Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Warning... supervisor rant ahead

Things have been going fairly well with my supervisor for the past while until now. I knew it had to be short lived. It started last week when he left me high and dry 45 minutes before a conference call with collaborators of ours. My supervisor and them are going to carry on my project, which is a nice compliment that my research is worthwhile to continue pursuing especially since my project started as pretty much a shot in the dark. Granted I know the most about my project but I'm really not sure the direction my supervisor wants to go with it so I was quite pissed off that he left me to carry our side of the call. Oh well, it went fairly well I think. Of course my supervisor wanted a recap of the phone meeting so I spent an hour typing out an email to him about it. I purposely only sent the email to him because although I didn't bash our collaborators or anything I did mention that some of the experiments they suggested I didn't agree with or didn't think they were necessary. Obviously if I didn't tell them that on the phone I wouldn't want them to read it in an email. Well guess what? My supervisor responded to my long email and cc'd it to our collaborator and her post doc. Sadly, I had a feeling he would do this so I did try to word things politely but still! The man has no email etiquette. This is similar to the time I sent him an email asking for the specifics of how an experiment was done since it was done by another lab. He proceeded to forward that email to the people who had done the experiment. Normally that would be fine but it wasn't a "hey can you answer these questions for her email". Instead he mentioned how I should contact these people and ask them these specific questions and how he cc'd them on this email so they are expecting my email. It was like I was 5 years old and afraid to talk to someone so I needed him to ease me into it. No, I just didn't know their email addresses!

In the last week or so I've sent my supervisor my intro and the revisions on two chapters. The ultimate plan is to publish three of the chapters from my thesis. This wasn't done earlier in my program due to the whole supervisor leaving issue and potentially getting kicked out of our lab so I focused on getting my experiments done and not publishing my results. Now, however, I really want and need those publications. I sent my supervisor an email saying we should really get on this and here's what I'm thinking for where to submit the manuscripts, etc., etc. I get an email back saying how he's busy and has other things to do and can't focus on my stuff 100%. Ok I understand that but the fact that the last thing he sent to me was almost two weeks ago I'm guessing he hasn't been working on my stuff much since then. Also, one of my chapters has been written since December and has pretty much just been sitting there with a few minor revisions here and there. My supervisor keeps saying he wants to have another look at it but hasn't. Dear lord! Now I know why so many former grad students in my lab left without publishing.

To top it off, I've been pushing to defend before the fall deadline so I don't have to pay tuition. My supervisor said he wanted to see my intro first before making a decision on a date. I sent him my intro a day after that conversation. I also told him that perhaps we should at least set up the external examiner since that has to be done quite some time before the defense. Has there been any more mention of this? Oh no. And by now there is pretty much no way I'm going to make the fall deadline so I'll have to pay tuition.

I've been extremely patient with him throughout the whole writing process and haven't really bugged him about getting revisions back to me. I even left him alone for the whole time he was writing a grant. At one point he was sitting on three chapters of mine but did I say a thing? No. Now with being so close to the end I just want to get done and not have this drag on forever.

1 comment:

ScienceWoman said...

Sing it to me, sister!