UCLAreject

Registered "User"
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2005
49
0
37
la
Status
There is another thread floating around posted by student who was uncomfortable asking their PI for a letter of rec and complaining how the PI was unavailable/too busy/detached from the work the undergrad was doing. Consider yourself lucky to have such a great PI. I work in a research lab where my PI has truly lost it. She does nothing all day long, she doesn't write grants, she isn't busy traveling and giving talks, she isn't doing all the things that a normal PI does on a regular basis as part of their job, often leaving them with less time to deal with us "data slaves". Nope. Instead she walks around the lab looking for attention. I don't want to drag this out too long so I'll just list a few things that come to mind:

-she sniffs ethanol from bottles to see if she can get drunk
-she plays football with big empty jugs, recklessly punting them around lab
-she blasts The Nutcracker soundtrack
-she hides your personal belongings cuz she thinks its funny
-she brings in her dogs to lab and makes people in our lab walk them feed them etc
-she invented lab bowling, where you line up empty water bottles, and try to knock them over with a huge foil ball
-invented extreme darts
-she makes us house sit for her when she goes on vacation to watch her stinking smelly dogs (i love dogs, but still) for weeks at a time
-she threatens you that she will write you a bad letter if you don't become more dedicated to lab (and probably if you decide not to house sit)
-she hasn't published in 4-5 years and doesnt have tenure either...
-she bought a whip from a recent trip to hungary, a real whip for whipping things, and will crack it violently near people while they try to work
-she loses things and forgets that you ever gave it to her and blames you instead
-calls you a bad scientist if you don't come to work cuz you went to the doctor and suggests you change professions if you cant handle working while sick ( said to a postdoc in lab)
-flirts with the computer repair dude
-decided not to "waste" her time teaching me real science ever since she found out im going to med school and all i need to do is memorize stuff
-will sometimes decide to "work at the bench" next to me, infringing on my space, making me feel uncomfortable the whole time by constantly looking over my shoulder just waiting for me to do something wrong or just differently than her, and telling me ill never become a good scientist
-likes to break off chunks of ice in the -20 and -80 freezers
-squirts ethanol on people
-throws liquid nitrogen on people
-sneak up on people while they are working and yell in their ear scaring them
-singing along, at the top of her lungs, with the Sound of Music
-tries to convince me on a weekly basis to stick my finger in the electroporator
-decide to NOT publish data because it is not "exciting enough" or "Science worthy"
-she cusses at us, the other day, she told my postoc: "you are ****ing rude" lol, the irony...
-takes materials that i wrote and had her previously revise, like an abstract for example, and tells me that it is crap
-tells us to sleep in lab on the couch so we can get more done, but then goes on to say "dont bring any girls over, i don't want my couch getting all crusty'" that is an accurate quote
-she told us that she was going home early because she had cramps....
-this could go on forever....

So next time someone complains about their PI who is too busy, just consider how lucky you really are that you don't have a PI as accessible as mine.


I guess why I really started this thread was to see if anyone else has off the wall PI's and kinda make me feel better knowing Im not alone.

Thanks
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
Staff member
Administrator
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2004
18,915
4,165
Florida/Fellowship
Status
Fellow [Any Field], Attending Physician
Reading this, I can only ask, why are you still working in this lab?
 

KatieOConnor

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 4, 2003
156
0
40
Visit site
Status
I had a PI who

Wrote me up officially with HR for being unable to make buffers properly after I added methanol to the Western blot transfer buffer before water

Told me she could tell I had "very little biology background" because of the questions I asked. (This was after she told me I didn't ask enough questions)

Wrote me up officially with HR for taking one day off to visit a grandmother who'd had a stroke (This was after me coming in on weekends)

Told me, "You've graduated college, this is a university" in a contemptuous tone when I wrote *** College of Medicine on a return address for something I was shipping.

Told the administrative office I was making "too many personal phone calls" (Now, the lab phone was on HER desk so there was really NO WAY for me to be making personal calls. Not that I would do that at work anyway. This did, however, earn me a lecture about the importance of being professional and not talking on the phone at work from the administrative office.)

I had to leave the lab because I was basically wishing to be run over by a car on the way to work every morning so I wouldnt have to face the PI.
 

uclabruin2003

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2004
642
0
Status
uclareject. considering how high-strung the envt at ucla is in terms of publishing, etc. im surprised your PI is still around. then again...she sounds like fun...well except for the other crap she pulled...ha
 

Wiggy73

MS I's have more fun
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2004
361
3
studying anatomy
Status
My PI just gave birth. I love the woman, but pregnancy made for some interesting times! Now the baby hangs out in Mom's office. It's always funny to see her talking to the grad students and me about quantum mechanics and laser upconversions while absently jiggling the baby.
 

icecream4me

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2004
68
0
Status
Wow...these are some crazy stories! Mine are not NEARLY as bad, but I did have a graduate student who was "managing" me tell me that I would be doing experiments and then made me inventory and take out the garbage once I was hired (I never did anything lab-related except for making 95% ethanol, btw). Also, in one of my labs, my PI and the lab tech basically conspired to kick me out by telling everyone else in the lab that I was doubling on my time cards to get paid extra...this was told to me by a post-doc and grad student in my lab, at which point they both told me not to say anything or involve them because it was their career on the line and if I was their true friend, I would not mention their names.

As you probably guessed, I quit both jobs - mind you, though, with professionalism, so that if I ever needed these people for anything, I am still on "good terms" with them. :p
 

tinkerbelle

10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2003
2,571
6
Neverland
Status
Attending Physician
icecream4me said:
Wow...these are some crazy stories! Mine are not NEARLY as bad, but I did have a graduate student who was "managing" me tell me that I would be doing experiments and then made me inventory and take out the garbage once I was hired (I never did anything lab-related except for making 95% ethanol, btw). Also, in one of my labs, my PI and the lab tech basically conspired to kick me out by telling everyone else in the lab that I was doubling on my time cards to get paid extra...this was told to me by a post-doc and grad student in my lab, at which point they both told me not to say anything or involve them because it was their career on the line and if I was their true friend, I would not mention their names.
are you kidding :confused: i'm assuming these were your part time jobs and not your real job? anyways. hope everything is going well for you :luck:
 

superdevil

planning my escape
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 30, 2003
1,721
0
always in the last place i look
Visit site
Status
Medical Student
UCLAreject said:
-she sniffs ethanol from bottles to see if she can get drunk
-she hides your personal belongings cuz she thinks its funny
-invented extreme darts
-she bought a whip from a recent trip to hungary, a real whip for whipping things, and will crack it violently near people while they try to work
-decided not to "waste" her time teaching me real science ever since she found out im going to med school and all i need to do is memorize stuff
-squirts ethanol on people
-throws liquid nitrogen on people
-sneak up on people while they are working and yell in their ear scaring them
-she cusses at us, the other day, she told my postoc: "you are ****ing rude" lol, the irony...
-she told us that she was going home early because she had cramps...
ummm, try this:

1) rip the radio antenna off of her car
2) tie her down in lab (the removing of clothes is optional, but perhaps necessary in this instance)
3) work her over with the antenna for 30-45 minutes
4) "throw liquid nitrogen" on her antenna wounds, while singing one of her favorite songs, such as "the sound of music"

repeat steps 1-4 daily until symptoms subside...
 

virilep

What can Brown do for u?
15+ Year Member
Feb 12, 2004
1,563
5
37
Visit site
Status
wow...craziness. If I weren't happy with my PI, and the person wasn't helping me out with advice about my research, I would feel like I was wasting my time. I would definately think about maybe asking another for advice or even changing labs... hahaha... sniffing ethanol to get drunk... hahaha
 

45408

aw buddy
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2004
16,976
47
Status
Resident [Any Field]
QofQuimica said:
Reading this, I can only ask, why are you still working in this lab?
Word. We have research lab parties, laid-back lab meetings, attractive members of the opposite-sex, and cutting-edge research. :D
 
OP
U

UCLAreject

Registered "User"
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2005
49
0
37
la
Status
yeah the only thing keeping me there is that the actual science is interesting and i am trying to help my postdoc get his **** done so he can get outta there