Author Topic: Unwarrented Demands for Loyalty (Share stories)  (Read 57653 times)

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Thipu1

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Re: Unwarrented Demands for Loyalty (Share stories)
« Reply #195 on: March 22, 2014, 11:58:14 AM »
There are Professors who are extremely passionate about their research and who can't understand why everyone else doesn't share their enthusiasm. 

Once, a curator showed me a review of a book on a very esoteric topic. It was on a very minor point of Orange religion theology that would interest perhaps fifty people in the world.

The review began, 'Who would not welcome a thoughtful exploration of X?'. It was obvious that the reviewer shared the enthusiasm of the author.

The curator and I had a good laugh about that one.       

DollyPond

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Re: Unwarrented Demands for Loyalty (Share stories)
« Reply #196 on: March 22, 2014, 12:07:42 PM »
No direct demand, but definitely an implication that we weren't performing up to snuff. Apparently, my boss thinks about our research all the time. He seemed quite surprised to realize that we students don't.  ::) Seriously, he outright asked me if I think about my research at the time, and followed up by asking when I don't think about it.  :o This discussion was touched off by his suggestion that another student should think about his research while hiking in the Grand Canyon for the first time over Spring Break (our research is not in geology, BTW).

I wouldn't take it as bad. He could have meant that new surroundings and experiences could lead to a new good idea for research.
I still think it's a bit much for an employer to be specifying what employees should be thinking about. Especially on their time off.

I agree with the above…. but have to say that the best grant proposal I ever wrote was done on the beach in the Turks and Caicos (NIH grant funded on the first round of review with no revisions requested).  Yes I was supposed to be on vacation but getting away to a more relaxed setting had a wonderful effect.

That said …  I have run into academics whose entire life revolves around their "work".  All in all they do not seem like happy people in general but try to point that out to them and….major pushback.

Shalamar

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Re: Unwarrented Demands for Loyalty (Share stories)
« Reply #197 on: March 22, 2014, 12:52:16 PM »
I had a boss who insisted that, instead of sitting with my work friends during breaks, I should pick random tables in the break room and sit with strangers instead.   He called it networking.  I called it "you can't tell me what to do during my personal time" and ignored him.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: Unwarrented Demands for Loyalty (Share stories)
« Reply #198 on: March 22, 2014, 02:33:29 PM »
No direct demand, but definitely an implication that we weren't performing up to snuff. Apparently, my boss thinks about our research all the time. He seemed quite surprised to realize that we students don't.  ::) Seriously, he outright asked me if I think about my research at the time, and followed up by asking when I don't think about it.  :o This discussion was touched off by his suggestion that another student should think about his research while hiking in the Grand Canyon for the first time over Spring Break (our research is not in geology, BTW).

I wouldn't take it as bad. He could have meant that new surroundings and experiences could lead to a new good idea for research.

Oh believe me, I know that inspiration can strike in the oddest of places...but it's generally not because I decided to go "think about my research" while doing something else--it's because something reminds me of my research, or because I start mulling it over because I want to. What really crossed the line for me was when he started asking for specifics of when I didn't think about my research, as if thinking about something other than research while, e.g., eating dinner, talking to a friend, watching a movie, etc., was something I should have to justify to him. If he meant it as a general concept of "be open to new research ideas when you're not actively working," he chose a horrible way to express it.

melicious

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Re: Unwarrented Demands for Loyalty (Share stories)
« Reply #199 on: March 22, 2014, 02:59:46 PM »
I had a boss who insisted that, instead of sitting with my work friends during breaks, I should pick random tables in the break room and sit with strangers instead.   He called it networking.  I called it "you can't tell me what to do during my personal time" and ignored him.

I once had a boss who thought we were being "selfish" on our breaks because they were "not about us" and that we should be reading employee manuals, policies and procedures, etc., as we ate. He also wanted us to keep up with industry news on our days off.

Then he wondered why we were stressed and unhappy at our jobs.

Glad I'm not there anymore.

Susiqzer

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Re: Unwarrented Demands for Loyalty (Share stories)
« Reply #200 on: March 23, 2014, 09:14:45 AM »
No direct demand, but definitely an implication that we weren't performing up to snuff. Apparently, my boss thinks about our research all the time. He seemed quite surprised to realize that we students don't.  ::) Seriously, he outright asked me if I think about my research at the time, and followed up by asking when I don't think about it.  :o This discussion was touched off by his suggestion that another student should think about his research while hiking in the Grand Canyon for the first time over Spring Break (our research is not in geology, BTW).

I wouldn't take it as bad. He could have meant that new surroundings and experiences could lead to a new good idea for research.
I still think it's a bit much for an employer to be specifying what employees should be thinking about. Especially on their time off.

I agree with the above…. but have to say that the best grant proposal I ever wrote was done on the beach in the Turks and Caicos (NIH grant funded on the first round of review with no revisions requested).  Yes I was supposed to be on vacation but getting away to a more relaxed setting had a wonderful effect.

That said …  I have run into academics whose entire life revolves around their "work".  All in all they do not seem like happy people in general but try to point that out to them and….major pushback.

I have PI who always seems to be submitting grants while he's on vacation somewhere, and also gets great scores. There may be something to that... we should do a study! I will selflessly volunteer for the intervention group, and write from the beach. ;)

DollyPond

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Re: Unwarrented Demands for Loyalty (Share stories)
« Reply #201 on: March 23, 2014, 06:12:07 PM »
No direct demand, but definitely an implication that we weren't performing up to snuff. Apparently, my boss thinks about our research all the time. He seemed quite surprised to realize that we students don't.  ::) Seriously, he outright asked me if I think about my research at the time, and followed up by asking when I don't think about it.  :o This discussion was touched off by his suggestion that another student should think about his research while hiking in the Grand Canyon for the first time over Spring Break (our research is not in geology, BTW).

I wouldn't take it as bad. He could have meant that new surroundings and experiences could lead to a new good idea for research.
I still think it's a bit much for an employer to be specifying what employees should be thinking about. Especially on their time off.

I agree with the above…. but have to say that the best grant proposal I ever wrote was done on the beach in the Turks and Caicos (NIH grant funded on the first round of review with no revisions requested).  Yes I was supposed to be on vacation but getting away to a more relaxed setting had a wonderful effect.

That said …  I have run into academics whose entire life revolves around their "work".  All in all they do not seem like happy people in general but try to point that out to them and….major pushback.

I have PI who always seems to be submitting grants while he's on vacation somewhere, and also gets great scores. There may be something to that... we should do a study! I will selflessly volunteer for the intervention group, and write from the beach. ;)

Actually a colleague and I thought about starting a grant writing retreat facility in a resort area.  It never got past the fantasy stage because we realized that there would be people Snowflakes out there who would expect us write the grant FOR them while they vacationed.

dietcokeofevil

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Re: Unwarrented Demands for Loyalty (Share stories)
« Reply #202 on: March 23, 2014, 08:37:58 PM »
Not me, but this happened to my friend from college Amy.  Amy was involved in a program at college that paid for part of her education, but she had to take certain classes for it as well as have a job within the program.  One of the classes she was supposed to take her sophomore year, conflicted with the internship she had to take for her major.  She spoke to the people in charge of the program and they told her it would be no problem and that she could take the class her senior.  Then when senior year comes, they told her that they weren't going to offer that class during the normal school year, but they would definitely offer it the first summer session for her.  So she could take it and be finished with school by June instead of May.  She would still be earning her bachelor's degree in her major in May, but if she didn't complete this one course for that program, then she'd have to pay back her scholarship money. 

Amy accepted a job offer in another state to start after June.  Then here it is the last semester of school and the head of the program comes back and says that will no longer be able to offer that class in May instead she'll have to come back for Fall Semester and take it.   She also wouldn't be able to just take the class, she would have to be registered and taking enough credits as a full time student.  So Amy resigned herself to this and figured she'd just take 12 credits of easy/fun classes and all that.  Then the program informed her that wasn't sufficient, she had to be taking classes for her major and since she'd already earned her Bachelor's she'd have to go ahead and start working on her Master's. 

The one good thing was that Amy was going to be allowed to complete that class at another university close to her job.  So here she was working full-time and going to school full-time to get a Master's degree that she hadn't planned on getting.  When she started up with the program at the new school, the job assignment they gave her was to recruit high school students for the program.

AmethystAnne

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Re: Unwarrented Demands for Loyalty (Share stories)
« Reply #203 on: March 23, 2014, 09:42:25 PM »
^
Here is the bar that you have to jump over, which keeps getting put higher each time you attempt to hop over it.  >:(

alkira6

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Re: Unwarrented Demands for Loyalty (Share stories)
« Reply #204 on: March 24, 2014, 01:14:42 PM »
To the techs when I was working at a major appliance service center: Oh, yeah, we're firing a third of you and restructuring the pay scale for those remaining so that the certifications that you've worked for mean nothing, but how dare you look for a job before your last day! How disloyal! What do you mean you quit?! That leaves us short for this area! How disloyal!

So many people had to fight for a good recommendation because everyone who quit before the layoff date was put on "do not rehire" status and that's what they told people calling in for recs.  Didn't matter if you gave adequate notice or if you had been working for them for 20+ years, you were a rat if you left before they wanted you to.

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Unwarrented Demands for Loyalty (Share stories)
« Reply #205 on: March 24, 2014, 01:57:36 PM »
The trick to having creative break throughs while off work is NOT to think about work.  It puts your conscious brain off, and lets your unconscious mind work its magic.
I have enough lithium in my medicine cabinet to power three cars across a sizeable desert.  Which makes me officially...Three Cars Crazy

melicious

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Re: Unwarrented Demands for Loyalty (Share stories)
« Reply #206 on: March 24, 2014, 02:24:55 PM »
The trick to having creative break throughs while off work is NOT to think about work.  It puts your conscious brain off, and lets your unconscious mind work its magic.

Agreed.

TurtleDove

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Re: Unwarrented Demands for Loyalty (Share stories)
« Reply #207 on: March 24, 2014, 04:25:20 PM »
I knew an acquaintance who worked for a large national law firm (which incidentally, prided itself on being "family friendly" and "understanding the needs of its employees").

My acquaintance worked very hard, putting in 60-80 hour weeks constantly. Then her father became extremely ill and she had to fly interstate to be with her family. Turned out he needed life-saving surgery. My acquaintance, her mother, and sister all waited at the hospital while her father had his operation. The doctors had told them to brace themselves for the worst.

Then her phone rang. It was her supervisor calling. They said "We want to discuss the XYZ file you were working on before you left. Can you talk now?"

My acquaintance said tearfully "Look, I'm at the hospital with my family. My father's currently undergoing major surgery and we've just been told he might not survive."

There was a pause. Then her supervisor said, in an annoyed tone: "Yes, but can you TALK?" 

Luckily her father DID pull through, but the experience left such a bad taste in my acquaintance's mouth that she left that firm shortly afterwards.

I experienced almost this identical situation when my younger sister was hosptalized and actually did die.  One partner was livid that I was not going to be in the office for a conference call (involving probalby 10 lawyers on a large case - I was not the only lawyer at my firm involved) and suggested as a compromise that I call in from my sister's funeral.

I left that firm very soon after.

Chip2

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Re: Unwarrented Demands for Loyalty (Share stories)
« Reply #208 on: March 24, 2014, 05:01:38 PM »
My team lead once decided to break Army and DoD regulations in a very specific way, and told my two coworkers and me that we would be backing him up on this. My coworkers acquiesced; I didn't. I told the team lead that I wouldn't break the regs and that if insisted we do so that I'd contact our supervisor (who literally sits on the other side of the country). He told me to follow his instructions.

The next morning I notified our supervisor and VERY stringently enforced the regulations while waiting for a reply. When the team lead came in he asked what was going on; I tried to pull him off to the side but he wanted an explanation from me right away. Fine. I clearly explained the problem and how I'd solved it in the lobby of our building in front of a half-dozen other people. It wasn't pretty.

Afterwards the team leader complained to anybody who'd listen that I'd betrayed him, our director, and the local mission, and made him look like an idiot in front of a lot of people. My supervisor had a different take on the issue; now I'm the team lead. Sorry, but my loyalty is to the regulations and making sure things are done right rather than protecting someone's reputation and ego.

Shalamar

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Re: Unwarrented Demands for Loyalty (Share stories)
« Reply #209 on: March 24, 2014, 05:08:50 PM »
When I first started working for Big Blue, I attended a big meeting for everyone in I.T.  It was one of those "rah-rah, aren't we awesome" meetings.  One of the big bosses singled out a young guy for special attention, saying proudly "(Young Guy's) wife had a baby two weeks ago, but (Young Guy) only took two days off work.  That's how dedicated he is!"  *cue applause*

I was appalled.