Looking Under the Microscope

No one likes to be scrutinized. I’m a confident person and I worked under a microscope for many years. Such is the atmosphere of being the target of bullying – you are always being observed in an attempt to find fault, an opening for criticism, or even a reason for dismissal. I survived by being near perfect in all my tasks (the few mistakes that I made were corrected before being noted). I’m the exception. There were many who couldn’t handle the pressure. They exited. Some went away quietly like a wisp of smoke. Others made a fuss and drew attention to the inequity of the situation. And still others tried to stick it out only to have breakdowns (I was the witness to 2 people having mental collapses). Once I retired (actually before when SWMNBN was cut loose and the new bully I mean boss decided to absent himself from the workplace) all the pressure dissipated. I could do my job without being scrutinized and criticized for the way I breathed. I enjoyed the feeling of not being examined so very closely.

I have completed 2 studies this year for the professor I had been working for. This is because all the Post-Docs and Graduate Students that had been doing animal work left the lab. The 2 new lab members started after the first of the year and are slowly getting up to speed. So now the word is that I will have a few more studies coming up. The new Post-Doc is a newly minted Microbiologist who happens to be a Veterinarian! We have worked on the previous studies together. Although they didn’t go as well as hoped, any issues were not on my part. He seems reluctant to trust that I know what I’m doing. His inexperience has manifested itself as close scrutiny of what I’m doing. That might make some hands shake but not me. I’ve been there done that. I know the drill. I’m hopeful that we will learn to work well together. Still I do miss the 3 previous Post-Docs.

66 thoughts on “Looking Under the Microscope

        1. You have the flexibility that many don’t. I do hope that the woman that was so critical can step away and everyone can find a new rhythm. Until then ((hugs))

          Like

            1. Yikes. I hope you can get things straightened out… Perhaps she realized that you had better bookkeeping skills and decided to bail before her incompetence was made known. I bet you’ll get things straightened out in no time!

              Like

              1. She said this is a boring job. There is an inch of dust on most things in the store front which is not very big and should be easy to up keep. She never vacuumed. And I found towns within towns. And things majorly wrong on alphabetized files. I will be a while cleaning up her messes. She did the bare minimum to get by. And complained about being bored constantly.

                Like

  1. I’m glad you can withstand the scrutiny better than most. If this prof is that anxious, it’s only because they care. Once they are comfortable that you care, too, it will go better. Proud of you!

    Like

    1. The professor knows I care and they care that I care – so much so that they gave me a $5/hr raise! The issue is the Post Doc who has controll issues and too many degrees to trust me. He’s learning. It is always hard to break in a newly minted Ph.D.

      Like

  2. It’s been my experience that some men have a deeply ingrained distrust that women, of any age, education, or skill, can be completely trusted to do anything. Even when a female demonstrates competency, or maybe especially when, they feel compelled to make a display of their masculine superiority by criticizing a woman’s work. Just Joan told me the clinical term for this; it’s called correctile dysfunction. As far as I know, there’s no cure for this debilitating condition.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe! I’m using that one! True, but this problem is probably cultural – He’s visiting from Ethiopia. Place that on top of another Ph.D. and you’ve got ego to go along with it. At least he’s very polite and pleasant even though he doesn’t communicate well and he evades answers to direct questions… Time will tell if he truly has “correctile dysfunction”!

      Like

  3. Some relationships can take a very long time to build. I have and do mentor many student teachers/ interns/ pre-service teachers/ teacher residents/ supervisees… Each relationship has been completely unique just my relationships to each my own supervisors and mentors have been. Different chemistries, I guess. I am glad you are undaunted!!!

    Like

    1. Thank-you!He is so new nd is still adjusting to the US. I’m a very patient person and I’m sure he will eventually come around. I tried to point the way but either ego, stubbornness or cultural bias prevented him from accepting my help. I won’t give up but it is going to be hard going unless he learns to communicate more clearly and easily. I’ve got my fingers crossed that we will be able to work together well.

      Like

  4. I will echo the good luck wishes. I had all kinds of bosses and not many really know how to get the best out of their employees. It’s a skill–not many have it. I know myself I would be a terrible boss. (K)

    Like

    1. Hehe! He is definitely NOT my boss – more like a coworker. But he is still trying to fit in. I’m hoping he “gets with the program” before the next big study. The past bad bosses are being battered by karma and I’m happy to have a boss that appreciates me!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope so too. He’s had a rough time getting settled in but I’m sure that that might be part of it and that any cultural bias toward women will be moderated in this new environment (seeing as his boss is female)…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m hoping he comes around. He’s bounced around from place to place – South Korea, Germany, and now here in the states. At least he has his family with him. I’m hoping that he will get more relaxed now that he sees that I know what I’m doing. At least that’s my hope…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this again, but it sounds as if you’re up for the challenge. It never ceases to amaze me how many people sincerely believe that they are the only ones who know how to do things right.

    Like

    1. Hehe! Yes, Ann there are way too many Ph.D.s that think they know everything then they are confronted by a mouse and need to get a blood sample without hurting the animal… They are clueless. That’s when they realize I’ve got mad skills!

      Like

    1. Thanks Michel! I work in a field where education is everything. Of course experience and skills are important too. It becomes problematic when those with multiple degrees attempt to perform tasks that are very dependent on specialized skills… My skills are very specialized and very in demand! I’m hoping he comes around.

      Like

    1. Me too. He seems nice enough and I don’t doubt he has the education… He just needs to settle in and get used to an environment where we all collaborate…

      Like

  6. And I thought you were retired, wow. You need to take on a few current politicians in charge and set them straight about the price of gas, inflation, and buying from China. We need to stay away from masks for the future. Just a note.

    Like

    1. I am retired. I pick up some “on call” work from my favorite researchers. They pay me well and I’m invested in the research they are doing. I have no desire to get involved with politics… I will just speak at the ballot box.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. We need to rely on the U.S. and devalue inflation and stay healthy by getting rid of the heavy drug trade in the states and imposing strict jail terms and not showing forgiveness. We need to face reality.

    Like

    1. He is trying to find his place – I think he feels superior due to the number of degrees he has earned. But things will even out – I’m hoping. I’m patient and I can wait….

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s