Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'm not the boss of you

There are a couple of graduate students who feel the need to make sure that I know how many hours they spend in the lab. First of all, I don't care how much time these people do or do not spend in the lab because:

(1) it's not my job
My job as a post-doctoral fellow is not too police how much or little graduate students work. I think that my job (right this minute) entails (a) conducting research, publishing papers, obtaining funding and acquiring skills that will assist in obtaining a tenure-track faculty position; (b) mentoring my little grad student with stinky breath, (c) acting as a sounding board for new ideas and troubleshooting for any lab member, (d) editing grants and other written items for my Magnum, PI and (e) random lab shit. I'm sure I've left something out, but you get the idea.

(2) it's really more about the quality and quantity of data you produce.
It's all about the data. As long as you are producing data at a reasonable pace and publishing papers, all is well. If you can do that working 3 hours a day, great. If it takes you ten hours a day, fine. I really don't care.

(3) it's not my lab.
I have no authority to reprimand someone if they choose to do nothing or not come to the lab.

And now for the point of this post:
I've started getting to the lab about an hour and a half earlier than what I used to as my child likes to get up at the crack of ass. Since this time, I've noticed that the people in my lab that were always talking about how they got to the lab by 6:00 a.m. NEVER get here by 6:00 a.m. In fact, it's more like 8:00 a.m. Maybe it's a coincidence. The same thing happened in grad. lab. There was one fellow grad student who whined endlessly about how they never could sleep in and were always in the lab by 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. Low and behold, when I start getting to work by 8:00 a.m. do to a schedule change, their sleeping problems suddenly vanished.
Like I said, I don't give a flying fuck when these people get to work, when they leave work or what they do while they are at work. I'm just surprised that people regularly take the time to lie about this shit.


quietandsmalladventures said...

hahahaha, the senior grad student in my lab routinely whines about "working all night", yet the nights i've been in lab past 10pm, he's rarely there. i guess it makes them feel more 1) important? 2) productive? 3) idk?

chall said...

ahh.. this is why I've always been mocked by my lab mates. I'm not an early bird but boy, I stay late. the few times I came/come in early I'm always surprised that it is empty. I mean, the whole thing is that they state "being here at 8 and leave promptly at 4" and mock me for coming in at 9 and staying until 6-7... and then when I come in at 8 there is an empty place.


and I really wouldn't care, if it wasn't for the shit they hand out to me. Well, I guess I'm picky that way ;)

Unbalanced Reaction said...

In my experience, the people who are most vocal about the "horribly long hours" that they work usually aren't getting much work done at all.

microbiologist xx said...

QASA - I agree.

chall - I don't really care about how much these people do or don't work either and I probably wouldn't even notice that the weren't here early if they hadn't made such a huge deal about it.

UR - Maybe a little less bitching and a little more working. It seems these people spend an awful lot of time socializing too. (Not that I don't ever socialize, but there is a point when you cross a line.)

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

When I first started grad school, one guy from my year's intake always boasted about what long hours he spent at work. His labmates confirmed that he really did come in at 7am and leave at 8pm. But then, a few weeks in, one of them updated us with the news that he spent approximately 80% of his at-work time playing minesweeper.

It's about quality time, not quantity time! (In any job, not just research).

microbiologist xx said...

cath - I couldn't agree more.
It seems like quite a few people who spend an marathon hours in the lab, don't really spend their time wisely. If it's not minesweeper, it's socializing. I have to admit, when I've had to pull multiple 16 hour days in a row due to some brutal assays, my productivity started to decrease due to (a) less multi-tasking or (b) an increase in stupid mistakes.

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