Extremly frustrated (Danger of venting)


Hi there, sorry I have to vent - other option would be throwing somebody out of the window..

I had a chat with my boss today who basically told me that trouble is ahead because my coworkers think I dont work enough and therefore doesn't deserve the higher payment that I get. (I am paid for 40 hours instead of 30)

Basically, I am a hybrid between technician, labmanager and phD. Technically I am "entiteled" to do 50 percent of my time research, the other 50 percent are technical support. I am responsible for ordering, storage, restocking and remaking of buffers, the cryo tanks, organizing general lab cleanings and infrastructure. So when something is broken - I am responsible for fixing. Beside that I am at the end of my first year of my phd and the plan for next year says 2 co-author papers (done, just need to find the right journal), another co-author paper where I have to supply a significant amount of writing (data done) and two first name papers (one data collection nearly done - other needs some substantial work).

I am constantly working more than 40 hours to get things done - and I am just seriously pissed that someone thinks I don't do enough. And my boss doesn't help when he tells me that his normal justfication to other people is:"At least it will take her longer to achieve the phD" which doesn't work any longer because I am way ahead of plan....

*hits a wall with her head*


it sounds like you're in a very difficult position, having to juggle the demands of work and a phd. it's hard enough having a job in the 'outside' world, but one in the lab while doing a phd can be a very toxic combination when the environment is populated by the wrong people. in a practical sense there might be ways to 'prove' you did all the work required and technically that should shut them up. maybe maybe the union might help. maybe they're envious of your success. it's not clear whether your boss is supportive, sounds like he is. maybe he can do something to shut them up. it sounds like he warned you which is a good thing.

you remind me of myself. once too i was the promising phd student, very much ahead of the curve in my first year, then it all started to crumble because of my unsupportive supervisor, long story, and because of those experiences i decided academia isn't for me and i will leave the premises after submission. i don't regard this as a bad decision.

unfortunately there is lots of bad behaviour around and it's very hard to navigate and you may get the short end even if you have done nothing wrong and followed all the right procedures. good luck with all.


Hi, thank you. My boss is supportive, otherwise I woul have thrown the towel latest by now ;). It just hits me on a very very wrong foot - I am working since twelve years as a technician and are constantly fighting what people expect me to do - or not. Thats why I kind of exploded today ;).

Yeah, academia is a cut-throath business and as soon as you stick out some way or another, you will become a target. At the end of the day, it only counts what m boss is believing (and hes believing luckily in me) - but it can be exhausting..


It creates such a horrible work atmosphere when people make comments like this. My sister has experienced a similar thing (not in academia, but she has co-workers who have gone to the manager and complained about how much she is paid). Basically, it's none of their business and is between you and your employers - you and your boss know how much you work.