Wednesday, January 31, 2007

This is why I work 9-5 and keep my door open

A drive-by comment from the head of department today:

"Wow, I'd never have believed it, a whole month of 2007 is gone already... And you've only just started back today, Styley!"

I pointed out that I have only been gone for two weeks, during which I tried to work on my thesis most days, and that I also came in to work almost every day of the week between Christmas and New Year. (Now why would he not already know this? Could it be because he took a month's holiday starting mid-December?) But he was already walking away and I don't think he heard me.

This is an ongoing issue for my otherwise wonderful, supportive department. The professors all assume that grad students who work off-campus, behind a closed office door, or who keep vampire hours are slacking losers and doomed to fail. If they don't see you with their own eyes, they don't believe you are working.

Alternatively, it is possible to sit in your office from 8 am to 10 pm doing nothing but surfing the internet, and to get a reputation as the most dedicated and driven graduate student to ever grace the university with your presence. (Sometimes I have been that person).

There is something screwed up about these assumptions.


EthidiumBromide said...

Amen to that. Because of all the distractions, I am very unproductive at reading journal articles, studying, etc when I am in the lab, but if I am at my desk doing online shopping from 7am-9pm, everyone thinks I am working so hard. On days when I come to lab and actually do bench work from 7am-3pm and then go to the library and read articles from 3-9, the head of my lab hunts me down and criticizes my work ethic and informs me that I am not living up to his standards.
On that note, I wonder if J.Crew is having any good sales online...

flossie said...

Just the other day I heard a professor say to a grad student, "Happy New Year...or whatever holiday we're up to now."

Of course Grad Student *had* been in since New Year's, just not at times when Professor's own schedule had allowed them to cross paths.

I think online shopping is a marvelous solution.

StyleyGeek said...

I think it also doesn't help that there ARE some students who use the "I was at the library all morning" comment to cover up for days they slept in late.

Online shopping is a procrastination method I haven't tried out yet. Thanks for the tip!