Thursday, July 20, 2006

I’m always hesitant to write about work. Dooce and SJ both were fired when their blogs were discovered. Flea just removed a very funny post about her job. I try to keep things vague and not controversial. There are several situations I would love to get off my chest, but if any coworkers found my blog, they could easily figure out my identity.

Late Monday afternoon, I was informed the temp tag on our new truck, which we would be driving to a field site the following day, had expired. After discussing it with Hubby, I was hesitant to drive it – at best we wouldn’t get pulled over, maybe we could talk our way out of a ticket if stopped (main campus was aware of the situation, lapse was due to their oversight, and a new tag was on its way), but at worst, someone would get a ticket. Fortunately, a coworker procured a different vehicle the next morning, unbeknownst to us, one without AC. Lovely.

Shortly after discovering the truck snafu, Boss informed me that our cooperator (MM for micromanager), whose field site we’d be working in the next day, had not finished setting up our site as promised. He had plenty of blame for Lazy Coworker, who had gone to the site a week previous to help set it up (the problem was not his fault) and blame for our other cooperators, who also had no responsibility.

In short, I knew we were in for a bad day in the field.

As soon as we got to the site, MM started in on me: Did you decontaminate? Are you sure you aren’t carrying anything bad into the field? We need to finish setting up before you start your part. Make sure you do it like this. Be sure to tell all your people. Don’t forget to do that. Make sure everyone knows…

We get started, and one of my people is in the wrong place. I should’ve caught it, but was so overwhelmed with trying to make sure we all were running smoothly, I completely missed it. MM pointed it out (one instance where he was useful). My person had the grace not to get visibly pissed at me, which he had every right to do.

We got everyone in the correct place and got to work. I hooked up with J, the woman comparable to my position in the other cooperator’s lab, and things got running. Then she started in on how she didn’t want to be in the field, had to leave there at a specific time (never mind they had a 30 minute drive vs. our 2 hour drive), and wants to hurry (bad, bad idea. Hurrying = errors). I stupidly let that stress me, and I made mistakes. Then we discovered mistakes MM had made, which also had to be corrected and set us back even farther. She goes on about how she’s a lab worker, not a field worker, hates working in the field... Then she starts in about being a MOLECULAR BIOLOGIST. Can we just let that die already? I had enough of the molecular vs. applied biology crap in grad school. What is with gene jockeys and their freakin egos? Get over it already. Not all of us are interested in doing molecular work and just because I enjoy getting my hands dirty every now and then doesn’t make me stupid, uneducated, or unskilled. I may not be a geneticist, but I’ve dabbled in molecular work when necessary. So what? Molecular biology simply provides a set of tools to use in research. Yes, they are very useful, but that does not make them inherently better. I’m happier using a different set of research tools. In the grand scheme of things, who gives a shit?

I knew about J from a previous coworker who did not get along with her. She was right on. J is intelligent and seems to be a hard worker, but she’s arrogant and controlling. I respect her self-confidence (arrogance?) that allows her to freely speak her mind, and I respect that she doesn’t take crap, but shit, get over the attitude and just do your job. Trust me, things would go easier and faster.

We finally finished up, just as the afternoon storms were rolling in. J needed help loading up some equipment and I swear I heard Coworker say he’d help. I told her he said he’d help, he said he hadn’t, so I went and helped her. Whatever, I didn’t care who did it as long as we got it finished. She started complaining about the men not helping (they busted their asses in the field doing hard labor – a lot more than she and I did). I think he overheard her comments and got (rightfully) pissed. I apologized, and said I thought I heard him offer to help, no harm done.

So now I’ve succeeded in not only annoying my boss lately, I’m pissing off the coworkers, too. Great. I’ve been feeling a weird vibe at work lately, and I’m not sure if I’m being hypersensitive or what, but the field sitch did not help.

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