Complain about old PI
Posted 13 October 2010 - 11:07 AM
Posted 13 October 2010 - 11:18 AM
...you shld've added here the one thousand and one ways on how you're gonna do it....take it easy, rkay...
ARGH!!! I am so frustrated at my "old" boss. I just switched labs to start my first post-doc and unfortunately I joined a lab at the same university, one floor down from my old lab. My old boss is one of the most negative, pessimistic, critical, demeaning, $@#!#$ I know. I am in the middle of writing my fourth paper for this man and nothing is good enough. He is constantly putting me down and telling me that my work is sub-par even though my three other papers were all accepted with little or no revisions. (First paper=no revision, second paper=one western blot, third paper=write in one paragraph to discussion to appease a reviewer). Oh yeah, all these papers were as a graduate student. I was the fifth person in my class to graduate (out of about 65) but he is constantly telling me how I took way too long to finish and now he tells me that I made a very bad choice for my post-doc laboratory and "my future is bleak". His exact words. I'm working on a fourth paper and my new boss (who is collaborator and co-author) says one of my images is worthy of the cover picture and should be submitted for it but my old boss says same image is "barely adequate". I really need to be careful as I can't afford to burn bridges and I will still need the old boss's recommendation for my next job. He's a fairly large name in the field and can open doors for me. He thinks I should have made a bigger jump as a postdoc but my personal life just won't allow for it right now. (Sell the house, lose $40K. Trying to start a family, husband just got huge promotion and raise at work...) I am trying my best not to argue with my old boss and just roll with it all but it's been 5+ years of rolling with his bs and I've just had it. He keeps saying that it's great that I'm just down the hall so if he needs an experiment done I can come do it but I don't work for him anymore. How do I break the ties with this man but not do permanent damage as I may need his recommendation in a couple years?? I know that my best bet is to just keep taking it and not do anything rash but even other people in the lab are commenting about how unfair and difficult he is with me. I don't know why he seems to dislike me so much. For 5+ years I was usually the first one in the lab and the last one out plus approximately 75% of my weekends and yet I don't work hard enough. Every lab meeting, while others are presenting the same data they've presented for 6 months, I was consistently presenting new data. I've tried my hardest to please this man and nothing seems to be ok. Other people's westerns are horrible with lots of shadows and background while mine are crystal clear. If I do happen to show a western with even the slightest trace of background, he says he finds it "unconvincing". Ack... sorry guys. I know there's really nothing anyone can do to help me but I sure appreciate the shoulder. Now...I have to get back to writing what I know will be a "horribly written and barely logical" paper.
Edited by casandra, 13 October 2010 - 11:20 AM.
- hobglobin, personal comment about my beauteous photo......
Posted 13 October 2010 - 12:31 PM
Posted 23 November 2010 - 06:35 PM
First, he views you as 'his', so your move was a slap in his face. Pardon my sexism, but it seems like older men view younger women as "daughters" (in your case, you are intellectual offspring) and expect to have the respect and obedience that a daughter would give a father-figure. He didn't want you to go to that lab, so you are a bad daughter for not respecting his wishes.
Second, he may be trying to break you down--for what reason, we will never know. Maybe he's trying to toughen you up before you leave this institution so you are ready to face whatever you encounter at your next institution. Maybe you remind him of a former student who burned him in some way. Maybe he has a beef with your current boss. Maybe he dated your mom in high school and he's taking his revenge on you. (like in that Lindsay Lohan movie I can't remember at the moment.)
Don't let him tweak you so much. Does you current boss know what's going on? If he's OK with acting as a buffer, then just keep doing your current job to the best of your ability. Don't give him so much power, worrying about recommendations and such. If he's as big as you say he is, everyone is aware of his quirks and will consider what he says accordingly. There is always some good-hearted person out there who will go to bat for you and counter his comments if they believe in you.
heh, just noted the date. How are things now?
Edited by lab rat, 23 November 2010 - 06:36 PM.
Posted 24 November 2010 - 02:16 PM
Thanks for the reply. It's still pretty much the same. My old boss managed to think up an experiment that I should do for this paper and managed to talk my new boss (the collaborator on the paper) into having me do it. Of course this means that I need to be up in the old lab using equipment and reagents not available in the new lab. Hmmm... how convenient that he found a way to make me essentially come back to the lab. Since both PIs agree that it's an experiment worth doing, I really have no choice but to go along with it and just do the work. Heck, if it works it greatly increases the potential impact factor of this story. Meanwhile, I can't really seem to make anything work in the new lab which is very frustrating. I feel like a new graduate student since I don't know where anything is or any of the protocols. I'm constantly having to bug people in the lab but I'm trying to be polite and acknowledge any help they give me. I know that goes a long way. Otherwise, I'm just trying to get this paper done and out. On the bright side, the whole "my husband and I are trying to start our own family" worked out....I'm still trying to decide when to tell the new boss that I'm going to need time off next summer... Thanks again for the advice and shoulder. It's nice to just get things off your chest an realize that you're not alone in the boss from hell saga.
Posted 24 November 2010 - 02:59 PM
i'm sure he got to where he is now by being super anal and a perfectionist.
don't take it so personally. he might criticize your work but his criticism prob isn't hurting your work.
his comment about your future looking bleak.. hard to say if he's just being honest or if he's trying to motivate u to prove him wrong.
i've heard stories about a prof who literally told their student that their choice in thesis was stupid and that he'd get no where, but later on that same prof invested a lot of money into helping that same student start a biotech networking group (which has grown a lot!). and now they just look back on it and laugh
Posted 25 November 2010 - 04:32 PM
Edited by bob1, 25 November 2010 - 04:32 PM.
Posted 02 December 2010 - 09:43 PM
Again, don't let that guy tweak you. Talk to your boss, emphasize how stressful it is to work with that guy, and how much more pleasant to work where you are now without all that drama to worry about. Emphasize how happy you are with your new boss...then when it's appropriate, i.e., in another conversation at a later time, tell your boss your happy news. Build up to your ultimate goal: to politely bow out of that predicament with the support of your new boss, and with grace and professionalism.