unfairness in the lab :( - (Apr/04/2008 )
Interesting topic. Just want you guys know, when you get into industry you will have less bad mouth problem to deal with. In the employee handbook, there is specific rule prohibiting gossiping between employees; it can be the reason that you are fired. Of course there are other interpersonal and corporate politics, particularly in the area of taking credits and seeking promotions.
Sadly, I think this is just part of being a graduate student in a lab with post-docs. I am the only student in my lab and for the first few years I got dumped on, gossiped about and put down directly to my face. Post-docs would go into my shelves and see what I had that they wanted. I can't tell you how many times my reagents have grown legs and walked off. It's like they thought my shelves were their personal backups. It has only been within the six months that things have turned around. What did it? DATA! My project took off and suddenly I was running circles around the post-docs when it came to data. Now it helps that I work about 20+ hours more a week than any of the others. Just keep track of what is really important here. Your work and your project. Don't get sucked into the gossip. As long as the rumors are small stuff don't worry about it. It is all forgotten in a couple days anyway because there is always more and juicier gossip. Now if something big comes up, for example a rumor of falsifying data, you need to stand up and fight for your reputation. Ask yourself, will this really impact me next month? If no, it's not worth the fight. If you do need to approach your PI just remember that emotions generally don't work. You need to calm, logical and collected. It's too easy to dismiss someone who is very emotional and distraught. Meanwhile, just keep reminding yourself of why you are where you are...it's all about the degree. Hang in there. I know it's frustrating and so easy to get angry but at least you know the true nature of this person and not to trust a thing she says about people. Sorry for the situation but working and meeting people like this just reenforces who you don't want to be.
rkay - Well said, Sir! You're spot on!