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13 replies to this topic

#1 jasmina

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:01 PM

when someone feels racism from his responsible hierarchic? how to keep motivation if you are PhD student!
if the n+2 believes on you and proposes offers to you, and the n+1 is not agree???
how do you consider this? is it racism, in particular if you are foreigner!
you are proud to be working in lab of n+2! but when behavior of n+1 spontaneously show another pattern, another reaction not expected from him, how do you feel???

#2 leelee

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 10:45 PM

It is kind of hard to comment on whether or not this is racism with the info you have given.
Has n+1 (your supervisor) said anything racist to you?
If not, I think assuming it is racism simply because you are a foreigner is perhaps a bit unfair.

It is not unusual for people within a lab (even co-supervisors) to have some disagreements about the path your research should follow, or what you should be doing etc.

Can you give us more specifics?

#3 pito

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 01:34 AM

when someone feels racism from his responsible hierarchic? how to keep motivation if you are PhD student!
if the n+2 believes on you and proposes offers to you, and the n+1 is not agree???
how do you consider this? is it racism, in particular if you are foreigner!
you are proud to be working in lab of n+2! but when behavior of n+1 spontaneously show another pattern, another reaction not expected from him, how do you feel???


You are not really specific and to be honest, based on what you write here (and granted, we dont know the exact situation) you seem to be overreacting.

Racism? Because n+1 doesnt agree with you and n+2 ?
If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some then not ask and stay stupid.

#4 jasmina

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 02:07 PM

yes, i think im not too specific here, because i couldnt explain well the situation!
But, im sure that its not only matter of disagreement, its even more ...
since the n+1 limits opportunity you could have from n+2, and even prefer to give to others and not to you!!
how could you consider this ?

#5 leelee

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 03:41 PM

Well if the n+1 is giving other people opportunities before you, it could be a number of things (and again by your post it is impossible to know).

1. your work might not be up to standard, so the n+1 doesn't think you are capable or deserving of the opportunity

2. n+1 has a personal issue with n+2 and is therefore biased against who n+2 prefers

3. the other people who got the opportunity have been around longer/ are more qualified

4. n+1 has a personal issue with you (not based on race)

5. n+1 has a personal issue with you (that is based on race)

6. the opportunities that n+2 was offering you were not his/hers to offer, and they have overstepped the mark with n+1

7. n+1 and n+2 have a good working relationship, but disagree on certain points and so the n+1 pulls rank


I could go on and on, but if you can't give us the full story, we would just be guessing.....

#6 pito

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 03:33 AM

yes, i think im not too specific here, because i couldnt explain well the situation!
But, im sure that its not only matter of disagreement, its even more ...
since the n+1 limits opportunity you could have from n+2, and even prefer to give to others and not to you!!
how could you consider this ?



I still cant find any racism here..
What you describe is very common..
if the money comes fom n+1 for example, then yeah, he can tell who he wants or not.
Or maybe n+1 is the boss.. so in the end he decides and maybe he thinks others are better then you.. (+ keep in mind: if you are working with n+2 and not with n+1, then its normal for n+1 to give others the benefit, if n+1 works with the others, if n+1 doesnt know you that good..)

I do wonder: did this happen one time? Because for all we know, it might just have happned one time that n+2 offered you an oppertunity and n+1 said no..
based on one such thing... I mean...


Its Leelee allready stated
Its impossible to say..

unless there is a flagrant example of "racism" or bad behaviour.. its just not possible to state its racisms.. altough, at this time and age.. someone is allready a racist for the smallest thing.. (often it has nothing to do with being racists, but people are pretty fast with "pulling the racism card").
I am not saying this is the case here, but as long as you dont give specific examples its hard to tell..

For all we know there is a problem between n+2 and n+1 and it has nothing to do with you at all.. you are just a victim of their problem.

The main question you need to ask yourself is this: will I not be able to get my PhD because of this problem? ...
Yeah, you might lose some good oppertunities and yeah, it might be stressfull for you.. but as long as you are "save" when it comes to gettting that PhD.. its rather "ok".. Because if you do decide to act against it.. and you start questioning others or go to some guidance people with the fact you think that n+1 is a racist... you do start a "big" thing...
Even if n+1 is racistic against you, if you are still able to get your PhD.. concider it very carefully whether you want to take action.. because a case around racisms can become bigger or worse then you think and it can be (mentally) very hard and also for the future it can make/break peoples lives.


PS. n+1 and n+2 ... I mean... couldnt you just have said person A and person B or something.. are you a math student or ? :P
If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some then not ask and stay stupid.

#7 jasmina

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 01:12 PM

n+2 is the boss, the head, the leader!
as for n+1, its the person more closer to me, but, is working for n+2 too, and of course they have good relationship. he knows well my capabilities and my work. but, since one recent discussion between us about positions and salary raise. so, he was a bit disagree and doesnt want that the leader thinks about me..

#8 pito

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 01:24 PM

n+2 is the boss, the head, the leader!
as for n+1, its the person more closer to me, but, is working for n+2 too, and of course they have good relationship. he knows well my capabilities and my work. but, since one recent discussion between us about positions and salary raise. so, he was a bit disagree and doesnt want that the leader thinks about me..


Ok, but not you are comming with an important "detail" ==> argument about salary and position...
its obvious that this is an important influence in the entire discussion... We werent there, we cant tell what happened.. but its possible you said something wrong or n+1 took something bad...

Maybe you have said something to upset n+1 and now he is finding all kind of things to irritate you...

You still very very unspecific and no one here can tell you what to do really..

We have bits and pieces of information.. nothing more.
But the discussion about salary and position could be crucial here... Maybe n+1 feels that you are not gratefull enough by trying to put yourself "higher up the ladder" while he is still there... (who knows, maybe he doesnt even make more money then you, or just a bit and the idea that you would earn the same as him or more... I mean...)
Maybe n+1 feels that you are "acting" too much as someone who allready has a PhD .. maybe he feels "threatened" by you.. He has a PhD (I assume?) and you not.. and he wants to keep that distinction maybe? Or maybe he got a bit upset that n+2 offers you something he likes to do too? or?

+ what I dont get is: discussion about salary raise, during a PhD ??? I dont get this.
I dont know what system you have over there... but a raise during a PhD asked by you??? I dont understand that.. In my country the pay is regulated by the governement (its in the end the people/governement that pay and we have fixed payscales) and you cant ask for a raise, the raise comes "by itself" according to regulations.
If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some then not ask and stay stupid.

#9 jasmina

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 02:22 PM

I think you got the point !
n+1 doesnt make money as I do, since I have a an external fellowship higher, even Im Phd student.
and according to the rules of the country where I am, the n+1 got few money and has already PhD and is senior postdoc, somehow supervising me! but, im in my last year of PhD and n+2 wants that I remain for postdoc so, proposes me to apply for the opportunity. but the n+1 disagree since, he preferred to apply instead of me ..

#10 jasmina

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 02:30 PM

the problem now, is that I continue my work, but I see that n+1 changed its behavior with me. I decided to dont think too much but just continue doing my best in my experiments and, avoid the n+1

#11 leelee

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:12 PM

Well think about it this way....if you were in your n+1's position.

You have a PhD and some years experience as a post-doc so are now a senior post doc. Your PhD student, who is fortunate enough to be on a fellowship/scholarship that is higher than your own wage already, is offered a job opportunity that you want. How would you feel?

The n+1 is more qualified and has more experience. Of course he/she is upset that you've been offered this opportunity at a higher wage. I would be really upset if that happened to me (although I'm wondering if it is even legal to do that, pretty sure it is against the law here in Australia to offer a job to someone without giving another person the chance to apply, or giving it to a person who is less qualified).

I think your approach is best, try to avoid n+1 for a while to let them work on their upset/anger.

But also, try to be a bit understanding and kind about it. It isn't your fault the n+2 wants you to do the new job, but it is pretty unfair that the n+1 hasn't even had the chance to apply and. They have worked just as hard as you, and for longer, so try to appreciate that this probably isn't so much about not liking you, as the fact that they think it is unfair that they are missing out.

As for any racism- that is just silly, and if I were you, I'd keep that idea to yourself as you could cause all kinds of problems for everyone involved.

#12 pito

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 11:32 PM

I think you got the point !
n+1 doesnt make money as I do, since I have a an external fellowship higher, even Im Phd student.
and according to the rules of the country where I am, the n+1 got few money and has already PhD and is senior postdoc, somehow supervising me! but, im in my last year of PhD and n+2 wants that I remain for postdoc so, proposes me to apply for the opportunity. but the n+1 disagree since, he preferred to apply instead of me ..


The question is: if you get that post doc, does that mean that n+1 loses his job?
If you get that post doc and n+1 can still stay.. I dont see the problem..
However: I dont see the problem IF (important here) you will not make more money then n+1 .. if you do .. it wouldnt be fair..
(and now you are making more money because of the funds, so thats not you provoking this... But I have to say that I find it weird you spoke about salary etc while at the moment you make more money then a senior researcher.. it doesnt sound very gratefull.. Or was that talking about money about the post doc?)


Anway: just finish the PhD.. and then you can see what you do.. altough, I think the atmosphere is allready a bit ruined because of the salary talk etc..

(to be honest: I dont see why n+1 had to be involved in that ? Why wasnt your talk about that post doc with n+2 and just n+2?)
If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some then not ask and stay stupid.

#13 jasmina

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:18 AM

becos the n+2 already asked me to remain for postdoc, but, i informed there are problems of funding in this state. so, i dont know, and he said ok dont worry.
with time, when this offer to apply to a fellowship appears, he came to ask me in front of n+1, to apply ! and n+1 was a bit anger as u mention and said that he want's to apply instead of me. ( even he has his own salary, he will not lose his position anyway, but, just want more money). and was disagree about n+2 idea to me..
so, n+2 decided that if n+1 wants to apply, just he does it. and asked me to think if I want to remain or not.
so, now, in these frustrations of money that have people here and that is the regulation of the country,,, so, they dont accept that a foreigner came to take their money...

#14 pito

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:38 AM

becos the n+2 already asked me to remain for postdoc, but, i informed there are problems of funding in this state. so, i dont know, and he said ok dont worry.
with time, when this offer to apply to a fellowship appears, he came to ask me in front of n+1, to apply ! and n+1 was a bit anger as u mention and said that he want's to apply instead of me. ( even he has his own salary, he will not lose his position anyway, but, just want more money). and was disagree about n+2 idea to me..
so, n+2 decided that if n+1 wants to apply, just he does it. and asked me to think if I want to remain or not.
so, now, in these frustrations of money that have people here and that is the regulation of the country,,, so, they dont accept that a foreigner came to take their money...


Well, to be honest: I find it a bit weird that you, less experienced, would get a job that seems to pay better then n+1 ..normally its n+1 that would "make promotion" and you would then get his job..
So I can understand that n+1 is a bit upset that he sees you "jumping over" him...

And it has nothing to do with a foreigner to take his/their money... If you were from the same country (born and raised) n+1 would be upset too!
This has nothing to do with from where you come or whatever.. This is just about money and prestige..
Someone without a PhD being asked for a higher or better (paid) position then the post doc himself... I mean ==> of course this will upset him!
And n+2 wasnt smart to ask you about this in front of n+1 without informing/talking to n+1 first..!

It doesnt make sense that you would earn more money when taking this post doc while the post doc, allready working there, earns less.. it just doesnt add up!
He has the same degree as you but more experience and yet, he will earn less? Not normal...
Also, n+1 might feel bad/threatened because n+2 asked you directly to take the job without talking to n+1 first.. this is also not normal.. its bad leadership...n+2 left n+1 out the discussion, which is not ok to do. N+1 is in the end your boss and he has to be taking in act, when deciding things about you!

If it was about a "normal" post doc (nothing to do with n+1) and with a regular salary (not more then n+1) then there would be no problem, but now.. the way how its handled..
If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some then not ask and stay stupid.




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