I've written about my annoying coworker before, and have been working very hard to have a polite, proper working rel@tionship with her.
That doesn't mean she doesn't drive me crazy with her incessent chatter and high-pitched yelling, but I shut up and treat her in a polite manner, and help her out whenever she needs it.
Coworker and I are both PhD students.
Anyway, Coworker decided to show her work in the form of a poster at a conference. Her work is the brain-child of our boss, and she is doing it because it happened that way. It is something that eventually is supposed to serve the entire team, she just set it up. Just as I set up something that serves the entire team as well.
For this work she relies greatly on the routine work that I set up in the lab, along with Tina and which Maddie also does routinely. If we did not do this routine work, as well as the months-long, frustrating, Sisyphian setup that I needed to do she would have nothing to show.
I helped her out with an illustration for the poster, and so I happened to look at a draft today.
At the top were written the authors: Coworker, Lab Manager, Tina and Boss.
The following conversation ensued:
Me: Who produced the *things* that you are showing there?
CW: You, Tina and Maddie.
Me: So don't you think the people who did the work should be included among the authors?
CW: <long winded unclear babble to make clear that no, she doesn't think so>. We didn't want too many people on it. I mean, Steve (who has nothing at all to do with her project) taught me everything I know, and I don't include him in the authors.
Me: Yes, but you're showing things that people worked very hard on and it's proper to give them credit for it.
CW (getting huffy): Well, fine, if you feel so strongly about it I'm willing to consider it.
Me: It has nothing to do with what I feel about it, it's proper to give people credit for their work.
CW then says my name in a condescending, exasperated manner clearly meaning that I am annoying her and to go away.
Me: Don't talk to me like that (said very gently, not scolding or anything).
CW: You started it!
Me: No I didn't, I am telling you very nicely that when people put their blood, sweat and tears into something they should get credit for their work. And it's better to have some more people on the author list than to antagonize your coworkers.
Just to clarify: for the work Maddie and I do we deserve credit, by any standards of our discipline. It is not a question at all. Lab Manager heard the entire conversation and said that she agrees with me.
My questions are this:
1. I want to bring this up with the boss. I think in order to do so I need to be non-confrontational so as not to seem petty, so I was thinking of starting the conversation with "I have a question, something that's not very clear to me, and I would like to know what our team's policy on authorship is going to be like." If he asks why, I will bring up Coworker's poster and Maddie and I not being part of it.
If anyone has any advice I would be glad to hear it!
2. How do I deal with Coworker now? I think she has a severe ethics problem regarding publication, but it's not my job to teach her that. I don't think that she should have spoken to me that way. I have been ignoring her all day today (as she has me), but that won't last too long. In general, she treats me as if I work for her and I have been slowly and politely trying to communicate to her that the way I treat her is the way I expect to be treated by her (meaning, I am nice, polite and check things with her in advance.)