Monday, June 2, 2008

When supervisors disappear

An abridged (and *slightly* altered) version of the email I received from my supervisor, who has been on sabbatical since January:


Hi Princess,

Sorry for taking over a week to respond to your last email.

I am going to arbitrarily choose not to answer several of your questions, despite the fact that you numbered them for clarity. Please note that this includes the question regarding when I will have time to edit the final version of that manuscript that you actually wrote last summer, but have still not submitted for publication because I didn't have time to edit the first version for several months.

Also, I have still not taken a look at that survey you send me a month ago, despite your comments that you wanted to get on data collection ASAP, and my email back saying I would be able to look at it two weeks ago. Would you care to send it to me again?

Before I sign off, I just wanted to let you know that we have no spare funding for the Chicago conference, so that plane ticket on your Visa is all yours. Hope that's okay!

Oh, and note my lack of congratulations on your other first authored manuscript with another faculty member, and my lack of acknowledgment that he believes it to be ready to submit with less than a month's total turn-around when both of our pieces have taken over a year.

Cheers!

~Your Supervisor

Argh. 

My supervisor is utterly brilliant and incredibly kind, but I think I may go crazy waiting around for him. 

29 comments:

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

If only he were a cantankerous b*stard whom you could launch into without remorse

deutlich said...

Yes, what Ultra Toast said.

Beth said...

Kind and brilliant, yes, but what's he actually supervising? Sounds like you're on your own until...when??

distractedspunk said...

I gasped when I read the line about the booking for Chicago, since I was there when you booked it! Gah. I know how frustrated you've been.

You must still be terribly frustrated. Here for you if you need to vent.

Psych Post Doc said...

I have SOO been there.

I'm glad to hear you're moving forward with other people. And although he didn't say I'll say it ..way to go on that first-authored paper, congrats.

Yoda said...

I just got the grad school shivers.

~shakes~

chasinglibby said...

that is the most frustrating thing ever. srsly, waiting around for stuff to get done is my #1 pet peeve. i just want it over with. let's move forward already!

can you tell i'm pretty impatient?! lol...i hope things work out. it's tough when they're brilliant, b/c it often means they're also very absent minded!

mrs4444@new.rr.com said...

Again, the parallels to my niece's phd experience are incredible. This is maddening. Why can't other people follow our time tables?!

Alexa said...

U
G
H

there is a bit of passive aggression in his email. which i don't understand why.

he is listing everything that you did right yet making excuses as to why he isn't giving you the courtesy of a response.

i couldn't do it princess! : /

Arielle said...

Dude he sounds like a huge jerk. But like, one of those jerks that masks their jerkiness with sweetness. I'd be ripping my hair out.

Chimmy's Ghost said...

My supervisor was a great guy. He was funny and laid back. Perhaps too laid back. It used to take months to exchange manuscripts. Eventually, I just lost interest...

Ant said...

Brilliant and kind?

FAIL!

He sounds like a twat of gigantic proportions - that Chicago ticket malarky is right out of order and I would be seriously contesting it. Plus there's nothing that irks me more than slippery academics that are forever trying to wriggle out of deadlines because they're just too damned lazy to do any real work...

Just cos he's got a good bedside manner doesn't make him nice. He's gotta pull his socks up and I'd maybe think about making him aware of that...

Brett said...

Love it, just like my boss,Just added you to my "highly recommended" blogs list

captain corky said...

Are you sure he just doesn't watch too much TV? That's what it sounds like to me. ;)

gingatao said...

bizarrity, he's lucky you're smart enough to understand him, i am glad suddenly that i work for a dumbo,

poodlegoose said...

Oh man, I cannot tell you how this bugs me. I've had my fair share of this, as my supervisor was on sabbatical last year and left me with no where to turn, though not as serious as in your case. I realize that it's their sabbatical, but geez, it's not like their job is over. I'm sorry that yours is choosing to be such a putz. What did you change in the response? because if it was sent exactly like this, I would have killed someone.

Congrats on your manuscript, though! That's a big accomplishment. . . with or without your (not so)super visor.

Larissa said...

I would indeed be frustrated, and have dwindling patience with this supervisor.

Heart Of Darkness said...

What an ass! You deserve someone SO much better!

benjibopper said...

that flippant jackass. wouldn't it be funnier if people actually wrote like that though? even as they killed you with kindness you couldn't help but laugh. beats the bullshitting most people do.

Psychgrad said...

I know that not receiving an answer to a question is a sign of "I don't want to deal with this now"...but I'd just play dumb and re-ask the question.

Would it help to threaten to cancel your Chicago plans?

Congratulations on the first author paper!

the frog princess said...

Kind and brilliant doth not a good supervisor make!

I have a sneaking suspicion that I may also be entering into a similar supervisory relationship for my big project next Fall... I feel for you!

And congrats on the manuscript that is being published! You rock!!

Crashdummie said...

you are kidding me? OMG! Is he for real. Seems like a character taken from "The Office"

WKC said...

Is he tenured? :p

damselindigress said...

is that email ... for real?

and the chicago thing. i alone promise to make the trip worth it.

Sheila said...

Seriously?? I would be so ticked off, I wouldn't even know how to respond to that!

Jocelyn said...

Here's the only solace I can think of: at least he's not your boyfriend.

Can you imagine living with that?

Nilsa S. said...

What's up with throwing that conference expense on you at the last minute. Does that mean you get to go to the conference at all? I'm totally not ok with this email. It's like he has utter disregard for other people's timelines, goals and aspirations. Boo.

lissa said...

hmm he sounds pretty terrible to me.

Maxie said...

that effin sucks. It sounds like they don't want you to be mad but aren't going to do anything about it. gag.