Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Forced procrastination

One of the reasons that being a mid-level worker is frustrating is because you get constantly interrupted.  This has been a huge problem in my current job.  While I was a graduate student, the post docs and professors who had once been post docs told me that they had finished up papers from their PhD during their post docs, that they had networked and written reviews, met people who became important connections for their careers, and explored interests while learning new techniques. I'm missing out on much of this.

My boss has figured out that I am productive, so whenever he needs something done that is even marginally related to my project, he asks me to do it. Nay, tells me. No matter how trivial, no matter if it could be done by an undergrad or a grad student (the male grad student continues to spend most of his day sitting in the office playing games on his phone. No exaggeration- he's doing it right now and has been since I came in at 10. The other grad student hasn't yet arrived.)

The problem with be productive in a selfish lab is that you never become productive for yourself. I've spent every day, all day, since Friday working on experiments for our grant due next week. Today I thought I would have some time to prepare the class lecture I'm giving on Friday for a friend's course, and my boss came in and reminded me of yet another experiment I'm supposed to do.

So do I point out that no one else has done anything today? Or suck it up and once again push off the tasks that will directly benefit me?