Friday, September 09, 2005

Vavoom To The Rescue.

Yesterday I overheard a postdoc badly abusing a technician:

P: I'm asking you why it didn't work. I want an answer now. What the hell are these spikes in the data?
T: Well, I just did the experiment and I need to think about what went wrong.
P: What, are you too stupid to figure it out now? I'm asking you what went wrong!
T: I'm not sure... I... *sniff* I'm trying and... *sniff*
P: Do you honestly think you can keep this job with your idiotic mentality?

Here's where I stepped in:

V: P, what do you think went wrong with T's experiment?
P: I don't know, that's why I'm asking.
V: C'mon, figure it out. You're a postdoc for God's sake. C'mon, right here on the spot, figure it out.
P: Well, I don't know.
V: Now I'm asking you, P -- what went wrong? T has told you exactly how the experiment was done, you should be able to tell me right here, on the spot, what went wrong.
P: I don't know.
V: Do you honestly think you should keep your job with your idiotic mentality? I mean, c'mon, give T a break. How do you expect someone with limited experience to figure out in short time something that you, with years of experience can't figure out? What the fuck gives you the right to treat someone like that? You know, it's assholes like you that really fucking piss me off.

As I spoke I felt my pulse pounding at my temple. After everything that happened to me back at Berkeley, I've become ultra-sensitive to abusive treatment. I took a deep breath. "I'm not handling this well," I thought.

V: Listen, T doesn't deserve to be talked to like that. She's learning. I know what it's like to work for someone abusive. It's not fun. Be patient, give her time and she'll figure everything out.
P: How about you mind your own business, V?
T: It's okay *sniff*, I can take it.
V: You won't have to, T. Everytime P talks to you like that, come and get me. The next time he treats you badly, I'll bore a fucking intellectual hole in his head. By the way, P, those spikes in T's data -- yeah, they're coming from your shithole power supply. T, try the experiment again using a good one. The spikes will go away. If they don't, come and get me.

Again, I could feel myself getting angry. I took another deep breath and walked away. I really need to learn to stay calm during such confrontations. I guess I'm projecting my prior abusive experience onto T's situation.

Incidentally, it was the power supply. Yes, P looked like an idiot. He later apologized to T, but I can hear him hammering on poor T right now. If you'll excuse me, I've got some ass to kick. Don't worry, I'll keep my cool.

15 Comments:

Blogger European said...

Good one, Vavoom! I'm glad I'm not the only person with this Robin-Hood-protector-of-widows-
and-orphans complex.

10:34 AM  
Blogger GSR said...

Give 'em hell, V.

2:19 PM  
Blogger An80sNut said...

Berkley did kick you around some, didn't it? Glad to hear that you are able to step into a situation like that and help out. (Damn power supplies.) I'm just worried you are going to have the post-doc's all scared of you.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Lily said...

Good on you V for coming to the rescue. Be careful you don't put your own neck in the noose by doing so.

3:44 PM  
Blogger dreadcow said...

Thank you for having the balls that the rest of society seems to have forgotten.

Part of the reason society is so fucked up now is because people don't know to stand up for themselves.

Why do you think corporations abuse the shit out of their employees? I pray I never work for one of those again.

Despite the fact I work for the largest one in the world. lol

7:12 PM  
Blogger Ivan said...

Thats good, V. I hate when for some reason or another I ignore situations like that. Because I tend to never get shit from other people. But I feel like I should help others, seeing as how i'm a bit imposing. You show us how it should be done. Good Stuff, V.

7:36 PM  
Blogger LoraLoo said...

Vavoom! You never cease to amaze me. Keep kicking those asses at Fancypants. If only you wrote ALL the rules. :)

Have a truly enjoyable weekend.

12:04 AM  
Blogger Mike Leslie said...

nothin like having to deal with some ass who doesnt think before he speaks/acts. My dad is the same way...he has done a lot of apologizing over the years but his behavior never changes.

1:05 AM  
Blogger Moose said...

Faster than a speeding bullet. Able to leap tall step stools in a single bound. He's super V! Way to go.

7:10 AM  
Blogger thc said...

A knight in shining armor, you are.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

At least the hole will be intellectual. Way to go - I may call you next time a parent yells at me because their child isn't turning in the work.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

I love how you put him in his place. I just love how people have the need to put other people down and make them feel bad about themselves in order for them to make up for their own insecurities.

12:17 PM  
Blogger A Fashionista said...

Leave it to V to throw in the can of whoop ass. LOL

12:56 AM  
Blogger dusty said...

Its hard to stand around and watch crap like that go down isn't it? I can never keep my mouth shut either.I salute you Vavoom.

9:02 AM  
Blogger mis_nomer said...

You are my hero.

11:19 PM  

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