Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Sad Truth of Getting Into the Group

Dear Diary,

Decisions on group members are done in the following way:  1)  A group member rotates with us 2)  gives a presentation on their former research and 3) receives a decision from Kieron about whether they are in the group after getting input from all of us.  We'll analyze this process below.

First, the big news.  Kieron called Dave into his office this morning and, after discussing his work, suggested that Dave start to look at other advisors.  So, he'll be investigating other possibilities for life.  He'll still finish the project he started, obviously, but won't start another.  Psych!  He's in the group!  And that fake account of what happened is exactly how Dave tricked me this morning.  Don't ever do that again, Dave!  Now I won't believe any bad news you ever tell me again!  The sky is falling?  Chicken little!  Cry wolf?  Go blow your horn!  Man made climate change is driven by excessive green house gases including carbon in the atmosphere?  Uh...well, ok I'll believe that one...

Let's take a moment to process the process of getting into the group.  One naturally wonders if our input matters.  Of course it doesn't!  We're not the professor!  At most we'll have to only put up with people in our offices for a year or two; Kieron gets a life sentence!  But let me chime in on the psychology of the process as I see it.  Without knowing exactly what you want, the thought process for me (and I suspect others) devolves into whether I'm a good fit in the group and whether the answer to that question can help meunderstand why I'm in the group.  Having published one paper as a secondary author and seeing now that Dave is about to put something out in his first two months and, well, it makes me wonder if I can possibly work up to Dave's impressive start.  And if its good enough.  I have no barometer for these things.  Since I have to make a personal website now and add him to email lists, I should have voted no.

But I voted for him.

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