle your ear buds next to the half-and-half.

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