Tuesday, September 13, 2005


I've just spent 3.5 hours getting hammered on. My lovely labmates decided to invite three other faculty members to my "improptu" talk. They were wise in who they brought -- each was an absolute expert on issues pertinent to my new project.

It was terrible. By the end I was dizzy and traumatized. Five group members crafted prepared questions. In my 12 years of research experience, I've never seen anything like this.

I held my own, but I'm profoundly sad that my labmates would be so terrible. They all laughed about it afterwards and regaled in their accomplished mission.

This is as sad as I've been since starting this blog. If being a scientist involves this sort of nonsense, I'm beginning to hate doing science. I'm serious. I can't take this kind of shit anymore.


Blogger Xenia said...

I would just chalk it up as jealousy. Prof Bigshot seems impressed with you without you needing to chap up your lips to get his attention. You have also pointed out that many of them are immature, selfish and ignorant. I wouldn't let them get you down. Your love of science shouldn't be based in the opinion of a small group of prigs that are more impressed with the importance of the university that they attend than with the importance the work has on mankind. I know this will sound silly to someone who doesn't often find happiness just within himself, but that is what you have to do. You have a beautiful loving wife who is so devoted to you that she was uprooted from sunny California to move to Boston just in time for the crappy weather to start. You have a family that loves you more than they will ever be able to express. And since I am sure this will be just the first of many entries of people expressing exactly the same thing - you have dozens of people that come to you for a laugh or a unique thought or a bit of inspiration. I would think of my days as less full if I hadn't "met" you through your blog. Love science because of what it does for you, not for the assholes that try to bring you down. All my positive thoughts to you right now!

7:38 PM  
Blogger Moose said...

This is going to sound like a load of crap, but that which doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. I know it sucks to get hammered on like that, but ultimately your work will be better for it. You group mates could be jealous, it could just be the mentality of the group. Instead of giving up, redouble your efforts. You can do this V. You know you can, and I know you can.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Meow said...

One of my bosses is a name caller and talks to all of us like we're dumb fucks. He hands me something and says, "now, I'm going to give this to you at the risk of your losing it." WTF? When did I ever lose anything? I have never in 15 years lost something at work. I mislay papers near another department's copier, but later remember and go get them but that's about it. No one even knows about it. He sometimes calls me dingbat, God knows why? I'm so fucking smart that I can go to foreign countries all by myself which makes me flighty, or silly to him. Who's the fuck up here? Some people just need to feel superior with their condecending bullshit talk and behavior.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous pep talker said...

Bigshot sounds like my old boss - the only way he can feel good about himself is when everyone around him is writhing in the dust of their shattered dignity. So sad.
I'm sorry your lab mates are more like lab rats. Don't stoop to their level; you're better than that! You can be the bigger person (read: adult) here.

8:52 PM  
Blogger GSR said...

Explain to me again how all of this bashing, in-fighting, kissing up and backstabbing contributes to making better scientists?? Man, Vavoom, you're in a tough, tough business. But don't let the bastards get you down.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

Their time will come.

9:40 PM  
Blogger LoraLoo said...

So you probably just got hazed. They made it tough, and pissed you off. Tomorrow's another day, and you're so above all this bullshit. Don't get discouraged now! You have soooo much good in store for yourself. Charge ahead, and rise above.

10:36 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

I am so sorry to hear that this happened.. what a bunch of jelous people you work with. The need to put others down to make themselves look better is something that is rampant at FU. Please don't let this color your world of science. You are so much better than all this. Vavoom you are highly respected and I would not let your co-workers actions affect your love for science.

10:50 PM  
Blogger An80sNut said...

I'd just remind yourself that they each had to go out of their way to find someone that was an expert to attempt to confound you. They put forward a great effort and failed. Exasperating as it was, you made it through. The only thing that I worry about is if one of them heard about your embarrassing someone during their presentation and tried to turn it around on you. It is jealousy and they still deserve to remain jealous.

12:17 AM  
Blogger dreadcow said...

Sounds like the incident we had a month ago with the DUIs in the company. Not a fun time. Constant hammering. Not out of politics, however, but in effect, the same thing.

V, I'm sorry I haven't been commenting as much as I normally do. Been real busy getting ready for the 'Nam. Headed out real soon. Email me when you get a chance: dread_cow@hotmail.com

12:34 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Jealousy. Petty. KARMA.

2:44 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

PS I'm sorry. =(

2:44 AM  
Anonymous Daniel said...


This sounds like classic pack behavior. Since you can't walk up to Prof. BS and smack him in the face, I suppose that you caould rhetorically beat the weakest member, neither will likely make the days any easier.

I recommend a simpler, and utmately more satisfying solution. Seduce BS's wife and then make sure that the dude knows that he's a cuckold. He'll back off if you threaten to tell everybody else. Works everytime. Of course, everytime you try this, you have to change jobs immediately, so maybe you should just disregard any advice you get from me in the future.

6:02 AM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

Guys: Thanks so much for the supportive words. I was down. You helped. I thank you.

7:27 AM  
Blogger irishkeough said...

You seem to have a knack for getting yourself into shitty groups buddy. Maybe you should just stick to watching college football. I recommend Saturday's game on NBC at 330 eastern.

4:19 PM  

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