Jump to content

  • Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log in with Windows Live Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

Submit your paper to J Biol Methods today!
Photo
- - - - -

Obsolete...?


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 esquared

esquared

    member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
0
Neutral

Posted 10 March 2009 - 06:41 AM

Begin Rant: So Ive been working as a lab tech for my boss for almost two years now, Im basically a Grad Student but I dont present papers and that sort of thing and could probably not explain why we do everything or how it is we do everything but Im still very competent. Anywhooo my boss who is pretty young for a PI is just now getting a Grad Student (who is older, and is and Indian male... traditional values A.K.A. - acts like I dont know what Im doing and is generally smug when I ask a question, I suspect bc Im female) and Im being muscled out of the projects that were just starting to do that Im actually really interested in. I took this job under the assumption that I would be learning a lot of new techniques so that when I applied to Grad school it would be easier for me to get in, but if I am ceasing to learn new techniques as it is appearing then there is no point to my working here. Ive tried to tell my boss that I want to start doing the RTPCR and not the grad but hes told me to let him figure out how to do it first, but that I need to know how to do it. Then I told him that the grad hasnt actually been showing me how to do it or what hes doing like Ive asked him to, he just tells me that Ive gotta basically babysit him to learn how to do it.

It also doesnt help my morale that I was promised a 7% raise after a year and only got 3%, and my chances of a raise this year are slim. I might just take a non science job offer Ive recieved that comes with a 12grand a year raise.

Thoughts?

End Rant.

#2 Minnie Mouse

Minnie Mouse

    Super Mouse

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 79 posts
10
Good

Posted 10 March 2009 - 01:40 PM

Why not get into Graduate School?
To become equal to the student.

#3 esquared

esquared

    member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
0
Neutral

Posted 10 March 2009 - 01:57 PM

Thats why I want to stick around so I can get some papers that have my name on them to compensate for my lower than is competative GPA... not sure if I would get in otherwise

#4 swanny

swanny

    Veteran

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 367 posts
8
Neutral

Posted 10 March 2009 - 05:28 PM

Begin Rant: So Ive been working as a lab tech for my boss for almost two years now, Im basically a Grad Student but I dont present papers and that sort of thing and could probably not explain why we do everything or how it is we do everything but Im still very competent. Anywhooo my boss who is pretty young for a PI is just now getting a Grad Student (who is older, and is and Indian male... traditional values A.K.A. - acts like I dont know what Im doing and is generally smug when I ask a question, I suspect bc Im female) and Im being muscled out of the projects that were just starting to do that Im actually really interested in. I took this job under the assumption that I would be learning a lot of new techniques so that when I applied to Grad school it would be easier for me to get in, but if I am ceasing to learn new techniques as it is appearing then there is no point to my working here. Ive tried to tell my boss that I want to start doing the RTPCR and not the grad but hes told me to let him figure out how to do it first, but that I need to know how to do it. Then I told him that the grad hasnt actually been showing me how to do it or what hes doing like Ive asked him to, he just tells me that Ive gotta basically babysit him to learn how to do it.

It also doesnt help my morale that I was promised a 7% raise after a year and only got 3%, and my chances of a raise this year are slim. I might just take a non science job offer Ive recieved that comes with a 12grand a year raise.

Thoughts?

End Rant.

First of all, decide what you want to do. If it's not science, then leave now. On the other hand, if it's research, then take a concrete pill, harden up and do the research. Don't let the student's ass-like attitude (or pig-like, choose your own stupid animal model) be the reason you give up. This is by way of encouragement!!!

Be a royal pain in the butt to the grad student, both in front of the PI and when the student is doing his expts. Get in his face. Clear your workload to be able to shadow him every step of the way in the RT-PCR. Tell PI you want to do the work too. From what you've said, the grad student doesn't know how to do RT-PCR himself.

Or just go behind his back and do the RT-PCR yourself. It's not that hard if you know how to read a protocol and you start with good quality RNA. And how is your PI going to get angry if the work is done? As for those things you're not sure about in the rest of the lab, try to find out. Make yourself too useful to be ignored.

Edited by swanny, 10 March 2009 - 05:29 PM.

Heart disease kills more women than breast cancer, but heart attack symptoms differ from men's symptoms. Get to know your heart... it could save your life.

#5 HomeBrew

HomeBrew

    Veteran

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 930 posts
16
Good

Posted 10 March 2009 - 06:26 PM

This is not unexpected -- the PIs responsibilities to a grad student are greater than those to a technician. I'm not being harsh, but it's the truth. Producing a well-trained and successful grad student is more beneficial to a PIs career than is having a successful technician, and failing to produce a successful grad student is worse for the PI. The relationships are totally different, and should be. BTW, I was a lab tech for years, so I know where you're coming from.

You're not obsolete, it's just that your role in the lab has changed.

#6 Minnie Mouse

Minnie Mouse

    Super Mouse

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 79 posts
10
Good

Posted 10 March 2009 - 07:33 PM

This is not unexpected -- the PIs responsibilities to a grad student are greater than those to a technician. I'm not being harsh, but it's the truth. Producing a well-trained and successful grad student is more beneficial to a PIs career than is having a successful technician, and failing to produce a successful grad student is worse for the PI. The relationships are totally different, and should be. BTW, I was a lab tech for years, so I know where you're coming from.

You're not obsolete, it's just that your role in the lab has changed.


But aren't it unfair for the technician.
Technician may stay in the lab for >5 years. But PhD student only 3-4 years, master student 2 years.

I used to work in the lab, which values technician more than PhD student.
When the lab is low in budget, the PI would rather cut the PhD's experiment than the technician, because the university did not pay for the training cost for this PhD student.

#7 casandra

casandra

    carpe diem by the jugulum

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,035 posts
57
Excellent

Posted 10 March 2009 - 08:19 PM

Hi esquared,

As what swanny advised, if you really want to learn, then you have to become more aggressive and persistent (even sneaky :wacko: ), if you're just gonna wait for things to happen or change, you might be waiting forever. And since you have a goal (to enter grad school) then you stick to it and make sacrifices for it. Homebrew has a point- don't call yourself obsolete, this self-eclipsing isn't gonna do you any good. It's actually the time to shine :D i.e. be more visible and expressive. And if your morale is down bec your PI reneged on his promise to increase your salary, then negotiate to get the equivalent in time instead, it's still better than nothing and it shows assertiveness which you really need right now. Goodluck...

casandra
"Oh what a beauteousness!"
- hobglobin, personal comment about my beauteous photo......

#8 HomeBrew

HomeBrew

    Veteran

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 930 posts
16
Good

Posted 11 March 2009 - 02:42 AM

But aren't it unfair for the technician.


Unfair? Perhaps. But ask yourself "What are the principle objectives of an academic research laboratory?". They are to produce quality original research and to train new PhDs to carry on and build upon that research. A technician can play a role in both objectives, but once a lab goes from 'PI + technician' to 'PI + technician + grad student', the technician's role changes, as the second objective comes into play. It is equally true to say that a PIs role changes after he or she hires a technician and the lab changes from 'PI only" to 'PI + technician'.

#9 GeorgeWolff

GeorgeWolff

    Veteran

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 294 posts
1
Neutral

Posted 11 March 2009 - 03:07 AM

At this point, you're not a grad student - not almost , not at all - and should not expect priority treatment as tho you were one.
Have an honest discussion with your boss regarding being a grad student in his lab. With a poor GPA, it's not likely having your name on a paper will count that much for other folks. Explain that you (I assume) love science and need to decide now if there's a chance to progress. Ask for a commitment with timing, Failing that, take the other job.
Do folks still take the GRE? What was your score on that?

#10 Telomerase

Telomerase

    Evil Incarnate

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 31 posts
0
Neutral

Posted 11 March 2009 - 03:40 AM

At this point, you're not a grad student - not almost , not at all - and should not expect priority treatment as tho you were one.
Have an honest discussion with your boss regarding being a grad student in his lab. With a poor GPA, it's not likely having your name on a paper will count that much for other folks. Explain that you (I assume) love science and need to decide now if there's a chance to progress. Ask for a commitment with timing, Failing that, take the other job.
Do folks still take the GRE? What was your score on that?


Odd that, wherever I was, they made a point in telling that grades alone don't make a good graduate student and that PIs aren't concerned with grades at all. If there's no stellar CV, the preferred way of recruitment is to get someone working voluntarily several weeks before the institute PhD recruitment date, and then see if they are worth something.
Papers count more, because contrary to grades, which just measure the ability to do tests, it's considered real.
If you really want to be a grad student, just talk with your boss. Remaining a technician has its good sides - advanced technicians are those who get full salary, not a stipend and they are a real power at the lab. A figure of an experienced technician, pillar of the lab, taking care of the freshmen, providing stability, reliabilility and with her name in the papers, is such a common picture.
That student guy - it's easiest just to befriend him and figure out rules between you and him on your own, without concerning the boss. I suppose the guy might be clueless about the situation. You might produce a grateful follower instead of an enemy.
As for you being a grad student "not oficially, but I was promised" is such a bad idea. I lived through it and at last, applied properly somewhere else.

Edited by Telomerase, 11 March 2009 - 03:46 AM.

"Beware the power of a PhD student" - scolix

#11 casandra

casandra

    carpe diem by the jugulum

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,035 posts
57
Excellent

Posted 11 March 2009 - 03:53 AM

Hey esquared,

You've gotten some pretty good advice and differing povs here...but rereading your original post, you wrote that you're basically a grad student but are not..what exactly does this mean? Your boss is going to accept you in his lab later on as a grad student, was that your original agreement or are you in there just to learn some techniques so you can apply somewhere else? I guess it's really time for The Talk with your boss...you can't procrastinate... esp if all this is already dragging you down....and then you can make a decision whether to accept the other job offer...

casandra
"Oh what a beauteousness!"
- hobglobin, personal comment about my beauteous photo......

#12 miRNA man

miRNA man

    Enthusiast

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 73 posts
1
Neutral

Posted 13 March 2009 - 06:32 AM

It also doesnt help my morale that I was promised a 7% raise after a year and only got 3%, and my chances of a raise this year are slim. I might just take a non science job offer Ive recieved that comes with a 12grand a year raise.

Thoughts?

End Rant.

If money is a sticking point, then grad school/science probably isn't for you. But I do think that well trained tech is a great thing to have in the lab. But one problem for you is that your PI knows you want to leave the lab eventually for grad school, so why would he spend time and money training you up to know lots of techniques, when he could get the grad to do it for a) less money and :lol: longer time in the lab?

#13 esquared

esquared

    member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
0
Neutral

Posted 16 March 2009 - 11:55 AM

At this point, you're not a grad student - not almost , not at all - and should not expect priority treatment as tho you were one.
Have an honest discussion with your boss regarding being a grad student in his lab. With a poor GPA, it's not likely having your name on a paper will count that much for other folks. Explain that you (I assume) love science and need to decide now if there's a chance to progress. Ask for a commitment with timing, Failing that, take the other job.
Do folks still take the GRE? What was your score on that?


Odd that, wherever I was, they made a point in telling that grades alone don't make a good graduate student and that PIs aren't concerned with grades at all. If there's no stellar CV, the preferred way of recruitment is to get someone working voluntarily several weeks before the institute PhD recruitment date, and then see if they are worth something.
Papers count more, because contrary to grades, which just measure the ability to do tests, it's considered real.
If you really want to be a grad student, just talk with your boss. Remaining a technician has its good sides - advanced technicians are those who get full salary, not a stipend and they are a real power at the lab. A figure of an experienced technician, pillar of the lab, taking care of the freshmen, providing stability, reliabilility and with her name in the papers, is such a common picture.
That student guy - it's easiest just to befriend him and figure out rules between you and him on your own, without concerning the boss. I suppose the guy might be clueless about the situation. You might produce a grateful follower instead of an enemy.
As for you being a grad student "not oficially, but I was promised" is such a bad idea. I lived through it and at last, applied properly somewhere else.




It was my understanding that eventually I would apply to school here and likely work in this lab. Things being what they are in the science world, particularly for a young PI I dont know that he would be able to have two grad students right now, and money is becoming more of an issue for me. So I guess that now Im not really sure were I stand. I also feel like I should have a talk with him regarding salary because Im not sure how the addition of the grad student will affect me... I do understand its his priority to have a grad because he wants to teach.

Thanks for all the good advice

#14 Telomerase

Telomerase

    Evil Incarnate

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 31 posts
0
Neutral

Posted 16 March 2009 - 12:51 PM

If you never told the PI, he might have thought you are happy being a technician and motivated just for that.
I am sorry, I think this is important - you have started the discussion with differences about male/female at the lab, but the truth is we so often glass-wall ourselves, because we do not even say that we care. We think we aren't worthy. PIs take grade students who actually wave with the need of doing research.
Please be concious that you are worthy, you are a specialist, you can't just work like a little ant and wait for someone to notice. Loud, articulated males without any doubts about their worth will win over and over, if you do that. At least, you try, if you don't make it - well you've tried.
Keep calm, proud, smiling with your head up and good luck. :unsure:

Edited by Telomerase, 16 March 2009 - 12:53 PM.

"Beware the power of a PhD student" - scolix

#15 MaggieRoara

MaggieRoara

    Enthusiast

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 67 posts
0
Neutral

Posted 19 March 2009 - 02:22 AM

I think its best for you if you sat down and a had a talk thats truthfull about what you really feel. Do not be afraid to find another tech position somewhere else that might actually value your skills. Also be very open to your boss about how the other grad student is treating you. Also tell him that frankly you feel you could do a better job. Do teh RTPCR on your own, and then bring it to your boss saying you did it in you free time and found that your method works, etc while the other dude struggles.
And if all fails if I were you, i would start looking for other positions, or even accept the other better paying job you were talking about. But before you leave, give the idiot grad student a f=ing piece of your mind! In front of other people. Men have big egos, do it infront of others and you would have hurt him like hell. Dont raise your voice, do it in a calm manner looking straight into his face.


And dont be afraid of speaking your mind.
you go get 'em girl




Home - About - Terms of Service - Privacy - Contact Us

©1999-2013 Protocol Online, All rights reserved.